Dragon 1/32 Bf-110D-3

KIT #: 3206
PRICE: 200$
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Francisco Santoro


The Bf 110 is one of those aircraft in the German Luftwaffe that was supposed to provide ground attack capabilities and be also able to fend for itself in case of dogfights. Though too late to see combat in the Spanish Civil War, the 110 saw action over the skies of Poland and the West during the early phase of the Blitzkrieg. However, during the Battle of Britain, the aircraft met a superior foe, the Royal Air Force and their Hurricanes and Spitfires. The Bf 110 was then shot down in numbers while it was escorting German bombers over the island, their poor maneuverability and weak defensive armament proving to be insuficient for the aircraft. The 110 was then retired from escort duties and changed to the ground attack role in SKG 210. However, later during the war, the 110 was pressed into service as a night fighter, a role to which it was perfectly suited due to its heavy firepower and ability to carry a radar operator. In the nightfighting role, the Bf 110 flew until the end of the conflict, making several of its pilots aces.


16 light grey sprues, two clear sprues, over 400 plastic parts, a metallic wire and some photoetch make Dragon's effort on the Bf 110 in 1:32 a daunting project for those who only build small 1:48 fighters (such as myself). The parts are molded in hard light grey plastic that don't have any flash, a huge plus for something of this size. The downside is that the sprue attachment points on the wings go into the parts. The clear parts are really well done, and Dragon provides the option of placing the windows open or closed. The kit also comes with two complete engines that can be exhibited for those who wish to superdetail the kit (if you wish to close the cowlings, you only need the engine face and the support arms. I'll get back to the engines further down the build).

There're four decal options: All in RLM 74/75/76 except for an Iraki plane in RLM 79/76. The aircraft are 3U+NT, 3U+OT, M8+AP (the one I chose), and the Iraki one without ID except for the country's insignia. The decals are printed by Cartograf.


This build wouldn't have been possible without the help from Tom Cleaver, Frank Reynolds, and the Revell instructions for the reboxed 1:32 Dragon kit. Thanks to them I was able to get into the build without major issues.

I began the assembly by first painting the propellers. The blades and hubs were painted RLM 70. The prop cones were painted RLM 70 too with yellow. The cockpit parts were then painted in RLM 66. The guns and ammo drums were painted black. The instrument panel was detailed by painting the instruments black. I then assembled the cannons and their base. This was then glued to the underside of the cockpit. Then the rear gunner's seat was assembled. I had to check the Revell instructions to see how I should build this area, because the instructions Dragon provides are a tad confusing. Once the gunner's seat was done, I followed Cleaver's advice and glued the cockpit sidewalls to each fuselage half, and then glued the cockpit floor to one of the halves. Once it was dry, I glued the other fuselage half and taped them together. I put that aside and began work on the nose guns. I only glued the machineguns (without painting) and glued that assembly to the nose. It was at this time that I painted the wheels and landing gear to speed up the build process (because as we all know, wheels and other small parts make the project drag on for too long). Back to the fuselage, I glued the hefty wingspar and the nose to the fuselage, and then I added the fuselage's lower side where the SC 250 bombs would go. Meanwhile, I sidetracked a bit to build the main landing gear. These don't have a very strong connection, as I found that when one of the struts got free from the glue's bond when trying to place them inside the gear wells.

The engines deserve their own part of the article. Dragon provides two complete units in hope that the modeller will leave them open. Since I wanted to close them, I built up the basic engine and glued them to their firewalls. It was at this time that I tried to put together the exhausts. Dragon provides eight (four used and four spares), which is a very good decision because they're very fragile (I broke two just by trying to remove them from the sprues). The instructions aren't very clear on how they should be glued, so I ended up gluing the four of them pointing downwards, which is incorrect. The outer exhausts should point up, while the inner ones should point down. I then glued the engine panels and left them to dry.

Back to the more entertaining part of the build, I reached for the wings to build them up. The wheel wells and other smaller parts were painted RLM 02. It was at this time that I opened the holes for the SC50 bombs that go on the external bomb racks (M8+AP didn't carry the long range fuel tanks). The main issue with the wings is that the sprue nubs go into the parts, so you must be careful to avoid slashing part of the wing. I also assembled the radiator and glued them to the wings. I then left the wings aside and worked on the empennage, which was then glued to the rear of the fuselage. After that, I glued the wings to the fuselage, taping them to make sure nothing moved while the airframe was drying.


The chosen aircraft was M8+AP, a Bf 110E (Dragon didn't do their research) of 6/ZG76 in Greece. Something that I stopped doing was to start painting before checking for references online. I found a profile from Eduard's Bf 110E that had M8+AP as an option, and they showed a very different camouflage pattern to what Dragon offered. With my research done, I first primed the areas that were to be yellow (upper nose, engine panels, wingtips and rudders) in light grey, and then applied several coats of yellow to get some opacity. After that, I painted the camouflage. RLM 75 came first and was applied in an uneven manner. Then those areas were masked and RLM 74 was painted. RLM 76 came next. Painting took a single day thanks to the quick drying time Revell's acrylic range. Once the paint had fully cured, I glossed the aircraft and applied the decals. I started by placing the sharkmouths on the nose, and then placed the other ones. To make the sharkmouths conform to the nose, I used Mr. Mark Softer, which worked wonders and made those decals conform very well. I then left the decals to set overnight, and applied the matt coat the next day.


This is where everything slows down, but it's also the most important part of any build. I first glued the landing gear struts. Once of them had to be epoxied because my regular glue wasn't strong enough to hold a part that had separated from the main landing gear. Once the epoxy had gone off, I glued the wheels in place. The bombs and propellers were also added at this time. I then turned the model upside down and placed it on its landing gear. The rear gun was glued in place, together with the gunsight. The clear parts came next. The pilot's windows had to be sanded down to make them fit in the closed position. These were glued in place with white glue. I then painted the nose machineguns black, and with that, the kit was complete.


Are Dragon's big scale 110s worth building? If you have the patience to paint hundreds of small parts to make way for an impressive model, then I say yes, it's worth it. Just mind how the exhausts should go and you'll have a nice model on your shelf (which reminds me, I need to get more shelves, I've run out of display space !). Would I build another Dragon 110 in 32nd scale? Absolutely, but this time it'll be the Revell rebox with decals for the Battle of France and a Wespen Geschwader in the Eastern Front (I choose the BoF one, I don't have many RLM 70/71/65 aircraft in my collection).


History section came from what I recall from my memory.

Paints used were: Revell 78 Tank Grey (RLM 66), Revell 45 Light Olive (RLM 02), Revell 69 Granite Grey (RLM 74), Revell 47 Mouse Grey (RLM 75), Revell 15 Yellow (RLM 04), Revell 49 Light Blue (RLM 76), Revell 40 Black Green (RLM 70).

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