Matchbox 1/72 Bf-110C

KIT #: ?
PRICE: $5.00 at a swap meet
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Tim Peters
NOTES: Out of production

HISTORY

  The BF-110 is one of those aircraft that took forever to find a role that it really excelled in.  It started out as a heavy fighter and was a moderate success until it met modern fighters over France in the form of the Hurricane and Spitfire.  It got mauled over Britain in the fighter role but found success in Britain and in Russia as a low level fighter bomber and bomber destroyer. 

As the Allied bombing campaign picked up steam over Europe, the 110 was successfully used as a bomber destroyer and night fighter.  It was replaced by the ME-210 in 1942, then it replaced the 210 when it was proven to be a failure.  It was replaced in the bomber destroyer role by the ME-410 and it was used as a night fighter all the way to the end of the war.

THE KIT

This one of Matchboxís tri color releases as you get three sprues of blue, brown and orange parts as well as a clear sprue with a stand and the canopy on it.  The kit has fine raised panel lines that look acceptable.  The detail is kind of basic with nothing in the wheel wells and a very basic cockpit.  But the kit does have two figures for the air crew and with a heavily framed canopy, you canít see the detail that is missing.  The instructions are very clear as to where things go and the decals seem to have held well despite being 20 years old.

CONSTRUCTION

 This kit begins where most planes do, in the cockpit.  You get a basic cockpit floor with two seats and then you put the crew in the seats.  I painted the cockpit and seats gray and then painted the crew green with dark gray helmets and sand faces.  The assembly began proper as I put the cockpit in the fuselage halves and then everything goes pretty smoothly from here.  The plane only really needed putty at the wing roots and along the centerline seam.  Some putty was also needed where the rear stabilizers meet the fuselage.  The nacelles join with the wing snugly.  The landing gear is a touch tricky as the instructions are not really clear as to how they attach to the nacelle.  Test fit it two or three times before you glue.  Thatís the really only tricky part of the construction.

COLORS & MARKINGS

The kit gives you two options, a BoB plane from ZG 76 in RLM 70/71/65 or a SKG 210 plane with Wasp nose decals in a winter wash scheme from Russia.  I had an attack of creativity and decided to do the SKG 210 plane before the winter wash went on.  I brush painted the plane RLM 74/75/76 with a RLM 74/75 dapple on the sides.  The dapple took me a few tries with a very fine brush but it seemed to work out well enough.  I also painted the lower wing panels RLM 04.  The kit decals went on well for 20+ year old decals.  A little Solvaset got them to stay in place.  I hand painted the canopy frames as well.

FINAL CONSTRUCTION

 I attached the under wing drop tanks and paint the bombs RLM 71 and mounted them on the bomb rack.  I painted the upper machine gun barrels and exhausts Testors Metalizer Gunmetal.  I painted the rear MG gunmetal as well and glued it to the canopy using white glue.  The guns went on well but because the assembly was going way too well, I glued on the exhausts upside down.  The instructions could have been a touch more clear on that step so I fixed them and touched the paint appropriately.  I painted the radio mast and attached it to the canopy and then mounted the canopy on the plane.  I added the mass balances (losing one to the carpet monster) and the underside antennas and painted them RLM76. 

CONCLUSIONS

 

This is a nice little kit that goes together with a minimum of hassle.  It is definitely a good kit for novices with a low parts count and simple assembly.  It hasnít been repopped lately but you can find it on Ebay or at a show for a few bucks.

Your editor would like to add that the first model he built where he felt he had finally done a good job on it in terms of filler, paint, and decals was the Matchbox 110.

Tim Peters

November 2010

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