Bf-110F Nachtjager

Published: May 25th, 2013     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner Jr. - IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard
Price: $39.95
Product / Stock #: 84145
Product provided by: Eduard

The Bf-110F was a transitional aircraft. It was put in place with the failure of the Me-210. It was an interim until the G-2 could be produced in numbers. Only 500 were made, divided between night fighters and fighter bombers.

Interestingly, Eduard elected to release the F as a weekend edition. This is the first time that the Bf-110F has been available in any scale that I know of. This cardboard box is so jam-packed with plastic it is surprising to me that it costs so little. Because of the transitional status of the real aircraft, it had features of the older E model and the newer still-to-come G model. Eduard's parts break down shows this transitional parts listing, necessitating the parts from each of the earlier releases. There are a lot of extra parts because of it, even extra fuselage halves.

There are NINE sprues of RLM 02-colored plastic that have no flash. There are easily over 200 parts. The parts have rivets and fine engraved panel lines. Some people like that, but some people don't...it is all up to you. I personally love the look of the rivets. Under paint, they are practically invisible but have a nice finish. There are also two sprues of clear plastic. You can model the aircraft with either an opened or closed canopy. Interestingly, there is a fret of photo etch. It is a small fret with just the antennas and a rear seat, but this is the first time that Eduard has included PE in a weekend edition kit that I know of.

The thing that would really make this a weekend edition would be the inclusion of canopy masks. Unfortunately, they are not included and must be bought separately.

The instructions are printed in black and white, which makes the paint scheme hard to decipher. The instructions are easy enough to understand and follow. For those so inclined, Eduard has included the instructions in color on their website.

The decals are printed on two sheets, one with the stencils and the other with the markings for one aircraft -in this case, a Rumanian aircraft flown by Lt. Ion Simion/Constantin Octavian, Escadrila 51 Vanatoare, (12./NJG6), in June, 1944. The decals are well-printed by Eduard. They are thin and opaque. My red was slightly out of register.

How do you make an F?

Eduard does provide you with the big things to make an F, but they do not address the few small things that need to be done. The first and easiest is to sand off the scoops on the engine cowlings. Then, fill the triangular-shaped panel lines on the engine cowlings on both sides.

Cockpit

The cockpit of this little gem is very complete. It is missing the seatbelts, but that is the only noticeable agsence. I elected not to add any to this model to keep it out of the box. I've built a G-2 before with all the PE, and I have to say that I liked the plastic stuff better in most cases. A pre-painted instrument panel would look nicer but the rest of the stuff works great with careful painting.

The aft cockpit will require you to use the PE seat. This is easily added. There is one issue in the cockpit - the kit requires seven 20mm ammo drums, but the kit only supplies six on the sprues. I raided the G-2 kit for the missing drum. If you take your time, everything fits perfectly inside the fuselage halves.

The other missing ammo drum is for the MG-17. This is easily taken care of. Most of them fit onto the storage shelf but they are nearly invisible on the kit, once installed. No one would be able to see the missing one under the shelf.

Fuselage

The fuselage halves fit well enough with the cockpit sandwiched inside. There was only need for a very small amount of filler on the underside. You should be careful when you add the gun ejection port panels. The fit of gun support panel required some filler as well.

Adding the nose required a good amount of finagling to get it to fit properly. The nose does not have a hole for mounting the radar. I added the guns but you don't need to add anything else.

Wings, Tail, and Gear

The wings themselves fit very well. Don't forget to drill the hole for the pitot tube. The nacelles fit well until you install them onto the wing. They were slightly small and there was a need for a fair amount of filler. If I had to do it again, I would deepen the panel lines on the aft part of the nacelle, then just fill it normally. As it was, I had to re-scribe the panel lines on the nacelle. The rest of the wing parts fit great, except the landing light. The light just would not fit, no matter how much I fiddled with it. I glued it in place and then just sanded it to fit.

The wings fit the fuselage was okay but required some filling on the bottom. When I do it again, I will add the wings to the fuselage side first. The fuselage flexed a little when trying to insert the wings. I did manage to break the pitot tube under the wing, so I had to replace that with a piece of tubing.

The tails fit perfectly.

The landing gear was a wonder in engineering and very sturdy when assembled. They look just like the real thing.

Paint

I washed the model with grease-cutting detergent in preparation for the primer. Alclad Grey Primer and Microfiller were used and the appropriate areas were touched up.

I just couldn't bring myself to mask the canopy from scratch. I raided my Bf-110C kit for the masks. That made the whole job manageable. I added the larger canopy pieces at this time. Tamiya tape was used mask off the canopy areas. There are two kit pieces that attach to the glass of the rear canopy. I used Future to attach them as they are on the glass itself.

I pre-shaded the model with Tamiya German Grey. I don't just do the panel lines but prefer to dot and squiggle to provide a disruptive scheme to the colors.

I painted the yellow portion of the lower wings, fuselage band, and propeller tips. It was difficult to see the yellow in the black and white instruction sheet, but the box top shows the areas clearly enough. I didn't find out about the website having full-color instructions until after the build. After waiting a day, I masked off the yellow with Tamiya tape.

The whole aircraft was painted Model Master enamel RLM 76. I added a drop or two of white to the paint and post faded it to again break up the monotony of the single color.

A coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss prepped the model for the decals and weathering.

Decals

The Eduard decals fit perfectly; however, there was one thing that I just couldn't do and that was make my model a Rumanian machine. Nothing personal against the Rumanians, but the markings wouldn't work in my collection. I figured that the Germans did not just give the Rumanians a brand new Bf-110F with the latest radar. I also figured that the Germans used the F until it was replaced by the G, and THEN gave the aircraft to the Rumanians. I subsequently figured that the markings were just overpainted and the Rumanian crosses added in place of the German crosses. With this "theory," I used the Eduard markings and just substituted some crosses from an Aeromaster sheet. If I'm wrong, sue me - it's my model and I can do with it as I please. The decals were covered with Alclad Flat, which I love.

Weathering

Weathering started with the pre-shading and post-fading. Now it was time to move onto more intensive weathering. First up was the spot filters - adding small dots of artist oil colors on the surface. I used titanium white, buff, and burnt umber. The darker colors were added more intensely towards the shadows and exhaust areas. They were blended on the surface with a wide brush damp with turpenoid. This was followed up with a wash of burnt umber in the panel lines, and some dots added to help break up the monotony of the single color.

Silver paint and a silver pencil were used to add some chipping along the surface. Some Mig Pigments were used to dirty up the surfaces. The exhaust streaks were added with some heavily diluted Tamiya Flat Earth and Flat Black. This was built up slowly. Once dry, I used some Tamiya weathering pastels to feather the exhausts even more.

Final Bits

I added the exhausts next. I should have paid attention to Eduard's suggestion and added the exhaust base piece to the nacelles. As it was, I had to sand and cajole them into place. The exhausts were painted with Life Color Burnt Black and some shading with Tamiya pastels.

The canopy masks were removed and the glass cleaned up and polished. The moveable parts of the canopy were added. The wing landing light mask was removed and given a coat of Future to brighten it up.

Now came the most rewarding part of the build, the radar. Eduard gives you the antennas as photo etch. You have to cut the mount at the end and add the antennas, then add the end piece back in. It works, but it requires a little bit of patience. The hardest part was that the antennas have to be mounted at a 45 degree angle to the center section. I used some tweezers and held the center section steady. Then, using another set of tweezers, I grabbed the dipoles and twisted them ever so carefully to a 45 degree angle. Amazingly, it worked...well, almost. I did manage to break a center section on one. I replaced it with a .10 x .10 piece of styrene and added the dipole to the end. Is it perfect? No, but it is very hard to tell the difference. The end result speaks for itself. The radar assembly was added to the nose with white glue.

The model was now complete, and I must say it is quite colorful and unique-looking with the radar in the nose.

Conclusions

I enjoyed the kit, but it did require some work to get it right. Could you really build it in a weekend? Well, maybe a four-day weekend with very little sleep, but it was a relatively quick build. The lack of the two missing ammo drums is an annoyance, but if you have another kit in the collection they are easy enough to source. There is also a lack of the under-fuselage clothesline antennas. They are available in PE on Eduard's other kits, just not on the weekend edition. There is a zoom set (FE617) for the cockpit with seatbelts, and it has the missing fuselage antennas. Next time I'd include the Zoom set and a set of masks. This would make the kit just pop.

A couple of things that I learned, were I to do this kit again, would be that I'd attach the wings to the fuselage halves BEFORE I join the halves. I'd definitely invest in the Zoom and masks set. I'd deepen the panel lines on the cowlings so when I sanded them I wouldn't lose them. And I'd add the exhaust base piece to the cowlings when Eduard suggests it.

Would I build this kit again? Absolutely. It is a good kit. Does it need some filler? Yes, but not a lot. Remember, we are modelers, not just assemblers. The cockpit is an absolute gem, missing only the seatbelts to make it perfect. The radar is daunting to look at but actually pretty easy to do. It adds a great dimension to this model.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review copy.

  • Fuselage sprue
    Fuselage sprue
  • Wing sprue
    Wing sprue
  • Tailplanes and other parts
    Tailplanes and other parts
  • Cowls and props
    Cowls and props
  • One of several additional parts sprues
    One of several additional parts sprues
  • Decals for a Rumanian machine
    Decals for a Rumanian machine
  • Radar array PE
    Radar array PE
  • Left front
    Left front
  • Left rear
    Left rear
  • Right rear
    Right rear
  • Right front
    Right front
  • Front
    Front
  • Overhead
    Overhead
  • Nose
    Nose

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <blockquote> <br> <cite> <code> <dd> <div> <dl> <dt> <em> <li> <ol> <p> <span> <strong> <ul>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Non-latin text (e.g., å, ö, 漢) will be converted to US-ASCII equivalents (a, o, ?).

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.