The latest in Eduard
’s series of re-tooled 1:48 Messerschmitt Bf 109G kits has arrived in the shape of the Bf 109G-14. Introduced in mid- 1944, the ‘G-14 represented an attempt to incorporate the most useful of the multitude of modifications made during the production span of the Bf 109G-6 into a new standardised version and so streamline production. Greater use was made of wood for sub-assemblies in order to save critical materials and to utilise dispersed carpentry shops, and the clear-view “Erla” was fitted as standard. MW50 boost raised the top speed for short periods, allowing the new Gustav to face the latest Allied fighters on at least somewhat more equal terms (although it was still increasingly at a disadvantage), and the ‘G14/U4 mounted the formidable MK 108 30mm cannon firing through the propeller hub.
Like the original aircraft, Eduard
’s new kit shares the bulk of its part with the earlier Bf 109G-6 (see the In-Box Review
and Finished Model
). The kit is not to be confused with Eduard
’s first attempt at the Gustav, which was taken out of production after dimensional issues became apparent. To their credit Eduard
went back to the drawing board and redesigned the kit to produce a real gem that has been widely acclaimed and is available in both straightforward “Weekend” and highly detailed “ProfiPACK” formats.
The new ‘G-14 is a ProfiPACK for its first outing, meaning that Eduard
have included a comprehensive set of colour photo-etched details and die-cut painting masks in addition to the standard styrene parts. The intention is clearly that you don’t need to resort to aftermarket extras if you buy this kit - and, while Eduard
will raise the bar still higher with Brassin sets that add the kind of detail only resin can offer, the result is a beautifully complete Bf 109 straight from the box.
Arriving in an attractive and sturdy top-opening box, the kit comprises:
114 x dark grey styrene parts (plus a further 71 unused)
5 x clear styrene parts (plus another 8 spare)
50 x photo-etched parts (one of which is a scribing template)
A sheet of die-cut kabuki tape painting masks
Decals for 5 x colour schemes
The reason for so many unused parts is, of course, that Eduard
have organised the main sprues to cover accessories and interchangeable parts for all the later Bf 109 variants - so your spares box is in for a field day!
Just short of two years on from its original release, Eduard
’s Bf 109 still boasts pin-sharp moulding and state of the art surface finish with subtle rivet detail that none of its direct competitors offer. There’s no sign of flash or wear, despite the moulds being in constant production since the initial release. I did still find a couple of minor sink marks, but these will be quick and easy to deal with. So, based on my experience building the Bf 109G-6
, there’s every reason to expect another very enjoyable project.
Working through the instructions broadly chronologically, construction kicks once again off with the cockpit and, as a ProfiPACK edition, Eduard
offer a choice of moulded styrene or etched metal parts for a number of the details such as the rudder pedals and console on the right sidewall. The plastic instrument panel can be replaced with a classic pre-finished etched “sandwich” that boasts pin-sharp details in the instrument bezels. The colour Eduard
use to represent RLM 66 is much closer to the model paints I use (previously their version seemed rather blue), so blending everything together is no problem. Finally for the interior, the kit includes a set of etched seat harnesses. As has been noted in comments in the Forum, Eduard
’s pre-colouring on harnesses is easily damaged, so work carefully and try to avoid sharp bending them to shape too sharply.
Depending on which route you follow with the cockpit, you are looking at over 30 parts, making for a beautifully detailed “office” in this scale.
Moving up front, the kit provides a choice of exhausts, with either moulded-on shields or bare stacks ready for you to attach etched shields. The latter look much better, not only because the etched shields are obviously more delicate, but because the bare stacks are slide-moulded and so are hollowed out slightly. However, it’s very welcome to have the simpler option too. It’s worth noting that, whichever style you choose, you can fit them easily after you’ve painted the kit if you leave Part H67 loose at this stage. This makes painting much simpler, and it’s just a case of slotting in the exhausts through the open nose before fitting the propeller.
There’s a choice of “Beule” and cowl gun sections to cater for one of the camouflage options, and standard or “tall” tails and tail wheels.
The main wheel wells are very well handled, with interlocking parts fitting neatly around the finely detailed interior on the inner surface of the top wing panels.
A neat touch which I don’t remember from the original release is the inclusion of a scribing template to allow you to replace the small embossed panels ahead of the windscreen if you sand them away accidentally. Also new is an etched access panel to replace the embossed one on the bottom of the fuselage where the moulding is a tad soft because of the curved contour.
All the control surfaces are separate and can be positioned offset if you wish. The rib-tapes effect is little bit overdone for my taste, so I’ll soften things a bit, but the surfaces have a nice taught effect as befits a well-maintained fabric surface. The leading edge slats are separate, so you can position them as you wish (it’s worth noting that they were often pushed shut on parked aircraft).
The radiators feature etched faces – although, to be honest, they’re hardly visible once assembled – and separate flaps. I found these easy to knock off during assembly of the Bf 109G-6. because their attachment points are quite small, and ended up removing them to re-attach after painting and decaling.
The main undercarriage is neatly detailed and attaches firmly at the correct angle. The hubs feature crisp detail and the tyres are unweighted. All that’s really missing are the brake lines, which are worth adding as they are visible from the front.
The canopy parts are crystal clear, and the interior is complete with etched hand holds, latch and retaining cable. The armoured glass headrest fits neatly and comes complete with painting masks for the clear panel. Die-cut masks are provided for the exterior of the canopy and windscreen.
Despite the plethora of ordnance on the sprues, only a drop-tank is required for the aircraft featured and two styles are included.
Instructions & Decals
The instructions are printed in colour on high quality glossy stock as a 16-page A-4 booklet. The diagrams are well sized and very clear, with inset “info views” as required. There aren’t numbered stages, as such, but assembly is broken down into easily manageable sections in a logical order.
Decals are provided for five aircraft:
A: Bf 109G-14/U4, flown by Hptm. E. Hartmann, 4./ JG 52, Csór, Hungary, October 1944
B: Bf 109G-14/U4, W. Nr. 512382, flown by Lt. H. Schlick, 4./ JG 77, Schönwalde, Germany, November 1944
C: Bf 109G-14, W. Nr. 464380, flown by Magg. M. Bellagambi, CO of 5a Squadriglia, 2o Gruppo Caccia, Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, Osoppo, Italy, March 1945
D: Bf109G-14, flown by Oblt. R. Schlegel, CO of 10./ JG 4, Jüterbog – Damm, Germany,
E: Bf 109G-14, W. Nr. 464534, EJG 2, Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, May 1945
The decals are beautifully printed, with the thin, glossy items in pin sharp register. I’ve found Eduard
’s recent decals have snuggled down superbly for that “painted-on” look (those provided for the Fw 190A-4’s eagle motifs performing almost incredibly well around the exhausts (see the forum blog HERE
Along with the national and individual aircraft insignia, a very comprehensive set of servicing stencils is provided. Swastikas are included in two forms – broken down with separate centres on the main section of the decal sheet, plus complete on a corner of the sheet that can be trimmed off for sale in territories where the symbol is banned.
’s Bf 109G-14 is another impressive release in their growing series of mid- and late-war ‘109s. Priced to fall between the Zvezda and Tamiya offerings, Eduard
’s Gustav offers a combination of excellent detail with top quality mainstream moulding and buildability. To make full use of the etched parts requires a little extra modelling experience, but there’s nothing too testing here and they make for a good introduction to the medium. If you do feel the etched details are beyond you, it might be better to wait for the Weekend Edition that’s bound to follow in due course.
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