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Messerschmitt Bf 110 D

 

Eduard, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Eduard Kit No. 8202 - Messerschmitt Bf 110 D
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Around 210 parts in olive coloured plastic; 12 parts in clear; colour photo-etched fret; masking sheet; markings for five aircraft
Price:

USD$49.95 plus shipping, available online from Eduard

USD$43.96 after 12% Christmas discount

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Fabulously detailed; superb surface features including crisply recessed panels and subtle rivet lines where appropriate; includes comprehensive colour photo-etched parts; separate canopy parts for closed/open cockpit and rear clamshell; attractive marking options; very high quality plastic; narrow sprue attachments; includes boat tail plus CD and E style noses.
Disadvantages: Modelling experience is required; only later style wheels supplied.
Conclusion: A beautifully detailed kit of a historically important aircraft, but challenging to build in places. By far the best Bf 110 available in 1/48 scale.


Reviewed by Brett Green


Eduard's 1/48 scale Bf 110 D is available online from Squadron.com

 

Background

 

The Messerschmitt Bf 110 entered the Second World War as a new and prestigious weapon of the Luftwaffe, performing the roles of bomber escort, heavy fighter and troop support during the German invasion of Poland. It performed well against Polish fighters, and put its heavy armament to effective use against ground targets after the Luftwaffe had established air superiority. The Bf 110 repeated these roles during the campaign in the West. The long range of the Bf 110 was especially useful for escorting bombers deep into France.

The twin engine Messerschmitt was more than a match for most contemporary French fighters, but early encounters with Spitfires and Hurricanes resulted in unaccustomedly heavy losses. This was an ominous indicator of the coming months over the British Isles.

In those Summer months of 1940, Messerschmitt Bf 110s on long-range escort missions suffered heavy losses to British fighters. Eventually, Messerschmitt Bf 110s had to be escorted themselves by the more nimble Bf 109s.

Even if its fortunes as a pure fighter aircraft were mixed, the Messerschmitt Bf 110 had a better record as a defensive weapon.

As early as December 1939, Bf 110 C aircraft of I./ZG 76 were involved in the decimation of an armed reconnaissance patrol over the Heligoland Bight. Eight Wellingtons out of a total 22 on patrol were claimed by the Zerstörers. This single event put massed daylight bombing off the agenda until 1943, but ZG 2 and ZG 76 continued to enjoy superiority over Blenheims and Wellingtons in the following months.

The Messerschmitt Bf 110 E, was a refinement of the C and D models with production beginning in August 1940. The Bf 110 E was a useful long distance bomber and heavy fighter. In addition to its ordnance and new gunsight, revisions were also made to the rear machine gun, and inside the cockpit. The most obvious exterior change was the addition of a rectangular air intake on the front of the top gun cowl. The versatile Bf 110 E served on the North African, Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Russian Fronts until 1942 and beyond.

Arguably the most important contribution made to the German war effort by the Messerschmitt Bf 110 was as a night fighter. The role was initially ad-hoc. From July, 1940, day fighters were simply painted black and sent aloft to deal with British bombers, now making their attacks under the relative protection of darkness. These early night fighters had no additional equipment nor ground control assistance. Enemy aircraft were held in the cone of a searchlight, and the Bf 110 would engage the bomber while it was illuminated in the beam.

 

 

FirstLook


What's New

Eduard's fourth release in their excellent 1/48 scale Bf 110 family is the Messerschmitt Bf 110 D.

Most of the parts are common with the Messerschmitt Bf 110 C released one year ago, but there are some changes to depict this variant.

The most obvious new moulding is the long fuselage with the "boat tail" often seen on the Bf 110 D.

 

 

This is a separately moulded fuselage in addition to the standard fuselage included in the box. The "boat tail" fuselage has the boat deployment cable moulded along the edge of the port-side fuselage spine - a nice touch.

The "Dackelbauch" long range belly tank is also provided.

 

 

Both styles of upper gun cowl are supplied - the plain version for the C/D and the raised cooling intake for the Bf 110 E.


 

The Details...

Images of the remaining sprue parts may be found in my earlier review of Eduard's Bf 110 C release

This release continues Eduard's recent tradition of world class quality injection moulded parts, remarkable detail and colourful markings.

The styrene parts for the kit are attached to seven sprues via fine connectors. Moulding quality is superb. I could not find a single sink mark or ejector pin in any area that will be visible on the finished model.

Crisply recessed panel lines are partnered with incredibly subtle rows of rivets. I like the treatment of the fabric control surfaces too, with rib tape detail being the most prominent feature - no massive sagging of fabric.

The fuselage is broken down into the main halves with a separate nose (upper and lower) plus an insert for the deck immediately aft of the cockpit. As mentioned earlier, two "standard" fuselages  are supplied along with a separate longer fuselage with the "boat tail" moulded in place.

The cockpit is beautifully fitted out with a combination of delicate plastic and colour photo etched parts.

 

 

The lower fuselage cannon are visible through the fuselage floor, and plenty of spare ammunition is provided. The rear gunner's seat can be made to swivel, while the navigator's seat may be posed up or stowed.

The nose is fully equipped with four MG 17 machine guns and ammunition feeds plus oxygen bottles. These may be displayed by posing the separate gun cowl open.

The wings are moulded with the flaps and leading edge slats in the closed position. This may disappoint some modellers, but I did a quick check of several books and nearly half of the Bf 110s were parked with the slats and flaps up. If you really want to drop the flaps and/or slats, the kit engineering will make this task fairly straightforward with the bulges behind the nacelles moulded as part of the bottom of the kit flaps.

Ailerons are provided as separate parts.

Wheel well detail is excellent

The shape of the spinners looks good, and the prominent pitch collars are moulded near the base of each propeller blade. These should be clearly visible when the propeller assembly is complete. The main wheels are still the same as those included in the Bf 110 E kit, but reference photos suggest that the hubs should be smaller for the Bf 110 C and D.

Two sprues of clear parts are included for each kit. The prominent glasshouse is an important part of the Bf 110's character, and Eduard has done an especially good job on the complex rear clamshell. If the rear canopy is to be depicted open, separate parts are supplied for the clamshell and the sliding top rear sections. If the canopy will be closed, a totally separate single part is used. A separate piece of armoured glass is also depicted, with an alternate photo-etched frame if the modeller prefers. The side and top canopy parts are also individual pieces to permit posing in the open position. Furthermore, alternate styles of rear canopy are offered - with the machine gun cutout and without. Handles and other canopy details are supplied in both photo etch and plastic. Eduard masks are also included to ease the pain of painting that maze of canopy frames.


 

Marking Options

Five nicely varied marking options are offered. These are all new - none have been covered in the previous three Eduard Bf 110 issues.

Decals are beautifully printed, with perfect register and colour saturation.

 

 

The specific subjects are as follows:

  1. Bf 110D 'M8+SP', 6./ZG 76, flown by Fw. Spitzner; Argos, Greece, April 1941

  2. Bf 110D 'M8+OK', W.Nr. 3148, 2./ZG 76; Norway, spring 1940

  3. Bf 110D '3U+FM', 4./ZG 26; Mediterranean, spring 1941

  4. Bf 110D '3U+LT', W.Nr. 3406, 9./ZG 26; Trapani, Sicily, 1941

  5. Bf 110 D 'S9+CK', W.Nr. 3341, 2./Erpr.Gr.210; Battle of Britain, August 15 1940

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is a beautifully presented and detailed kit. The high parts count and some of the smaller and delicate parts mean that some modelling experience will be helpful before tackling this project, but there can be little doubt that Eduard's 1/48 scale kit is now the reigning champion of plastic Messerschmitt Bf 110s of any variant and in any scale.

Having already built the Bf 110 E kit, I can also advise that it looks as good when it is finished as it does in the box!

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Eduard for the sample


Review Text Copyright 2008 by Brett Green
Page Created 1 December, 2008
Last updated 1 December, 2008

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