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Bf 110 Kit

Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 110E Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2007 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject Messerschmitt Bf 110E Scale 1/48
Kit Number 8203 Primary Media Styrene/Photo-Etch
Pros Very nicely detailed kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced Basic Modelers MSRP (USD) $49.95

First Look

Bf 110 Kit
Bf 110 Kit
Bf 110 Kit
Bf 110 Kit
Bf 110 Kit
Bf 110 Kit
Bf 110 Kit
Bf 110 Kit
Bf 110 Kit
Bf 110 Kit
Bf 110 Kit

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.

I must say that this new release from Eduard is every bit as impressive out of the box as their beautiful Fw 190 series kits. There has been much anticipation over this release as the last decent kit of this subject was produced by Revell (Pro Modeler) around a decade ago. I think it is safe to say that we have a new winner for the title of best Bf 110 in any scale!

This first release represents the Emil variant and is presented on seven parts trees molded in RLM02 colored styrene plus two trees of clear parts. Also included in this kit are two frets of photo-etch, one of which is color, one set of paint masks, and a magnificent set of decals.

The cockpit is the usual outstanding job from Eduard with the instrument panel and side consoles made up from color photo-etch with all of the instruments and placards pre-printed in place. Add a set of color seatbelts and shoulder harnesses and you'd have a fantastic model, right? Not so fast.

The real star of this kit is the rear cockpit! I've never taken a close look at this aircraft in my travels and research, and nothing I've seen in kit form said very much about the rear cockpit. That is now over as this Eduard kit has really done a magnificent job here. They have replicated the twin 20mm gun tray that sits right behind (and under) the front cockpit. These guns fire through extender tubes and out the nose. The space between the pilot and rear operator are taken up with the guns, the 20mm ammo clips that mount into the breech, and the spare ammo clips that can be changed out in flight.

Behind the front cockpit bulkhead are mounted a variety of radio equipment which took up lots of space in those days. To the rear of the back seater are racks of spare ammo cans for the flex-mounted rearward firing 7.92mm machine gun.

A nicely detailed gun tray in the nose mounts four more 7.92mm machine guns. You have the option of leaving the cover off the guns.

The ailerons are separately molded which the rudders, elevators and flaps are molded in position.

You'll note all of the canopy parts provided in this kit. You have the option of posing the front and rear cockpits closed up, either (or both) open, and two different types of rear canopy for whether the aircraft is armed with the rearward firing gun or not.

When you see the instructions, up front there are diagrams of the parts trees to show which parts are not used in this version. There are number of spares you'll be getting out of here, including the ventral external tank, indicate that many more versions are on the horizon.

You can arm your Emil with wing and centerline bomb racks should you be building a fighter-bomber variant. You'll see the variety of external stores provided in this kit.

Markings are provided for four aircraft:

  • Bf 110E, S9+NN, 5./ZG "Wespen", as flown by Lt Herbert Kutscha, Russia, 1942
  • Bf 110E, G9+JM, 4./NJG 1, St Trond, Belgium, 1942
  • Bf 110E, LN+LR, 1.(Z)/JG 77, Malmi Finland, 1942, as flown by Lt Felix-Maria Brandis
  • Bf 110E, W.Nr. 4035, Sonderkommando Junck, Mosul Air Base Iraq, 1941

The sheet also includes a nice set of maintenance stencils for the airframe.

Dogs of War

While the 'Dogs of War' is a passage from Shakespeare's play 'Julius Caesar', the squadron mascots for 1.(Z)/JG 77 were a number of Dachshunds that accompanied the crews on their long missions. This kit provides one of those dogs for you to pose with your aircraft.

Eduard has another hit on its hands and I don't doubt that this will be a big seller.

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!