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 Messerschmitt Bf-109 G6/R6

Hasegawa 1/48

© Waikong Chung 2004

The Bf-109 must be one of the, if not THE, most modeled aircraft. This is befitting an aircraft that has over 30,000 units produced by Germany during WWII. This is does not count the variants that were produced after the war and saw service with countries like Czechoslovakia (as the Avia s-199), Israel , Finland , and Spain .
The Hasegawa Bf-109 G-6/R6 model here was the result of the previous models being outgunned by the Allies. By 1943, the Allies bombing campaign into the heart of Germany required anti-bomber fighters that packed a greater punch then the existing G-4 version which were armed with two 7.9 MG 17 machine guns and a 20mm cannon. The major distinguishing mark of this variant was the bulges on the fuselage behind the cowling, added to make room for the 13mm MG 131 machines guns. Thus acquiring the nick name "Beule" -bumps.
However, even the upgraded caliper gun were insufficient in countering the Allies B-17s. Thus the R6 subtype, nicked name "Kannonenboat"-Gunboat, was introduced that hung a pair of 20mm cannon pods beneath each wing. The R6 (Ruestsaetze 6 - Conversion Kit 6) severely reduced the fighting characteristic of the G-6 so that they became easy prey for the escorting allied fighters. Eventually, these models were replaced by the K series which upgraded to nose cannon to 30mm.
Hasegawa has to be the most prolific of all manufacturer's in producing models of the bf-109. I've lost count as to the variants kits issued by them. Many of the kits are very similar with optional parts and sprues to construct the different versions. There are no surprises to this model and I've built this one out-of-the box except for a pair of Eduard belts. The markings is that of an aircraft from Gruppe 3 of 3rd Jagdgeshwader (III/JG3) "Udet" who faced off against the American daylight bombing raids of late 1943. Their group were distinguished by the 'shooting star' insignia over the 'Beule'. The spinner spiral is provided as a decal in the kit, and with care and some decal setting solution, creates a wonderful effect. As full set of stencils are provided within the kit.