21st Century Toys 1/32 BF-109G-6

KIT: 21st Century Toys 1/32 BF-109G-6
KIT #: ?
PRICE: $15.00 MSRP
DECALS: See Review
REVIEWER: Scott Weir
NOTES: Hasegawa windscreen, True Details wheels

HISTORY
 
                                                      
     For me to attempt to go into a history of this aircraft or its pilot would be nothing more than vain, repetitious babblings. If you want some really good reads on this prolific bird Iíll have to digress to the myriad of reviews on this website, more specifically to Tom Cleavers sterling review of Hasegawaís 1/32nd , 109 G6 in Eric Hartmanís markings.
 
THE TOY
 

     This started out as 109 G6, Red 8, of III./ JG300, Mosquito chaser, a pre-assembled, pre-painted toy from 21st Century Toys. The reason it caught my attention on the store shelf was the supercharger intake. I had just completed their F2 model in kit form a year earlier. One of the numerous modifications I had to undertake to make it an F2 is to reduce the size of this intake. The 21st Century F2/4 kit supplies an intake for a early F/G model on. Red 8, a G6 came ready to go with an intake for an early 109 F. Since then on the store shelves Iíve seen F2ís with G parts and Gís with the early F parts and visa versa. This all makes perfectly good sense to anyone who bought their A6M2 kit. Thereís a Zero in there but it ainít no A6M2.

BUILDING IT
 
                                                   Deconstruction
     The first order of business is to pop off the above said intake and switch it with one from a F2/4 kit which has the correct part for a G model. Six small phillips head screws are primarily what holds this bird together. Three of these screws are hidden under little plugs in the fuselage with two on the underside of the wings. The last one is concealed under the oil cooler housing. There is some gluing along some of the wing seams and a few other joints but, for the most part they pried apart just fine. The biggest dummy moment I had was trying to force the windscreen out before the fuselage came apart due to the instrument panelsí stubborn adhesion. The end result is going from a  two piece canopy to a three. Wheel to axle adhesion is pretty firm causing the axles to break away with the wheels. I would later have to fabricate some tiny little axles to hang the resin wheels on.
 
                                                   Reconstruction
      After itís all apart itís time to sand down the insignia and markings and file and sand away the embossed 21st Century logos. I cut the flaps off with an exacto no.11. The only real shape issues I have with this kit/toy are that the 13mm cowling gun breach bulges are too large on the upper forward portion and the shape of the vertical tail surface. Both of these are easily corrected with a little filing and sanding. The supercharger intake was too thick from the inside and was therefore hollowed out. There are some access hatches that need to be filled in and some that need to be scribed. I recommend going to the 109 Lair website or using a set of instructions from any 109G Eagle-Cals instructions line drawings for reference on hatch and panel line placement.
 

     Since this kit was engineered for mass toy production reassembly is pretty basic and straight forward. Also the fit for the most part is pretty good. When the flaps are cut away some card stock was needed inside the back of the wing and trailing edge of the wing fillet to bring the wings inline with the fuselage. Card stock was also used to cover the area under the Hadley Page slats. I used the screws to fasten the wings and fuselage parts together after which glue was applied to all the joints. At this point it was time to fill in the screw holes and unwanted seams with some Squadron putty. Since the canopy is engineered to swing open and closed another strip of card stock was inserted on the right side of the fuselage where the canopy frame would seat to fill in the gap.

 

      The Mad Trencher from Matchbox has run up too much credit debt and is now moonlighting at 21st Century Toys. Most of the existing panel lines are somewhat heavy handed so I  filled in these expanses in with some Squadron grey primer to tighten them up a bit. Once the excess is sanded away itís off to the paint barn.

 

COLORS & MARKINGS
 

   After priming the kit with decanted spray can primer the panel lines were pre-shaded.   Testors R.L.M. yellow was the first color down for the tail band, lower cowling, and wingtips after which these areas were masked off. My stocks of Floquil R.L.M. 76 blue are running a bit low so it was time to mix a batch of home brew. For me this is not the easiest ratio of colors to mix. After a lot hit and miss Iíve ended up with enough 76 blue to last quite a while. Once the lower surface color is applied Floquil R.L.M.74 and 75 were shot for the upper surface. R.L.M.74 was the primary color used for mottling and inside of the fuselage crosses. Wheel wells, landing gear and inside gear door covers were painted with Testors R.L.M. 02.  The clear coat is decanted spray enamel which lays down fairly thick and also helps fills in those ravines and gorges called panel lines.

 

     Generally speaking Iíve had good success with Hasegawa decals. This was not the case with this project. They didnít want to slide off the paper and when the finally did they often fell apart. Solvaset snuggled them down after they were pieced back together. Whatís ironic is the decals from the 21st Century 109F kit were superb and as good as any kit or aftermarket decals Iíve ever used. The trusty Exacto no.11 was utilized once again to splice the decals through the panel lines followed up with another light application of Solvaset to pull them in a little tighter. Another coat of clear enamel is shot to seal the decals. After this dries a wash of raw umber oil paint is applied over the entire kit to dirty it up a bit. This is followed with the last coat of clear to seal it up good. Floquil dull coat was used to knock the shine right off. The last step was to mix a bit of raw umber oil paint with some dull coat for a panel line wash to run along the seams with a fine paint brush.

 

FINAL CONSTRUCTION
 

     Now weíre on the downhill slide. The canopy and mast are glued down with Eileenís craft glue and the flaps along with the wheels and gear door covers are attached with superglue. Seat belts and aileron counter balances to be added later.

CONCLUSIONS
 
                                     
     All in all this was a fun budget builder project. It would be great if 21st Century would release a G6 in kit form with both canopies and markings for Hartmanís various aircraft. This kit/toy needs only minor modifications to bring it into the realm of serious contenders. If one wanted to go the extra mile I could see one of these in I.P.M.S. competition. Sure, it doesnít go together like a conventional kit but, in my opinion thatís not what matters. What does matters is it looks like a BF109 for which itís suppose to represent. In that I believe it does a pretty good job.

Scott Weir

March 2008

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