Fujimi 1/48 Bf-109G-14/AS
SKit Number: J 03
Price: $34.00 MSRP
Media: Injected plastic
Decals : Three versions, all late war
Date of Review: 27 April, 1996
Comments: Those of us who like to build 109s will like Fujimi's 1/48 offerings. They are among the best 1/48 kits that Fujimi has ever produced. When you open the box, you are presented with several trees of beautifully detailed styrene, all individually bagged to prevent scratching. The decal sheet is complete although you will have to find swastikas from an outside source as Fujimi is being politically correct and wants to sell these kits in Germany. Included with the decals sheet is a color three-view of one of the versions which does help in painting the kit.
As with the other Fujimi Bf-109s, this one has every panel and rivet option incorporated on the fuselage, and it is up to the modeller to fill in those lines, that do not apply to the version being built. I mentioned my dislike of this feature in previous reviews. The need to be careful when building this kit is paramount to getting the most out of it. It is very easy to make major goofs if you're in a hurry so take your time and check fit often. The most difficult part is the placement of the engine cowling. To be sure the cowling is not too wide or too narrow, build the rest of the fuselage before gluing the cowling so that you have a basis for correct width.
The interior is well detailed and looks great when drybrushed and when Reheat instrument decals are added to the instrument panel. Since the G-14 was basically an interim model between the G-6, G-10 and K-4, you can use several different wheel bumps on the top of the wing. A smart modeler will glue these on before attaching the upper and lower sections. The reason is that you will need to fill the holes that appear in the wheelwells and it is much easier to do before the wings are glued together.
The rest of the kit is straight-forward. You can have the flaps and slats in the lowered position although you will have to make your own slat attachment mechanism. You also have the option to place the radiator exhausts in three different positions. Other options for the G-14 are the use of different rudders and canopies. Underwing options are drop tanks, 20mm guns and rocket launchers. I chose to model the kit on the boxtop, which is a G-14/AS. It was painted 81/82/76 and I used kit decals. The decals worked well, but are not as opaque as I would have liked. This is a continuing problem with Fujimi decals as well as most other Japanese manufacturers. For some reason, the Japanese are not able to produce totally opaque white.
The finished kit is a jewel. Thanks to discount mail-order and sales, I can afford these kits as they are usually discounted to about $20.00 instead of their suggested retail of $35-40.00. I frankly find these retail prices to be pure gouging as the Japanese price on the box is 2200 yen, a price that converts to about $20.00 US. If you can afford them, buy them. I do when I can.
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