RS Models 1/72 Morane-Saulnier MS.410 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2017||Manufacturer||RS Models|
|Kit Number||92195||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (Euro)||18.00€|
A drag-inducing, retractable radiator and temperature-touchy, drum-fed wing machine guns compromised the operational performance of the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 – France's most numerous WWII single-engine fighter.
The M.S.410 derivative aimed to correct those issues. A simpler, fixed radiator replaced the unrelable retractable one. And four belt-fed guns doubled armament in a strengthened wing. Design enhancements boosted speed by a reported 10 mph (16 km/h). And at least 74 M.S.410s – new-builds, modified M.S.406s and hybrids – saw Armée de l'Aire and Finnish service.
RS Models' excellent 1/72-scale kit features 64 crisply molded, styrene components on three trees. Four more resin details, decals and a four-page instruction sheet with parts map complete contents.
For a "limited run" effort, overall quality appears excellent. And detail is exceptional. RS accurately replicates, for instance, the Morane's complicated cockpit. The seat even sports a molded-in harness set. And I could only detect isolated instances of flash on all plastic parts.
Additionally, RS clearly intended styrene components for multiple M.S.406 packages. You get, for instance, three spinners for two propellers – Ratier and Chauvier – and multiple engine exhausts. You also get both retractable and fixed radiator configurations – both of which you'll need.
The kit's colorful, precisely printed decals include markings for four French and Finnish subjects – all illustrated on RS' beautifully printed, full-color, box-top markings guide:
- Finland M.S.410 MS-624, 2/LeLev 28, Mar 1943
- France M.S.410 No.1033, Orly Airfield, June 1940
- Finland M.S.406/410 MS-310, 1/LeLev 14, mid-1943
- Finland M.S.406/410 MS-623, 3/LeLev 28, 1942
Note that the Finnish 1/LeLev 14 example features the earlier, retractable radiator.
While new dorsal wing halves accurately lack the characteristic early wing gun bulges, you must file those from the common, M.S.406-style lower wing – and scribe ventral shell-ejection chutes, port and starboard. While RS claims assembly drawings illustrating this are "actual size", they're definitely smaller than 1:72 scale. Might decals have worked better?
Note, too, that decals for MS-623 serials don't match painting guide details. Besides, I'm still not sure how RS wants you to apply dark green camouflage to Finnish serials on black backgrounds!
Finally, fuselage surface detail, while generally superb, lacks the MS.406/410's distinctive, raised "piano hinges" on access panels.
But I quibble. Out-of-the-box, RS Models' ostensibly "limited run" M.S.410 sports better detail than many "mainstream" manufacturers offer. If you love M.S.406 variants as I do, get this kit!
With thanks to RS Models for this review sample.