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Kit review – 1/48 Tamiya 61117 Messerschmitt Bf-109 G6, Part 1 of 2

Once I saw that Tamiya was going to be releasing a new 1/48 scale kit of the Bf-109, I knew that when it arrived at the nearest Hobby Store I had to purchase it. This is a kit that I have been waiting for a while now. After opening the box, I think it was worth the wait.

I wanted to do an in depth review, and give the reader a decent idea of what to expect, good or bad. So I took a LOT of photos. This way the reader can make an educated purchase. Because of the large number of photographs that will be used in this review, there will be two parts.

The first part will cover mainly the written instructions, and decals. The clear plastic parts are also included in this first review.

The second part will cover the remaining plastic parts. This will be written in a manner very similar to my other recent kit reviews on the ICM Ju-88 A5, He-111 H-3, and Do-17Z-2, (all in 1/48 scale).

If you have any comments about this kit, good or bad, please feel free to post them. My primary goal is to provide an honest and in depth review. Your honest feedback will make this an even better review for all of us. So please do not hesitate to post a reply.

To begin with, there is some pretty neat art work on the box cover of a 9. JG 54 plane “Yellow 1” and his wing man. There is a trail of debris and smoke plummeting earthward… It reminds me of my childhood days when all of the kit manufacturers had pictures like this on the box cover.

This photo shows the box end and corresponding kit number information.

The box also has illustrations of the other two planes that can be built right out of the box using the kit supplied decals.
First up is a plane that most 109 fans will easily recognize, “Yellow 1” flown by Erich Hartmann of 9. JG 52, as flown in October 1943

The other plane is from 7. JG 27 and is flown from Crete in December 1943.

There is also an illustration showing how the engine can be displayed with the cowling panels opened up…

Once you open the box, this is what you will find inside. Each parts tree is individually wrapped in it’s own plastic bag. There are 4 gray plastic trees, and one clear tree. The decals are in a separate small bag. The canopy masks are in the bag with the decals.

There is an awesome two sided color illustration provided that is to be used as a painting guide and for decal placement. This 1/48 scale color illustration is for the 9. / JG 54 plane that is illustrated on the box cover.

The other side of the color illustration has the other two planes on it. These are a little smaller in size and are not in 1/48 scale. But they give you a good idea of the colors used and the decal placement.

Since we are talking about the decals, here they are. They come in two separate sheets. One sheet has the insignia and fuselage “number” markings. A set of Swastikas is included, so you will not have to scrounge up a set from the decal dungeon or an aftermarket set. Some stenciling is included on this sheet.

The other small set of decals include the unit insignia, a seat belt harness, and the remaining stencils. The decals look to be in perfect register and are nice and thin, with a flat finish. The white looks as it should and is not dingy or yellowed. My apologies for the slightly out of focus picture.

This photo may be a little better…

with a close up of the instrument decals and pilot’s harness, should you want to use these.

The kit even includes a nice set of canopy masks. These are packaged in with the decals. A thin sheet of protective paper separated the decals from the canopy masks.

The small blue plastic bag contains a small set of flat washers, two magnets and your typical Tamiya poly caps.

The magnets will allow you to swap out the engine cowlings to pose your plane with the engine displayed or closed rather easily. These parts can be quickly interchanged as you like.

You can also display your plane with a drop tank or not. A poly cap holds the tank in position. This kit has had a lot of thought put into it as it was designed. The propeller is also held in place with a poly cap.

This model uses a unique method on the pilots wind screen. The wind screen and forward portion of the upper fuselage deck is molded as a single unit. This part is held in place with two small tabs that fit into a small recess along the sides of the forward fuselage just above the wing fillet.

There are two front wind screens supplied. There is a minor difference between the two windscreens. One has a larger air vent located in the lower corner. The other windscreen has the same vent, but it is much smaller in size.

The clear parts are molded very nicely. The parts are very thin and transparent. There are several gun sights provided, (that can be seen in the top of this picture)

and several types of pilot’s head rest armor plates included too. The canopy can be posed open or closed.

There is a separate sheet of paper included that goes over the background information on the plane. On one side, it is written in Japanese language. The other side is written in English, German and French. Several black and white photographs and an illustration are included.

Next up I will go over the kit instructions.
They are printed in a typical Tamiya fashion. The instruction booklet is 16 pages long. The construction sequence is broken down into 37 steps and is well illustrated.

At the bottom of the cover page, the paint colors recommended for the build are listed. The paints listed are from the Tamiya color range.

The construction starts with having you fill in a few panels with putty, that were not used on the G-6 variant.

Having to use filler here isn’t too appealing to me, but it looks to be a fairly simple modification.

I understand the reasoning behind this, and that is for the ease of manufacturing and a simple method to cut production costs of this kit.

This tells me that Tamiya is planning on releasing more 109’s in the future. This becomes more obvious later on, as we examine the plastic parts in more detail……………
The next steps are building and painting the cockpit side walls. The fuselage is glued together now.

Next you will be building the cockpit, and painting the well detailed pilot………….

The engine is the next step. It is represented very well, with very nice exhaust and exhaust shields. A separate turbo charger is included. A decal is even provided for the serial number of the engine block.

Now is when they have you install the magnets. These magnets will allow you to interchange the cowling. You will be able to pose your plane with the cowling open or closed. This is a very cool feature…………….

This next step is a telltale giveaway………… The vertical fin is molded as a separate part. This tells me that Tamiya is planning ahead for a version with the “Taller Tail” which was built using primarily wood as construction materials. A separate rudder is also included. This is another indication, since I believe there were three different types of rudder used in the 109.

Here you can see how the “tail feathers” are attached. If you look closely, you will see that two different types of tail wheel strut are provided. So you will have options, and some left over goodies for the spares box…………… The rudder is a separate part, but it looks like it will be centered once installed. I’m sure you could “pose” the rudder with a little work.

Next stop……………. The landing gear wheel wells. Tamiya has molded them using separate parts as a liner for the main gear wells. There are some nice details molded into the under side of the upper wing half. This will represent the upper portion of the main gear well once the wing is assembled.

Here is also when you need to decide if you are building a plane with the underwing mounted 20 MM cannons. This is when you open the holes that allow you to attach these 20 MM underwing “Gondola Cannons”.

You will be building the under wing radiators next.

The flaps can be built “posed” in several configurations………….

as can the leading edge slats…………….. These slats were open when the plane was sitting on the ground. Once the plane built up enough speed, wind resistance closed them. They were automatically deployed in flight as dictated by wind speed generated against them.

The ailerons are a separate part too. I don’t know if these can be posed or not just yet. I will find out during construction. There is a separate wing tip. I don’t know how this will work just yet. I am not a big fan of having these parts molded separately, as there is often an alignment issue where the part connects to the main portion of the wing. Time will tell on this part. The “jury” is still out on this decision…………..

Now is the time they have you join the wing to the fuselage……………

One thing that is often done wrong when someone builds a 109 is the landing gear. The 109 has a look all to it’s own. The main gear is canted, and the wheels have a camber to them as well. It looks like Tamiya has taken notice of this and engineered the kit to help alleviate this problem. The main gear legs have two locks, which should help prevent from building the model with the main gear out of whack……………

Now here’s a cool feature…………. The drop tank can be installed and removed, since it is held in place with a poly cap.

You will also have the option of building your plane with the 20 MM under wing canons in separate gondolas. Two are provided and the details on them are excellent……………..

Now we are up to step #24. This is where you will be painting the clear canopy sections. There are two style of front glass, two styles of head rest armor, and the canopy can be posed open or closed.

One neat thing here is that Tamiya has molded the windscreen into the forward “upper” part of the fuselage. This will eliminate any gaps when the windscreen is installed.

This part is not glued in position. It is merely a snap in fit.

The instrument panel is glued to the front windscreen. Now is the time Tamiya has you paint and install this part.

There are several options available as far as the radio antennae masts are concerned. It looks like three separate styles have been included with the kit. This will give you more choices, and some more leftover parts for the spares box…………..

You will have the option of building your plane with either the standard air intake or a “tropicalized” version, as both have been provided.

Remember the magnets I mentioned earlier ??

Now is the time when they get used. This is when you have the option of posing your plane with the engine cowling opened, which reveals the very nice DB engine……………

as seen from the front, with the supporting jury rods……….

and you can pose the lower radiator hosing open……………….. letting it hang off to one side………….

or you can simply close things up………………..

If you get bored with your 109, you can alternate back and forth…………. This is a very cool little feature.

By now you will have picked out you choice of color scheme and markings. To go along with the stencil sets provided with the decals, Tamiya has included a very nice stencil placement guide. Please keep in mind, that often in the field, when the plane was repainted or just touched up, these stencils were often painted over. So check your references.

But at least you will know where they go……………..

Now I know a lot of people are saying (or thinking to themselves), “Do we really need another 109 ???”

Probably not, as Hasegawa has the 109’s nailed down pretty good.

There are other manufacturers such as Zvezda (and the Revell re-boxing of this kit) that are molded with engines.

But to see a main stream manufacturer release one is very nice indeed. Especially when you see hints of things to come with future releases……………engineered and molded into the current new tooled kit.

So I asked myself this very question…………….. ( with me being a “109 ohilic” and all). And I promptly looked at my display case as it currently looks………….

and decided
“Definitely Yes !!!!” we do need another 109 🙂

Thanks Tamiya. We do live in the “Golden Age” of plastic modelling.

As usual, comments are encouraged…………..

Please stay tuned for “Part 2”.

Which can be seen here:

Kit Review – 1/48 Tamiya 61117, Messerschmitt Bf-106 G6, Part 2 of 2


26 responses to Kit review – 1/48 Tamiya 61117 Messerschmitt Bf-109 G6, Part 1 of 2

  1. Always liked the Gs, and Tamiya is unlikely to put a foot wrong. Still, I have to wonder, do we need another 109?

    In any case, I know your skills will bring out the best in the kit.

    • Hello Rob !!! The Gustav has been a favorite of mine too, every since I purchased my first one, which was the 1/32 scale Revell kit. I was drawn to that model like a moth to a flame………… The box art showing a 109 G6 taking off from a snow covered field captured my young imagination…………. Every since then I was hooked……….

      This Tamiya kit looks like a real gem. Like you I wondered “Do we really need another 109 ??”. I looked in my display case and the answer was obvious………… 🙂

      Why yes we do !!!! 🙂 It seems that anything 109 or P-51 related will sell like hot cakes.

    • Doesn’t hold a candle to the Eduard kits unless you’re looking for an overpriced toy.

  2. Louis, it will be great to see you review this. Pedro and I were conversing about the newish Zvesda 109G. I was curious, having both their 109Fs. All of them have an engine, and I see Tamiya has magnet (!) cowling covers, to boot. Arrgh! More temptation!

    • Ah, the siren-song magnets….

    • Yes Bernard, more temptation indeed…………..

      I have two of the Zvezda 109F-2 kits and two of the Revell F-2 / F-4 kit’s which I think are simply a re boxing of the Zvezda kit in the stash. I’m planning on eventually building a Mistel with a Ju-88 using one of these planes as the “parasite”.

      I understand that you will have problems with these kits if you build the engine and include it during assembly. Supposedly the cowling will not fit if the engine is installed and you want to depict your plane with the cowlings closed.
      This new Tamiya kit is supposed to fit in either configuration.

  3. 1/48 with engine included (and no need for aftermarket) – and magnets! Are those dashboard dials on the decal sheet Louis? This looks very nice indeed! Thanks, as ever!

    • You’re welcome Paul !!!

      Yes the instruments are included as a decal should you decide to use them………… I don’t see a need for anything aftermarket in this kit, unless you are not happy with the kit supplied decals used as a seat harness for the pilot.

      We indeed live in the Golden Age of modelling………….

      I’ll try to take a better picture of the decals and swap it out…………

  4. “….when it arrived at the nearest hobby store…” -? I admit I don’t know your area all that well, but I always thought our LHS was on my computer screen. LOL
    That looks like it’s gonna be a beautiful addition to your display area, my friend.

    • Hey Craig !!! For me the nearest hobby store is the Hobby Town in Sanford. It’s probably the closest for you too, since I don’t think that “High Fly Hobbies” carries that much as far as plastic models are concerned.

      I have too many projects going on right now, but you can bet this one will get the “green light” very soon………..

  5. Thanks Louis for this excellent review. Sure there is space for another 109, I have one in my garage: My license plate has 109 on it but no spitfire ever dogfighted me so far…

    Every time I get a glimpse of your display case, I feel there is still work ahead for me … 🙂

    • You are quite welcome my friend !!! Please stay tuned for part two of the review. It will have mainly pictures of the plastic parts………….

      I agree with you, there is always room for another 109 kit………….. 🙂 I will have to rearrange the display case for these two (I bought two of these Tamiya kits). Sacrifices must be made.

      Now you need to find someone with a Triumph “Spitfire” and possibly challenge him to a duel …………. That is cool having a 109 in your license plate.

  6. Ahhhh, had wondered when your review of this kit would be around my friend!
    As usual, great job on showing everything this kit has. The photos are the best I saw so far regarding the sprues and booklet, so that alone makes it worth it.
    That said, the kit seems to have everything you expect from Tamiya-San, meaning correct shape, easy build and accurate detailing, plus some innovative approach gimmick, in this case the magnets for the dual engine covers.
    However I ain’t buying it, at least for now. The price is twice as much as Eduard’s or Zvezda kits, and I don’t think it’s that much superior to them anyway. When the price drops (or a good deals comes along…) then I’ll grab one.
    P.s. yep, there’s never too many 109 models on the shelf 😉 Very nice collection you got there Louis, thumbs up!

    • Hello Pedro !!!
      I finally got around to posting the review. Thanks for the compliments on the article and the collection of 109’s……………….

      This one looks to be a real beauty. The parts look to be molded perfectly. I’m fairly certain that this one will be an accurate version, and the cool thing it looks like they may be planning for future releases of different versions.

      I understand your concern on the price, as it is a little “expensive”. But I really don’t see much of a need to replace anything with an aftermarket “upgrade”. The only place that could potentially benefit would be the seat belts. Another option would be to use a different set of decals should you not like the one provided in the kit. I have two of these now, and I’m planning on building one right out of the box using the box art plane for one build. The other one is still up in the air.

      So in the long run, without having to buy any addition things, the price isn’t too far off.
      Do some shopping around and you just may find some at a deal…………..

      Thanks again my friend.

      I may end up doing a comparison build between this kit and a later Hasegawa 109-G-10 or G-14 kit as a comparison.

  7. See my more complete comments in Section 2. The kit’s a shelf sitter at my LHS, while Eduard kits disappear the day they show up.

    • You are quite fortunate to have both a local hobby store and access to Eduard kits. Our somewhat ‘Local” Hobby Store doesn’t carry Eduard kits.

      Maybe I can check with him again to see if he can special order one for me. In the past when I tried he didn’t have any luck at getting Eduard products. Maybe things have changed. I know I can buy one online, but I prefer to help with keeping our last hobby store in business by purchasing kits from him when I can.

      In the past I was not impressed at all with Eduard kits. The plastic was oily and a strange shade of green. To me they were more like a cottage industry kit.

      But from what I have been reading, in more recent times they have really upped their game. Sort of how ICM has come around recently.

      Thanks for your input.

  8. As usual, Lou, you do us all a great service with your detailed commentary and photos so we can make an informed judgment and, if the fit seizes us, a purchase. many thanks!

    • Thanks David ………… I wanted to help inform our fellow model building cousins of what to expect when they are considering a purchase like this. This is why I posted so many pictures, so that our readers can make a choice based on their observations.

      I am not trying to persuade a person one way or another to buy this kit, and I don’t have a thing to gain from this review.

      There are plusses and minuses with any kit. But for me this one has many more good qualities, and I hope to get building one up very soon………

      Thanks for your response my friend………….. 🙂

  9. Excellent article, made me craving for the part 2.

    I just really wish Tamiya to downsize this beauty to small scale.
    Cheers
    Paulo

    • Hello Paulo,
      Thank you for the kind words on this review. I appreciate that, and I hope you enjoy part two just as much………
      I don’t build anything smaller than 1/48 anymore. I sold off all of my 1/72 scale kits several years ago. My vision is not what it used to be………… I sincerely respect you guys that build kits that small.
      Who knows what Tamiya will do next ??? They just may do something like that…………
      Take care and thanks for commenting on the article.

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