Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4
|Very nicely detailed 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.
Eduard has released the Bf 110G-4 in its Profipack edition which translates to several nice subject options, one nice set of color photo-etch, and new-tooled parts in this box. If you look at this kit in contrast to their earlier Bf110E, you can see that most of these sprues are new-tool ( look here).
This kit represents the Bf 110G-4 night-fighter (nachtjäger) variant and is presented on nine parts trees molded in RLM02 colored styrene plus two trees of clear parts and two frets of photo-etch. Also included in this kit is one set of paint masks, and a set of decals.
The cockpit is the usual outstanding job from Eduard. There are lots of details nicely rendered in both the front and rear cockpits and those twin upward-firing cannons are really going to look impressive under glass. With a little attention to detail, some good painting and weathering, and a few good references, you will have a nice looking cockpit to view. The color-printed photo-etch will bring some very nice level of detail to the instrument panel and the various control panels around the front and rear cockpits.
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 machine 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. The instructions show you which parts to use for this variant.
This kit has one sprue that contains a variety of externally mounted weapons, but all you'll need from this tree are the two underwing drop tanks. The rest of the parts will come in handy in your spares box for future Luftwaffe projects.
Where you'll need some patience and dexterity is in the assembly of the rather intricate dipole radar antenna array on the nose. Each antenna element is a separate part that mounts to the port and starboard frames, which in turn mounts to three struts on each side of the nose. The antenna array should be sturdy once all the parts are assembled, but patience and liquid cement are both recommended here. This kit has two different antenna arrays included, the vertically polarized antennas (dipoles straight up and down) and the cross-polarized antennas (dipoles angled at 45 degrees).
Markings are provided for four aircraft:
- Bf 110G-4, W.Nr. unknown, 7./NJG 6, 2Z+FR, Neubiberg, 1945
- Bf 110G-4, W.Nr. unknown, 6./NJG 101, 9W+BO, Frizlar, 1945
- Bf 110G-4, W.Nr. unknown, Stab II./NJG 1, G9+DC, Langensalza, 1945
- Bf 110G-4, W.Nr. 110087, 4./NJG 3, B4+KA, Kjevik, 1945
The sheet also includes a nice set of maintenance stencils for the airframe.
Eduard has another hit on its hands and I don't doubt that this will be a big seller. This kit has an suggested retail price of $65, whereas the Weekend retails at $40. You have a choice when it comes to detail versus value, and both come from Eduard.