21st Century's Bf109G-14

Discussion in 'Model Kit Reviews' started by Airframes, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Here's a quick review of the 1/32nd scale kit of the Messerschmitt Bf109G-14 which, remember, costs less than £10 in the UK, and about $14 or so in the 'States!
    Nice box art, followed by a pleasant surprise inside. Each part, or related groups of parts, are bagged separateley, and are ready to use, without being attched to sprues. The box has a stiff card separator, to prevent the parts moving around and getting damaged in transit, and the small, fragile parts are enclosed in a 'bubble', blown pastic capsule. Other manufacturers take note!
    The instruction sheet is wonderfully clear and concise, whilst the decal sheets, covering three aircraft, plus all of the stencils, and spinner curls, are extremeley well printed, in register, and thin. Well up to, or in excess, of the standard of more 'up-market' kits.
    The parts themselves are moulded in a mid-grey palstic, and exhibit fine detail and crisp finish, whilst the clear parts, including the 'Panzer Glass' head armour, are well produced and very clear.
    This kit is obviously the same parts used in this company's ready assembled models and, as a reault, there are a number of large, round holes, designed to take the screws supplied. However, plastic plugs are supplied, and I don't see any problem filling and blending any gaps once these are in place. Fit of parts is excellent, and it is probable that the model would go together without glue, although, of course, the serious modeller will use the latter.
    First inspection suggests that any of the aftermarket detailing sets would fit the cockpit, although there is a certain amount of moulded-in detail which, with careful painting, and a few additions, should look more than adequate. The cockpit consists of the floor pan and rear bulkhead, the seat pan, front bulkhead and instrument panel, and there are separate parts for the control column and trim wheels, both of which are nicely produced. There is also a clear part for the gunsight.
    The leading edge slats are separate items, and simply fit into slots in the wing halves, the bottom wing being a strong, single piece. Clear wingtip nav lights are included as separate parts. The undercarriage, main wheels and tail wheel assemblies are well moulded and finely detailed, and the gear is designed to retract if required. The gun barrels, for the upper cowling and the underwing gondolas, are moulded separately, and there is also a nicely produced 'DF' ring and radio antenna, together with separate exhaust stacks and shields. The oil cooler cover is separate, as are the gun-breech blisters, and the top wing blisters over the gear wells.
    A belly tank , bomb, and the faired rack are also included, and the pilot figure, with separate head,and separate arms in the 'HOTAS' position, is a work of art in it's own right, although I doubt I will be using the latter.
    There are a few minor ommissions, such as lack of 'blanking' plates for the underwing rads, and the air scoop on the port cowling will need thinning from the inside. The small cowling intakes will also need drilling out, and aileron mass-balances will need to be scratch-built. None of these should cause a major headache. As I'm not wholly familiar with the G-14, I'm not sure about the shape of the outboard edges of the main gear wells, which are 'round' on the kit but, if they need altering, it will not be a huge task. I would appreciate it if one of our 'experten' could advise me on the shape of these wheel bays. I think I am right in saying that there is an extra panel line on the upper wing surface which, once I've checked my references, can very easily be rectified.
    The decal sheets provide markings for 3 aircraft, from JG4, JG5, and III/KG(J)55 and, as mentioned already are of a very high standard. What appears to be ALL of the stencils are clearly printed and readable, including those for the belly tank. The separate decal and painting guides are clear, well printed, and detailed, with the RLM colours named, and cross-referenced with Model Master and Poly Scale paint numbers. It looks like Lucky's reference lists could be useful here!
    Overall, this is a very nice kit, and stunning value for money. Yes, there are a few VERY minor things that will need to be done to equal the Hasegawa kits, but this kit is a third of the price, and, in its own right, should build into a very nice model.
    I hope to post some shots of the build, as and when I can. Meanwhile, here's some pics of the bits and pieces.
    Terry.
     

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  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Wow thanks a lot Terry! I might want to get one. That's really organized what year is the kit?
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    They were first announcd in the UK just over a year ago but, like it seems in the 'States, they are sometimes a bit difficult to locate. The full range (of kits, not pre-built) is fairly large, with 109F,G, and I think K, a Zero, Mustang, Corsair, Macchi and more. I got mine from Model Hobbies, a mail order model place in the UK, but they only stock the Zero, 109, Macchi and one other I can't remember. There was a thread here a few weeks ago, about trying to locate them, as they also do large scale pre-bult and painted models, including a Me262, and I think a Mitchell, in 1/18th scale!!
    I found their web site, just by entering 21st Century Toys into Google. I thought they would be in China, as that's where the kits are made, but the site is based in California, IIRC, and you can order direct. For the price, this kit is so good, I think I'm going to have a couple more. Beware though, I have heard the the '109F, which still looks good from what I've seen, has some faults regarding the size, or shape, of the tail fin, but it can be corrected. But, for that price, who cares!!? A little bit of work, which is what modelling is all about, and you've got a nice model, without spending a fortune. I'll be building mine with scratch-built additions, including the seat harness, as I can't seem to find the Eduard set. The good thing is, the assembly is so simple, and the instructions so clear, that the basic build shouldn't take long, leaving more time to work on the details and paint finish.
    As I said, for the price, you can't go wrong. You can have almost three for the price of one Hasegawa kit, and there's nothing wrong with their kits, but it's a way of adding more '109's to the display shelves!
     
  4. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Hey Terry

    Think you've got me

    and since you get 3 for the price of 1 hasegawa!

    I'm gona have to get me one

    Nice review and thanks for taking the time to post it all
     
  5. Screaming Eagle

    Screaming Eagle Active Member

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    very cool terry, get at it! and best of luck to you whilst in the hospital.
     
  6. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    i might have to find some space for a couple of them
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks, 'Eagle. I should only be there an hour or so, the rest of the work they do, then I think I go back for more fittings/treatment. It'll be great to be able to get about without the pain, or worse, the b****y stiffness.
     
  8. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Terry, check the plugs that go over the screws, they are probably a softer plastic than the kit plastic.

    They were different in my Stuka and after I put them in and filled over them they flexed while sanding back, so I pulled them out and filled the holes with layers of superglue.

    Maybe you will have a problem and maybe you won't?...thought a heads up was in order!:D
     
  9. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Interesting stuff. I own many of the completed 21st century kits, but haven't seen their models. Sure are basic, but they would be perfect for practicing on.
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks for the warning, Wayne! I'll check first, and if in doubt, i'll fill the holes properly and sand back. Can you advise on the shape of the wheel wells on the G-14?
    Hi Thor', yes, the parts number is basic, but overall the mouldings are well detailed and crisp. It's a bit like a cross between a late sixties/ early seventies Revell '109, and a current Hasegawa one! The decal sheets alone are virtually worth the price of the kit, and, as I mentioned in the mini-review, with a bit of work, which should be satisfying, I think a nice model can be had. Hope I don't go and make a b***s of it now I've said that!
    Can't comment on the other kits, as I haven't seen them, but the 109G is well worth the few quid I paid.
     
  11. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Will see what i can find, shape is pretty much standard in the 'G' series....
     
  12. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review! I might have to look for their Corsair. I read a review and the reviewer said it was very good.
     
  13. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Yeah Catch it is ,its alot better than the revell and alot cheaper than the Trumpter so Il also be on the lookout
     
  14. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    My brother said he did some research and found it's discontinued. :(
     
  15. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    How can something like that be discontinued? there should be endless demand...

    Dammit no wander there aren't any in shops in my city.oh well trademe or ebay it is
     
  16. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    It's because it was a Wal-Mart exclusive and they didn't sell enough.
     
  17. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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  18. badbear

    badbear Member

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    If anyone wants these models there is a chap in ipswich that stocks and can get them the shops name is SBX models hope this is of some help . Oh and he does ship abroad .
     
  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice info Badbear; I've seen the ads, but didn't know he stocked them,thanks.
     
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