|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Leave room on the shelf for this one!|
The Bf-110 was a 'heavy' fighter, designed to have the range to escort bombers to and from the target as well as be able to fend off attacking enemy fighters. It was a concept that many nations felt was valid and depending on who was attacking the bomber stream, would have been. However, when confronted with a technological equal in terms of aircraft development, the Bf-110 was not able to meet its mission designs.
However, this was not the end of the story. The 110 was an excellent fighter bomber, recce aircraft and was eventually turned into a superlative night fighter. It had the speed to perform the mission and was able to carry a variety of weapons and long range tanks. Thanks to this latter capability, the 110 was a fine convoy escort fighter and the Bf-110D was developed specifically for that mission. Able to carry the large Dackelbauch (“Daschund belly”) fuel tank which gave it very long mission endurance and fitted with an extended tail that carried a life raft, the 110D was quite useful in patrolling areas where there was a wide expanse of water, such as the Aegean or Baltic. Of course, the large fuel tank was not easily detachable and did degrade performance to a degree that it often was not carried, yet the 110D was able to perform all the other missions assigned to it and found in all theaters of operation.
Most of you will have realized by now that the D version is just the C kit with some additional parts added or replacing the C bits. This is mainly the addition of the large belly fuel tank and the extended tail cone. Of course, the shorter cone is not there so you are limited to a D version. The kit also has the larger tail wheel assembly to handle the additional weight of the aircraft.
In line with the C kit the molding and detail are superb. I'll let Dragon give you the specifics to be sure I don't miss anything:
- Brand new large fuel tank “Dackelbauch” for Bf110D reproduced under fuselage
- Surface of ribbed fuel tank realistically reproduced
- Finely reproduced dinghy released cable made from preformed metal wire
- Extended rear fuselage realistically reproduced
- Fuselage possesses metal-skinned detail
- Two drum-fed MG FF cannons under fuselage
- Antenna devices located on underside of fuselage - loop antenna, antenna array and antenna mast
- Includes finely detailed mounting ladder
Canopy and Interior:
- Cockpit canopy with realistic ribbed detail thanks to slide molds
- Cockpit canopy antenna finely detailed
- Cockpit canopy can be positioned open/closed
- Transparent cockpit canopy made from separate parts
- Option of displaying canopy side windows open/closed
- Full cockpit interior details - pilot’s seat, instrument panel, radio and MG ammo included
- Pilot’s seatbelt upgraded by photo-etched parts
- Instrument panel authentically detailed
- Four MG 17 weapons for interior of upper nose
- Realistically detailed gun barrels are slide molded with hollow ends
- Intricate MG ammo included - double-drums for MG 15, round drum for MG FF
- Rear pilot’s MG 15 with windproof cover for antiaircraft and rear defense
- Realistic radiator vents included
- Three different depths of panel lines exhibit astonishing level of minute detail
- Detailed inspection covers with rivets
- Defined detail on rudder mimics the real one
- Detailed pitot tube on underside of wing
- Air filter has fine detail
- Detailed under-wing air intakes and vents
Engine and Propeller Blades:
- Slide-molded engine cowling cover has maximum detail
- Engine cowling cover can be assembled open/closed
- Realistically reproduced DB601 engine has intricate detail
- DB601 engine represented by multiple parts
- Propeller blades with accurate curved cross-section and true-to-scale thickness
- Moveable propeller blades
- Propellers can rotate
- Large diameter tailwheel for Bf110D
- Wheels have realistic tread detail
- Strengthened landing gear realistically portrayed
- Landing gear can be assembled extended or retracted
- Landing gear compartment with interior detail - braces delicately rendered "
This comes with Dragon's usual well illustrated instructions, with detail inset drawings to be sure the builder gets things in the right place. Paints are Gunze and Model Master references and there are two markings options. One is from 3./ZG 76 in Norway during 1940 where a lot of these planes were used. It is in the standard RLM 70/71/65 color scheme of the time. The other is from the same unit at the same time, though it has an upper surface color of only RLM 70. Now while it may be that it was painted in this one color, I've my doubts and it could just be a trick of the light in the photos used for reference. However, the choice is yours in this regard. The decals are well printed and provide all the markings you'll need except for the swastika. Those can be found on aftermarket sheets.
It is another fine addition to Dragon's 1/32 kit line and while I understand that it is a complex build, those I've seen finished have been beautiful. It is a kit that should provide hours of model building pleasure and result in a fine addition to your collection.
My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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