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Bf 109G-6 JG 54 'Green Hearts'

21st Century Toys 1/18 Bf 109G-6 JG 54 'Green Hearts' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2005 Manufacturer 21st Century Toys
Subject Bf 109G-6 Scale 1/18
Kit Number N/A Primary Media Styrene
Pros Excellent desk or 'hanging' model for the adult or young aspiring aviator. Nice finish and detailing Cons  
Skill Level Novice MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Bf 109G-6 JG 54 'Green Hearts'
Bf 109G-6 JG 54 'Green Hearts'
Bf 109G-6 JG 54 'Green Hearts'
Bf 109G-6 JG 54 'Green Hearts'
Bf 109G-6 JG 54 'Green Hearts'
Bf 109G-6 JG 54 'Green Hearts'

Many of you are familiar with the fantastic aircraft and armor releases from 21st Century Toys. Their early 1/18 scale P-51D Mustang and Bf 109E were simplistic, but still colorful hanging from the ceiling or sitting on the shelf. Since those early releases, in the aircraft category alone, we've seen some amazing subjects in continuously increasing levels of difficulty and detail. We have all in 1/18 scale: Ju 87 Stuka, F4U Corsair, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-38 Lightning, Spitfire Mk.I, P-40B Tomahawk, Fw 190D-9. Many of these have been released in several different color schemes.

In this release, 21st Century Toys has developed the Bf 109G-6 in several different color schemes, in this case, wearing the colors and markings of JG 54 "Green Hearts".

If you sit this aircraft next to their earlier Bf 109E, you are immediately stricken with just how far this company has come in developing detailed scale models! Where the Bf 109E was more like a stand-off scale replica, the Bf 109G-6 is an up-close and very nice piece of engineering.

The aircraft is packaged in 21st Century Toys' famous 'bullet-proof' packaging. In times past, I've spent more time untwisting the tie-down wires than assembling the aircraft. With this release, I changed tactics - wire cutters! With a few snips, the Bf 109G was free and clear of the packaging.

The main components of this release are the fuselage, wings, and horizontal stabilizers. The landing gear is up and locked for transit, but snaps down smartly when you're ready to set the aircraft on the gear. With a few snaps, the main components come together.

The only other items in the packaging are the centerline drop tank and the pilot figure. These are also easily installed.

For me, the most impressive part of this release is the landing gear. Look at that stance! They've nailed the look of the gear nicely, but what keeps the gear down in that stance? They've engineered a spring-loaded downlock that holds the mains in place. To raise the gear, simply reach into the wheel wells, rotate the downlock out of the way and the main gear snap up and locked. Very nice work here!

The engineering doesn't stop with the main gear. Look carefully at these images. The leading edge slats are movable. The ailerons, elevators and rudder are also movable. Look at the flaps in the last image. They've captured the look of the radiator flaps right down to the RLM02 finish inside the flaps.

Aside from perhaps some weathering, there is no reason to mess with the finish of this model - aside from the missing swastika which is now standard for the hobby industry (it allows sales into Germany without violating the German prohibition on the swastika).

You can definitely tell that there is a world-class modeler working at 21st Century Toys to achieve this level of detail and fidelity while keeping the final product affordable.

This release is definitely recommended. You can find these at any one of the retailers listed on the 21st Century Toys website.

My sincere thanks to 21st Century Toys for this review sample!

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