Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Build Part I

Fine Molds began releasing their Messerschmitt Bf 109 series of kits in 2005. They boxed all the later variants from the F-series through the K, inserting a bewildering variety of combinations of small sprues to portray the versions desired. These were an immediate hit. Tamiya has recently released a G-6, but opinions vary as to how big of an improvement over the Fine Molds release it is (which speaks volumes).
These are the basic sprues in the G-6 boxing. An interesting feature which has been copied by other manufacturers is the engine molded under the cowling. This has allowed Fine Molds to account for additional versions by substituting cowling panels while allowing for the option of displaying an exposed engine.
If you like parts for the spares box and want to build a G-4 or a G-6, the Finnish boxing is the one to get. This one has the maximum number of secondary sprues, and all the original parts are still there on the main sprues. You can basically build any G-6 with the parts in this box with the exception of the tall tail varieties.
The side wall detail in the cockpit is basically raised lines with little depth. This benefits from some basic scratch building to beef up the detail. The large round structure represents the trim wheels. The real trim wheels were spoked, but I find that the spoke detail is largely hidden by the pilot’s seat and difficult to see from most angles in any case so I represent them with disks for closed canopy builds.
The cockpit under a coat of paint and with Eduard PE seatbelts. The yellow tube is a fuel line with a sight glass, a prominent detail which is not difficult to add with a piece of solder.
If you study photographs of Bf 109s it is very difficult to find one on the ground with the flaps in line with the wing, and is almost impossible to find one without the leading-edge slats deployed. These were spring loaded and intended to automatically extend at lower airspeeds to increase lift. A Bf 109 just doesn’t look natural without the slats and flaps repositioned so these were all cut out. If the Fine Molds kit could be improved, separate slats and flaps would get my vote!
The fit of the Fine Molds kit is excellent, and here it is with the flaps and slat re-attached. The inner flaps on the 109 are split to allow for the radiator exhaust, the pilot could control the engine temperature by varying the effective aperture at the trailing edge of the wing.
I made canopy masks from Tamiya tape and using Montex masks as templates. The Montex masks do not adhere well, and this especially true if there are any curves involved. I have had trouble with these, every time I’ve tried to use them they’ve lifted off so I’m going with the Tamiya tape for this build.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Anton Hackl in 1/72 Scale

Anton Hackl flew throughout the war, his final tally was 192 confirmed victories.  He was one of the seeming rare Experten who was able to successfully transition from the East to the West, claiming 105 victories against the Soviets and another 93 against the Western Allies.  He claimed 34 four-engined bombers, making him the Jagdwaffe’s most successful pilot against the “heavies”.  He was himself shot down eight times and wounded four. The model depicts Anton Hackl’s Bf 109F-4 of 5. / JG77, flying from Oktoberfeld, Crimea, during JUN42. 

Tamiya Bf 109E-3 of Hauptman Adolf Galland in 1/72 Scale

Adolf Galland was posted as Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26 “Schlageter” in June 1940, just prior to the beginning of the Battle of Britain.  He would hold this position until the end of August, when he was given command of the entire Geschwader.  While with III./JG 26 he increased his personal score to 22 and was awarded the Knight’s Cross.

The model depicts the Bf 109E-3 of Major Adolf Galland while Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26 in June, 1940.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Oberleutnant Hans Philipp in 1/72 Scale

Hans Philipp was credited with his first victory on the fifth day of WWII, a Polish PZL P.24 near Radomsko.  He continued to score during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, and was awarded the Knight’s Cross on 20OCT40 for 20 victories.  He then flew in the Balkan Campaign, where he added two Yugoslavian-flown Bf 109’s to his total.

JG 54 was re-equipped with the improved Bf 109F-2 for Operation Barbarossa.  Philipp continued to score steadily against the Soviets, who were overmatched in both equipment and in training.  In March 1942 he was presented with the Swords and had achieved his 100th victory, the fourth Luftwaffe pilot to do so.  A year later he had achieved 200 victories.

Philipp was transferred to the West to command JG 1 in April 1943 to combat the ever-growing streams of American heavy bombers.  Like many Luftwaffe fighter pilots, Philipp found the transition from fighting small groups of Soviet tactical aircraft to large formations of American heavy bombers and their escorts difficult.  On 08OCT43 he led his Geschwader against a formation of B-17 Flying Fortresses escorted by P-47 Thunderbolts.  His Fw 190A-6 was hit by defensive fire from a B-17, Philipp bailed out but was too low for his parachute to open and he was killed.  Some sources credit LCOL Robert Johnson, an ace with the 56th FG with downing him.  Philipp was credited with 206 victories.

The model depicts Philipp’s Bf 109F-2 of 6./JG 54 in Russia, July 1941. RLM 74 / 75 / 76 camo with 70 squiggles on the fuselage sides.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Oberleutnant Erich Rudorffer in 1/72 Scale

Erich Rudorffer served throughout WWII on every front where the Luftwaffe was engaged.  He downed A French Hawk 75 for his first victory in May, 1940 and his last flying the Me 262.  He fought against the Western Allies until June 1943 when he was transferred to the East as Gruppenkommandeur of IV./ JG 54.  He made the transition successfully and scored heavily against the Soviets.  He was credited with thirteen kills in one day on 06NOV43, all Soviet fighters.

In all, Rudorffer was credited with 222 victories, 136 in the East, 26 in North Africa, and 60 in the West (including 10 heavy bombers) and 12 on the Me 262.  He was himself shot down 16 times, taking to his parachute on 9 occasions.  He survived the war, and passed away in 2016 at the age of 98.

The model represents Rudorffer’s Bf 109F-4 of 6. / JG2 in France, September 1941.

Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 of Oberleutnant Friedrich-Karl Müller in 1/72 Scale

Friedrich-Karl “Tutti” Müller claimed his first victory, a French Curtiss Hawk during the Dunkirk evacuation in May, 1940.  His score improved to ten during the Battle of Britain, but he was forced down into the English Channel due to fuel exhaustion.

Müller served in all the major theaters where the Luftwaffe was engaged.  He claimed 89 victories against the Soviets and 51 against the Western Allies, including 24 heavy bombers, for a total of 140.  He was killed on 29MAY44 when his Bf 109G stalled while coming in for a landing.

The model represents Müller’s Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 in the markings of Stab III./JG 53 in October 1940.

Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 of Major Adolf Galland, Stab/JG 26 in 1/72 Scale

Adolf Galland flew ground attack missions in He 51’s with the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War, and in Hs 123’s during the invasion of Poland.  Both of these were biplane types, but Galland repeatedly made requests to be assigned to fighters.  He was able to arrange a transfer to JG 27, then flying the Bf 109E, and was seconded for a time to JG 53 where he was tutored in fighter tactics by Werner Mölders.  Galland claimed his first aerial victories, a pair of RAF Hurricanes on 12MAY40, and added a third on a later sortie that day.

Galland’s success continued, and he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26 in June, rising to command the entire Geschwader in August.  In September, he was awarded the Oak Leaves after achieving his 40th victory.  During October he claimed a further eight victories, all fighters, which brought his total to 50.

The model depicts the Bf 109E-4 of Major Adolf Galland while Geschwaderkommandeur of JG 26 at Audembert, France, in October, 1940.

2021 Year in Review

2021 saw a return to some degree of normalcy, but as with any great disruption there have been some re-definitions of just what that means.  There was a return to live in-person shows which was sorely missed.  What has changed with the shows is now they are bigger and better attended, with more vendors, more model entries, and an overall increase in quality of the builds.  Fewer group activities have translated into additional modeling time for many people, and for socially introverted types this appears to have been a good thing.  It has certainly resulted in more and better models on display at the shows!

The display area of the 2021 Military Modeler’s Club of Louisville IPMS show.

I was able to go to three shows this year, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Cincinnati.  All three were held in new venues, and all three were very successful and saw half again as many entries above what was normal for the club, if not more.  Many inspiring and innovative builds, and fellow modelers are always happy to share new techniques and tips to try out.  The guys at Plastic Model Mojo have taken their show on the road, and I was able to sit down with them and catch up in person, in addition to listening to their podcasts while I model.   Plastic Model Mojo here:  https://www.plasticmodelmojo.com/

Mojovians Dave and Mike in front of an Fw 190 replica at the Cincinnati IPMS show at the Tri-State Warbird Museum.

For bibliophiles the news is still not good.  Publication dates on many new books have slipped.  The secondary and overstock markets have fared little better, with fewer selections and higher prices all around.  After two years the Half Price Books traveling blow-out sale is still nowhere on the horizon, and I’m starting to wonder if it will ever return.  Hopefully soon!

Blog Statistics and News

The Inch High Guy blog has completed year three!  A big thanks to all who visit on a regular basis, whether new or old.  I am happy to report that I again managed to make a post each day, although there were a couple of near misses.  The blog received 139,675 views and 55,483 visitors, up from 73,992 views and 26,731 visitors last year.  The most popular post again this year was “Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Interior Colors Part I” with 3,267 views: 

https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/b-17-flying-fortress-interior-colors-part-i/

Guess what? If you can see the ribbing on interior of a Fortress it should be Natural Aluminum, with only rare exceptions. Interior Green is for Warbirds!

Models Built in 2021

34 completions, 24 aircraft and 10 vehicles.  In addition I painted 42 figures, 14 horses, and constructed 8 diorama / vignette bases. Everything was built to 1/72 scale as is my preference.  The mosaic has a picture of each build, construction posts and additional finished pictures can be found by searching the blog.

Arma Hobby FM-2 Wildcat x 3

Azur Martin B-10

Trumpeter T-55

Takom MAZ-537 Tank Transporter

Airfix Spitfire Vc x 4

Vickers Mk. VI light tank resin print

Cunningham T1 light tank resin print x 2

Brengun Yak-1

Arma Hobby Yak-1b x 3

Hasegawa Yak-3

Dakoplast Yak-7 x 2

Valom Yak-7

Emher Yak-9

Hasegawa Fw 190D (old tool)

Hasegawa Fw 190D

Tamiya Fw 190D

Dragon Messerschmitt P.1011 x2

Dragon Julia

Revell Fw Fitzer

Revell Ho 229 (repaint)

First to Fight Polish TKS Tankette

ICM Sd.Kfz. 222

First to Fight Sd.Kfz. 247

Dragon Krupp Protze Kfz. 70

Italeri sK 18 10.5 cm Field Gun

What’s Ahead in 2022

This has been a year of exciting announcements for 1/72 scale modelers.  The new Focke Wulf Fw 190D series from ICB looks spectacular, and it even includes an accurate wheelwell for the first time in the scale.  The family will cover all the Dora subtypes.  Flyhawk released a new tool SBD Dauntless which will fix the dive brake issues with Hasegawa’s kit, and will hopefully continue to be available – something which can’t be said for several Hasegawa kits.  To top it off ICM and Special Hobby have both just announced a new-tool Ki-21 “Sally” for late 2022, a subject which has long been on the list of several modelers. The Sally was strangely missing from Hasegawa’s new-ish series of Japanese twins, modelers who had to have one searched for the MPM or 1976 Revell kits.

The big news for many modelers is that Arma is now shipping their P-51B/C kits.  The previous attempts from Academy and Hasegawa both suffered from fatal, difficult to correct shape issues.  Finally, for the first time, an accurate P-51B/C is on the way!  This kit should prove to be a license to print money for Arma, here’s hoping it is a windfall for them!  I have long agitated for this subject, so to put my money where my mouth is I have placed an order through my Local Hobby Store (support your LCS!) for one.  Case.  For starters.

Now Arma, if you’re listening, we could sure use an accurate Ki-43-II Hayabusa “Oscar” in 1/72 scale.

Arma’s P-51B/C

The second big release (for me) has a much more personal connection.  Takom has announced a U.S. Navy 16”/50 caliber triple turret in 1/72 scale, packaged as Turret One from USS Missouri (BB 63).  This kit has parts for the rangefinder which was later removed from the first turrets, but with a few modifications could represent any of the main battery turrets on the Iowa class battleships.  Now for the connection part – I served in the Navy, Missouri was my ship, Turret One was my turret.  1/72 scale Missouri’s in both the WWII and 1980’s configurations are on my bucket list, and this kit makes that project one step closer.  If the appropriate 5”/38 Mark 28 mount is ever kitted that would cinch the deal (the 1/72 scale 5”/38 Mark 38 mount included in Takom’s 1/700 Gearing class kit has an unarmored gun house, appropriate for destroyers but not battleships).

Takom’s 16″/50 turret

Lastly, we have purchased a wooded plot of land along the scenic White River, where we intend to build an energy efficient (net zero) home.  This is obviously a time-consuming project, and will inevitably impact time available for modeling and blogging.  In fact, the effects have already begun to be felt as I have been busy on the property cutting down the invasive Asian Bush Honeysuckle which is crowding out the native trees.  Hopefully there will still be opportunities for modeling, but the pace may slow a bit.  If I miss the daily posting on the blog in the coming months this will likely be the reason.

The mighty White River

May you each live long enough to build every model in your stash!

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2 of Leutnant Max-Hellmuth Ostermann in 1/72 Scale

Max-Hellmuth Ostermann began the war flying the Bf 110 twin-engine fighter with ZG 1 during the Invasion of Poland.  He transferred to JG 21 flying the Bf 109 in time for the Battle of France, where he scored his first victory, a Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 on 20MAY40.  By the close of the Battle of Britain he had achieved eight victories.

Ostermann continued to score against the Soviets from the start of Operation Barbarossa, being awarded the Knight’s Cross at the beginning of September 1941 for 29 victories.  His score had risen to 70 by February 1942, when he was granted leave to get married.  Because of his small build and youthful appearance, he was briefly arrested for impersonating a Luftwaffe Officer on his wedding day.

He achieved his 100th victory on 12MAY42 but was wounded in the engagement.  He was presented with the Swords while recuperating.  Ostermann was shot down and killed on 09AUG42 by Arkady Ivanovich Sukov flying a LaGG-3.  His final score was 102. Max-Hellmuth Ostermann’s Bf 109F-2, 7. / JG54 at Dno, Russia, September 1941


Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Erich Leie in 1/72 Scale

This is Erich Leie’s Bf 109F-4 assigned to Stab / JG2 at St. Pol-Brias, France during the Summer of 1941.  His best day was on 23JUL41 when he claimed six Spitfires.   He was eventually credited with 118 victories (some sources say 122) and over 500 combat sorties.  He survived through most of the war, but was killed on 07MAR45 when he collided with a Yak-9 which he had just shot down.