Minicraft 1/144 Bf 110 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2010||Manufacturer||Minicraft|
|Kit Number||14626||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$9.95|
The twin-engined Messerschmitt design was a result of an RLM requirement for a strategic fighter. Three bids were submitted, Focke Wulf, Henschel, and Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (where Willy Messerschmitt worked at that time). Many folks get confused about the proper designations of these early Messerschmitt designs. During the development of the Bf 108 Taifun, Bf 109 series, and Bf 110 Zerstorer, Willy Messerschmitt was still a staff member at Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, hence the prefix Bf on the design numbers. It was due to his significant contributions to the RLM that Bayerische Flugzeugwerke was renamed Messerschmitt AG in 1938 and Willy Messerschmitt appointed chairman and managing director of his namesake company. Development of the Zerstorer design predated the birth of Messerschmitt AG.
Interestingly enough, the original submission for the strategic fighter was rejected by the RLM and funding was given to Henschel and Focke Wulf. It wasn't until the intervention of WWI ace Ernst Udet that the Messerschmitt design was reconsidered, the requirements reworked, and the two competitors' contracts terminated.
In initial flight testing, the Bf 110 was faster than the early Bf 109, though not as maneuverable. Engine development problems with the Daimler Benz model 600 engines would force the intial batches of Bf 110s to be powered by the less-capable Jumo 210 engines. When the DB601 engines became available, the Bf 110 would become the long-range fighter, night fighter, and fighter-bomber that made it lengendary.
Minicraft has re-released the 1/144 Bf 110C kit and this is a nice little gem. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on two parts trees plus a clear styrene canopy. Molding in clean and layout is very simple.
This kit is a simple build and this starts off with the fuselage halves that go together with the canopy. Since the canopy is one-piece, Minicraft didn't waste resources on a cockpit.
The wing is a three-piece assembly to help with strength and ease of assembly/alignment. You have your choice of prop spinners only on the engine nacelles to simulate running engines or spinners with propellers. The kit provides options for landing gear up or down.
Markings are provided for two examples:
- Bf 110D, VJ+OQ, flown by Rudolf Hess during his defection to Britain May 1941
- Bf 110C, U8+KL, 1./ZG 26, Battle of Britain, 1940
This is a nice kit that will go together nicely and provide a quick project to add to your scale flightline. This is another nice installment in Minicraft's growing line of 1/144 scale aircraft.
My sincere thanks to Minicraft for this review sample!