Me 410 A-1/U2 & U4
Airfix, 1/72 scale
u m m a r y
|Catalogue Number and Description:
Airfix Kit No. A04066 - Messerschmitt Me 410 A-1/U2 & U4
|Contents and Media:
|127 parts in grey plastic; ten parts in clear; markings for two aircraft.
GBP£23.99 UK Price (GBP£19.99 Export Price) plus shipping available now from Hannants
|Excellent mouldings; high level of detail; optional position rudder, elevators, landing flaps, leading edge slats and ailerons; fine recessed panel detail; clear canopy parts with optional nose parts; clever engineering; high quality decals.
|Thick crew seats; no harness straps.
|The new Airfix 1/72 scale Messerschmitt Me 410 is gorgeous kit with a high level of detail, useful options and clever engineering. Highly Recommended.
Reviewed by Brett Green
The Messerschmitt Me 410 was a direct development of the disastrous Messerschmitt Me 210.
The story of the Messerschmitt Me 210 reads like a Shakespearean tragedy. Our flawed main character contributed to the downfall of many great reputations, the suicide of the famous Generaloberst Ersnt Udet, and the wasted lives of many German airmen. It was the subject of ongoing bureaucratic interference and clashes between high profile political, military and political personalities. Perhaps most importantly, this flying cul-de-sac diverted limited production resources away from proven defensive aircraft in the critical mid and late-war years.
The Messerschmitt Me 210 was conceived as a development of the Bf 110 even while the earlier type was in the prototype and early production phase. In these years leading up to the Second World War, the heavy fighter, or Zerstorer, was considered to be the prestige arm of the Luftwaffe. The concept would not falter until the Messerschmitt Bf 110 was tested and bested in the skies over Britian during the fateful summer of 1940.
The Me 210 was not, as legend sometimes has it, designed as a replacement of the Bf 110 due to any known failures or shortcomings of the first Messerschmitt heavy fighter. Rather, it was considered to be a more versatile and technically sophisticated design capable of fulfilling even more roles than the Bf 110.
Such was the confidence in this new multi-role design that mass production was ordered even before full flight testing of the prototypes was completed. The original flawed short rear fuselage was largely responsible for potentially fatal flight characteristics, especially during takeoffs and landings. Eventually, the fuselage was lengthened and this improved the handling of the aircraft.
The Me 210 was not declared suitable for operations until well into 1942. Even then, indecision about the proposed roles and a reluctance on the part of operational units to use this new type limited its production and deployment, although those that did see service garnered favourable reports.
When the DB603 engine was finally available, the new variant was named the Messerschmitt Me 410. The new designation was partly intended to distance this aircraft from the disasters of the Me 210. The Me 410 proved itself to be a versatile and successful aircraft. However, by the time it was entering service, there were already more capable contenders for the roles of heavy fighter and bomber in the wings.
Airfix surprised and delighted the small scale modelling community with the announcement of an all-new 1/72 Messerschmitt Me 410 at Scale Model World 2023.
Furthermore, imagine showgoers astonishment when the kit was available in large numbers at SMW and on general sale immediately after.
The Airfix 1/72 scale Messerschmitt Me 410 A-1/U2 & U4 comprises 127 parts in grey plastic, ten parts in clear, and marking options for two aircraft.
Airfix offers us the choice of the Me 410 A-1/U2 with two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon with 250 rounds-per-gun for the heavy fighter, or the Me 410 A-1/U4 bomber killer version fitted with the powerful 50mm BK5 cannon in the lower weapons bay.
All the grey plastic sprues are packed into a single plastic bag inside the cardboard box. The clear sprue is packed separately.
What a difference good quality plastic makes. This Me 410 is moulded in a smooth dark grey plastic that is a clear improvement over the light blue-grey plastic used earlier which suffered from an orange peel texture and was subject to short shots.
The new darker grey plastic is flawless and easy to work with.
Surface textures are fine, crisp, consistent and mostly recessed.
Interior detail in the cockpit, weapons bay and landing gear is very good. Side consoles are moulded to the cockpit tub with raised switches and other structures.
The instrument panel and radios are also treated to raised plastic details that should respond well to careful painting.
The only slightly weak point here is that the seats look a bit thick and harness straps are not supplied.
Most of the sidewall detail is moulded directly onto the inside of the fuselage halves, although the fuse panel is a separate part and the sides of the pilot's instrument panel are individual parts too.
Ejector pin marks may be seen on the inside of the larger parts, but they should be hidden once all the parts are in place.
The lower cannon bay features nice detail on the gun and raised cable runs moulded in place.
Two sections of the prominent roll cage are moulded as separate parts, while the rest is moulded as raised detail on the inside of the canopy parts.
The remote barbettes on the fuselage sides rotate an the guns can rotate after assembly..
The big 50mm BK5 cannon has been moulded with recessed holes on the muzzle representing the perforations of the real thing. You'll have to drill out the muzzle yourself though.
The rudder, ailerons and landing flaps are all supplied separately and may be posed neutral or deflected according to the modellers tastes.
The leading edge slats may be posed dropped or raised. Rather than pose a single set of parts, Airfix supplies different parts for the dropped and raised options. This will ensure accurate placement.
The elevators take a similar approach with neutral and dropped options using separate parts with set angles. Clever stuff.
Options are offered for the radiator flaps too.
Fabric control surfaces are finished with narrow raised strips. I think these look good in this scale.
The shape of the VDM 9 propeller blades with their characteristic bread knife profile looks accurate. market propellers are readily available as an alternative. The spinners look a bit squat on the sprues too.
The wheels and undercarriage look good. The tyres are bulged and flattened.
Wheel well detail is terrific too.
A pair of 300 litre drop tanks are included.
The transparencies are quite and thin and clear.
The multi-part canopy offers optional nose parts but the hatches are moulded shut..
Markings are supplied for two machines:
Messerschmitt Me 410A-1/U2 Werk Nummer 140007 3U+AV, II./Zerstörergeschwader 26, Gardermoen, Norway, 1945.
Messerschmitt Me 410A-1/U4 Werk Nummer 420292 CC+3U, Stab II./Zerstörergeschwader 26, Königsberg, 1944.
Stencil markings and spinner spiral decals are included too. Decals are in register and colours look good.
The new Airfix 1/72 scale Messerschmitt Me 410 is gorgeous kit with a high level of detail, useful options and clever engineering.
Thanks to Hannants for the sample
Text and Images Copyright © 2023 by Brett Green
Page Created 5 December, 2023
5 December, 2023
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