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Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4

by Ian Robertson


Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4


ProModeler's 1/48 scale Bf 110G-4 is available online from Squadron.com




This is Pro-Modeler's 1/48 Bf 110G-4 night fighter shown in an unusual Zerstörer camouflage scheme with FuG202 Lichtenstein B/C radar. The scheme is based on photographs of a similar aircraft from 6/NJG6 (2Z + OP) that mistakenly landed in Switzerland in March 1944 after becoming lost.





Bf 110G-4's with FuG202 radar retained the "narrow chord" vertical tail surfaces typical of earlier versions of the Bf.110. However, Pro-Modeler's G-4 kit contains only the wide chord tail found on later G-4's. To solve this problem I used the narrow chord tail in Revell's Bf.110G-2 kit. The G-2 kit is basically identical to the G-4 kit except for minor differences specific to the G-2 (e.g., different nose, no flame dampers, belly gun pod, narrow chord tail). Both kits are excellent. As an aside, the "special edition" Revell Bf.110G-2 (ZG1 - Wespen) includes a resin nose for the earlier G-2 that can accommodate various gun combinations.


In addition to replacing the tail fins I made a number of minor modifications to the Pro-Modeler kit. The pilot's seat was replaced with an etched brass seat from Reheat and Eduard metal seatbelts were added. The rear gunner's crosshair is etched brass from Reheat. The oil cooler flaps on the engine nacelles were removed and replaced in the open position with sheet styrene. The ends of the flame dampers were hollowed out. Armor plating around the cockpit was made from sheet styrene using the template provided in Pro-Modeler's instructions. The blind landing radio located midline on the underside of the fuselage aft of the wings was made from pieces of stretched sprue. Handgrips on the cockpit windscreen frame were made from wire. The opened panels of the cockpit were scratch built using clear acetate and styrene strips for framing. The antenna wire is stretched sprue.

The FuG202 radar was made from Cutting Edge's resin and brass set. The parts are costly, but in my opinion this particular type of radar array would be difficult to build from scratch, although some might enjoy the challenge. The set contains 16 brass pieces (the radar tips) and 5 resin pieces (a nose mount plus 4 dipoles) which were attached using CA glue. Once assembled the array is remarkably strong and resilient, just as the Cutting Edge instructions claim.



Getting the radar symmetrical is tricky and requires patience, particularly since many of the brass pieces differ in size and required trimming. I used a metal pin to help mount the array to the plane's nose. It goes almost without saying that the radar assembly was the last part added to the model. Overall I am satisfied with Cutting Edge's representation of the FuG202 radar, but comparisons with photographs show the brass parts to be too thick for the antennae tips (the tips are almost invisible in most photos). I would have preferred it if these parts had been made from etched metal as done in Koster's night fighter conversion for the Do.217N-1. The Cutting Edge resin and brass radar system may be better suited to radar arrays with thicker antennae (e.g., FuG220 and FuG218).



Paint and Markings


The model was painted in an unusual RLM 74/75/76 scheme reminiscent of a day fighting Zerstörer aircraft rather than a night fighter (it probably flew in both roles). Aeromaster and Polly Scale acrylics were my paints of choice. The underside of the starboard wing as well as the fuel tank were painted scale black, the cockpit is RLM 66, wheel wells are RLM 02, and the propellers RLM 70.



Exhaust stains were airbrushed using highly thinned black paint.

Prior to the application of decals the model was sprayed with Future floor wax. The kit decals disintegrated on contact with hot water (perhaps due to poor storage conditions - the decals were not sealed in plastic in the box) and were replaced with spares.

Model Master dull coat lacquer was used to seal the decals and give the model a flat finish.





The photographs were taken outdoors using both a standard 35mm manual camera (32-80mm lens, tripod, shutter release, 200 ISO film) and a SONY S75 digital camera. The model and its base were placed on a small table in a field with trees in the distance to the west (see photo below).



I always shoot my model pictures early in the day (OK, 10-11am, I'm not a morning person) while the sun is low and behind me. Sunny days are preferable to cloudy days - on cloudy days the sky's glare tends to bleach out the model's colors.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Article Copyright © 2002 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 31 January 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

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