Revell 1/48 Bf 110G-2/R3 Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||October 2007||Manufacturer||Revell/Germany|
|Subject||Messerschmitt Bf 110G-2/R3||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||4530||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$19.95|
The Messerschmitt Bf 110 came into existence in 1934, when the German Air Ministry asked for a twin-engined, long-range escort fighter. This initiated a long-standing discussion on the technical and strategic requirements of such an aircraft, one with a very long range to enable it to escort their bomber units deep into enemy territory, but one which would also have the maneuverability of a fighter. It was simply not possible to accommodate these demands in the same machine. Consequently, throughout the war the Bf-100 remained a compromise – as in order to fulfill its proper function what was actually needed was escort protection by single-engine fighters.
The Bf 110 was ultimately used predominantly as a fighter-bomber. However, it was particularly successful as a night fighter, as from the outset it had been designed as a long-range, twin-engined fighter with a two-man crew and was best suited to this duty. After a disaster with its proposed successor, the Messerschmitt Me-210, it was essential to redesign the Bf 110 in order to improve it’s performance. Thus in 1942, there came into existence a new series – the Bf 110G – which was externally very easily recognizable from it’s new and more powerful type DB-605 engines, each delivering 1,475 hp. It also took into account the requirements of the night fighter units. The machines produced for the pilot series – the Bf 110G – were practically identical to the previously built Bf 110F, but they were given the DB-605 engine and were extensively reinforced.
The scheduled production of the G-1 was delayed by delivery difficulties with the engines and when it finally went into production in November 1942, due to further modifications, it was given the designation G-2.
Extensive trials were carried out with the version G-4, which was planned as a night fighter, in order to improve the performance of the Bf 110. This included the testing of new weapons systems, such as the WT 151 ventral pod for two 152/20 machine-guns and the removal of the nose-mounted guns for reasons of weight and stability. The experience of the night fighters also found expression in the G-2 series, which now became the G-2/R3 that was also equipped with underwing WGr 21 rockets (subject of this kit). In this configuration the Bf 110 was used as a destroyer to defend the Reich against American bomber units.
The end of the war also brought to an end production of the Bf 110, after 5,762 had been built in a wide variety of versions.
The kit comes in a large end-opening type box. I am not a fan of these, as things always seem to find their way out past the end flaps…especially decal sheets…where they become lost. Give me tray and lid types any day where you can set parts in the tray as you build too.
The box art shows a formation of 5 Bf 110’s flying through clouds. The aircraft in the foreground carries the fuselage code 2N (in small letters) + F (in green) N (black) of the 5./ZG 76 Reichsveteidigung, winter 1944 (one of the schemes offered on the decal sheet).
A side panel of the box has 4 color photos of areas on a finished model.
Histories and general information also adorn side panels of the box in several languages, including English. The back of the box has color illustrations of the box arts of 7 other kits in the Revell of Germany line, plus a picture of their glue, airbrush and paint bottles. It also says here that the kit is a skill level of 4. Which means “a kit with up to 150 parts for more experienced modelers”.
Inside the box is a large cello that holds four light gray parts trees and a clear parts tree. Two of the light gray parts trees are in a second cello inside the first. However the parts tree is no cello bagged and is rubbing up against one of the light gray trees and could get scratched. Revell should have celloed it too.
The loose large decal sheet, instruction booklet and a single sheet of “Warnings”, in 21 languages – including English – completes the kit’s contents.
The instructions consist of an unstapled booklet in 11 ¾” x 8 ¼” page format. It is 16 pages long.
Page one begins with a black and white photo of the Bf 110 model made up. This is followed by the history of the aircraft in German and English.
Page 2 has “Read before you start” instructions in 18 languages, including English. This is followed by some general assembly instructions.
Page 3 has international assembly symbol explanations in the same 18 languages.
Page 4 has a listing of colors to use for finishing the model (in the 18 languages again).
Page 5 is the parts trees illustrations. 2 parts on these illustrations are blacked-out, meaning they are excess and not needed to complete the model.
The trees are not alphabetized, only the parts are numbered on the trees. What this means is finding the part number on the parts trees drawings and then looking for it on the tree shown that it is on. A tedious job. Revell should have put a alphabet number on the trees.
Pages 6 through 13 give a grand total of no less than 53 assembly step drawings. This may seem like a lot, but some of the illustrations show you to only add one or two parts and they take you slowly through the build, which is a good way of doing things. These drawings also tell you what parts to paint what colors as you proceed through the build. Very well done instructions.
Page 14 has line drawings showing you how and where to apply the extensive stenciling on the decal sheet.
Pages 15 and 16 give 2 camouflage schemes:
- A Bf 110G-2 of 5/ZG 76 Reichsveteidigung, winter 1944 (already described above in the boxart description)
- A Bf 110G-2/R-3 of III/ZG 26 “Horst Wessel”, Reichsverteidigung, winter 1944
With fuselage code 3U (small black letters) + G (green) T (black). It has black propeller spinners with white spirals and a yellow fuselage band.
There are no tail swastikas on the decal sheet, due to the fact that this kit is produced in Germany, where that symbol is outlawed even on model kit boxes. So, you will have to come up with your own.
The first large light gray parts tree holds: one lower wing half, one half of the fuselage, tail wheel, guns, cockpit walls, dashboard etc. (32 parts) One of these parts is shown blacked out on the parts tree drawings as being excess.
The second large light gray parts tree holds: the other lower wing half, the propeller spinners, landing gear oleos and main wheels, the other half of the fuselage, various antenna, drop tanks and their support arms, the aircraft’s nose piece, horizontal tail parts and some air intakes. (35 parts) One of these parts is blacked out too and excess.
The third slightly smaller light gray parts tree holds: the upper wing halves, cowling halves, propellers, gear doors etc. (10 parts).
The fourth similarly sized smaller light gray parts tree holds: the underwing rocket tubes, exhaust pipes, twin rudder parts, belly gun tub, wing tips, another air intake, rear cockpit wall, a internal bulkhead, the radar operator’s console etc. (36 parts)
The clear parts are next. There are 14 parts on that tree that make-up the cockpit windows and some light lenses.
The large decal sheet is next. It has the markings for the two aircraft schemes mentioned above and a lot of stenciling. Unfortunately, we are not provided with the swastikas that should adorn the twin rudders.
This is one neat subject. There is a lot of detail parts for the cockpit (but no crew figures) and the windows there can be posed open to show what’s inside. Only some seat belts could be added. I believe that one of the aftermarket PE companies makes a set for this kit too.