Meng 1/48 Messerschmitt Me 410B-2/U4 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||January 2013||Manufacturer||Meng|
|Subject||Messerschmitt Me 410B-2/U4||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||LS001||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Beautiful detailing||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$89.95|
The Messerschmitt Me 410 was developed as an incremental improvement over the Me 210, though from many of the operational records of the latter, anything would be an improvement! The Me 410A was powered by a pair of Daimler Benz DB 603A engines rated at 1,750 horsepower - 400 horsepower greater than the DB 602s of the Me 210. In addition, the fuselage was lengthened to counter the larger engines and the wings were enlarged. Messerschmitt's effective automatic leading edge slats were added outboard of the engines. The Me 410B received updated 1,900 horsepower engines, strengthened landing gear, and the ability to carry external drop tanks.
The Me 410 was a more stable and forgiving aircraft than the Me 210 and as they started off the production lines in January 1943, they were adapted to carry a variety of armament configurations. These heavy fighters were intended to carry the punching power to knock American and British bombers out of the skies. While these tactics worked for a few months, newer allied escort fighters like the P-51 were able to screen the bombers and knock the Me 410s out of the sky. By mid 1944, the Me 410 was withdrawn from service as it was no match for the allied fighters that roamed the skies by this time. Only a handful continued operations through the end of the war.
Meng is a model company based in Hong Kong, China and continues to release an interesting new range of kit subjects. Here is their latest masterpiece, the 1/48 Me 410B-2/U4. While Revell has produced this kit previously in 1/48 scale in Revell, Pro-Modeler, and even Hasegawa boxings, this kit is a definite improvement on that tooling.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on eight parts trees plus two clear trees and a small fret of photo-etched details. Note that duplicate parts trees are not shown.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed front and rear cockpits w/photo-etched seat belts and harnesses
- Positionable canopy overhead hatches
- Detailed nose gun bay
- Detailed BK5 50mm cannon
- Detailed barbette remote turrets
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable elevators
- Positionable flaps
- Positionable radiator flaps
- Detailed DB603 engines
- Cowling panels can be mounted or left off to reveal engine(s)
The decals provide options for two examples:
- Me 410B-2/U4, 6./ZG, VP/108, Germany, 1944
- Me 410B-2/U4, W.Nr. 130379, NII VVS, Soviet Union, 1945-6
The decal sheet does provide swastikas and airframe stenciling in addition to the standard markings.
Each new kit from Meng is more impressive than the last and this one offers some nice options that would take significant work with the old Revell tooling.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!