Pro-Modeler 1/48 Me 410B Hornisse Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2006||Manufacturer||Pro-Modeler|
|Subject||Me 410B Hornisse||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||5936||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Best Me 410 kit in any scale||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
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 By mid 1944, the Me 410 was withdrawn from service as it was no match for the allied fighters that roamed the skies by this time.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.
I happened across this kit recently and thought it would be worth another look. This kit hasn't been in production (if I recall correctly) for over six years. The basic tooling was released by Revell and Revell/Germany, and finally in this Pro-Modeler edition. Hasegawa also released this kit three times, but it was still the Revell kit in a Hasegawa box.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees, plus a single tree containing the clear parts. The detailing in this kit is still outstanding when compared to contemporary releases. Unlike many Pro-Modeler releases, this kit does not have any additional resin or photo-etched parts. As a result this is one detailed model that doesn't require advanced skills to assemble.
The cockpit alone is very nicely done with plenty of detail to be seen through those canopies. The backseater's cockpit is literally a pit and this is captured nicely.
While most of the parts are common to all of the offered variants, the instructions clearly delineate the unique portions such as the MG151 installations for the Me 410B-1/U2 and Me 410B-1/U2/R4 versus the MG103 installation for the Me 410B-2/R2.
What you don't see well in these photos are the details for the underwing engine coolant radiators. There will be some nice details to see on this aircraft from all angles!
If you're building the Me 410B-1/U2, you'll like the nicely detailed rocket launcher tubes that are installed under the wings.
Two different styles of windscreen are included in the kit, the standard version or the special bomber-plinking version that combines a plate of bullet-proof glass with a telescopic gunsight to aim those 30mm guns.
Markings are provided for three aircraft:
- Me 410B-2/R2, Black 1, II./ZG 76, Koenigsberg, Nov 1944
- Me 410B-1/U2/R4, Commander, II./ZG 26, Koenigsberg, Feb 1944
- Me 410B-1/U2, KS, 8./ZG 26, Koenigsberg, 1943/early 1944
In addition, a nice set of maintenance stencils are also provided.
While this kit has been off the market for a while, no doubt some of you have one or more stashed away safely in your collection. Either way, it is worth dusting off and taking another look!