Italeri 1/72 Bf-110G-4






Three aircraft


Peter LíHeureux




The Bf-110 Zerstorer came up against RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, which found the measure of the aircraft as being slower than the standard day fighters, and which needed its own fighter escort. From then on, it was gradually put into the night fighter role for the Luftwaffe, which found it very effective. It continued right up to the end of the war, with engine, armament, and radar improvements turning it into a deadly adversary against British Bomber Command. The "schrage musik" cannon arrangement was especially effective. This particular version does not carry the "schrage musik" arrangement.


The modeler is greeted with three sprues of injection molded plastic, two in light grey, and one in clear. Detail is crisp and light with recessed panel lines, and good detail in the landing gear wheel wells. Instructions consist of blow-up illustrations, but they are well drawn, and there are drawings of the three sprues with parts references, so you want get lost trying to select the right parts for assembly. The sprue trees were in one bag, with the decal sheet kept separate. Right away, though, I lost the landing light lens, so I had to construct another one from the clear sprue tree. Consequently, trying to fit this makeshift part was poor on my part.


I generally followed the instructions step by step, as I was going to enter this model in an OOB contest sponsored by my modeling club (no, I didnít win anything). Thus, I began with the interior, which I painted entirely the wrong color. It should have been RLM dark grey, but for some reason, I chose a green-grey. The cockpit tub fit snugly between the two fuselage halves, and the little details on the side instrument panels came to life with drybrushing and picking out the individual knobs and switches in white and red. Crystal Clear would have been great for the radar screen, but I didnít have any, so I painted it silver instead. Overall fit was very good, but care has to be taken to align the horizontal stabilizer so that it is parallel with the front wings. I neglected to do this, so when the model sits on its wheels, the stabilizer looks cockeyed. Oh well, live and learn.

After major assembly, it was a coat of primer, then to the paint shop.


I decided to challenge myself and go after the paint scheme of NJG1 of 1944, with the squiggly dark grey camouflage over light ghost grey. For some reason, I couldnít get the hang of getting my airbrush regulated down enough so that I could spray on this pattern, so I elected to do it by hand. After I did it thought, Scott van Aken and others came to my assistance and told me how to do it, so now I can do it to future Luftwaffe models I decide to build. After the pattern had dried for a day, I sprayed two coats of Testorís Gloss Coat prior to decaling.

Decals went on like a dream. I was really impressed by them. Right thickness, registration, and opaqueness to rival anything from Aeromaster or SuperScale. I didnít need any Solvaset at all, as they hugged every line. After the decals had dried, I wiped down the model to remove residue.


Two shots of Testorís Dullcote sealed the decals nicely, then I lightly weathered the plane with thinned flat black, primer grey, and rust for the exhaust stains, and aluminum along the leading edges of the props and leading edges of the wings.


Even though I didnít win anything with this plane in the contest, I was very pleased at how it turned out. (Editor's note: And that is why most of us build models!) I really need lessons in masking canopies, especially with this one, and that is pretty obvious from the pictures. What impressed me the most was that this Italeri kit stands up pretty well to just about anything that Tamiya and Hasegawa is producing today. If you have the bucks, and are a Luftwaffe fan, I highly recommend this kit. 

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