First completion of the year: Tamiya’s 109 G-6
Salute, gentlemen! And a great new year to all of you!
I just finished Tamiya’s 1/48 109 G-6, and what a great kit it is. I would guess no other manufacturer could pull off such “gimmicks” as the interchangeable exposed engine/closed cowling as they did. The fit of the parts is very good, but it comes at a price, and that is having to remove the windshield and the fuselage section it is attached to in order to make the swap of the open/closed cowl parts. The fit of this particular component is very tight and precise – and it obviously is not glued (unless you wish to do so and build a permanent option). I tested it several times during construction: fit was flawless, and the magnets gave the open cowlling parts a fairly secure attachment.
When it came to painting the airframe, I chose to do it with the closed cowling parts in place, in order to obtain better “continuity” of the camo scheme. After weathering and varnishing, not exactly to my surprise, I found out the windshield part took too much cajoling to snap out – and not being a fan of fiddling with finished models, I just left it as in the pictures. The exposed engine parts are all finished and perhaps I’ll try fitting them sometime, but my previous experience with their 1/32 Spitfire advises against it: opening the engine always seems to knock of the last exhaust pipe, not to mention the slow degradation of the finish due to handling the model.
On the long run, these kind of options seem a bit counterintuitive: it adds a lot of detail and nice display options and diorama opportunities, but you have to take into consideration the toll it has on the finish and, eventually, on the integrity of the built kit. Besides, if you’re not building a maintenance scene, the clean lines of the fighter appear, to me, to be the way to go.
On other notes, detail is excellent all around: I specially liked the wheels and the cockpit, and all of the 109 aerodynamic oddities, such as the “wing profile” vertical stabilizer are there. The radiator flaps have very stout attachments, which is often overlooked in other 109 kits. Also, the way Tamiya makes the attachment of “twin parts” such as landing gear covers totally foolproof is a touch of class. The only downside, IMHO, are the decals, which are a bit thick even to their own Mark Fit Strong.
I chose the Maleme scheme because, even though the boxtop version is very attractive, the 109 sure looks even more menacing and evil without all the yellow trim.
And that is it. This is a joy to build, completely foolproof, even with the gimmicky options, as usual from Tamiya.
As always, all feedback is welcome!
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.