|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
These were mostly fighter bombers, strengthened airframe, up to 1,200 kg (2,650 lb) bomb load. 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."
Modern Eduard kits are very well molded with good detail. They still show their short run heritage by having no alignment pins for the fuselage and many other parts. Fit is often not as precise as many would like, especially for very small pieces which are frequently just butt fit, but then there are many who do like it just as it is. Personally, I would prefer to have positive locators for all the pieces, but understand that when doing multiple variants from the same tooling, that is not always possible.
As you note from the sprue layout, there are a lot of pieces you do not use. The kit includes two types of rudder, one set with enlarged trim tabs, a nice selection of drop tanks which are not used, and even different wheels, a set of which are not used. These latter differ only in that one is smooth tread and the other is not. You get all sorts of additional clear bits, there are inserts for behind the gunner to do early C-1 versions and you also get two different fuselages. One set that is not used has the rear fuselage extention for a life raft that was part of the long range D version. However, as you can see from the history, there was an E variant that used these. Two different types of spinner are also provided, though you only use the one with the hole in the center for this kit. The reason you get the D fuselage sprues is because you need the broader props and the larger tail wheel used by that and the E model. With a good spares box, you might be able to do any version of the 110 from the C to E, but the kit is pretty well limited to an E or perhaps a late D out of the box.
You would expect a well detailed interior and you very much get that. There is a main instrument panel with raised detail and one that is slick that was meant for the photo etch not included in this kit. However, that one can take the decal that is provided. The same is true for the radio suite in the back. A nicely done gunners compartment with not only the gun but magazines for the rear defensive gun and the belly cannon as well. One can pose the cockpit transparencies open and while it looks like the gunner's transparencies can also be posed in this manner, no mention of it is made in the instructions.
I have to confess that I feared that part of the bits not included might be the bomb racks as previous weekend edition kits have not had parts missing because they were photo etch. These missing parts were often required to make the variant kitted. However, that is not the case and one simply opens the holes in the wings to accept these items. After reading how poorly the nose fit on their 1/48 offering of the plane in a recent review, it will be interesting to see how well the 1/72 version fits. There is also no screen detail on the coolant radiators that fit under the wings. Expected as this detail would have been photo etch.
Instructions are well done and provide Gunze paint references. There is one markings option, which is standard on the Weekend Edition kits. This one is a winter camo aircraft of 5./ZG "Wespen" in Russia during 1942. The actual unit is ZG 1, which was called 'Wespen' or Wasp because of the wasp markings on the nose. The markings instruction implies that the white paint is patchy and the underside should be in standard RLM 74/75 on the upper surface before the application of the white. It would have been nice to have had the standard scheme provided so the winter coat could have been properly applied. It probably was in the Profipak version of this kit. Typical Russian front markings of yellow fuselage band and in all probability, this one would have had yellow on the lower nose and/or lower cowlings. I suggest research to verify this or not. My jaded experience with most model companies is that they look through books for a color profile of something that looks interesting and go with that without additional research. Too expensive, you know. The decal sheet is very nicely done as is the norm with Eduard kits and even includes complete swastikas.
This is one of the more complete Weekend Edition kits I have seen in the last few months. One can very well complete the kit as intended without the use of the 'missing' photo etch and while I am sure the canopy mask would have been appreciated, all the panes are square so should provide no issues. I would have liked to have seen a standard camo scheme included, but it is not absolutely required as one can find it in other 110 kits or after some internet searching. This one has a lot to offer and is much more attractive to the more advanced modeler as it is almost half the price of the 'standard' boxing. It also has more detail than the recently released Airfix kit in this scale at nearly twice the price of that one, though these two kits may be aimed at different segments of the market. It is still very much a good deal at today's prices and if you are only looking to do one 1/72 110E, then this one should be highly considered.
Thanks to me for this one.
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