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ProModeler's 1/32 Scale
Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4

by Ian Robertson


Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4


ProModeler's 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4 is available online from Squadron.com




This model depicts a Messerschmitt Bf.109G-4 from 13.JG52, a Slovakian fighter regiment in the Luftwaffe.

The unit was identifiable by the red, white and blue spinner on their aircraft, and many of the machines also sported a distinctive spotted cowl.

The particular scheme I chose was based on a color profile in HT Model's publication "Messerschmitt Bf109F, G-2 a G-4: slovenskych pilotov 1942-1943". The book is filled with color profiles and period photos of the aircraft in 13.JG52, and it contains many detailed walk-around photos of museum Bf109F's and early G's. A while back I built a 1/48 Bf109G-4/R6 in a similar spotted cowl scheme (http://features02.kitparade.com/bf109g4ir_1.htm); this time I decided to try my hand at the 1/32 Monogram/Pro-Modeller kit which I purchased during a Squadron Com Sale.



Construction and Modifications


Pro-Modeler's 1/32 Bf.109G-2/4 is a direct offshoot of the Hasegawa Bf.109G-6. The main differences from the G-6 kit include resin wheels with spoked hubs, and G-2/4 gun troughs on the cowl. The G-4 also lacks the bulges on the cowl. Although the Pro-Modeller kit is very well detailed and stands up well on its own, I decided to make a number of additions/modifications to the kit.


MDC cockpit



MDC has produced an exquisite resin replacement cockpit for the Bf.109G-2/4. The craftsmanship of this replacement is superb and the cockpit fits perfectly into the kit's fuselage. I was thoroughly impressed.




Eagle Parts Spinner

A shortcoming of the Hasegawa / Pro-Modeller kit, at least in my opinion, is the rather bulbous profile of the spinner.

Replacement options are available from Eagle Parts as well as MDC, the former being used here. A photograph comparing the profile of the kit spinner with the Eagle Parts spinner is shown.

For some people the replacement will be a must, for others it will be too subtle a difference to bother. At least there is a choice.

The MDC replacement is also very good.



Moskit Exhausts

Moskit exhausts were used in place of the kit exhausts. An advantage of Moskit exhausts is that their hollow metal design and natural burnt metal finish look very realistic. However, as can be seen in the photo below, the Moskit exhausts deviate substantially in appearance from the kit parts. This problem is not as critical as it seems. To fit the Moskit parts properly it is necessary to deepen the wells for the exhausts. This is a straightforward modification that most modelers would not find difficult. Unfortunately, at the time of building I was unaware of this solution (and Moskit does not provide instructions). Instead, I chose to modify the exhausts by pushing the stacks down with my fingers until they approximated the appearance of the kit parts (admittedly a crude approach, but in the end it produced a result I was pleased with).



In summary, Moskit exhausts are worthy of consideration as a replacement for the kit exhausts, although it is worth noting that both Cutting Edge and MDC produce replacement exhausts that fit directly into the kit parts without modification.




Tail Wheel Modifications

The kit supplies a tail wheel with a rubber dust cover. However, the particular aircraft I was building did not have the dust cover, so I removed the cover and used a piece of wire to create the oleo.

In addition, the tail wheel well was exposed and a stiffener was made from strip styrene and glued around the edges of the wheel well. As far as I can tell the G-2/4 did not have the tail wheel well closed - this was a modification introduced in the G-5.



Painting and Markings


This aircraft displays the standard Luftwaffe mid-war fighter scheme of RLM 74/75/76, with yellow theatre markings under the wing tips and around the fuselage. The cockpit was painted RLM 66, and the undercarriage and wheel wells RLM 02. All painting was done with Polly Scale acrylics and an Iwata HP-C gravity feed airbrush.

The pattern on the engine cowl was produced by first painting the cowl RLM 76 light blue. Once the paint had dried, small pieces of UHU-Tac (an adhesive product similar to blue-tac) were carefully positioned over the cowl in a semi-regular pattern using photographs as a guide. The cowl was then sprayed RLM 74 and the UHU-Tac was removed.



Exhaust stains were made by spraying highly thinned black paint. Some additional "post-shading" over the model was done in a similar manner, although much more lightly than the exhaust stains. Scratches and scuffs were made near the root of the port wing to simulate wear caused by the pilot entering and exiting the aircraft. Panel lines were darkened slightly using a thinned mixture of burnt umber and raw sienna enamel.

The red, white and blue markings on the spinner were painted using variously-sized circular masks made from Tamiya tape and/or liquid mask.

I began by painting and masking the white tip, followed by the red ring and then the blue ring (blue covers best and thus hides the red and white). The rear half of the spinner was painted RLM 70, as were the propeller blades.

A gloss coat of Future floor wax was sprayed over the model and left to cure prior to adding decals. EagleCals EC#41 decals were used because they contained the appropriately shaped "Yellow 6", as well as standard Luftwaffe markings and superb stencils. For the final clear coat I spayed a mixture of 50% Polly Scale clear flat and 50% Polly Scale clear satin once the decals had dried.

The antenna was made from stretched sprue.





Images of the completed model were taken outdoors with a SONY S-75 digital camera set at its highest picture resolution (2048 x 1536 pixels). Other camera settings were as follows: 200 ISO film speed, 800-1000th/sec shutter speed, and F-stop 8.0 (highest possible). Images were cleaned up using Adobe Photoshop 6.0 for the Macintosh.



Specifically, the interface between the base and background were merged using the software's "blur" tool, and edges in photographs were sharpened using the "sharpen edges" tool. Sharpening images in such a way helps to restore some of the clarity lost during image compression.



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Slovakian and Bulgarian Aces of World War 2
Aircraft of the Aces 58
Author: Jiri Rajlich
Illustrator: John Weal
US Price: $19.95
UK Price: 12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 February 25, 2004
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1841766526
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2004 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 31 March, 2004
Last Updated 01 April, 2004

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