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George R Blair Jr
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1/32 Spanish Bf-109F-4 from 21st Century Toys

June 3, 2021 · in Aviation · · 22 · 2.2K

This is a model that was built from a kit from . In case you have never heard of them, this company made "die-cast", already built and painted model aircraft in and and 1/18 scales in the 1990s. They later sold their 1/32 aircraft as assembly kits for a very reasonable price. Their kits are easy to assemble and can be built into an accurate representation of the subject aircraft. I was looking for something to build for the Imperial German Air Service / Luftwaffe Group when I found this at my local hobby shop in the consignment section for $10.

Having built a previous 21st Century kit, I snatched it up for the group build. Although the kit cockpit is fairly detailed, I decided to add a resin cockpit, along with some Eduard photoetch. I also found some SBS Models decals for a Spanish Bf-109F-4 Trop in 1943. As pointed out in several build articles I was able to find, this kit is more of a 109G than a 109F, but it was easy to make the changes necessary backdate the plane.

The fuselage walls were thinned to allow the resin cockpit to fit, and Eduard photoetch was added to replace the instrument panel.

The fuselage and wings feature large screws to help hold everything together, probably from the kit's die-cast origins, which are a real pain to fill.

Once that is done, the rest of the kit is a breeze. The plane was painted using AK Real Colors, and weathered using artist oil colors.

This was a fun build, even if it was riddled with several self-induced catastrophes that made construction a lot more difficult than it needed to be. Please drop in to the Imperial German Air Service / Luftwaffe Group if you want a step-by-step on this build. Everyone stay safe.
Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

22 responses

  1. I have seen these built up before and they come out very nicely. Great work George!
    I like the Spanish scheme too nice choice!

  2. I was on a kick collecting the 1/18 scale versions back in the late 90's early 2000's after finding a Corsair in a Toys R Us! The F-86 and F-104 were my favorites and I kept wishing they were around when I was a kid! (Wish they were still around and wish I would've jumped on the 1/18 Tomcat!) I am still on the hunt for a horizontal tail for my Avenger as mine came with two of the same side.

    • The Avenger horizontal stabs are so similar that the A-M kit didn't really distinguish between them. Since the 1/18 kit is that kit pantographed up, you can get away with using what you have.


      • I tried that the day I got it. Because the vertical stabilizer is thicker at the base than at the tip the sides aren't parallel to each other and instead taper from bottom to top, as a result the tops of the horizontals are slightly longer than the bottoms and are left and right handed and aren't interchangeable. That said I just display the missing one toward the wall and an Avenger in 1/18 is quite imposing!

  3. That turned out nice, George. I love stuff like this for bargain prices.

  4. @gblair looks pritty good!

  5. Superb George Great colors.

  6. Thanks, David (@davem), Josh (@jpatt1000), John (@j-healy), Lis (@lis), and Bernard (@bernardbedeur). I appreciate your kind comments. 21st Century Toys is an interesting story. I was a big fan in the early 2000s of their completed and painted diecast, and ended up with a P-40E, an Me-109E, and a FW-190D, all in 1/18 scale. I can't remember whether I got them at Toys-R-Us or Walmart, but I remember they were all on sale for just $15 or $20 each. The details, painting, and markings were all well-done. 21st also had a huge line of 1/6 scale military figures and vehicles. A few years ago I built a 21st Century 1/32 kit of the Macchi C.202 that was really nice. Sadly, they have been out of business for many years now, although I heard someone is trying to jumpstart them again. I just took a quick spin through Ebay and found some of their 1/18 diecast are going for almost $1000. I still have 3 more 21st Century kits in my stash, but I save them for when I need a break from something more demanding. :o)

  7. A great looking 109, George. @gblair
    Detailing, weathering and paintwork is fantastic.
    It was a pleasure to follow your thread.
    The techniques you used and explained are really helpful and I will for sure try those on my builds as well.

  8. Congratulations on your 109, my friend @gblair!
    What a departure from the base kit! And what a solid proof that a masterpiece can emerge from a (let's call it) "basic" kit.
    It was, as usual, a pure pleasure to follow your build through your thread. Thanks for all build details you added there.

  9. Lovely 109! I built their Macchi Veltro which looks fine if you leave the wheels up. The 109 looks a better kit than the Veltro. It felt very odd screwing things together and plugging the holes.

  10. I really enjoyed your WIP and the finished result looks great, reflecting the extra work you put into this, definitely liked.

  11. Beautiful result George! That's some really nice work sir! 🙂

  12. Thanks, John (@johnb), Spiros (@fiveten), Ross (@ross4), Gary (@garybrantley), and George (@chinesegeorge) for the kind words. This kit will actually build into a pretty good model right from the box, but it was weird to be filling plastic plugs hiding metal screws. Not something you normally do in plastic model.

  13. Having watched you do this project, @gblair, you have come up with an excellent result.

  14. Thanks, Tom (tcinla). Your previous build was a great help.

  15. Looks very good in the end, George. You worked out some challenges along the way with inspiring patience. The decals and weathering reflect the extra care you put in. No signs of mishaps in the final reveal. I followed your build with interest, especially in that I am still considering picking up the 20th Century Toys 1/32 MC 202. The shape on that one is better than the PCM version. It might be worth dealing with the hard plastic and screw assembly. Unfortunately its oddly pricey on eBay.

  16. Thanks for the kind words, Colin (@coling). If you have not built 21st Century kits before, I think you will really like the 202. I had a good time building it several years ago. The prices on Ebay are very up and down. I found a Stuka kit yesterday for only $30, and a WW2 Corsair kit for $25, but the diecast models are going for $50 or higher. I also noticed a 21st C 1/18 UH-1 on Amazon for $999. I think we should rush out and grab some helos before they run out. :o)

  17. Looks fantastic! Our club ended up with several of these kits in a stash we bought, and I thought they were very interesting. I wouldn't have thought they could have been built up so nicely, but you've proved quite the contrary! Love the scheme, and your build is excellent. (my F is almost done...)

  18. Thanks, Greg (@gkittinger), I appreciate the kind words. This is my second 21st Century build, the first was a Macchi. They seem to be remarkably detailed for a "toy", plus you can still find them at some very low prices. I got this 109 from a consignment sale for $10.

  19. Very nice build, love the paint scheme and it’s relaxed weathering finished look. The Spanish markings looks great on too.

  20. Thanks, Bob (@v1pro). I am always looking for something a little different to build, even if it's just the paint scheme. Cheers.

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