ME-109G-6 Nachtjäger


Kit Manufacturer




Out of Box (OOB) or Modified

Rating (1-10 10=best)

BF-109G-6 Nachtjäger JT187






The ME-109 was one of the most common Luftwaffe fighter types, serving from Africa to Scandinavia and Spain to Russia. It served in multiple roles, from pure fighter to "jabo," to the night fighter depicted here. Many of the most successful fighter aces flew the type, and it served in multiple air arms before, during, and after WWII. Willi Messerschmidt's design, initially not given much of a chance due to BFW being not "in favor" with the higher ups in the mid 1930s, turned out to be an unquestionable success.

This G-variant ME-109 is displayed with the underwing, 20mm cannon pods (which reduced speed and maneuverability, and was called the "kannonboote" by its pilots.) This was done in an attempt to beef up the ME-109's armament to better deal with the Allied bombers. The variant also sports a unique disruptive scheme of white markings over the usual camoflage and insignia, the better camoflage the aircraft (assigned to 1/JG300.) This nightfighter was utilized in "Zahme Sau" (tame boar) operations, being guided to targets by ground radar, as the aircraft could not reasonably fit the airborne intercept radar of the time (unlike the "wilde sau" with radar fitted, such as the ME-110, JU-88G, and HE-219.)

I started work on this with the cockpit, which goes together quite easily. It was sprayed in overal RLM66 dark grey, with details picked out in appropriate colors. I added some detail to the cockpit with weathering, a cord which ran from the breech of the cannon around the side, straps for the rudder pedals, and seat belts made of drafting tape. The details go somewhat hidden due to the small cockpit and the closed (but very clear) canopy. Oh well, I know it's there...

This is a kit that you can't follow the instructions *exactly* unless you want parts knocked off and wish to deal with a painting nightmare. I assembled the fuselage (which went together quite nicely.) I didn't dress the seam at the top, as the real ME-109 did have a subtle but visible seam along its spine. The cover on the nose fit on decently, with just a little sanding to bring it into line with the rest of the nose profile. Once this was dry, I fitted the instrument panel, then the completed cockpit assembly - no problems. I did not fit the nose guns at this time, deciding instead to fit them after painting. I did not fit the propeller and spinner either, as these would again be easier to paint seperately and fit afterward. The same holds true for the exhaust and the shields over them.

Next to work on the wings - Here's where Hasegawa saves themselves a bit of money, but gives the modeller more work.The same set of wings are used for all late-model ME-109s, from the F to the K. The modeller is given instructions on where to add panel lines, and guides for the location of miscellaneous late-model bumps. Unfortunately, these "bumps" show through in the wheel well. You must also drill out the underside of the wing for any underwing stores, such as the cannon pods, and the centerline fuel tank, as well as some webbing for the wheels of the landing gear.. The underside holes are not a big deal. To work with the topside bumps, drill them out, fit the "lumps," let dry, then putty and sand the resulting holes before fitting the topside wings to the bottom wing. There's also normally a gap in the wheel well between the lower and upper wings. Putty or sheet styrene (thin) should help this - test fit as you go.

I fit the cannon pods, but left the cannon and the pitot tube out until after painting. I then fit the wing to the fuselage - no gaps, decent fit. The rest of the assembly was mostly adding the final parts (tail gear, radio mast, DF loop, side intake, centerline tank station) to the model to prepare for painting.

Painting and Decalling: There are two schemes given in the "nachtjaeger" release. One requires a bit more planning than the other. One is a reasonably "normal" scheme on an aircraft of Jagdgruppe 300 - the only difference from the regular 74/75/76 scheme being the all-black underside. I may still use the decals for this scheme on a modified Monogram kit, as it's interesting as well.

Of course, I couldn't do the easy scheme... The other scheme requires some painting, decalling, then more painting, in stages. This is the machine with white distemper applied over almost everything. The best means I could find to do this:

I actually didn't disrupt the scheme as much as the instructions say - feeling this would have been done by hand by some poor NCO... I may do more later.

I used a mix of paint to do this. As my acrylics are running short (due to lack of a decent hobby shop nearby,) I broke out the enamels I hadn't used in years (Model Master.) These were still good, and I did the basic camo scheme and mottle with them (with enamel RLM 02 Grey for some mottle and the wheel wells.) Once this had set, I started on the first set of decals. The distemper, yellow tail, and spinner (white/black-green) were done with Gunze Sangyo acrylics, and posed no compatibility problems. I used Pollyscale Aircraft Black for the one black wing underneath - again, I left this in a rather rough, "brushed" appearance, as this would probably have been done in the field. Distemper and decals applied, I let everything dry, then added the final bits and pieces. The cannon were fitted, as were the nose decking machine guns, landing gear and doors, and pitot tube. The final bit to add was some antenna wire - sewing thread attached with superglue to the posts and fuselage.

Weathering: I didn't do much on here, though with the enamel finish I was tempted to try some watercolor highlighting of the panel lines. Still, with the unique scheme, I felt "too much" would be easily achieved. So, in a restrained fashion, I ground some pastels and added "dust" to the wheels (with some "muddy" streaks behind the wheel wells where dirt would fly,) and exhaust staining. With that, the model was complete.

Conclusion: I've only one more ME-109 in my collection to go - an F model. This will probably change soon, as I've grown fond of the little fighter and there are still many early and late (K and spanish variants, not to mention Avia S.199) models, and a slew of national marking, to be built. Hasegawa's kit is suitable for anyone past the "snap-tite" stage, and would make a great first or second "glue" kit (I'd say second, due to minor modifications that may be needed.) Highly reccommended for a good representation of one of the most important Axis fighters of WWII.