Toys, 1/32 scale
S u m m a r y
Century Toys kit number 22106 - Messerschmitt Bf
Contents and Media:
in grey styrene; 6 parts in clear styrene;
markings for three aircraft on two decal sheets.
tooling; accurate outline; small number of parts and simple construction for new modellers; nice details and options; superb
pilot figure; excellent decal sheet; low price;
will accept most after-market accessories for
1/32 scale Bf 109s; bonus markings for 1/72
scale Me 262 B night fighter.
||Some soft or missing detail (e.g. no
radiator faces, mass balance horns);
construction method will leave large circles to
be filled and sanded.
Recommended for new modellers and those on a
Reviewed by Brett Green
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21st Century Toys has been making a name for itself in
the collector's market with their large-scale, pre-assembled
and painted aircraft and military models. More recently, 21st Century
Toys has expanded into plastic construction kits.
Early this year, 21st Century Toys released their 1/32
scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-2/4 kit. This has now been
joined by a 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-14
Underneath the striking box art, 21st Century Toys' 1/32
scale Bf 109 comprises 67 parts in grey plastic and six
parts in clear, plus eight metal screws. The grey plastic
is regular hard polystyrene, and responds
normally to model cements. Parts are not attached to sprues.
Instead, they are packed in small groups of loose parts in
separate plastic bags.
Most of the parts are common to the earlier Bf 109 F kit.
New parts include a tall fin and rudder, new gun cowl deck
and separate cowl bulges, DF loop, short antenna mast, plus
new wheels with plain hubs and wing bulges to accommodate
the wider wheels of the G series. A clear-vision Erla canopy
is also included.
thumbnails below to view larger images:
Surface detail is by way of recessed panel lines and a
small number of rivet lines (on the lower wings only), plus
raised fabric detail. The surface detail - both recessed and
fabric - is noticeably heavier than Hasegawa's 109s, but not
as exaggerated as some mainstream releases of late. Surface
texture is very much a matter of taste, but I will
at least be sanding down the raised detail on the control
The outline of the kit is accurate. I
compared the wings and fuselage to Hasegawa's Bf 109
G-14 kit, and they conformed extremely closely in terms
of size and profile. The wing chord and span is between 1
and 2mm shorter on the 21st Century kit. The fin and rudder,
which was not quite right in the F-2/F-4 kit, looks very
good for this tall tail version.
The clear parts are an improvement compared to the Bf 109
F kit. An all new Erla hood is provided. In particular, the
tabs on the lower edges do not protrude as far beyond the
Erla canopy frame as the earlier release. Clear wing tip navigation lights are
included, as is a clear plastic gunsight.
In common with the earlier Bf 109 F kit, the seated pilot is one of the finest figures I have ever
seen supplied with a aircraft model kit. He is made up of a
body, two poseable arms and a separate head.
On the other hand, a number of items have been simplified
or omitted. These include missing radiator and oil cooler
faces, no separate balance horns for the ailerons and solid
fuselage intake scoops.
The cockpit looks a bit basic in the box, but looks great
after careful painting. The photo
below shows the cockpit from my Bf 109 F kit painted and ready for assembly.
This is identical to the cockpit supplied with the new Bf
109 G-14. The
only additions to the cockpit are a flexible resin harness,
a length of fuse wire to complete the fuel line on the
starboard sidewall (the front part in front of the
inspection tube is not moulded to the sidewall), and lead
foil for the rudder toe straps. I also used a few placard
decals from MDC and Reheat.
Options and features include movable leading edge slats,
retractable landing gear and opening canopy; ETC rack; 300
litre drop tank; 250kg bomb; underwing 20mm cannon gondolas
and a DF loop.
Markings are supplied for three aircraft:
Bf 109 G-14, White 1 of
13./JG 4 with Black / White / Black RV band
Bf 109 G-14, Black 10 of
11./JG 5 "Eismeer" based in Norway, May 1945, and
Bf 109 G-14, Yellow 25 of
III./KG(J) 55 in December 1944.
The decals are a real highlight - thinly printed, crisp
and plenty of tiny detail extending to the smallest
Also included on the decal sheet, but unexplained in the
instructions, are markings for "Red 12". These are 1/72
scale decals for a two-seater Me 262 B night fighter. Nice
bonus - someone at 21C must like Me 262s!
thumbnails below to view larger images:
Kit Engineering & Construction
I assume that, in addition to its current guise as a
construction kit, this mould will also be used as the basis
for a pre-built and painted static display model. That being
the case, kit engineering has been optimised for ease of
mass production by unskilled labour. The good news is that
it should be easy for new modellers to build too.
The first thing you will notice when you open the box are
a number of large holes in one fuselage side and on the
bottom of the wing. These are holes for the screws that hold
the main fuselage and wing assemblies together. Plastic
plugs are supplied to fill these holes, but many modellers
will also want to fill and sand the circles.
The workable slats are simply designed to be trapped
between the top and bottom wing halves. - no complications
there. The retracting landing gear is just as simple. It is
secured by a single part screwed into place.
Straight from the box, the wheel well openings are round
per the F series however, you can easily square off the
outboard edges of the wheel well openings. The size and shape of the
supercharger intake is reasonable, but the opening is
squared off and too small due to the thickness of the
plastic. If you are not planning to install the tropical
filter, I recommend thinning the opening from inside.
The upper wing panel arrangement is typical of the Bf 109
F series. The purists will want to fill the second chordwise
panel line (which starts around the middle of the slats) for
an accurate "G" wing. A few filler and access hatches on the
fuselage will need to be filled and/or rescribed too (for
example, the fuel filler hatch on the port side is located
too low and too far aft). Check your references.
There are lots and lots of locating pins - some big and
some small. Even without the screws the fuselage stays quite
snugly in place without glue.
The cockpit floor, rear bulkhead and instrument panel
will slip into the assembled fuselage halves from below.
After that, the wing is offered up to the fuselage,
screwed in place and the final details fitted.
This will be a very fast build.
In common with the other recent kit releases
from 21st Century Toys, I believe that this model will be
appreciated by an assortment of people for different
My seven year old son loves the recent
series of 1/72 scale Hobby Boss aircraft kits. We have sat
down and built a few together. It won't be long before he is
building these simple kits himself. I can see a time in a
few years where he would be delighted to be able to buy 21st
Centurys' 1/32 scale Bf 109 with his own pocket money, and
build it in one afternoon. Thinking back 36 years to myself
at 10 years old, that scenario sounds kind of familiar.
Similarly, for modellers coming back into
the hobby after college and family, these kits will
represent a way to create a nice model with basic skills,
and encourage our new recruit to try something more
ambitious next time.
Even the more experienced modeller might
feel jaded sometimes. This kit could represent a refreshing
sorbet between heavier courses. Or if someone prefers
painting to construction, this artist might use 21st
Century's Bf 109 as a plastic palette for their penchant.
There is no doubt that, in a side-by-side
comparison to Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Bf 109 G-14, the Hasegawa kit is clearly superior in terms of
surface finesse, detail and finish. Despite this, there is
an important place for the 21st Century kit for less
experienced modellers and, with a sticker price of around
USD$11.00, modellers on a budget.
This release contains a number of
improvements compared to the earlier Bf 109 F kit, including
a more refined canopy, an accurately shaped fin/rudder,
better instructions and less confusion as to the variant
depicted - this is most certainly a Bf 109 G-14. I suspect
that we might see even more improvement in all-new tool kits
to follow from this manufacturer in the coming months and
21st Century Toys' 1/32 scale Messerschmitt
Bf 109 G-14 will be ideal as an entry-level large-scale kit, or
a "slammer" to test your painting skills, or a low-cost
alternative if finances are tight.
It is nice to have the option.
Thanks to 21st Century Toys for the sample.
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2007 by
Page Created 24 July, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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