The Eduard Weekend kits are designed for a fairly quick and easy build, but as I proceeded through this project it took me much longer than a single weekend. The build was more like four weeks, working an hour or so each day. When it was time to write this review, I checked the catalog at Eduard, and it says that the kit doesn’t include masks or PE. But the mask and PE were in the box when I opened it!! Dave Morrissette was patient with my query. I got the PE and mask in the box, but they are for separate reviews. So look for the reviews elsewhere on the IPMS/USA reviews page.
By late1944 the Bf-110 had limited use as a standard fighter. It lacked the speed and maneuverability to allow it to play with the Typhoons, Mustangs and Thunderbolts. This explains why the Bf-110G-4 carried a big radar antenna array on the nose, a crew of three and lots of guns, including a pair which fired up through holes in the canopy. It was the job of the Messerschmitt night fighters to prevent the destruction of German industry and cities which the Royal Air Force was doing with limited but measurable success. Almost every night some target would be hard hit, and then the Americans would show up in the daylight and cause even more damage.
The upward firing 20mm MG FF cannon were known as “Schrage Musik” (Jazz Music or Slanted Music). The tactic was to get in under the bomber and shoot from where the gunners couldn’t see or reach you. This was less effective against B-17s and B-24s as the ball turret gunner could see underneath and shoot back.
This kit has 8 sprues in gray and clear plastic. There are a lot of parts which are used for other versions, but the spares box can always use a little help.
The Weekend kit comes with one marking choice, from NJG1, Dusseldorf Germany in December of 1944. The paint scheme is simple, RLM 76 overall, except the canopy is RLM 75 and the left prop spinner is green.
The parts are neatly molded, clean and flash free. There are a couple of places where the sprue connections have to be carefully cleaned up, as the fit is pretty exact, and sometimes the little nubs get in the road of a clean fit.
I spent about a week working on the cockpit PE. It’s really nice, and you will be able to read more in that review.
The interior fits nicely into the fuselage halves, and they all fit together very well, I used no filler on the fuselage or nose sections.
I then assembled the wings and engines. Because the engine nacelles come in left and right halves, I had to use a little filler where the front of the wing meets up with the engines. When I mated the wing assembly and the fuselage, I had to use some filler on the wing roots because I just couldn’t get the wing top to exactly meet the fillets on the fuselage sides.
The horizontal stabilizer was added next, then the twin tails. These are a bit of good engineering, as they mate up cleanly and the tails just sort of fall into the correct alignment.
At this point, it was time to start some masking, then paint.
I had painted the cockpit RLM 66 before adding the PE. So I just put a mask of Tamiya Tape over the cockpit. The main idea wasn’t to get the cockpit edges cleanly painted, it was to keep the interior from getting ANY overspray.
I used a nice trick on the wheel wells, I painted the interiors of the wheel wells RLM 02, then put some small sponges which are supposed to be used for applying and removing cosmetics inside the wheel wells. The sponges needed some trimming, but they expand to fit the spaces and prevent the exterior color from getting in there.
After the masking was done, the paint job was dead easy. RLM 76 overall. Paint it all, and make sure you don’t miss anything. I also painted the wheel doors the right spinner, and the radar array with 76.
I spent a LOT of time masking and painting the canopy. But that’s another review.
I then cleaned up the edge of the fuselage where it meets the canopy and put on a coat of Future for the decals.
The decals are printed by Eduard, and they are excellent. I judge the quality of decals by how long I have to wait for the marking to come loose from the backing paper. The faster, the better. These were ready to come off the paper by the time I figured out where it was going to go and how to align it, 15 seconds at the most. The markings are on register, the film is clear and they conform nicely to the recessed panel lines under them.
Another coat of Future to protect the decals, and then on to the small and delicate parts I always do after the decals, because I’d break them while applying decals.
I put the canopy on, except for the two parts which would remain open. The canopy is a model unto itself, with 8 parts making up the assembly. One reason I wanted to do this earlier was to protect the “Schrage Musik” guns and the twin machine guns in the rear gunner position. There are two antennas on the top of the canopy, I saved them until almost last.
Once I had protected the cockpit and guns, I put the model upside down in an empty tank model box to protect the parts on top and proceeded with the bottom.
I had assembled the landing gear legs and put the wheels on. They went into the wheel wells nicely. I added the gear doors and the little parts which open the doors as the gear descends. I had a tussle with the door openers. There isn’t a really good spot to attach them to the gear legs, and once it’s in position you have to match the gear doors to the ends of the opener. I also installed the tail wheel during this process.
I put on the wing tanks, which didn’t require a lot of finesse, although I did have to reglue one of the supports. I had moved it to get it to fit into the holes in the wing, and in doing so I separated it from the tank.
Next was probably the most challenging bit of model assembly I’ve done in several years. The radar antenna supports stick out from the nose at an angle, and each transmitter radiating element is at an angle to the support. AND all of the transmitters are parallel to each other. I did these by using one of those tools many of us have around, but I don’t use often, the “third hand”. I put the mount in the clamp and aligned it with the mount in the assembly drawing. I then mounted the elements on the mount, aligning these with the drawing too. It came out pretty close. In this case I had to use a small spot of gel type CA. It allowed me to work with the part until I was satisfied, then a quick application of acxcelerator made it fast.
Once I got all 4 antennas together, I turned the aircraft right side up and mounted them on the nose. There are little sockets for two of the antennas, but nothing for the other two. And the drawings aren’t much help here either, as far as the fore and aft positioning.
Once I had the radar antennas done, it was time for the last things. There are two antennas on top of the canopy. One of them is just a vertical post, the other is a loop with a base. I am certainly glad I got the PE, as it includes the loop, and making a decent looking one from wire could be a real chore.
Then I finished by putting the open top parts on the canopy. I used Krazy Glue’s “color changing” glue here. It’s CA which changes from purple to clear as it sets up. The only thing is if you use accelerator, it tends to change to white instead of clear. I used pieces of masking tape to hold the open cockpit tops in place while the glue set up.
And it was almost done. I had to put one of the radar antennas back on, as the box knocked it off. Then it was done.
Recommended. This is a darned good kit. Pretty much everything fits first try, and it really looks great. Without the PE and canopy mask, it’s a nice kit. The PE and mask add quite a bit to the looks of the finished model, although only other modelers would probably notice the difference. I will make one other observation here. The Eduard ProfiPACK kit of this same aircraft comes with the PE and mask. It also includes a PE tool to align the elements on the radar antenna, and it has markings for 4 different Bf-110G-4s, and it’s all about the same price as the Weekend kit plus the PE and mask. Just saying.
Thanks to Eduard for this great kit and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to build it.
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