Wednesday, October 1

Review: Barracuda Studios new Bf-109G-6 improvements in 32nd scale

Barracuda Studios makes some of the best resin improvement and correction kits around. When we were sent a few of their sets to match the 1/32nd scale Revell Bf-109G-6 kit we were most excited to see how they fit – and we thought we would compare them to the kit and the original aircraft to show you what we found in today’s construction review.


Review – 5 sets for the Revell Bf-109G6 from Barracuda Studios:
Bf-109G-5 thru G-14 Cowl Gun Bulges
BR32154
Price: $6.95
Bf 109G-6 Intake and Exhaust Set
BR32155
Price: $8.95
Bf 109G-6 Oil Cooler Fairing
BR32159
Price: $5.95.
Bf 109G-6 Prop and Spinner
BR32122
Price: $9.95
Bf 109G/K Prop and Spinner Alignment Jig
BR32171
Price: $4.95

The Revell Bf-109G-6 in 1/32nd scale:
When the latest greatest kit of the Revell Bf-109 came out to exhausted press it did not take to long for the experts to pick out what could be improved – No kit is perfect – and this aircraft is probably one of the most scrutinized in the world and modellers want their kits to be just right. 
A good and cheap little kit - but with a few more details a great kit?
There were several parts that needed correction to make the Revell kit an inexpensive and easy to build competitor to the other 32nd Bf-109’s out there. The spinner and props were not the right shape as was the oil cooler cover on the nose and several other parts like the exhausts and various scoops that need just that little more detailing.

Roy form Barracuda Studios is a knowledgeable man when it comes to the Messerschmitt and he even wrote a chapter in the book “Building the Revell Bf-106 G-6 – so I am not going to challenge his knowledge on the airframe. No doubt while making the kit he has seen the issued that needed correction and improvement and has made resin detail sets to suit these issues. We have four of these sets and a tool to help you in this review.

Instructions:
The corrections from Barracuda come in a clear zip loc bag with instructions on a folded out colour paper printed page of A4 size. They are written by Roy who is a modeller first and who gives you the simplest way to make this work. The instructions are well done here.
 
The resin:
The cream resin in these packs is just like the usual standard that we usually get from Barracuda. No surface bubbles, not too much resin in silly places to remove that leads to not to many parts breaking when you are removing them from the casting blocks. I broke only the exhaust stacks which were my own fault as I was trying to remove them with snips instead of a razor saw like the instructions said – these glued straight back together with thin superglue.

A few of these parts were direct drop in fits as well which makes them even more appealing – so let’s look at them all each in turn now to tell you a little about them and our experiences with pictures of the Revell parts and the real thing in comparison.

Bf-109G-5 thru G-14 Cowl Gun Bulges
BR32154
5 Parts of cream resin
Price: $6.95 
Ok firth thing you notice on most Bf-109G-6’s are the large nose bulges (Bueles) or “warts” on the nose to help house the large cannons this model had.  Now the Revell bulges have been called “Anaemic” amongst other things and by looking at picture of the original people do have a point.

Five parts of cream resin in this pack give you the option of early or late bulges (this kit contains the alternate starboard fairing with the extra bulge) for you G-6 as well as the option to have the engine hatch opened with having to cut them in half.
You can see the difference between the Revell kit parts (in grey) and the Barracuda resin in cream. The detail of the rubber seam between the two metal halves is prominent as is the fatter and wider profile of these bulges which look more to the correct size and shape to me.
The good thing is that if you are unhappy with your Trumpeter or Hasegawa G-6 this kit matches them with a little simple work as well.

Here they are in place..
And the real thing - a little bit more like it - fat warts and all..


Bf 109G-6 Intake and Exhaust Set
BR32155
9 Parts of cream resin
Price: $8.95
This set kills a few birds with one stone – and it gives you some subtle detail upgrades to the kit as well. Nine parts of cream resin make up the supercharger intake (which is accurate for the Bf 109G-5 thru the G-14 as well), the separate hollow cooling scoops and detailed exhausts with recessed openings and weld seams as well.

The parts in this set
The Cooling intakes are on six places on the nose of your G-6 – the real thing opens into the airframe whilst the Revell vents are sealed shut.
Six are given in this set (two used further near the cockpit) and I found myself carefully trimming them from the moulding block and nipping of the Revell stock vents without too much problem. This left a little hole which needed to be opened up some more but wasn’t a hard thing to do.
With some thin superglue these then went onto the nose in the four holes provided. This was a quick job and yours will look a lot better with some extra attention to detail.
 
Leaving me with four new holes into the airframes that looked a hell of a lot better than the solid blocks that were there in the first place – simple but effective.
The small holes on the front of the nose and below cockpit glass are pretty evident in this shot.
The exhausts of the Bf-109G-6 are always a feature that people seem to look at – they are very sawfish-tooth like on the real thing and a real feature of the aircraft’s nose. The aftermarket Moskit metal ones you used to get from Russia are worth a fortune now and there are a few resin alternatives around – but those are often not cheap like these are considering they are part of this set. ! So I am always on the lookout for a cheaper and just as effective alternative.
These two exhaust stacks are a drop in part. They fit right into the space the Revell kit ones do – you can see the Revell parts are not hollowed out at the exhaust ends – nor do they have a weld seam to their name.

Cream is the Barracuda - the grey is Revell.
Here they are - they simply drop into the Revell cowling
The other thing that needs improvement when concerned with air into the engine was the supercharger intake. The Revell offering was found to be problematic in that you had to fill the inside of the intake as it was offered in two half parts. There was no weld detail on the part either. In this scale every little detail matters. 
The Barracuda version is one piece – it has nothing to fill and it is removed from the casting block without incident if you are careful. The weld and correct me if I am wring but slight bumps on the opening surface look great to me – this is another no brainer from this bunch of sets. This set is by far the most effective of them all.
Of course these parts can also be adapted for the Hasegawa and Trumpeter kits. Here are my additions on the Revell kit.

Bf 109G-6 Prop and Spinner
BR32122
Four parts of cream resin
Price: $9.95
So always model makers should check the propeller and spinners of their models they are making. The Hasegawa kit’s main visible problem was the spinner – you would have thought this would be double and triple checked. Though there was a good effort on the Revell kit to make this work the fact that there is an unnatural seam in the spinner and that the props were not the right shape made this the most rookie moment of an otherwise pretty good kit.
This set contains three new resin propellers and the spinner to replace the kit items in the Revell kit or any Bf-109 from Hasegawa or Trumpeter from the F-4 through the G-14. This is pretty handy! There are so many kits out here that might need this the mind boggles and it is easy to see why this set and the propeller and Spinner Alignment Jig was offered.
Here is the spinner compared to the Revell kit – Cream is the Barracuda - grey is the Revell.
And the real thing
The Revell spinner would be a real pain to sand and finish especially if you want to apply a decal like a spiral! This one needs just a little sanding of the base on some flat rough sandpaper which took about a minute. Finding the sandpaper took longer than the work...
Here are the blades of the barracuda (cream) and Revell (grey)
And the real things.
The kit blades to my eyes are not broad enough at the base and they are too pointy at their end. Even though they are thin enough there are sink marks in each prop. This is easily fixed but you cannot replace plastic that isn’t there.The propellers and spinner can of course be adapted to fit the Hasegawa and Trumpeter kits as well. 
The kit blades are replaced with these props which are simply cut off their casting blocks and dropped into the spinner. You can do this yourself pretty easily – but barracuda have provided a jig to get yours exactly right.

Bf 109G/K Prop and Spinner Alignment Jig
BR32171
3 parts in cream resin
Price: $4.95
This simple jig is three parts in total which allow you to properly drill the nose hole for your Bf 109G-6 Prop and Spinner and BR32123 Bf-109G-10 and to correctly place your propeller blades of the barracuda kit. You do not need this set to get your spinner right but it sure helps!
 
The blade alignment jig for the standard 109G-6 type prop blade as well as the wider paddle G-10 style blade is here – the larger being the G-10 blade.
This set is cheap, easy to use and reusable and I used mine here to good effect. All props at the right angle and pitch - so easy to use and good for all of your Barra-propelled Bf-109's (G-6 to G-10)

Bf 109G-6 Oil Cooler Fairing
BR32159
Two parts in cream resin
Price: $5.95
see how the mouth of the intake matches pretty darn well?
Another thing on the nose of the Revell G-6 kit that was picked up on was the Oil cooler intake which is readily visible and not really rounded off enough as it need so be in real life.

Here is out kit (grey) and barracuda (cream) comparison.
And the real thing.

and here it is under the nose - you can see the slight pinch in the top and the rounded sides of the intakes..
The kit also provides a separate exit flap that just locks in there with a little glue – mine held in with white glue so yours will hold with superglue. This kit part is sitting here without glue as well - so the tolerances on this drop in part are well executed.
Ok so with a cost efficient lot of extras used to make your already not very expensive Bf-109G from Revell even better. Why spend the money?  Well when you look at these pictures you will see the detail is excellent and worth the 20- odd bucks it costs to apply these to your kit.

Here is the gallery of all the parts from all angles pretty much - they look great on the nose of my G-6 - it's got me thinking "this model is nearly done"
These resin parts are a quick and easy drop fit replacement and they are clean! No sculpting and dicking around to make them acceptable after clean up. The presentation and ease of use is first class – I did this in a few hours so im sure you will be just as fast with yours.

A great lot of additions that will make your 109G-6 even more accurate and packed with detail – cheap as chips as well what’s not to like!

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Barracuda Studios for sending us these to fit to our Revell Bf-109 G-6