Messerschmidt BF-109 G-14 ("Hartmann" markings)

A full size BF-109 (not in Hartmann's markings)
Kit Kit Manufacturer Scale Price Options Out of Box (OOB) or Modified Rating (1-10 10=best)
BF-109G-14 "Hartmann" Hasegawa  1/48  $24  Markings  OOB  9

The Messerschmidt BF-109 was the backbone of the Luftwaffe, from the Spanish Civil War when it was first tested to the BF-109k in use at the end of WWII.  Many Luftwaffe aces got the majority of their "kills" flying BF-109s - some racking up nearly 400 "kills."

Erich Hartmann was one of the top Luftwaffe aces - so much so that, while flying on the Eastern Front, the Russians were instructed to avoid any 109 with his characteristic black "tulip" markings on the nose.  He had a hard time getting any victories until he removed the marking for a while, and his rate went back up.

The Hasegawa kit of the BF-109G-14 is well moulded, and assembles very easily and quickly.  You have two options - one for Erich Hartmann's all-white BF-109 (winter markings,) and a late war Reich Defence machine.

The kit has no major suprises.  It comes with a choice of the regular, framed hood or the clearer "domed" hood (I forget the term for it at the moment.)  The only "difficult" points in it are:

1. The wing gun blisters.  You must drill out the holes to mount them - and the holes are very visible at the "top" of the landing gear wells.  Either remove the locating pins, or fill the holes before assembling the wing.

2. If you build Hartmann's aircraft, the "tulip" markings come as decals, and can be difficult to fit over the contours of the nose. Either cut them around the contours of the nose, and touch up with black paint, or (just as difficult) mask and paint them by hand.

3. The underwing mass balances don't have much holding them on. They get knocked off easily.  Be careful painting. <g>

Other than those two points, the kit almost falls together, and anyone with a little skill and patience should be able to build a very presentable model.  The white "Hartmann" scheme stands out among a field of blue, brown, green and grey.

If you want to get a bit "fancier," an issue of FineScale Modeller went over building a (very nice) version of this aircraft, with a somewhat weathered winter scheme painted over the "standard" RLM brown and green scheme.  It looks great, if you want to go through the work - considering it got the scheme the way the "real" aircraft did.