- Manufacturer: Hasegawa/ProModeler
- Scale: 1:32
- Aircraft: Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4/R6
- Markings: W.Nr. 19426 | 364*5 | Regia Aeronautica, 364 Squadriglia, 150 Gruppo Autonomo| Sciacca, Italy | June 1943
- Aftermarket: Eduard Interior | Eduard masks | Eduard/HGW Microtextile belts | Quickboost exhausts | Quickboost control stick | Quickboost Revi gunsight | Eagle Editions Spinner | North Star Models wheels
- Paints: Gunze Sangyo Mr. Color | Tamiya | Vallejo
Last time out, I was rather underwhelmed by Hasegawa’s 109. The whole thing felt like a minimum-level-of-effort affair. But with the release of Revell’s new-tool looming, I decided to take another swing at the Hasegawa kit so I could have it fresh in my mind for comparison purposes.
The second time around – perhaps in comparison to the Revell kit – I found the Hasegawa a better build than I remembered. It’s simple, yes, but very competent and imminently buildable. It’s weak spot, such as it is, is in the fine details…overly thick pitot tube, things like that.
Shockingly, the Hasegawa holds its own against the new Revell kit. Or maybe it’s better to say the Revell kit manages to foot itself in the foot in a myriad of small ways that hold it back from completely dominating the venerable Japanese kit.
- Eduard interior: Really rather good. Still not as all-out as a resin cockpit, but you also don’t suffer from fit issues.
- Eduard/HGW Seatbelts: Laser-cut microtextile seatbelts. Just greatness. I will have a hard time ever using PE belts again.
- Quickboost exhausts: the exhausts aren’t crazy prominent on the 109G, but the Quickboost exhausts add another resolution to the detail proceedings. No-brainers for the Hasegawa kit, in my opinion.
- Quickboost control stick: more detailed than the kit stick, but the stick isn’t terribly visible once the fuselage is closed, so this is more a nice-to-have.
- Quickboost Revi gunsight: most kit gunsights suck. And since the gunsight sits in a really prominent position, it’s almost always worth it to splurge for a resin aftermarket sight. As a bonus, these sets almost always include multiple gunsights, so you can spread the (low) cost across a few builds.
- Eagle Editions Spinner: Prepping this thing is a pain in the ass. Sanding the excess resin from the backplate, drilling out the mounting hole, and drilling out the prop holes is pretty much awful, but the result is a nicely detailed spinner that’s far more accurate in shape. Worth it.
- North Star Models wheels: The ProModeler G-4 boxing includes resin F/Early G-style wheels, but they’re a bit narrow. I discovered these North Star wheels by chance on Sprue Brothers, and they’re gorgeous. A bit fussy to build, but gorgeous.
Detail – 3
In some regards, this Hasegawa kit is quite good. I’m looking at you, control surface treatments. In others, it goes very spartan to the point of looking plain. The landing gear doors, cockpit, and flaps are all perfect examples of this. The lack of fine detail is in part a mark of when this kit was produced, but its inconsistent application also gives a sense of a kit that could have been far more impressive.
Engineering – 4
Overall, the engineering of the Hasegawa kit is hard to fault. It’s lack of imagination frustrates, but then I bemoan other kits for overcomplicating things by popping open every panel. One area that did gall me, however, was the design of the wings, which are a weird five-piece affair that relies on a very floppy wing spar to ensure dihedral.
Fit – 5
The fit is good all around with nothing worth complaining about.
Instructions – 4
The manual is straightforward and workmanlike. You won’t be blown away by it, like something from Wingnut Wings, but you won’t be slinging expletives at it, either.
Markings – 3
The Chris Busbridge decals I used for my Regia Aeronautica 109 look excellent on the sheet, and have really good register, but they proved somewhat thick and the carrier film reluctant to vanish into the surfaces.
WHILE THE REVELL 109 PROMISES TO BE STRONG COMPETITION, THE HASEGAWA STILL HOLDS ITS OWN.
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