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Messerschmitt Bf 110 E


Eduard, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Eduard Kit No. 8203 - Messerschmitt Bf 110 E
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 314 parts in olive coloured plastic; 12 parts in clear; two parts in brown resin; colour photo-etched fret; masking sheet; markings for five aircraft.
Price: Will be available for USD$49.95 plus shipping online from Eduard from 1 September
Will also be available in limited quantities at the IPMS USA Nationals, Anaheim California
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Well detailed; superb surface features including crisply recessed panels and subtle rivet lines where appropriate; includes colour photo-etched parts for harnesses and instrument panel; separate canopy parts for closed/open cockpit and rear clamshell; attractive marking options; very high quality plastic; narrow sprue attachments; lots of options (including many marked not for use in this kit which would permit a Bf 110 C or D); dachshunds are included.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Brett Green

Eduard's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 110 E will be available online from Squadron.com



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.

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.

The subject of Eduard's kit, the Messerschmitt Bf 110 E, was a refinement of the C and D models, beginning production in August 1940. The Bf 110 E was a versatile 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.




Eduard's box art is always attractive, but this one is my favourite to date. The illustration depicts a Zerstörer of II./ZG 1 finished in RLM 02 Grey and 71 Dark Green with the striking Wespen nose in combat over the Eastern Front.

Under the evocative box art, Eduard's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 110 E comprises a staggering 314 parts in olive coloured plastic; 12 parts in clear; two parts in brown resin; one colour photo-etched fret and another fret in bare metal; a masking sheet and markings for five aircraft.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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

The styrene parts 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.

If you have seen the beautifully restrained surface detail of Eduard's recent Fw 190 family, you will know what to expect here. 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. The tail is moulded as a single piece so if we are going to eventually see a boat tail version, Eduard will supply an all new fuselage. In addition to the Bf 110 E nose (easily distinguished by the rectangular intake), Eduard also supplies the C/D nose.

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 engine nacelles are supplied separate from the wings, suggesting that we may be in store for different variants in the future. Of particular interest, the oil cooler section at the bottom of the nacelles are separate, so we may see the deep tropical oil cooler in a future release, By the way, although the trop air filters are shown in the box art, they do not appear to be included in this particular kit. 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.

Ample options are supplied including ETC racks, 50kg and 250kg bombs. Many other options are marked as "not for use". These include 300 litre and 900 litre drop tanks, air to air rockets and the small 75 litre auxiliary oil tank sometimes fitted to the bottom of the fuselage. The massive "dachshund" belly tank for the Bf 110 D is also included.

Two sprues of clear parts are included. 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.



Instructions are supplied in a colour 20 page booklet, with a historical summary on the front page followed by a parts list, 13 pages of construction steps and four pages of full-colour marking guides, each with a four-view illustration plus scrap views.

Markings are supplied for five aircraft, all with different schemes. Decals were not included with my early sample but I am sure that I will be able to pick these up this week in Anaheim.

The painting instructions call out RLM 74/75/76 Greys for most of these aircraft, but I would have expected at least some of them to be finished in RLM 02/71/65. In fact, the box art appears to suggest this too. The actual colours and camouflage transition on Bf 110s is far from an exact science, but it would seem that the new RLM 74/75/76 scheme was not actually applied at the factory until March/April 1941, well after the commencement of the Bf 110 E production run. Having been finished in RLM 02/71/65, it is unlikely that these aircraft would have been repainted until major overhauls.



The package is topped off with two resin Dachshunds in recognition of their association with 1.(Z)/JG 77. These are tiny but perfectly formed!





Eduard has now relegated the old Fujimi 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 110 to your favourite nephew. The new Eduard kit eclipses Fujimi's Bf 110 in every respect.

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.

I can't wait to build mine!

Highly Recommended.

Review Text Copyright © 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 20 August, 2007
Last updated 20 August, 2007

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