- Manufacturer: Revell
- Scale: 1:32
- Aircraft: Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6
- Markings: “Yellow 5+I” | 9/JG 11 | Oldenburg | Summer 1943
- Aftermarket: RB Productions microtextile belts | Quickboost control stick | Quickboost MG 131 Barrels | Quickboost Revi gunsight| Barracudacast Bf 109G wheels
- Paints: Gunze Sangyo Mr. Color | Tamiya | Vallejo
“Oh great, another 109…”
Such was the inevitable chorus when Revell’s new-tool 1/32 Bf 109G-6 was announced. And there’s a point to be made, for sure. The modeling world is spilling over with 109s. Do we really need another?
Of course we do. We always need another. The two main G-6 offerings – from Hasegawa and Trumpeter – both have their flaws. And in the case of the Hasegawa, the price tag is a further cause for grief.
But, tangling with the 109 is serious business. Revell’s kit certainly competes very well on price, at a “how the hell did they pull that off?” price of about $25. It also bests the Hasegawa kit in several areas.
Unfortunately, it also stumbles in some other areas, enough so that what could have been a great kit is simply a pretty good one.
Long story short – if you’re in the market for a 1/32 Bf 109, the Revell is a totally legit choice, and will be made all the more formidable as aftermarket goodies start to emerge. But…I wouldn’t go tossing your Hasegawa or Trumpeter kits.
- RB Seatbelts: Laser-cut microtextile seatbelts. Just greatness. I will have a hard time ever using PE belts again.
- Quickboost MG 131 barrels: The kit barrels are crap, and Quickboost’s resin is a “not as good as brass but good enough” drop-fit replacement.
- 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.
- Barracudacast wheels: Roy put together some simply excellent wheels…which is kind of ironic as the kit’s wheels are easily among the best injection wheels I’ve ever seen. Still…I used the Barracuda shoes anyway, and was completely happy with them. Though they may be nice-to-haves for the Revell, I’d consider them must-haves for other 1/32 109s.
Detail – 4
The Revell 109 is a rather inconsistent kit. Detail in some areas is fantastic. The aforementioned wheels. The dangly bits such as the pitot tube, aerial mast and counterweights are all fantastic, thin and bristling with detail. But then you have a cockpit that’s ultimately only slightly better than the aging Hasegawa’s. An gear struts that are a total mess. An some weirdly overboard, overwrought detail, particularly on the control surfaces.
Engineering – 3.5
Another point of massive inconsistency. Consider that Revell provides the cockpit fuel line as a separate clear part (which is amazing!). Or that, instead of the stupid tail-plug arrangement Hasegawa uses, Revell only makes you contend with the top half of the tail itself. Fit is good and cleanup is easy since you don’t have to worry about curves of panel lines.
On the flip side, consider that you more or less have to install the exhausts long before you start throwing paint around (unless you’re willing to really cut into the nose). Or consider the decision to take relatively simple gear struts and turn them into wobbly, warped three-piece assemblies. Whose brilliant idea was that?
Fit – 4
So long as you’re careful, the fit is pretty good all around. The Revell is no Tamiya, but it’s certainly playing in the acceptable range with few, if any gaps. The only place I really ran into problems was up front with the cowl cheek panels, but I think that may have been the fault of my Tenax solvent not curing well with the Revell plastic (leading to “weld drift”).
Instructions – 1
The instructions are awful. Easily the worst I’ve ever encountered from a mass-market manufacturer.
The first culprit is the layout of the parts on the sprues. In most kits, each separate sprue is assigned a letter, and the parts on each sprue assigned a number. Things more or less progress in numerical order, so, for example, gear struts might be A21 and A22. Not so with Revell! While each sprue is lettered, those letters are never referenced. And the numbers extend across all the sprues, and wind up intermixed even on sprues, so part 89 may be next to part 113 and part 42. It makes ZERO SENSE, vastly complicates parts location, and would probably be a good foundation from which to build a cryptographic code.
Second, the instructions GET THESE PARTS WRONG on several occasions. So not only is the layout a mess, but you can’t even trust what the instructions tell you. Keep your wits about you as you build, and check and double check before committing glue.
Markings – 1
Terrible. F. The decals are so thick, and so resistant to the usual decal softeners and solvents, that they may as well be stickers. Go aftermarket, or get ready to cry.
A SOLID EFFORT, BUT QUESTIONABLE CHOICES HOLD IT BACK FROM TRUE GREATNESS
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