Revell 1/32 Bf 109G-10 Erla

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by JKim, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    I am currently on hold in the latest GB (Mediterranean Theater of Operations) as I wait for a canopy replacement on my Fiat G.55S Silurante build. In the meantime, I thought I'd dip into my stash (meager as it is with 3 kits) and start on another project.

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    This will be a unique build for me personally in several ways. Currently focusing on 1/48 WWII aircraft, I haven't built a 1/32 kit since I was in high school in the early 1980's. So going to this bigger scale will be interesting. I also haven't much experience with the "new" Revell kits. Many of those 1/32 kits that I cobbled together in my childhood days were from Revell but from what I recall, the kits back then were noted more for their gimmicks like moving parts than technical accuracy. Does this box art stir memories for anyone? It does for me!

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    I'm curious to see how Revell stacks up against the Tamiya, Hasegawa and Eduard kits that I've recently completed. So let's find out! The Revell box is an end-opener... blech! I really don't like these types of boxes, especially if you are engaged in multiple projects. It's so much harder to store and access parts during the build process. I'm going to have to find another way to store this build since I am planning to join in another group build in the near future.

    The parts are subdivided into groups of 2-4 sprues and stored in taped plastic baggies, with the clear parts receiving their own bag, appropriately. One step above the Hasegawa method of all sprues in a single bag but a step below Hobby Boss' gold standard of one sprue per bag and the clear parts getting additional foam protection.

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    I will be augmenting the kit with some aftermarket supplies, which I will be sharing more about later on in the build. These include:

    1. Alley Cat Models 109G-10 Erla Correction Set
    2. Alley Cat Models 109G-10 Small Wing Bulges
    3. RB Productions Luftwaffe Harnesses
    4. Quickboost Revi 16B Gun Sights
    5. Decals from either BarracudaCal or EagleCal

    Here are the two main sprues holding the fuselage halves. Revell has deviated from their earlier 109G-6 release and consolidated the front fuselage assembly into fewer parts... good to see companies be pro-active.
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    Parts have good detail and molding looks nice and crisp. Curiously, Revell has chosen to include harness detail molded onto the seat bucket and seat back. Given the availability of AM options (photoetch and now fabric-based harnesses, not to mention scratchbuilding your own), it would make more sense to leave the seats bare... cheaper for the manufacturer and easier for most serious modelers. There is a bit of flash on a few parts but it seems to be the exception and not the rule.

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    The instrument panel faces have no raised details and are meant to accept decal faces. I have yet to inspect the kit-supplied instrument panel but there are some AM options here (Airscale and MDC) as well.

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    Revell kindly gives us two sets of landing gear doors... one for the gear down and one for the gear up. If the gear up doors fit nicely, they will be used as masks for the gear bays during painting. Big ejector pin marks on the gear down doors but they will most likely be hidden by the gear struts.

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    Here is the sprue holding the lower wings. It looks like the wings are done in a modular sort of fashion. The lower wings being a three-part affair: center, port and starboard.

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    The cockpit sidewalls are pretty bare... a good canvas for superdetailers, of which I am not. ;) The spinner has some nice detail but does not join with the backplate at the natural joint... another strange choice by Revell. Because the prop blades must be added before the backplate is attached, addressing the seam will be that much harder. And the spiral that much more difficult to paint. Luckily, my Alley Cat upgrade kit will address that and so much more! :twisted:

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    Another subset of sprues containing some of the control surfaces, the landing gear, the gun cowling and the upper inboard wing panels.

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    One feature that differentiates the G-10 from earlier variants of the 109 are the bigger upper wing bulges (to accommodate wider tires). Due to the inconsistencies with the upgrade process during the latter stages of the war, some G-10's had features carried over from older variants. Thus, many G-10's featured the smaller, kidney-shaped wing bulges of the earlier Gustavs, including Hartman's Double Chevron depicted on the box art. It would've been relatively simple for Revell to account for this variation by also including the upper wing parts from the G-6 release but we only get the one style. If you want to model one of the small wing bulge 109G-10's, you'll have to either cannabalize them from the G-6 kit or go aftermarket. I haven't chosen a particular aircraft to model so I went and picked up a set of upper wings from Alley Cat to cover all of the bases. The kit wing bulges look like they have some rather conspicuous sink marks that will need to be taken care of if used.

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    There has also been some discussion about the inaccuracy of the cowling gun troughs on the Revell kit. From my perspective, they look ok to me but since the Alley Cat kit includes a replacement cowling, I'll make sure to compare the two later on.

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    A close-up on the landing gear... another "interesting" choice by Revell. The landing gear struts are comprise of THREE parts each! Why you would divide a landing gear strut in halves is beyond me but I guess that is why I am not a model company executive. It's strange but if the parts fit well, it should not be a big issue.

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    To Be Continued...
     
  2. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Great review John. Looking forward to seeing your usual high quality work on this one. The late G's are a bit of a minefield and once you select your scheme, you'll need to be aware of some of the potential differences - something that I'm not an expert on but for which there's plenty of help here.
     
  3. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    I agree, someone on here will have the right info if needed
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  5. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys! I've always been very impressed with the amount of specific knowledge members can come up with when it comes to these machines. I have a cursory knowledge of late model 109's and since the Erla subtype of the 109G-10 is so specific, I'm hoping that the kit will take care of some/most of those details. But I'll definitely be asking questions as I go through this build. As I've said, I haven't chosen a specific aircraft but at this point I am considering a 2/JG300 machine...

    Red 8 (later Red 12) - "Gisela"
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    Red 5 - "Timoshenko"
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  6. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    On with the sprue inspections...

    The kit provides a couple variations on the rudders. I'm not very knowledgeable on these differences but just from inspection, the lower back edge of the rudders look different.
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    Another grouping of sprues, this time featuring tail control surfaces and various tire/wheel hub options. I haven't looked with any detail at the wheels but I'm curious... since Revell only provided the larger wing bulges on this kit, are the older narrow tires excluded? My preliminary research indicates that both of the 2/JG300 machines under consideration would have the smaller wing bulges and hence the narrow tires. Nice touch... the wheel hubs are separate parts so that painting will be easier.
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    The tail control surfaces have a strange circular discs on them. At first I thought they might be ejector pin marks but they are intentional details which I've never noticed on photos of 109's.
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    Restored Bf109G-10 (WNr 151591)
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    I guess you can either remove them carefully or opt for AM replacements. And yes... my comprehensive Alley Cat kit takes care of this too!

    The clear parts look decent. Framing is minimal so I have opted for an AM masking set... will attempt to do this manually. At this point, I don't know what the differences are between the two canopies. Part of the front fuselage is molded into the windscreen part, which will make it easier to blend in without scratching the clear plastic. Another nice touch... the prominent yellow fuel line in the cockpit is a separate part AND it's CLEAR!

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    The Revell instructions are painted in black and white on low quality newsprint material. They use the international pictograph style without words to describe construction. Construction is divided into many many small steps... it'd be very easy to skip a step without realizing... be careful!

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    There are painting instructions for two aircraft... the recently discovered G-10 of Erich Hartmann and oft-presented dark JG300 Number 7, which is given as Yellow 7 with blue and white fuselage bands.

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    The decals look to be of decent quality but I really don't know how to judge that until you actually apply the slippery suckers. I've read that they may be sourced from Cartograph, which is a good thing I take it? I will taking a closer look at the instrument panel decals to see how nice they look... I may be taking a punch to them and applying them into the instrument panel individually.

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    That wraps up my unboxing of the 1/32 Revell Bf 109G-10 Erla kit. I'll be diving into the build shortly.
     
  7. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    I like to start off my kits with some little pieces to get a feel for the plastic used and to ease into the build slowly. I was very curious about the landing gear so I started there.

    Three pieces for one landing gear strut does smack of "over-engineering" but perhaps there are logical reasons for this. It looks like they will be attached in a uncommon manner. Instead of jacking straight into a D-shaped hole in the landing gear well per the norm, these struts look like the attachment will be at a 90 degree angle to the strut axis. Theoretically, this should result in a more realistic depiction of the swing of the strut but at what cost? I'm hoping it will be a strong and positive connection.

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    Hmmm... not as bad as it first appeared. Fit between the three pieces is very good. The seam surfaces line up nicely and without gaps. Outside of the actual gluing process, not much different than single molded strut in terms of clean-up. A little bit of X-Acto knife scraping and fine sanding should make the joints disappear.

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    See... not so bad! Oleo scissors and a tiny strut piece from the kit will be added along with a scratchbuilt brake line.

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    The MG 131 cowling-mounted gun barrels are not the sharpest but should be serviceable.

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    After the mold seam line is gently removed (take care not to be too vigorous here or you'll lose the round cross section of the barrels), it's a simple matter to hollow out the business ends with a sharp X-Acto blade. Man, this is so much easier in 1/32 than in 1/48! I'm almost tempted to drill out some cooling holes in the barrel! :)

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    The gun barrels are designed to be glued in prior to the installation of the upper gun cowling to the lower fuselage. When at all possible, I like to attach things like gun barrels and exhaust tips after painting. Since the Alley Cat kit includes a revised upper cowling, I'll have to investigate this issue a little later.
     
  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  9. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Another observation... The three landing gear pieces for each strut are numbered consecutively (135, 136 and 137 for example). 136 and 137 are located next to each other on sprue M. 135 is on.... sprue A? Next to part numbers 140, 172, 31 and 83? The seemingly random parts numbering is confusing and requires constant reference to the sprue map, which is elevated to a MUST HAVE for this build. A little more later... I'm going to jump back to the Silurante for a short period of time to do some decal work.
     
  10. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Nice start John. With regards to the rudders...

    Untitled.jpg

    Geo
     
  11. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    ...and so it starts. Per my limited reference material, the Erla built G-10s had the multiple trim tabbed rudders.
     
  12. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Great kit John, got 2 myself...JG301 bird and probably a KG(J) checkerband aircraft for me! :D
     
  13. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Thank you George and Andy! Let the information download begin! The Revell kit comes with FOUR rudders. One will definitely NOT be used as it is the older style with the angled top edge. I will have to inspect the three remaining "tall tail" rudders and make some sense of them (all three of them feature the two trim tabs BTW). The instructions aren't much help... they simply list two of the three as options, with no clarifying language. It would be nice if the kit came with a parts description list to go along with the sprue map!

    Looking forward to your builds! Too bad I won't have them for reference.;) I'm sure you're aware of this but Alley Cat's upgrade set and small bulge wings for the Revell Erla kit are now available again, after some ownership transition. The upgrade set is quite comprehensive and seemed like a more economical choice compared to the separate upgrade options offered by Barracuda. I'll give a complete report on the upgrades as I received them.
     
  14. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Have you decided on a scheme yet John. I have 5 hours to kill before the camp bus so I don't mind looking for you. I'm thinking of taking my laptop with me so I can check after work as well.

    Geo
     
  15. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    George... still considering the two 2/JG300 machines that I listed previously... Red 8 "Gisela" or Red 5 "Timo-Schenko". Both are featured on EagleCals #155 while Red 5 can also be found on BarracudaCals #BC32144
     
  16. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I'll check my JG300 volumes tonight John but the two pics already posted might be all there is. One difference I see with your rudders is the length of the tabs. The 4th one, not clearly visible, might represent the smooth wooden one.
     
  17. Hartmann52

    Hartmann52 Active Member

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    JKim, kamerad, with interest will follow the work on the model - at the very construction of such waiting. One question - why not a plane Erich Hartmann ?.
     
  18. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andy! I have a picture of Red 12 "Gisela" in one of my 109FGK book by Jochen Prien, but I'm not sure it is the same machine as Red 8 "Gisela". Cutting Edge has Red 12 on one of its 109 decal sheets...

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    It's listed as a 2/JG300 machine but has a red fuselage band instead of the blue/white/blue. Also indicates a short tail wheel in contrast to the long tail wheel specified for Red 8 on the EagleCal sheet.


    Why not model the Hartmann machine? Because I am saving that one for you my friend! :) Hartmann's G-10 will definitely make an eye-catching model but the tulip nose markings are not my style. I prefer my Gustav's to have a clean finish up front to accentuate all of those subtle bumps and curves.
     
  19. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Odd John, I just found a profile(no photo) of a G-10, 2/Jg.300 aircraft of Feldwebel Eberhard Gzik, Sept '44. It also has a red band and short tail wheel. Maybe that's what Cutting Edge is using as a reference.

    Geo
     
  20. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Here is another shot of the Red8 I found via the net.

    Bf 109G-10 Red8.jpg
     
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