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KIT REVIEW


Eduard #82118
Bf 109G-14 ProfiPACK Edition -- 1:48 Scale

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is one of the most recognizable warplanes of the Second World War.  It has been the subject of hundreds of injection-molded kits in all scales.  As many scale modelers know, some are better engineered and more accurate than others.  Eduard’s initial release of a 1:48 scale Bf 109 was highly anticipated back in 2014, but modelers found that the kit included a number of shape and detail errors.  This prompted Eduard to re-tool the entire line to get it right, and since then, several issues based on the new tooling have been released.  Here, we take a look at the Bf 109G-14 Profipack Edition kit.

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The Bf 109 needs little introduction as one of the two premier single-seat German fighters of WWII.  The prototype flew in 1935 and marked the start of a production run of 33,984 airframes spanning dozens of variants and subtypes.  In the mid-1930s, it was one of the most advanced fighters of its era, featuring an all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and retractable landing gear.  As a testament to the versatility and capability of the design, Bf 109s were still deadly opponents ten years later as the war came to a close and jet fighters appeared on the scene.

The Bf 109G, also known as the Gustav, was an evolutionary development of the Bf 109F-series.  Externally, early 109Gs were initially quite similar to their predecessors.  Internally, the wings were reinforced, the windscreen was bulletproofed, and the fuel tanks surrounded by light armor.  Other changes included outer wheel bay shape changes and the addition of air inlet scoops on both sides of the forward engine cowling that held the new Daimler-Benz DB 605A engine.  Increasingly, the 109 G-series filled a greater diversity of roles, and in the process, the airframe evolved.  In early 1943, the G-6 saw the previously standard 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns replaced by the 13 mm MG 131.  Due to the MG 131’s larger breechblock, bulged gun covers were fitted to the cowling, leading to the Bf 109 G-6 being nicknamed Die Beule (The Bulge).

The G-14 variant is widely considered as the ultimate Bf 109G.  It was based on the G-6 airframe, optimized for both air-to-air and air-to-ground attacks and the engine was fitted with a water-injection power booster.  It first saw combat in July 1944 over France as the Allies pushed ever-eastward.  Externally, not a lot visually distinguished the G-14 from the G-6, but the Erla Haube-style canopy, which improved the view, was made standard.  The rudder on some G-14s was also taller, more angular, and made from plywood. Some 5,500 G-14s had been manufactured by war’s end.

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Eduard’s ProfiPACK of their 1:48 scale Bf 109G-14 consists of 188 injection molded parts on four dark blue-grey sprues (a total of 68 parts go unused in this version of the kit), 14 clear parts on one clear sprue, 49 photoetched metal parts (some pre-painted), a small pre-cut masking set for the windscreen and canopy, and two decal sheets.  The main decal sheet covers the following five airframes: 

Strengths:  Much as is the case with their 1:48 scale Spitfires, the retooled Eduard Bf 109 is a superlative kit by any and all standards.  Any of them represents the best 109 in 1:48 scale, and maybe the best that ever been ever been made – period.  Further, all the good things I said about their G-6 (see review HERE) apply in this case just as well.

The kit has a range of construction options, including the positionable canopy, separate leading edge slats, flaps, ailerons, elevator, rudder, and radiator flaps.  The cockpit, especially with the photoetched metal instrument panel, belts, and clear-cast fuel pipe, is a real highlight. In other words, the plastic parts for the kit cockpit are very good on their own, but the photoetched metal parts in the ProfiPACK set elevate it to a whole new level.  Exterior surface details including the recessed panel lines, rivets, and fasteners are all simply sublime.  You can position the flaps as desired.  While the instructions show the separate elevators going straight-in, you can easily modify them if you want them dropped.  There’s an even larger mounting pin for the rudder, so to deflect the rudder (if that’s the look you’re going for) just a tiny bit of work hacking off that mounting pin will get the job done.

Other details include three styles of the Erla canopies (of course, you only need one here), standard and tall rudder, long and short tail wheel, optional 20mm underwing cannon pods, alternative propellers, different main wheels hubs, and choices of oil cooler housings, masts, bomb racks, and an optional centerline 300 liter drop tank.  These options are extensive and thorough, though again, not all are used on or are appropriate for this version of the kit.  The photoetched parts are also just perfectly made, including the great pre-painted instrument panel details and pilot restraints.  However, if PE metal parts aren’t your cup of tea, an instrument panel decal is provided.  The masking set also comes in handy – it’s pre-cut, self-adhesive, and will save quite a bit of time and effort masking the clear parts and wheel hubs.  

The decals are printed by Eduard and look great, with excellent color, resolution, and thin, restrained carrier film.  The kit comes with not only great schemes to choose from, but the second, smaller sheet contains complete maintenance stencils for the airplane.  The Italian scheme, being rather different from most “standard” 109 liveries, really catches my attention.

Weaknesses: I cannot offer any substantive critiques of this kit (but of course, 109 experts may be aware of minor issues I might not catch).

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Overall, this is a superlative model kit in general and a great Bf 109G-14 specifically.  The addition of the ProfiPACK components round out what should be a great scale modeling experience.  Even someone like me (primarily a jet modeler for many years) can’t help falling for this kit and admiring its great engineering, accuracy, and level of detail.      

Sincere thanks are owed to Eduard for the review sample.  You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany/

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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