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1/32 Revell Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 Erla


Mikester

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1/32 Revell Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 Erla
Catalog # 04888
MSRP: 24,99 €
Available nearly everywhere


 

 

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By the Spring of 1944 the once mighty Luftwaffe was becoming increasingly ineffective, the hunters had become the hunted.  A lack of aircraft and experienced pilots, and soon fuel were beginning to start a downward spiral from which they would never recover.  The Bf 109G-6 "Gustav" continued to soldier on but by this point in the war was outclassed by it's Allied opponents.  The Bf 109K-4 was meant improve the performance of the marque and help level the playing field with a more powerful engine, aerodynamic refinements and other upgrades.  At some point in the Spring of 1944 the decision was made by the RLM to upgrade the Gustav to the same specifications as the K-4, the rationale being that existing production lines and parts could still be used.  The aircraft, designated the G-10 would be produced by MTT Regensburg, Wiener-Neustadt and Erla.  While the first two factories introduced aircraft that were very similar, using the so called "Type 100" cowling (a term coined by 109 expert Jean-Claude Mermet), the Erla G-10 used the "Type 110" cowl which had several significant differences from it's counterparts.  Until fairly recently the Erla production G-10 was often mistakenly referred to as the "Bf 109G-10/AS".
 

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So the second installment in Revell's line of 1/32 scale Bf 109s is an Erla G-10.  Certainly significant because this is the first injection molded Erla production G-10 done in any scale.  Until now the only options were the long OOP EagleParts and Cutting Edge resin conversion sets.  I thinks this speaks volumes about the importance and relevance of 1/32 aircraft, we're now getting kits the 1/48 guys can only dream about!  Of course Hasegawa has produced a solid, although not perfect, 1/32 Bf 109G-10 which can be used to do a Regensburg or WNF machine (or a G-6/AS or G-14/AS with a little work) and Trumpeter has just released a G-10 as well.
 
Before we begin the review I'll extend an apology on behalf of myself and Matt.  We set out with good intentions to get this review published shortly after the release of the kit.  Unfortunately other commitments and a lack of mojo on our parts left the review sitting partially finished for several months.  So while this will be by no means the first review of this kit on the web, hopefully it will be one of the most comprehensive.  So without further ado, lets get to it!

 

Box:

 

A nicely done painting portraying the Ace of Aces, Erich "Bubi" Hartmann engaging a formation of Il-2s somewhere over the Eastern Front in the closing days of the war.  Box is the standard Revell "side-opener" (I'm not a fan, your mileage may vary) containing 12 light gray and two clear sprues comprising 175 parts packaged in a plastic bag.

 

Cockpit:

 

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Mike:  No surprises here, this is a carry-over from the G-6 kit.  Once again detail is crisply molded and will look good with a little TLC.  The molded in seat belts and questionable joystick are still there but since this is the same cockpit from the G-6 there are several after-market options available if you elect to upgrade.

 

Matt:  AFAIK Erla 109G-10s didn’t have MK108 cannon. Therefore wrong cannon cover call out at stage 2, need to use partsC2 and 3.
 
Fuselage:
 

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Matt: The fuselage has been re-tooled and now has the sides of the cowl sections integral to the fuselage instead of add-on panels. This is much better. The port cockpit fresh air vent is still in wrong location.  The kit features a correctly located CWSD (cold weather starting device) hatch on stbd cowl (see decal 35 location). Revell have also added the second hatch on the stbd side slightly behind and below the MW50 hatch (decal location 50) this covers a pressure release valve for the MW50 system. The top cowl part is, of course, new as well. Unfortunately Revell have an awkwardly placed join between the parts. This runs through some of the detail, not along panel lines and will result in detail being lost and needing re-instatement.  Tail and elevator parts are same as Bf109G-6 kit, but we do have a further variation on the late war Bf109G rudder. This time Revell have given us what is known as the ‘keeled’ rudder which has a fattened and slightly flattened lower edge, terminating in the rear formation light. The previous ‘tall tail’ rudder versions are also still included, which is good as many Erla machines are fitted with them.
 
Mike: I think most modelers will be happy with the new fuselage arrangement, the fiddly cowl panel arrangement from the G-6 is not carried over, the construction is now reminiscent of the Hasegawa G-10.  The upper cowl piece fits well although I too am a little puzzled why they elected to engineer this so it ran through the middle of a hatch.  I was fairly lucky on mine and managed to fill the seam without destroying the hatch detail.  Please watch your windscreen fit when the time comes, as with the G-6, I wound up with a gap that needed to be filled.  I found it a bit curious that they engineered the tail the way they did, it's not like they need to make a provision for a short tail after all and all this does is create another seam to fill.  That being said I was extremely impressed with the fit of the fuselage, it went together nearly perfectly, requiring only a small spot of filler at the base of the tail.
 
Matt: The tall tail wheel is used for this kit, though certainly some Erla G-10s used the short tail wheel of the G-6 style. Also note that the Revell instructions do not correctly locate the tail wheel strut (see instruction corrections). The broader chord VDM9-12159A propeller blades are included and look OK .
 
Mike:  The spinner is the same unpopular design from the G-6.  There are now several outstanding resin replacements on the market, money well spent IMHO.  For the propeller blades, here's a comparison shots from a previous review:
 


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The kit propeller blades (painted silver) are shown here against an aftermarket set produced by Barracuda Studios.  As Nick noted they look OK but the resin blades capture the subtleties of the blades better.
 

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Nose shape:

 

Matt: Revell have captured the diagnostic features of the Erla style streamlined nose panels. These are:

  • Square panel on the port fuselage under the gun cover (stbd side retains ‘half moon’ panel as seen on all 109G-10s);
  • A generally ‘tidier’ bulged cowl around the supercharger intake when compared to the 109G-10s (and K-4s) produced by Messerschmitt and WNF (see Hasegawa’s kit)
  • A wider lower cowl, removing the need for the small ‘chin bumps’ found one all other 109G-10s (and K-4s).
  • An externally wider and shallower oil cooler fairing (has this been debunked now – as Barracuda’s part is the same as the ‘standard G-10 and K-4 parts)
  • Different panel lines on the engine cowls.

Issues: Everything about the Erla cowl above the exhausts has to be ascertained from photographic interpretation (a lower cowl is in existence and was used by Revell for this kit). There are a couple of features that do not seem to have been picked up in this kit, whether you think they are important is up to you, but here is what we think.

 

Supercharger intake this is in need of rounding at the lip. The original part looks quite bulbous due to the shape of the lip area. Note this isn’t too thin as on the G-6. That was missing the ring to which the dust filter attached; no provision for such a device was fitted to these aircraft.  Additionally, the flange around the base of the intake, by which it attaches to the cowl panel looks a little undersized.

 

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Engine cowling This is a complex area and it could be said that without a real example or factory drawings to study any representation is, to a degree, speculative. Given that proviso these are our observations:

The gun troughs are again too close together. Revell have applied the MG17 spacing to the MG131 armament. This means 1mm needs adding either side of the central hinge to move the troughs apart. Alistair of A2Zee models now provides a replacement cowl in their Alley Cat detail set.  The gun troughs appear to begin too far back and don’t extend far enough forward (the Erla troughs start further forward than those of the G-6 and run quite a lot closer to the nose of the aircraft). This is a diagnostic feature of the Erla G-10.

Study of photographs does seem to indicate that the Revell part is off in some small ways, however for all but the most fussy accuracy-wise Revell have captured the essence of the Erla cowl.

 

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Mike: Not much to add here (I let Matt do all the heavy lifting!) other than the cool air intake scoops on the forward cowl are still unfortunately molded solid.  Once again Barracuda Studios has a set to rectify this issue.  The exhaust stacks remain unchanged and unspectacular.

 

Wings:

 

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Matt:  These are the same units that come in the Bf109G-6 boxing, however the inner upper wing sections now feature the much larger fairings associated with the larger main wheel tyres fitted to many Bf109G-10 and K-4 aircraft. It looks like Revell have got the shape of the rear of these fairings slightly incorrect. They have depicted them as a semi-circular shape, whereas the actual item appears to have a flatter curve – this won’t be all that easy to fix, but may not be all that noticeable to most. Internally, the depiction of the wheel well roof of this variation is rather well done and will certainly look the part with a wash to enhance the moulded in relief. As before, detail is good with a multi part wheel well, separate slats, flaps, ailerons and radiator flaps. My recent build of the Bf109G-6 kit shows that despite being separate parts, they can all be assembled in the neutral/closed position with no drama and good fit.

 

Mike: As Matt noted the wings are dimensionally the same as on the G-6 kit, a full analysis can be found in our G-6 review here:  http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/1238-132-messerschmitt-bf-109g-6-early-and-late/?hl=revell

 

It's unfortunate that Revell elected not to include the wing inserts with the smaller wing bulges since they appeared to be present on a good number of aircraft, including the one depicted on the box cover.  Once again Barracuda Studios and Alley Cat to the rescue but I gladly would have paid an extra couple of bucks to have both options in the kit.

 

I've found that you can deviate a bit from the instructions and fully assemble the wing sections and then mate them to the fuselage and still get a perfect wing root fit.  This simplifies construction a bit and makes dealing with that seam you get on the top of the wings a bit easier.

 

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Mike:  The overblown disc detail on the control surfaces is still present.

 

Wheels and Undercarriage:

 

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Matt:  Undercarriage legs are still the same tiresome multi-part affairs. They do look good when assembled but are a bit of a hassle to clean up. We get new larger tyres that look pretty good, the representation of the raised moulding lines may be a little over the top and will look better sanded back somewhat.

 

Mike: Agreed, not a fan of the kit landing gear, the Eduard Brassin metal replacements are worth giving some serious consideration to.

 

Clear Parts:

 

Matt: These are good quality, quite thin and clear with very little distortion. Two of the ‘Erla Haube’ clear vision canopies are provided, the difference being the inclusion of a hole for the aerial mast in one and not in the other. The windscreen features the flared lower parts which represent the screwed on panels that faired in to the wider panels beneath. We still have the clear fuel line, two gunsights (OK at best), wingtip lights, Perspex panel for the FuG16 aerial, ‘Galland Panzer’ head armour and the Perspex lead in for the wireless aerial. Internal armourglass is still shown being affixed to outside of windscreen – it MUST go on the inside.

 

Mike:  As I noted earlier watch your windscreen fit!

 

Instructions:

 

Mike:  Standard Revell format and carried over the lack of sprue identifiers from the G-6.  Why?  Fifty lashes with a wet noodle for the instruction guy at Revell!

 

Matt:  Wrong again!  Errata:

 

  • AFAIK Erla 109G-10s didn’t have MK108 cannon. Therefore wrong cannon cover call out at stage 2, need to use partsC2 and 3. Additionally, compressed air filler stbd rear fuselage needs filling.
  • Tall tail wheel, incorrect instructions. If look at image of the tall tail wheel you will see that the strut comes out of fuselage further forward than standard strut. If you look in the fuselage of the kit, you will see a flashed over hole which is meant to be cut through. This is all clearly shown in assembly stage 12, there is a second set of pins and the semi-circular attachment in front of the ones the instructions would have you use – these are the ones to use if you are doing a tall tail leg machine. Finally, in stage 13 you’ll need to use part M71 to blank off the tail wheel bay completely.  Note that many Erla machines retained the short tail wheel strut. If that’s the case you need to follow stage 12 then at stage 13 use part M70 as illustrated but replace part M166 (long strut) with parts K163 and K114 (short strut and oleo link)... use your references.
  • At stage 16 you are asked to cement the aerial lead-in into the supplied hole. Unfortunately Revell have ‘lost’ the hole during retooling the fuselage, so you’ll have to drill it.
  • Make sure you use part N35 at stage 18, this will fit with the wider Erla oil cooler, part N67 in stage 23.
  • Obviously, we have the absence of kidney shaped wheel bulges. I have fitted a set of kidney shaped bulges from the G-6 kit – check fit before gluing this all up, as I had a fit problem that may indicate the parts are slightly different between kits. I had to sand the tabs on the outer wing panels to ensure a good fit.
  • Revell have now included, in assembly stage 30 parts A29 and A84. These were omitted from the G-6 instructions. If you have a G-6, this stage should be carried out on that kit.
  • Nice to see part N185 a variation of the vents used to expel engine cannon gas, part N99 is given as an option. This has no vents and may be for aircraft fitted with a MK108 cannon (its gasses were vented from behind the stbd exhaust stack. Also note that part K98 is probably also applicable, views of the belly of the Erla G-10s are rare....
  • Stages 36-37 give you the rudder, including in stage 36 the ‘keeled’ tall rudder. This means that all variations of the tall rudder are available in this kit – you may have to sand off surface detail for the wooden versions and a trim tab or two may need to be removed – refer to photographs of the machine you decide to build.
  • At stage 63 the part M26 should not be attached to the rear deck as shown. This is part of the canopy demisting system and should in fact be attached to the rear of the pilot’s head armour part P62 (pic needed).
  • Stage 64 still shows the armoured glass being attached to the outside of the windscreen. It should be attached to the INSIDE – just like on the Hasegawa kit.
  • Stage 65 is basically saying check to see if your machine had an aerial mast or not. Two canopies are supplied and they only differ in whether there’s a hole for the mast.
  • Stage 68 adds a reference to putting in the FuG 25 aerial – a welcome addition that can also be applied to many 109G-6 kits you have.

Mike:  The modeling community owes Matt a collective round for his work on this!

 

Decals: 

 

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Matt:  These look good and are by Cartograph (as denoted by the ‘c’ at the end of the decal sheet reference number). These provide comprehensive stencils.

 

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Colour schemes are for WNr 152016 of JG300, a well known machine in dark camouflage (apart from the engine cowl), this machine appears typical of some late production Erla 109G-10 aircraft that appear to have been repainted in a single dark (RLM 83) colour. Repainted because some stencils appear to have been masked, leaving a light original camouflage background.

 

Hartmanncid_89636c64_5fc7_4f6a_9687_edit

 

The second machine is the relatively recently ‘discovered’ final mount of Erich Hartmann, WNr 491446. This machine is only known from a single image and that doesn’t include the tail area. There is some debate on the internet about Revell’s interpretation of the tail camouflage (extrapolated from the style of machines with discernible similar camouflage), there is also some debate as to whether the ‘tulip’ motif around the nose carried another petal.

The major issue for this colour scheme is that this aircraft had the kidney shaped wing fairings, not the large type supplied in the kit.. This is a poor omission on Revell’s part but there are three way of addressing this.

  1. Cross kitting with a Revell G-6 – the larger bulges from this kit can be used with the G-6 kit to model one of the rare G-6/G-8/G-14 aircraft found with the larger fairings.
  2. A2Zee models provide a resin set of wing sections with the kidney shaped bulges
  3. Barracuda also now provide a similar set, though one which refines Revell’s interpretation of the kidney shaped bulges and as such is more prototypical.

Mike:  The Cartograf decals are a welcome addition since the G-6 decals were a little thick and shrugged off decal solvent like nobody's business.  The IP decals are printed with a silver/gray background for the dial faces which I have never observed on a real 109 and I'm assuming is incorrect.  If you're interested in more information on G-10 paint schemes, please visit The Profile Paintshop, highly recommended!  One of the advantages of a late review is actually having an opportunity to build the kit!  Here are a couple photos of my Erla G-10.

 

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So what do we think?

 

Well, a bit late but we sincerely hope this review was worth the wait!

 

Once again we've been critical of some areas of the kit but the final verdict is that you get a lot of kit here for not a whole lot of money.  Having built this kit I can attest that the fit is excellent.  There are a few detail areas that can use some help but this kit is already well supported by the aftermarket industry and even splurging on a couple of resin goodies you can still get out the door for under $50 and in my book that's pretty impressive!

 

Highly Recommended!

 

Matt Low and Mike Offutt

 

Review copies courtesy of our wallets.

 

Available Aftermarket Accessories:

 

Barracuda Studios 1/32 Bf-109G Upperwings with Small Wheel Bulges (BR32169)

Barracuda Studios 1/32 Bf 109G-10 and K-4 Intake & Exhausts (BR32156)

Barracuda Studios Bf 109G-10 and K-4 Oil Cooler Fairing (BR32160)

Barracuda Studios Bf 109G-10 & K-4 Prop and Spinner (BR32123)

Eduard 1:32 Bf 109G-6 undercarriage legs BRONZE

Eduard 1/32Bf 109G-6 Exhaust Stacks

Barracuda Studios 1/32 Bf109 G - K Wheels

Alley Cat Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 'Small wheel well bulge covers' for Revell kit

Alley Cat Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla upgrade set for Revell kit

Bf 109G-10 decal sheets from Barracuda Studios

EagleCals #155 Erla Bf 109 G-10 JG 300

EagleCals #156 Erla Bf 109 G-10 JG 301 and KG(J) 6

Aires Bf 109G-10 cockpit set

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Nice review! And big thanks for the link!

 

 

Regarding the landing gear legs and their break down, I just assembled mine and the engineering immediately made sense to me. With the parts break down, Revell has set up the possibility to change the angle between the tire and the gear leg which in real life was done between the G-2 and G-4. So if Revell does release an earlier version they can just replace the small lower part and be AFAIK the first company to get the angle right on both a G-6 and an earlier G/F in 1/32.

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I really enjoyed reading this .. great job guys!

 

Makes me want to grab the box out of my stash and give it  go - along with the Eduard Zoom accessories I bought with the kit itself and I'm definitely keen on adding the bronze undercarriage along with the Barracuda props and spinner!

 

See, I'm inspired ! Wow....

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Just read the passage about the light background of the stencils, That is not the result of a repaint and a masked background, the stencils were applied as decals and these decals had light grey background which stands out as a masked RLM 76. This was standard practice at Erla before the production of the G-10 even began, it's often most clearly evident above the pilots hand hold behind the canopy.

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Interesting... so the decal would always appear over the top of the paint finish? I mean would mottle be interrupted by these areas of light grey decal? Suppose would barely show up on a 74, 75, 76 scheme...

 

Makes you wonder why they didn't use a clear film, though then I suppose the stencil could get lost in the camouflage..

 

Matt

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  • 2 weeks later...

Guys ... You know - I've NEVER found a shonky review on your webpage ...

but more than that ... I've found most reviews here detailed, concise and above all - entertaining ...

I love how the multi-person review/interaction dynamic works ...

 

Kind of like the Top Gear for LSM's :)

 

... This review, of course, is no exception ... and well worth the wait!

 

Rog :)

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  • 4 months later...
  • 4 months later...

Are you really sure about the small wing bulges on Hartmann's aircraft? I think I'm able to discern the bigger oblong bulges on the wing in the photograph you provided, just inside of the wing Balken-cross...

 

Only the first Erla built planes had the small ones because they used up spare wing they had in stock before converting to the new style.

And I'd think the Luftwaffe would probably supply its Ace of Aces with the best it could get - and since the bigger wheel well bulges have a much better drag coefficient, methinks they would have provided him with those...

 

 

I could be wrong of course, but I don't think so.

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  • 2 months later...
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Are you really sure about the small wing bulges on Hartmann's aircraft? I think I'm able to discern the bigger oblong bulges on the wing in the photograph you provided, just inside of the wing Balken-cross...

 

Only the first Erla built planes had the small ones because they used up spare wing they had in stock before converting to the new style.

And I'd think the Luftwaffe would probably supply its Ace of Aces with the best it could get - and since the bigger wheel well bulges have a much better drag coefficient, methinks they would have provided him with those...

 

 

I could be wrong of course, but I don't think so.

 

hartmannLarge_zpsr8ibif5j.jpg

 

In this photo it really looks like the they are small wing bulges, you can make out the kidney shape fairly clearly.

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