MPM 1/72 Bf-109G-12






two aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run with etched fret and vac canopy


Around the middle of the war, the Luftwaffe was coming to the realization that the quality of its pilots wasn't as good as what it was in the beginning. A shortened training syllabus and fewer hours in the air were resulting in more than a few accidents. These were mostly on the Bf-109, a plane that even experienced pilots were having their 'moments'. Much of this was thanks to the extremely narrow landing gear and the lack of maneuverability of the later marks. 

Someone got the bright idea of doing a two seat trainer. The job itself would be relatively simple. Just remove the aft fuel cell and replace it with another seat, then extend the canopy glazing back. To make up for the loss of fuel, have a drop tank fitted or take shorter flights. Since guns are not really needed, they can be either removed or reduced. A great idea. The Erla company did most of the conversion work and used G series airframes that had been damaged and were in for repair anyway. Most were the earlier G-2,3,4 series with a few G-6 airframes produced. 500 were planned, though it is unknown how many were actually produced with the first coming off the lines in early 1944. As far as I know, none are extant today.


Uh, it is a typical Czech short run kit. I really get a bit tired of saying that, but it is true. All the plastic is on one sprue with very fine detail that will disappear under sanding and filler (which in my experience is inevitable). All of the plastic is shiny, yet feels slightly 'gritty' to the touch. It is also has flash on nearly all the parts as well as rough edges and mating surfaces, but this is expected. The cockpit is your basic floor with seats and stick in plastic and everything else in etched brass. This includes the seat belts, rudder pedals and trim wheels. The instrument panels are etched metal with the dials on film that fits behind it. There is no glare shield or anything similar for the back seat instrument panel. 

The wing is a single piece and well detailed. The radiator screens are etched brass as are the flame guards that fit over the exhaust, the aileron balances and oleo scissors. As the kit sits, you will have to do one of the planes made from a very late G-2 or a G-3 or G-4 as there are no gun bulges on the cowling and there are wheel bulges on the wings. If you want to do an earlier G-2 rebuild, you'll have to sand off the wing bulges and replace the wheels with the spoked variety from an F series.

There are markings for two planes: White 242 and Black 514 (the box art ). Both are in the RLM 74/82/76 scheme typical of near late war planes (these are rebuilds so would use the later war colors). Of course, you could replace the 82 with 75 and not really have to worry about it. Instructions are quite good though the colors are all referenced to Humbrol paints. The colors are given their RLM numbers for the overall camo. Though not so marked, the decals appear to be by Propagteam so should be excellent. The swastika is the typical cut in half variety, but at least it is there. You only get one vac canopy so don't mess it up!!

Despite the difficulty of building these kits, it is nice that someone is at least doing them. No 1/72 Bf-109 collection should be without this one. 

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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