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Mike

Bf.109G-14 ProfiPACK (82118) 1:48

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Bf.109G-14 ProfiPACK (82118)

1:48 Eduard

 

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The G variant of the 109, colloquially known as the Gustav was one of the primary fighters available to the Luftwaffe during the closing years of WWII, and saw extensive active service, all the while being upgraded to combat the increasing Allied superiority in the air.  Happily for the Allies, the supply of experienced pilots was fast running out, so as good as the upgrades were, they couldn't make an appreciable difference to the outcome.  The G-14 was brought into service at a crucial time for the Axis forces, as the Allies pushed inland from the beachhead at Normandy, and it had an improved water injection system that gave the engine extra performance, plus the new clear-vision Erla-Haube canopy as standard.  It was also an attempt to standardise the design to ease the job of construction, which had become decentralised due to the ferocity of the bombardment of the industrial areas by the Allied bombers at that stage of the war.  As a result, few sub-variants were made of the G-14 even though over 5,000 were built, with command fighters and high-altitude variants the main exceptions, but the U4 had a high powered 30mm MK108 cannon fitted through the engine and firing through the centre of the prop.

 

 

The Kit

The 109G has been fairly comprehensively retooled by Eduard from their original, and while this is a new variant some of the sprues date back to the re-tool after issues with the original kit were found.  The five-digit product code is a clue to this do-over.  The ProfiPACK offers additional decal options as well as other upgrades to the basic kit, and alongside the four sprues of grey styrene you will find one of clear, a sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE), a sheet of pre-cut yellow kabuki tape masks, two decal sheets and the usual Eduard colour instruction booklet printed on glossy paper.

 

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There are a lot of these new Gs out there amongst everyone's stashes by now, so most of us are familiar with the fine surface detail and dainty riveting on the outer skin, and the level of detail that has been crammed into this excellent tooling.  There are also tons of aftermarket parts available from Eduard for those that want to add even more detail to their models, from engine, cockpits, to wheels, bronze gear legs and flying surfaces.  The world really is your oyster when it comes to how much you want to throw at your build, but for many the included PE will be more than adequate.  It's all up to you!

 

Predictably the build starts with the cockpit, which has a number of PE controls added to the floor, and a full set of PE instruments that are ready to add to the painted cockpit, as well as the fuel line part that is supplied on the clear sprue because it has a glass section as it runs through the cockpit to allow the pilot easy access for checking if there's fuel getting to the engine.  A choice of humps between the pilots knees cater for the cannon fitted U4 sub-variants, and a full set of painted crew belts are supplied on the PE fret, plus rudder pedals for good measure.  More PE is attached to the cockpit sidewalls, and with all that glued and painted you can close up the fuselage around it, not forgetting the retractable tail wheel used in one of the decal options, with a spinner back-plate fitted to the front of the fuselage, and the exhaust stubs with their slide-moulded hollow tips inserted from inside into their slots.  The nose cannon insert, supercharger intake and cannon bulges in front of the windscreen fit into their respective areas, and a set of flame deflectors made from PE are added over the exhaust stacks to prevent blinding the pilot in low light flying.

 

The G-14 had a couple of options for the tail fin, with the increased use of non-strategic wood, so the fin base is moulded to the fuselage, while the tip is one of two separate choices, with a straight rudder hinge, or the more familiar cranked hinge-line.  The fixed tail wheel for four of the decal options is fitted to a recess under the tail at this point too.  The wings are full span underneath, and depending on your decal choice you may need to open up some holes for a centre-line rack and on the port wing for the forward-raked antenna carried by most decal options.  The wheel bay sides are modular and mate with the inner surface of the upper wings to give an excellent level of detail once finished.  A small pair of rectangular panel lines are scribed into the fuselage just in front of the windscreen using a PE template that is provided on the sheet, and a pair of teardrop masks are supplied for the wingtip lights, which are moulded into the wing, but can easily be replaced by cutting out the area and fitting some clear acrylic sheet of a suitable thickness, then sanding it to shape and polishing it back to clarity.  A depression depicting the bulb can be drilled in the clear part before gluing to further enhance the look if you feel minded.  Separate leading-edge slats, ailerons and flaps are supplied, with the latter fitting around the radiator bays under the wing, which have PE grilles front and rear.  A scrap diagram shows the correct orientation of the parts to ensure that both layers align correctly as per the real thing.

 

The narrow-track landing gear consists of a single strut with moulded-in oleo scissor, a captive cover that glues against it, and the two-part tyre with separate hubs on each side.  A choice of radial or smooth tread is offered with no decal options suggested for each, so check your references, or just make a random choice.  The legs fit to scokets in the wheel bays, and horn balances are fitted to the ailerons, the antennae under the wing are added, and a small PE access panel is glued under the fuselage behind the wing trailing edge.

 

Before fitting the canopy, the clear gunsight must be partially painted and fitted to the top of the instrument panel, and a pair of PE grab handles are attached to the inside of the windscreen, which should be partially painted RLM66 inside or outside before the exterior colours.  The canopy opener also has PE parts added plus the pilot's head armour and an aerial on the rear, with a PE retaining wire included for posing the canopy open.  A manual starter handle is also present in case you wanted to show your G-14 in a more candid pose on the ground.  The prop is a single part and is sandwiched by the back plate and spinner before being inserted into the hole in the front of the fuselage.

 

Two styles of additional fuel tank are supplied, one with a flat bottom edge for ground clearance, and the other with a smoother exterior. These fit on a rack that sits on the centreline for two of the markings options, a rudder trim actuator is fitted to three of the options, and a small twig antennae is fitted to all options with a tiny circular base, both of which are made of PE.

 

 

Markings

Decals are printed in Czechia and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.  The main markings are carried on the larger sheet, while the stencils are on the smaller one.  Stencils are drawn on a separate page of the instructions to reduce repetition and clutter, and each marking option has a page all to itself to cut down on confusion and give the modeller good sized diagrams to follow.  From the box you can build one of these five options:

 

  • Bf 109G-14/U4, flown by Hptm. E. Hartmann, 4./ JG 52, Csór, Hungary, October 1944
  • Bf 109G-14/U4, W. Nr. 512382, flown by Lt. H. Schlick, 4./ JG 77, Schönwalde, Germany, November 1944
  • Bf 109G-14, W. Nr. 464380, flown by Magg. M. Bellagambi, CO of 5 Squadriglia, o2 Gruppo Caccia, Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, Osoppo, Italy, March 1945
  • Bf109G-14, flown by Oblt. R. Schlegel, CO of 10./ JG 4, Jüterbog – Damm, Germany, March 1945
  • Bf 109G-14, W. Nr. 464534, EJG 2, Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, May 1945

 

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The masks (not pictured) cover the armoured glass in the pilot's head armour, the wheel hubs and of course the canopy, with the curved part having frame-hugging masks that need filling in the compound curved areas with scrap tape or liquid mask.  These are a great time-saver and the fit of them is usually spot-on.

 

Conclusion

These are superb kits from Eduard, and they are priced well, considering the detail and markings options included.  They don't bother with novelties such as magnets to hold cowlings in place, but if you should perchance want to show off your engine, you can get a superbly detailed resin one separately and those that don't want to show off their engines don't have to pay for parts they aren't going to use.  The G is my personal favourite, so I'm more than happy to see another one from Eduard.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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