|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Me-410 was a follow-on aircraft to the Me-210, a plane that was supposed to replace the Me-110. The 210 had a multitude of problems in terms of the design of the airframe and was not a pleasant or even safe aircraft to fly. The 410 was developed from the 210 and thanks to a different wing and lengthened fuselage, was what the 210 should have been.
The Me-210 was powered by DB601 engines while the 410 had DB605s, which gave it decent speed and fairly good carrying capabilities. When used as a bomber interceptor against unescorted US bombers, it was highly effective, carrying a variety of weapons that wreaked havoc with the bomber stream. However, once the bombers began to be escorted all the way to the target by single engine fighters, the 410 was at a distinct disadvantage and was soon relegated to other duties, such as ground attack.
This is one of the many kits produced by Matchbox in its hey-day and like all of their original kits, was molded in different colors. This one is in light blue, olive green and dark green. Supposedly this was so that you didn't have to paint it.
Most Matchbox kits had engraved panel lines, some of which were said to have been tooled by 'The Mad Trencher'. The ones here are fairly deep, but not impossible. The cockpit is very basic with just a floor, two seats and two crew members. This assembly along with the side gun pieces are installed between the fuselage halves. One then builds up the engine assemblies in preparation to attaching them to the wings in a following step.
The kit has a single piece upper greenhouse that is not close to the actual shape of the prototype's. The real 410 greenhouse bulges out considerably at the sides near the rear. This makes for a difficult tooling issue so Machbox was unable to do a good job of this but at least tried. The plastic on this is quite thick and the frames exaggerated, making it easy to mask.
Much of the next few construction steps deal with the assembly of the wings, attaching the engines, and gluing those to the fuselage. Then the lower fuselage bits and the landing gear can be attached along with the tailplanes. Matchbox provides two options. One is to have the gear doors closed for in flight and the other is to install the large BK 50 cannon. Indeed, one of the two options is for the canon equipped 410B.
Instructions are typical Matchbox with painting of parts in a 'mini paint plan'. The exterior colors and markings placement are on the back of the box. The option with the canon is in RLM 70/71/65 with ZG 76 in the fall of 1944. I actually believe this should be RLM 74/75/76 The Me-410A is in the standard bomber scheme from KG 51 in early 1944. I'd do more research of these colors were I you. The decals in my kit are hopeless as it seems they got wet or at least quite damp as the wax paper is stuck to the decals and attempts to remove the paper only has part of the decals come away with it. There are aftermarket so go that route if your kit is so goobered up.
If you want a decent Me-410 in this scale, look for the Fine Molds or even the Italeri kits and both companies do a variety. If you have this one, then you might as well build it as it isn't of much interest to anyone other than collectors.
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