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1:32 Messerschmitt Bf 109H conversion

James H

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1:32 Messerschmitt Bf 109H conversion
Alley Cat
Catalogue # AC32037C
Available from A2Zee Models for £20






Have you ever wanted to try something different when it comes to large scale Bf 109 models? The endless stream of Emils, Friedrichs and Gustavs can become a little samey, even to ardent Luftwaffe fans. Alley Cat have never shied away from producing conversion sets to help the modeller create something a little more unusual when it comes to the Emil (with A, B, C and D conversions available), and now they've turned their attention to the new Revell 1:32 Bf 109G-6. This set will let you build this sleek aircraft as the not-quite-so-sleek Bf 109H, high altitude fighter.


Before the advent of the Ta 152, this was Messerschmitt's solution to intercepting the massed bomber streams that flew high above German towns and cities. Basically, this machine was an adapted Bf 109G, which had a taller tail section, pressurised cockpit, and an extended wingspan. The latter was achieved by adding a new un-taped, centre wing section which extended the wingspan of the 109 by over 3 metres. The whole project was cancelled before production began, due to the prototype being destroyed in an air raid, and newer aircraft coming on-stream.




Alley Cat's conversion set is packaged into a small, sturdy box that has a colour label depicting the product in profile format. Inside the box, two Zip-lock wallets hold a total of FOURTEEN parts, cast in light grey resin. The largest of these, the wing centre section, occupies its own wallet. A series of laser printed instruction sheets are included, as is a mask set for the scheme.


What this conversion sets out to do is actually very simple and logical. The regular Bf 109G wings remained unchanged in their format, with the exception that the under-wing radiators were moved into their original locations, which now lay on the new centre piece. I don't know Messerschmitt's logic for doing this, but of course this means we need to erase those radiators from the kit wings.






The wing centre section is impressive, and is cast with the new location for the undercarriage strut on the outboard side of the panel, giving the aircraft a wide-track undercarriage instead of the narrow one it is always seen with. Detail on this section is excellent, with cutaways to install the new radiator positions. A small resin pouring stub exists on forward point, where it connects to the engine cowl. This is totally unobtrusive and will cause no problem when removing it. As with the rest of the Revell kit, the exterior is devoid of rivets. What again will make this aircraft look unusual is that this new section is without any dihedral. The kit wings, when fitted to this, will have their regular upward angle kept 'as is', creating a most unusual looking bird.






To remove the radiators from the kit wings, a blanking insert is included. New radiator parts are included for the extra wing section, complete. As the kit wing itself contains the centre fuselage section, you will need to cut this, and the instructions clearly show how you go about this. It's suggested that you perhaps pin the kit wings to the new resin panel, and I think that's a pretty good idea in the circumstances. New resin radiators are provided for the new section, complete with internal grilles. Those radiators are handed, so ensure you fit them correctly. This new wing calls for the split, trailing edge flaps to be reinstated on the new section, and resin parts are supplied for this, clearly identified on both the casting block and instructions.


You will need to use the forward, adjustable shutters on the kit radiators and fasten them to the new resin ones, in the same location.




The next major change comes with the removal of the entire tail section from the kit fuselage. Careful measurement is needed here, and this is given on the instructions sheet. It still always pays to take the last fractions of a millimetre off very gradually so that you get an even and perfect match between the plastic and grafted resin part. The new tail is very different to the standard 109 style, and this comes with a separate rudder.




Revell did sort of drop the ball on the kit gun troughs. This conversion supplies a corrected gun trough, but oddly enough, not the corrected Beules or spinner. For these, you will need the buy the G-6 correction set we reviewed HERE. There is a small dark mark on the upper piece, but this appears to be a little dark resin, and will cause no problems when I build this.


I really can't complain about the quality of the resin parts. They are flawless, easily identifiable, and any casting blocks will easily be cut away. It's also not greasy, and no visible signs of mould-release agent can be seen anywhere. Perhaps just lightly scrub them to be sure.




Masks are supplied on a sharply cut vinyl sheet, and look superb, with no shrinkage. Only the fuselage codes and swastikas are supplied, as you will use the kit markings for the Balkenkreuz.


Three colour-printed sheets are provided for the instructions, with photographs and clearly notation. I would have perhaps liked to have seen a photo of the completed model, or at least with the wing having the inboard slit trailing edge installed. You really shouldn't have too much of an issue following these instructions. The last sheet contains the line drawings of the 109, with the scheme applied to the side profile.








Alley Cat has produced another superb conversion set for a version which you only occasionally see in smaller, short-run kits/conversions. The finished 109 will look a little clumsy and ungainly, but that is part of the attraction for this machine. There isn't provision for creating that pressurised cockpit, so for that area, you will have to check out online references for similar machines, or at the very least, conjure up your own solution. I also assume the engine had some differences, but externally, you won't have seen them. That would only really apply if you wanted to add a resin engine.


In all, a really good, solid conversion set that should be manageable by modellers who have worked with resin parts before. A good, first conversion perhaps?


Very highly recommended


My sincere thanks to A2Zee Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.


James H




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