Hobbycraft 1/48 Bf-109G-14






Two aircraft


Scott Van Aken


'Reich Defender' 


The Bf-109G-14 was one of a series of continual improvements to the 109 airframe. Essentially similar to  a 109G-6/U3 with a DB 605AM with powerboost, it started entering Luftwaffe units in July of 1944. Though sequentially later than the G-10, it actually preceded it in service by about six months. Unlike the G-10, the G-14 was an all new airframe and incorporated all the improvements that had been made in numerous G-6 subvariants. Most of them were fitted with the newer Erla Haube clear canopy, though some had the older one. Telling the difference between a very late G-6 and very early G-14 is quite difficult.

The G-14 was initially fit with the same size mainwheels as the G-6, but later production incorporated the larger wheels and with it the larger upper wing bulge, similar to that on the G-10. Several G-14 and G-14AS versions were supplied to NJG 11 and fitted with infra-red sights in hopes of knocking down some high-flying Mosquitos. These aircraft has some moderate success. Two specially build G-14/Ns were constructed with the Naxos Z receiver and supplied to NJG 10. Most all later production G-14s were the G-14/AS with the more powerful DB 605AS engine. These had two small bulges near the nose for the larger radiator coolant pipes.

Other distinguishing markings of the G-14 were the tall wooden tail (though not all G-14s had this feature), and the smoother cowling similar to the G-10 on the G-14/AS. Earlier G-14s had the same cannon bulges as a G-6. To my knowledge, all G-14s had the shorter tail wheel of the G-6 and also had short radio masts. Of course, when dealing with Bf-109 subvariants, one never says never. The only way to truly tell variants is by the serial number. Unfortunately, this information was often painted over while camouflaging the aircraft.


Hobbycraft gets a bum rap from most modelers. They compare the kits with what comes from Tamiya and Hasegawa. This is like comparing a Hyundai with a Lexus. While both are cars, they just aren't in the same league. However a Hyundai will do all of the same things a Lexus will do, just not quite as well. And we don't expect it to. The same with Hobbycraft. We don't get all the bells and whistles because we don't pay for it. It really is that simple.

There is not a Hobbycraft kit that I have built which doesn't give a darn good representation of what it is supposed to be. In this case it is a 109G-14. An early one at that. The G-14/AS not part of the kit as there are no extra engine bumps. What you do get is a nicely engraved kit with an acceptable interior and overall decent detailing. No dropped flaps, no separate leading edge slats, but a ton of extra parts.

Basically, you get a short tailed G-2/4/6 and a separate taller wooden tail. You cut off the short tail and graft on the larger one. Seems easy to me. There is a good sized groove where you remove the old tail. There are both types of canopy as well as two sizes of upper wing wheel bumps. However, you only get the wider wheels so you really can't use the smaller bumps unless you go to aftermarket wheels. You gets oodles of weapons including a large bomb, a four small bomb carrier and bombs, as well as underwing 21 CM rocket pods. There is a rather tall tail wheel strut, but you need to bury most of it within the fuselage. Two different styles of drop tank are also included as are two different interior cannon housings, but only use the the smaller ones. Some G-14s had the 30mm nose cannon, but not very many of them as they were needed for other aircraft.

The interior is complete, with some detail on the sidewalls. Really this kit can best benefit from a resin interior. True Details makes a very inexpensive one that will look just great in this kit.

The instructions are typical of Hobbycraft and really not bad. Typical of them, the painting info is lacking, but most 109 freaks know the proper colors by heart so it isn't a real problem. There are three markings options. One for yellow 20,  an airfield defender of III./JG 7 in RLM 81/82 over RLM 76. Next is black 10, an aircraft of IV./JG 5 in Norway in the same colors. There is some controversy as to if this aircraft was a G-14 or a G-10. Most agree that it is a G-10, however, some books (including the reference) state that it is a G-14. your choice. Finally, a G-14 of the Swiss AF with a very garish sharkmouth. The instructions state that it may be a tall tailed G-6 instead of a G-14 as there is no record of a G-14 in Swiss service. In all the 109 books I have read, I have never seen an airplane so marked, so take it with a grain of salt. However, you can do a regular G-6 with this kit (as long as you get thinner wheels). Decals are very well printed and glossy. These later Hobbycraft kits have superb decals and every set I have used have worked quite well.

Overall, you really can't go wrong with a Hobbycraft kit unless you are building for a contest. They are not as fussy as a Hasegawa kit and make into very nice models. I have several Hobbycraft 109s in my collection!


Monogram Close-Up: Bf-109G part 2, by Thomas H. Hitchcock, 1977

Review copy courtesy of me and my wallet!

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has over 2,000 visits a day, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.