During the last years I have had the pleasure to build many kits manufactured by AZ Models and I was really curious when the owner of company, Petr Muzikant, told me that they have started working on a base of 3D technology. I was really curious to see how their products look and I was greatly impressed when I received this sample of their latest product, Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4 in 1/72 scale.
What we have here is Red Line series product, stock code AZ 7469, which represents a Bf 109G-4 in 1/72 scale. Outside this box is very similar to others of their products, with nice art on front cover and camouflage patterns on the reverse. Inside is an excellent color instruction leaflet, completely designed in 3D and very precise and easy to follow. All parts are placed on four frets. Lets be clear- there are two frets of grey plastic, one transparent (and this all is standard parts pack) and one small fret, I call it ‘version fret’ where are placed specific parts for the kit. This small fret includes engine cowling specific to the G-4 model, pilot armor, machine guns and wheels. It is impressive what AZ Model did in so small a space- they provide four types of wheels, three types of engine top cowlings, four models of protective plate for pilot, extra parts for desert version, two types of fuel tanks, two types of horizontal tail, two types of vertical tail separate parts for the G-10 version, separate parts for the G-5/6 versions, under wing gun packs, two types of cannon cover … and all of this arranged so compact!!! Best parts arrangement I have ever seen! Decals are provided in two sheets, one is for the stencils and the other for the unit decals.
Parts are so precise that assembly goes easy like assembly of a toy! But don’t get this wrong- parts are so detailed and cockpit is excellent plastic work, many details included. Only detail missing in the cockpit is seat belts but this can be improvised. Cockpit goes first in assembly and when completed it easily match into the slots of the fuselage interior. The instrument panel consists of a plastic part and decal and it look very real when completed and placed inside. Fuselage has just two positioning pins and this is just enough as the parts match perfectly. I completed fuselage with the front engine panel and vertical tail surface.
Wings include best cooling flaps solution ever seen! But first you need to place the radiator elements on the bottom wing with note that rear one must be trimmed, to allow top wing surfaces to be placed in position. I used a cutter to do that in a minute and placed the part in place. Make a dry run before cementing the top wing surface to the bottom. After that you need to open flaps at the bottom and I put it in a bit lower position, as they were on the original airplane. Wings perfectly match to fuselage, no filler needed at all.
There are few details that need to be corrected on this kit. First of all I have filled and sanded to smooth join line on engine cowling, on G-4 they have just vertical panels and panels around guns. Other things I have done is engraving of one access door at the fuselage bottom, just behind the wings. For the Trop version you need to add two tear drop elements on the fuselage side, where the sun umbrella was attached when the plane is on the ground.
The rest of assembly goes fast and smoothly, placing of cockpit canopy, landing gear, pitot tube and aileron counterweights. Every detail is done with great precision and the build is real pleasure. This is a kit which could be built in a day!!! After all elements were completed, I sprayed all kit in Black Surfacer and after dry I start painting. Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-4, from 3./JG 53, flown by Oblt Tonne. This one was in tropical camouflage pattern and this is what I did not make for a years.
First paint to spray is yellow color under nose and after drying, I have masked it and painted entirity of the camouflage. This included bottom in light blue and brown and dark green at the top.
Continuing the painting included some detailing like hand painting of the number 8 (I guess) on fuselage as well there is very good visible patch on archive image. After that I spent some time to mask area for white band and painted it. Rest of the work is standard- gloss coat, decals, top coat and some dirt and oil leaks. Decals are very accurately made and provide variations of different type of markings so take care which one to use on your particular kit.
My impression is so high with this product as well as the approach in manufacturing and no doubt that AZ Model will blow away advancing manufacturers from Asia and no doubt that they have put themselves on the top market position of the kit producers. This kit of the Bf 109G-4 has all features of an excellent kit, simply and easy to build, very well detailed, accurate in the level of tolerance, easy to develop into other variant. My top recommendation goes to this kit as well as the family of this product!
Sample kit provided by AZ Model