Airfix 1/72 Bf-110E/E-2 Trop
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Second variant boxing|
Mostly fighter bombers, strengthened airframe, up to 1,200 kg (2,650 lb) bombload. The production of the Bf 110 was put on a low priority in 1941 in expectation of its replacement by the Me 210. During this time, two versions of the Bf 110 were developed, the E and F models. The E was designed as a fighter bomber (Zerstörer Jabo), able to carry four 50 kg (110 lb) ETC-50 racks under the wing, along with the centerline bomb rack. The first E, the Bf 110 E-1 was originally powered by the DB 601B engine, but shifted to the DB 601P as they became available in quantity. A total of 856 Bf 110E models were built between August 1940 and January 1942. The E models also had upgraded armour and some fuselage upgrades to support the added weight. Most pilots of the Bf 110E considered the aircraft slow and unresponsive, one former Bf 110 pilot commenting the E was "rigged and a total dog."
This is the second variant of the 110 to be part of Airfix's new molds. It basically has a small sprue section added to the main bits sprue that has the engine cowlings, landing gear and such. It makes the sprue too long for the box and as a result, this added section is bent up and causes parts to be torn from the sprue. This additional bit includes larger lower engine intakes, bigger wheels, the trop filters, new nose and cannon barrels. The rest of the kit is pretty much the same as what one got with the 110C kit that was the initial release.
To recap, the kit's cockpit is well appointed with seats, stick, cameras, instrument panels and the like. The main panel has a decal to fit over the flat panel face. No belts are provided for the seats, but Airfix does include a pair of crew members to help fill the seats.
The fuselage has separate nose and tail sections.The longer tail of the 110E-2 is on the sprues for those so inclined. There are separate wheel wells with nicely done detailing and the engine cowlings look about right. Exhaust are on long interlocking tabs. They appear to be able to be installed after the cowlings are glue on, though the instructions would have you attach them prior. The main landing gear have the proper angle on the axles to fit the one-piece, bulged and flattened main wheels. The kit includes a one-piece canopy that to my eyes is a bit on the thick side.
For things to hang from the underside there are several options. One are the rather large, finned long range fuel tanks. The smaller standard tanks are also available. For the centerline is a bomb carrier that can fit either two large or two smaller bombs. There is also the additional small external oil tank that would be used if one is using the larger fuel tanks.
Instructions are well drawn with 29 separate construction steps. As is the norm, the only color information is provided by Humbrol paint numbers with no conversion chart to what these numbers actually represent. Gone are the full color painting and markings guide. Two options are provided. One is the box art plane from 8./ZG 26 in North Africa during 1941. RLM 79 over RLM 78 as is the other option. This one and the other has a white rea fuselage band. The E-2 variant with the long tail is from 7. ZG26 at Derna Lybia in 1942. This one also has white engine cowlings and white lower wing tips. With this option, you use all the long range stuff. All the white bits will have to be painted. The decals provide markings for both and appear to be well printed though the swastika is missing from the sheet. The yellow seems to be opaque enough not to disappear when those markings are applied. A full stencil placement guide is also provided.
Looks like Airfix is out to tackle all the DB powered 110s. There is enough stuff here to do the D model and with the appropriate additional noses, engine cowlings and fins, I can see them moving on to the F and G versions as well. I also don't see the somewhat soft panel lines going away either. To most who buy this kit, that isn't really an issue and from the few completed ones I've seen, it makes into a very nice model.
Thanks to me for this one.
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