The Bf-109G-14 was an attempt by the Luftwaffe to standardize fighter production of the G-5/G-6. It failed to do that but the G-14 was a good aircraft and served from 1943 until the end of the war.
This is a natural progression for Eduard and its much respected Bf-109 series of models. Like the real thing, it is essentially a G-6 with just as many options for equipment and markings. This ProfiPack follows the other releases which contains four light grey plastics sprues and one clear styrene sprue. My example did have minimal flash and my wings were slightly misaligned in the mold but it was all easily taken care of with a knife and sanding sticks. As a ProfiPack it also has a pre-painted photo etch fret and a set of masks. Decals are printed by Eduard and includes markings for five aircraft, as well as, stencils for one aircraft. The markings are colorful and the problem will be to decide which one to do. I was really looking forward to the G-14 release as it allowed the modeler to use late war colors.
I’ve built quite a few of these Eduard Gustav kits and they are all basically the same. That is actually a good thing. If you’ve seen my other builds of Eduard’s Bf-109G-6 this review will seem very similar. The first thing to do is to decide which one to build. I elected to do the JG-4 machine. The black and white RVD band was interesting to me.
With that decided it was time to start the build. Like most aircraft kits, this one starts in the cockpit. It is important to think about what needs to be added at what times. Leave the clear fuel line off until the very end, just prior to adding the cockpit to the fuselage halves. I painted my interior in with Tamiya German Grey. I then weathered that with an oil wash of Lamp Black artist oils. This was followed up with a drybrush of RLM 02 and Model Master Magnesium. Chips were added with a silver pencil and some sponge work.
I add the part for the instrument panel, Part H3, now so that it set up BEFORE I added the pre-painted parts. Doing it this way ensures that the panel is properly aligned when you add it. It is the time to add the rest of the pre-painted photo etch parts. Some required parts to be sanded off. Some of those items represented by photo etch I think look better in the plastic, such as the circuit breaker panel on the right wall, so I don’t add them. It is up to the modeler.
The seatbelts are beautifully rendered and add a lot to the cockpit look. The whole cockpit assembly was sprayed in Alclad Flat. Then some Krystal Kleer was added to the gauges to represent glass.
It was time to bring the fuselage halves together. The exhausts are added before the fuselage halves are joined. Since it is a ProfiPack kit I would use the photo etch shrouds. The fit of the fuselage was very good. I did use a little super glue and accelerator on the saddle panel in front of the windscreen and on the bottom of the nose. The nose was my fault because I didn’t remove the part very well. The sanding causes the detail to be lost on the saddle panel, but for the first time Eduard provides a scribing template. I imparted a slight bend to the template to make it conform the kit part. It was held in place with multiple pieces of tape. I then scribed the two panels with a pin.
Adding the gun insert panel is another place that required some filler. I can’t figure out why they put the parts breakdown there. It isn’t much filler but it needs to be filled. This sanding did require some touch up of the detail. I use a Rosie the Riveter to restore the rivet detail and rescibed the lines with Dymo tape and Hasegawa scribing tool. Nothing drastic.
The tail surfaces were built up and added at this time. My subject aircraft has a large wooden tail and rudder. Make sure you don’t mix up the horizontal surfaces, which side is which. It makes a difference.
With the fuselage set aside, it was time to do some work on the wings.
One thing that I do that is unique is I add the upper inboard flaps to the upper wings prior to building the wings up. The wing assembly is quite straight forward. My wings were slightly out of alignment in the mold. I had to sand it slightly more than usual but nothing too drastic. I did manage to break off my pitot tube during handling though. I replaced it with Albion Alloy aluminum tubing. It was stronger. Luckily for me there was no need for the underwing gondolas. I did forget to open the holes for the drop tank as I was building SIX of these kits at one time. The overall fit of the wings was near perfect.
I added the flight controls at this time. I added the inner flaps to the oil coolers and used tweezers to set them in position, just like the upper wings. This sets the angles perfectly. It ensures everything is aligned and secured.
The fit of the wings to the fuselage was good, but is not on a natural panel line so this needs a little bit of work. Eduard put the join in the middle of a panel and it will require some slight filling and rescribing. I had to deepen some of the fasteners with a beading tool so they wouldn’t disappear when sanding. The panel line under the wing center section has to be extended to the first fuselage panel line. Eduard neglected put the line on the fuselage. The fit was very good so it didn’t require a lot of sanding.
There are two photo etch panels that need to be added. One under the fuselage and one under the wing for the FuG16 antenna. The FuG one is not in the kit. I used the Brassin Set (# 648331) panel and antenna. The other option if you didn’t want to use the Brassin set would be to use the Bf-109G-14 photo etch set which has a mount in it or scribe the proper panel. It isn’t as nice as the photo etch part but is quite acceptable.
Adding the landing gear was simple after you remove the little round tab inside the landing gear mounting hole. I used a pin to set up a hole and then used a drill bit to remove the tab. Test fitting the landing gear strut made sure that that it was completely removed. It was set up with Tamiya glue. I painted up the landing gear areas and landing gear struts in dark grey followed by Mr. Paint RLM 02. A Molatov Chrome 1mm pen replicated the shiny portion of the strut.
I added the gunsight now after I removed the molded on glass portion. I replaced it with some acetate. The kit comes with masks for the canopy that fit perfectly. I hate masking canopies, but the Eduard canopy masks make it a breeze. The front canopy was added and the canopy area masked off with Tamiya tape, as was the flap interiors. They masks fit perfectly. I taped up the landing gear areas and struts.
The model was wiped down with Testor’s Plastic Prep. The entire model was sprayed with Alclad Grey Primer. Some areas needed some minor attention. Then another coat of primer had the model ready for camouflage.
I start my painting by pre-shading with Tamiya German Grey. I don’t just hit the panel lines. I also ‘swirl’ the color around. This preps the model for variations in color. Then I added the Alclad White Primer for the RVD band. The yellow lower cowling was added as well. This was allowed to drive overnight. Then these areas were masked off. Alclad Black was sprayed for the RVD bands and then masked off. Mr. Paint RLM 76 was sprayed over the bottom and fuselage sides. This was followed up with Mr. Paint RLM 75. It was sprayed straight from the bottle and then lightened up with Mr. Paint white. This is then sprayed in a mottled pattern over the wings. Straight RLM 75 was added to the Erla style mottling. The large style of mottling ‘dots’ are indicative of Erla built machines.
RLM 74 was added to the wings freehanded and the fuselage spine along with other mottling. The upper surfaces were also faded slightly with some drops of white added to the RLM 74 and mottled over surface.
An overcoat of Tamiya Clear thinned with Gunze Mr. Leveling Thinner was sprayed on top of the entire model to prep it for decals.
The Eduard decals are perfect. They performed flawlessly. You will have to float them into place. They tend to stick quickly. Thankfully they performed perfectly and were flawless. That is not to say that I didn’t have to go back in and using a new #11 blade slice slightly and reapply some additional Solvaset to get them to conform to some areas but nothing drastic.
While the decals were drying, I sprayed the entire spinner and back plate with Alclad White, my preferred white. Once dried, I used the Eduard spiral masks that I had in my stash to add the proper spiral. The spinner was then sprayed Tamiya black. Once the masks were removed, near perfect spirals, just like the real thing. The prop blades were painted Tamiya Black Green and the center portion was sprayed in Model Master Magnesium.
Because the decals were so thin I didn’t seal them with another gloss coat but applied a flat coat over them with Alclad Flat and left to dry. From there it was time to start the weathering.
I start my weathering by adding a wash to the panel lines. I use Burnt Umber artist oils thinned with Turpenoid. Since its applied to a flat coat, the oils leach into the surrounding panels. The imparts a dirty look to the finish. I use a slightly less thinned wash around the exhausts. This makes that area really dirty like the real thing. After the wash is allowed to dry, a dot filter of Titanium Buff and white artist oils were applied on the airframe. My model looked like it had chicken pox. This fades the camouflage nicely and varies the finish as well.
Then it was time to add the chips to the wing root and leading edge. I use a #2 pencil and a silver Prismacolor pencil for precise application and a sponge using a silver stamp pad to add random scratches. I have a very worn brush that I used to dab the back of the prop blades which adds the wear there.
I then used a heavily thinned dusting coat of Tamiya Buff and added streaks from front to back on the wings and top to bottom on the fuselage sides. I apply more coats aft of the wheels to help set up the mud thrown up by the tires. Then as a final touch, I lightly airbrushed over the top surface of the model. This fades the paint slightly like the sun would.
The exhaust streaks were built up with Mig pigments. I start with Russian Earth and then add Smoke Black to the center of the exhaust pattern. And finally, an orange pastel is added to the area immediately aft of the exhausts.
Oil streaks were added to the belly by adding dots of black, burnt sienna and burnt umber artist oils. These dots were then streaked aft with turpenoid in the direction of airflow. The oil cooler had some streaks added vertically as well.
The final step in the weathering was adding some Mig pigments mud to the wheels, landing gear covers, wing roots, and on the bottom of the airplane where the mud would have been slung. I did have to touch up the silver chipping on the wing root but this added one last layer of weathering.
The canopy masks were removed and the canopies polished. The rest of the small parts were added along with the canopy. Red and green was added over pre-painted silver position lights. I do wish Eduard had provided these as clear covers. Adding the antenna mast under fuselage, wing and an EZ line antenna brought the model to a conclusion.
I really enjoy building these Eduard 109s. They are all pretty much the same but that isn’t a bad thing. These kits aren’t perfect, but they are pretty dang close. They look very much like the real thing. You know I’ll be building more of these. They are fun, the fit is very good, and I love the results. Okay I may be addicted to them. Another great release from Eduard.
Thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review copy. You can obtain your copy by contacting Eduard at www.eduard.com or your local hobby shop or online retailer.