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1/32 Bf 109G-6 Upgrade Set for Revell kit


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1/32 Bf 109G-6 Upgrade Set for Revell kit


Alley Cat
Catalogue # AC32027C
Available from Alley Cat for £15.00

 

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The Revell Bf 109G-6 kit
The Revell Bf 109G-6 promised to be the definitive plastic model of this version of Messerschmitt's long serving fighter. However, when released it revealed a series of minor, though frustrating, flaws which were in need of attention. The Large Scale Modeller review covers almost all of the shortcomings found in the kit and all those covered by the Alley Cat upgrade set.

 

Introduction to the Alley Cat Upgrade Set
Alley Cat is a range of resin kits and accessories produced and sold by A2Zee Models. The Alley Cat upgrade set is aimed at addressing the bulk of the issues found with the Revell kit whilst exacting the minimum amount of effort from the modeler. Many parts are a reworked kit part, which means they should be a simple drop fit substitute. All parts, except the two photo-etched brass scribing templates, are moulded in a medium grey resin which if the same material as other Alley Cat releases is easy to work with. The parts come in a single zip lock bag along with the instructions in a sturdy cardboard box. No parts were broken or damaged n my sample. The parts are cleanly cast with a very small number of pin holes (I had only 3 in 51 parts). Casting blocks are small and thoughtfully located, removal and clean up shouldn't pose any problems. Note that all my photos are of the parts as they come.

Contents: 47 parts plus 4 spare parts (2 exhausts, 2 air scoops) and two photo etch scribing templates.

 

What's in the set?

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-01.jpg
Spinner parts and prop blades

 

Spinner and props – The Revell spinner has a good shape and the correct teardrop shaped openings for the props. Unfortunately, to achieve this the spinner is separated at a point where no joint existed. To make matters worse, the assembly method required spinner and propeller blades to be assembled prior to any clean up or painting. The Alley Cat parts use a novel method to allow the blades to be added after assembly and painting. As well as a new spinner, three replacement blades with a much better profile than Revell's parts are included.

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-02.jpg
Blades are a marked improvement over the Revell parts

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-03.jpg
The new one piece spinner, engraved back plate is visible

 

Exhausts – Revell's engineering made the modeller fit the exhausts prior to closing up the fuselage halves. This meant that without modifying the assembly sequence, painting of both the exhausts and area of fuselage around them would be tricky to say the least. With the upgrade set we are provided with three parts to go inside the fuselage, two parts which fit into the exhaust locations and a third part which helps hold them in place. These are all keyed to ensure positive location. The individual hollowed exhausts (2 spares included) can be put in place right at the end of assembly. Each exhaust 'ejector' has a pin which fits into a hole in the previously assembled parts. This will ensure correct spacing, although care will have to be taken to ensure they are properly oriented.

 

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Exhaust parts

 

Air scoops – We were all surprised that Revell hadn't hollowed out the small scoops that cool the oil tank and spark plugs (Hasegawa's much older kit featured hollowed scoops). While the kit scoops can be hollowed, it is a delicate and time consuming job that can easily go wrong and leave a ruined scoop. Alley Cat provide six scoops (2 spares) that simply require the existing ones to be sanded of and these carefully removed from their pour stubs and attached. These are delicately formed parts and should look really nice in place. These will also allow the staggered scoops; apparently characteristic of some aircraft batches to be reproduced.

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-05.jpg
Difficult to photograph! Air scoops are wafer thin and will look good in place

 

Beule – The undernourished beule, the blisters covering the breech and ammunition feeds for the MG 131 machine guns, are one of the most mentioned and visible shortcomings of the Revell kit. Some of us have managed to wrestle the more correctly proportioned Hasegawa parts onto the Revell cowl, but this is time consuming as they don't fit exactly and require filling and sanding. The corrected parts provided by this set include both the standard and 'G-5 type' starboard beule. They look much fuller and feature flange detail on the rear part of the beule. This means the flange Revell have moulded onto the cowl has to be removed.

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-06.jpg
Alley Cat have given us 'standard' and the often seen 'G-5 type' breech and ammo feed covers

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-07.jpg
It is apparent in this view just how much fuller the Alley Cat parts are

 

Supercharger intake – Revell's intake fails to depict the flange for attachment of the air filter on the opening, resulting in a too thin lip to the opening of the intake. The weld bead that runs down the outside of the intake fairing is also absent. Alley Cat replaces the two part Revell offering with a single part that reproduces both these features very nicely and has the added bonus of not having a seam to clean up inside the intake.

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-08.jpg
Seam line and thicker intake lip are (just) visible

 

Undercowl oil cooler – The Alley Cat part has given us a very nicely refined version of the Revell part here. It features more of the curviness of the original part and deepens the whole unit, much more prototypical. Also greatly adding to the look of this part, Alley Cat have narrowed the intake and exit – the original radiator face parts still fit.

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-09.jpg
Much better front profile, narrower intake, curvier sides and deeper overall

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-10.jpg
From the top, curves in all the right places

 

Cockpit – For whatever reason, Revell depicted the harness moulded onto both the seat pan and the rear wall of the cockpit. The effect certainly isn't up to what many of us would want and using better replacement parts requires taking the detail off the parts. This is a drag, especially on the bucket seat. Alley Cat have performed this chore for us. Both parts are basically cleaned up kit parts so fitting is just a case of substitution – easy! Also included is a nicely detailed replacement control column featuring a couple of details omitted by Revell.

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-11.jpg
Side by side with the kit parts - one tiresome job taken care of

 

Ailerons and elevators – Revell scored a bit of an own goal on these parts. For the most part detail is petite and very convincing. However six of the eight parts were 'marred' by disk shaped details which are meant to depict the reinforcements around the drain holes on the real aircraft. There are 42 of these to carefully remove, again, a drag. The Alley Cat parts are devoid of these, are single parts and as a bonus have addressed the dodgy trim tabs on the elevators.

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-12.jpg
Disks gone and a neater trim tab, tiresome job #2 taken care of

 

Alley-Cat-Bf109G-6-13.jpg
Tiresome job #3 - history

 

Other parts – Also included are a nice new ETC rack for the drop tank, two parts representing the air vents inside the cockpit that can be used to re-locate the inaccurate port one (starboard one is correctly located), copies of the Revell machine gun barrels with opened out ends, a copy of the propeller shaft, again with a drilled out muzzle for the engine cannon, and finally two photo etched scribing templates – one to re-scribe the port cockpit air vent, the other to correct the location of the fuel filler on the port fuselage behind the cockpit. This second template is actually redundant as Revell corrected the location of the fuel filler in the released kit.

Alley Cat Bf109G-6 14 – The final detail parts, including on the left a replacement control column

Instructions – The instructions consist of a photographic overview of the parts and a series of short descriptions of some areas of construction. Particular attention is given to assembling the spinner and props and the exhausts as these are significantly different assemblies to the kit parts.

 

For the rest of the assembly the user is left to merely substitute the resin parts for the Revell plastic, a satisfactory approach I think.

 

So What Do We Think?

This set has addressed most of the concerns that were highlighted during the various reviews of the Revell kit, including LSM's own review. Alley Cat have stepped up and brought a whole host of simple drop fit replacements that will make your Revell G-6 more accurate with minimal effort and hassle.

 

This is a good honest set of parts that for a relatively small outlay will really boost the look of the Revell kit. Quality is excellent and the amount of parts one gets for the £15.00 asking price makes this a real bargain in my book.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

With thanks to Alistair of A2Zee models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click this link.

 

References: LSM review of Revell Bf 109G-6

 

Matt Low

 

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