Messerschmitt Bf-110C-6

Published: May 29th, 2014     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: Brian R. Baker - IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard
Price: $49.95
Product / Stock #: 2115
Product provided by: Eduard

History

The Messerschmitt Bf-110 series was originally designed as a long range escort fighter, and so much has been written about the type that I need not be repetitious. Preceded into production by the Bf-110B, which first appeared in 1938, the Bf-110C was the first major production model, followed by the "D", "E", "F", and "G" variants. It was not particularly successful at the beginning of the war, as it was used against more nimble single seat fighters. Later in the war, it was used as a night fighter, where it was very successful and even outlived the aircraft intended to replace it.

The Bf-110C was intended as a long range "zerstorer" (destroyer) aircraft, and various combinations of fuel tanks and armaments were tried over the years. The Bf-110C-6, the subject of this kit, was intended for the ground attack role, and carried a 30 mm. cannon mounted under the belly in place of two 20 mm. cannons. The new gun was in a streamlined housing, and although it increased the hitting power of the plane, it also decreased the performance to the extent that only about a dozen were completed, and they were used briefly during the Battle of Britain by Erpr. Gr. 210 based at Calais during the summer of 1940. Later one, coded G9+EH, was assigned to NJG1 at Venlo Air base, the Netherlands, where it operated in the night interception role against RAF bombers. It has no radar, and therefore was probably not particularly effective in these operations.

So the Bf-110C-6 is a rather rare bird, and there is very little information available on it in the standard Luftwaffe references. The only material I found, aside from drawings of two aircraft in the kit instructions, was a reference to the type in the Planes and Pilots, Me-110 from 1939 to 1945 book, which provides a profile drawing of one aircraft.

Instructions

The kit instructions are 16 pages long, and contain a short general history of the type without mentioning the C-6 variant, a sprue diagram and color guide, 11 pages of assembly drawings, a mask diagram, two color pages illustrating the paint schemes for two aircraft, and a line drawing showing maintenance marking decals. Color codes instructions show how the kit is to be converted to the C-6 variant, and this includes some fairly serious surgery on the nose section to accommodate the 30 mm. cannon installation, as well as some delicate carving required to include the gun loader's position in the fuselage between the pilot and the gunner, as this was a three seat aircraft. The color information is good and easy to follow.

The Kit

The kit consists of 8 sprues, which include a number of parts which are to be discarded. You get a nice set of drop tanks that you can use on another model. The 30 mm. cannon, the loading mechanism, and the gun itself are cast in resin, and a PE base is also included for the installation. A PE sheet is also included, which offers a new instrument panel, instrument faces for the cockpits, and numerous other parts, some of which are also duplicated in plastic. The decal sheet provides excellent quality decals for two aircraft, the day fighter and the nigh fighter, and also a separate sheet for maintenance markings, some of which are black lettering which won't show up on an all-black night fighter. None of the decals needs trimming, and they go on in a spectacular fashion. They are actually better that most of the after market decals I've seen. The kit even includes a canopy mask, and I was happy to see this, as I have never used a kit-provided canopy mask of any kind. I've always just cut masking tape to fit, which takes a lot of time, so the mask certainly speeded things up a bit.

Assembly

There were no surprises in the assembly, as I have built Eduard kits before. The molding is superb, and there are few parts that need any kind of trimming. Some of the detail parts, including the PE parts, are not clearly explained, especially as to where to trim, but this is easy to figure out. The cockpit interior is very detailed, but the instructions are clear and the PE parts, notably the seat belts, were very nicely done. The completed cockpit assembly actually fits, as opposed to some kits I've done recently. No filing and hammering are needed to get it where it needed to go. There were only two small sink marks on the upper wing surface where the flap was, but these were easily filled in. The fit in such areas as the engine nacelles was a bit dicey in a few places, but only a little filler was needed to solve the problem. The forward gun position, which is resin, takes a little doing to get it to fit into the front of the fuselage, but this only takes a little time, and some putty easily fills in any gaps you may leave. I use regular NAPA

Bondo, and it does fine. The wing to fuselage joint is very good, and things line up with the proper dihedral angle without much effort. Incidentally, I have been using straight MEK rather than the normal Tenax solvent I've been using for years. It's the same stuff, and works the same way, and it's lots cheaper.

Once the canopy was in place, it could be masked. The masking is usually the most tedious part of the fuselage assembly process, but the masking parts strip off easily, so it is not a problem getting everything in position. I just popped the little squares and shapes off with pointed tweezers, set them in place, and applied some pressure to get good contact. They all fitted perfectly. A real time saver.

Painting and Finishing

The kit provides decals for two aircraft, a Battle of Britain day fighter and a 1942 night fighter. Being naturally lazy, and liking night fighters anyway, I chose the all-black scheme. After masking the canopy and wheel wells, I painted the airframe flat black, along with a few extra canopy parts. The props and spinners were RML 70 Green, and the interior parts, excluding the RML 66 cockpit, were RML 02. I then applied a coat of gloss lacquer, and after applying the decals, which were a delight since they needed no trimming, I sprayed on another coat of gloss and then some flat. After installing the landing gear and various radio antennas and props, the model was almost completed. I attached the pilot's canopy windows with white glue, and had to scratchbuild the IFF antenna on the bottom of the fuselage, as the PE parts just would not cooperate. Some .020 plastic rod and strip did the trick. I also did not use the small landing light cover that goes on the leading edge of the left wing, just outboard of the oil cooler intake. It was just too small to get a hold of with either fingers or tweezers. A couple of dabs of white glue, which dries clear, solved the problem easily. The low frequency radio antenna wires were made from unstranded electronic wire, which was effective. There was no crew boarding ladder included in the kit, which surprised me, as nearly every other small detail was included.

Recommendations

This is a high quality, high-tech kit, and is very well designed. Although obviously intended for serious modelers, even a person with limited experience could do a good job on this one. It represents an unusual variant of the Bf-110 series, I I certainly would recommend it highly to anyone who likes WWII Luftwaffe aircraft. There are a lot of kits of the Bf-110 on the market these days, but this is probably the best of the lot. Don't miss out on this one. And the canopy mask really speeds things up.

Thanks to Eduard and to IPMS USA for the review sample.

  • Contents
    Contents
  • Instructions
    Instructions
  • Under construction
    Under construction
  • Bottom
    Bottom
  • Front left
    Front left
  • Front right
    Front right
  • Front
    Front
  • Left
    Left
  • Right
    Right
  • Top painted
    Top painted
  • Bottom painted
    Bottom painted

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