Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-4
Eduard, 1/72 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
Eduard's 1/72 scale Bf 110 G-4 is available online from Squadron.com
Eduard first released their excellent 1/72 scale Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-4 night fighter in 2013.
Prior to this we had only seen a handful of 1/72 scale Messerschmitt Bf 110 G releases over the decades.
Frog's attempt dates back to the 1960s. The box art was very nice, but otherwise the kit was a typical product of its era - simplified and inaccurate in key areas.
Italeri released their 1/72 scale Bf 110 G several decades later. This was a disappointing kit suffering from very poorly depicted shapes, incuding bulbous nacelles, short blunt spinners, undersized flame damper exhausts, incorrect canopy, inaccurate propeller blade profiles and more.
High Planes Models from Australia offers a limited run, low-pressure injection moulded Bf 110 G-4 kit in 1/72 scale. This 1990s kit was supplemented with white metal detail parts and a vacform canopy. The good news is that this is an accurate model. However, substantial work is required to clean up the parts prior to assembly; and scratchbuilding skills are necessary to fill in the blanks, including much of the cockpit interior and the wheel well detail.
With the initial Eduard Bf 110 G-4 release, we finally had a well-detailed and dimensionally accurate Bf 110 G-4 in 1/72 scale.
Eduard has now re-boxed the kit with new markings and updated photo-etched parts.
The fuselage contains dedicated G-4 fuselage halves with additional armour moulded onto the nose in front and beside the pilot's cockpit, two versions of the bulged 30mm nose, plus the large vertical flying surfaces with the big rudders and enlarged Flettner tabs. Fabric texture is beautifully subtle. Two styles of exhaust flame dampers are also supplied on this sprue - the more frequently seen curved variety, and the late-war simplified straight through pipes. The ends of the pipes are solid but photo-etched grilles are provided to cap all the ends.
Sprue M provides three variations on the FuG 220 Sn2 radar mounts and plastic diploes. They are admirably thin yet retain the three-dimensional appearance of the original. Handle them with care though, as they will be very delicate.
There are two photo-etched frets with this release. The first is a revised colour fret with specific details for the G-4 night fighter. The most noticeable difference copared to the initial release is imprved colour detail on the harness straps.
The second fret is in brass, and is a jig for assembly of the radar array - nice touch!
As with the G-2 kit, the clear sprue contains the revised rear canopy section with the side-opening navigator's hatch. An alternate rear section is provided with holes for the night fighter's upward-firing Schrage Musik cannon.
Images of the remaining sprues / parts may be found in my earlier review of Eduard's 1/72 scale Bf 110 G-2 release
Eduard's 1/72 scale Bf 110 G kits share a number of sprues with its predecessors, including the wings; but two completely new sprues are also included.
The sprues for Eduard's Bf 110 G kits contain a new cockpit floor and other interior details, an MG 81Z Zwilling rear machine gun, the 30mm gun nose with optional blank or cannon lower noses, new wing tips, revised engine nacelles, propeller blades and spinners, twin 20mm gun trays, a 37mm gun pack, single and twin air-to-air rockets and a larger tail wheel unit. Tropical filters are included on the sprues too
Moulding quality is superb. I could not find a single sink mark or ejector pin in any area that will be visible on the finished model.
Crisply recessed panel lines are partnered with beautifully subtle rows of rivets.
I like the treatment of the fabric control surfaces too, with delicately raised rib tape and no sagging in between.
The fuselage is broken down into the main halves with a separate nose (upper and lower) plus an insert for the deck immediately aft of the cockpit.
The cockpit is comprehensively fitted out with a combination of fine plastic and colour photo etched parts.
Ailerons are provided as separate parts.
Wheel well detail is moulded to the bottom of the wing and the inside of the nacelle parts. If you want to add more detail, Eduard has released a photo-etched fret that supplies the individual ribs inside the wheels wells. The main undercarriage legs are quite stout, with two locating pins to ensure correct positioning. Optional plastic and photo-etched oelo scissors are offered.
The shape of the new nacelles and spinners look good.
The exhausts are moulded as six-stack units, making assembly quite simple.
Clear parts are thin and well moulded. The pilot's and the gunner/radio operator's canopy hatches are both separate and may be posed open. The rear canopy section offers the option of holes for the upward firing Schrage Musik cannon.
It is interesting to note that the Bf 110 C/D/E style canopies are still on the clear sprue.
Eduard masks are included to ease the pain of painting that maze of canopy frames.
Decals for four marking options are included. Two are in the night fighter scheme of RLM 75 mottles over RLM 76, while the other two are finished in mid-war RLM 74 and RLM 75 upper surfaces over RLM 76.
The decals are well-printed and in register. Stencil markings are included.
Related Photo-Etched Releases
Eduard has also released two photo-etched sets separately. Set No. 72 559 includes additional detailing parts for the wheel wells, radiators and more.
Set 72 561 offers the option of FuG 220/212 radar array for your model.
A template for the alignment of the tiny FuG 212 mounts and dipoles is included.
Eduard's 1:72 scale Messerschmitt Bf 110s are terrific kits - worthy forerunners to their magnificent small scale Spitfire family.
Surface detail is crisp and fine, detail is excellent, and the colour photo-etched parts are the icing on the cake. There are some small parts in the cockpit, but the vast majority of modellers will be able to deal with these. The traditionally challenging areas such as the nacelles, the gun nose, the undercarriage legs and the wheel wells, have been engineered for ease of assembly.
And if the earlier releases are anything to go by, fit should be flawless.
Thanks to Eduard for the sample
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Page Created 3 April, 2017
4 April, 2017
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