by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Originally published on:
History The first pages of history for the famous Zerstörer Bf 110 were written at the end of 1934, when C-Amt RLM (the technical branch of the Reich's Air Ministry) issued a specification for a two seat, twin engined aircraft to fulfill a need within the Kampfzerstörer category. Submitted proposals came from Focke-Wulf (Fw 57), Henschel (Hs 124) and BFW (Messerschmitt Bf 110). In the spring of 1935, the RLM changed its thinking on the spec, and cancelled the universal Kampfzerstörer category in favor of two specific types, the Schnellbomber and the Zerstörer.
The new concept of a heavy fighter of the RLM were best satisfied by the Messerschmitt design, which wasn't really dictated as much by the original specifications. The first prototype, the th thBf 110 V1, first flew May 12 , 1936, and the modified second prototype V2 was submitted to the Erprobungsstelle in Rechlin on January 14 , 1937.
Four development aircraft, A-01 to A-04, powered by JUMO 210Da engines, were delivered at the beginning of 1938. A production run of 45 Bf 110Bs began in July, powered by JUMO 210Ga engines, delivering some 500kW (680hp). At the end of 1938, the production line for the high performance DB 601 finally got going, and these were mounted into the first major Bf 110 version, the Bf 110C.
The Bf 110C, as was the case with the Bf 110B, was armed with two MG FF cannon, mounted in the fuselage below the cockpit floor, four MG 17 machine guns mounted in the nose and one rear firing MG 15 machine gun manned by the gunner/radio operator. There was a crew of two. The Luftwaffe received a total of 169 Bf 110Cs by September 1939. The first combat experience of the type in Norway and France uncovered a small operational radius, unsuitable for an escort fighter. The first attempt to remedy the shortcoming came in the form of a large, underfuselage conformal type external fuel tank, called the Dackelbauch.
The Bf 110C-3, adapted to carry this tank, were redesignated D-0. Results were not entirely satisfactory with the D version, and so there was a reconstruction of the fuel system, after which aircraft of the D version carried two drop tanks under the wings, and a small oil tank under the fuselage. The Bf 110D also standardized a longer fuselage, by way of an extension at the rear carrying a life raft and other emergency survival gear. This was a feature also evident on some subsequent Bf 110Es, which were equipped with bomb racks under the fuselage and wings. The majority of Bf 110Es were powered by the DB 601N engines.
The following Bf 110F received the DB 601F engines housed in reshaped nacelles, with newer, more rounded spinners, aerodynamic features taken from the Bf 109F. Upgrading efforts were noted in the armament as well, where the MG FF were replaced by MG 151s.
Significant changes came with the Bf 110G, powered by new DB 605 engines. The rear firing MG 81Z double gun appeared on the G-2, and with the G-4 came the replacement of four forward firing machine guns with two 30mm MK 108 cannon.
The G-4 also saw larger rudders mounted. The Bf 110 went through not only technical changes throughout its career, but also through a development of its operational use. It entered the war as a heavy escort and attack fighter.
By the time of the Battle of Britain, it became apparent that the aircraft, in the role of escort fighter, had been pushing the envelope of its capabilities. On the contrary, as a defensive weapon against British bombers, the Bf 110 made an extremely good showing of itself, and remained a deadly foe through to the end of the war.
The placement of RAF bombing operations within nighttime hours from 1941 brought the Bf 110 into the realm of nightfighting on the Western Front. On the Eastern Front, they excelled as fast fighter bombers.
Their earlier role as a day attack fighter was still fulfilled not only on the Eastern Front (where they were employed throughout the war successfully even as the originally envisioned escort fighter), but also on the Western Front into the depths of the summer of 1944, where the role was abandoned primarily, and finally, due to the effectiveness of American fighter escorts.
As a nightfighter in the G-4 version, thanks to a heavy forward firing armament and radar, they soldiered on literally until the very end of the war.
As such, it was the nightfighter role that would prove to be the most significant for the Bf 110 during the course of the Second World War.
Info from Eduard
In the box Although this kit dates back too 2007 with the C version being released, other then a brief appearance as a Weekend Edition, this is the first time the F version has been released as a ProfiPack edition.
The box lid is adorned with the machine of Oblt. G. Tonne, CO of II./ZG, which features the "Wasp" artwork on the nose.
The kit comes in the standard Profipack boxing, and is packed to the brim with sprues.
The contents of this kit are -
10 Dark grey plastic sprues
2 clear plastic sprues
1 coloured photo etch set
1 uncoloured photo etch set
1 small resin part
A set of masks
A large set of decals
An instruction booklet
The contents of the kit look quite staggering when you first open the kit, but on closer inspection of the parts tree in the instructions, you will find quite a few parts are not used in this version. In fact four of the sprues only use at most just under half of the parts, including two fuselage halves, which are used in a different version.
Exterior detail is superb, with fine engraved panel lines, some very subtle rivet detail and raised ribs for the control surfaces.
Internal detail is staggering with photo etch parts for near enough the whole cockpit area replacing the plastic parts. The main instrument panel is made up of 6 parts, and the side consoles are made up of a further 7 parts. The photo etch parts replace the moulded on detail of the plastic parts, so a little sanding is required to remove the raised detail for the placement of the P.E parts.
Both seats come with photo etch harness' which are made up of several parts each.
Rudder pedals, throttle levers, sidewall details, handles for the machine gun ammo drums, radio faces and the rear facing machine gun are all made up of more photo etch, most of which is pre-coloured.
A fully detailed forward and mid lower fuselage machine gun bays are supplied. Not much will be seen of the mid machine gun bay, but the forward bay has a removable upper section, should you wish to show the detail.
Having built an earlier version several years ago, the detail is incredible, and it took me a week, working a couple or three hours a night to just build the cockpit.
The undercarriage bays and legs are fairly well detailed and once built will look pretty decent. The undercarriage bays are built into the engine nacelles (no engines supplied). The exhaust pipes are separate parts, and depending on what marking option you choose determines the correct set of pipes to fit. If memory serves me well, getting the nacelles flush to the wings was the hardest part of the build.
The wing control surfaces are separate parts but the tail and rudder are moulded in the neutral position.
External stores for markings A,B and C are four bombs carried under the wings and a ETC 500 rack for the under fuselage.
For markings D and E a set of FuG antennas are supplied for the nose.
The canopy parts, of which there are quite a few, are well cast, thin and with no obvious blemishes. The canopies can be modelled open or closed.
A handy set of Kabuki masks are supplied for the clear parts, and is really a God send as the canopy is a greenhouse style with many panels.
A small resin Dachshunds dog is supplied with this boxing, which was one of the mascots for 1.(Z)/JG 77.
Instructions and markings The instruction book is printed in the standard black and white line drawing style on an A4 size glossy paper, which the build taking place over 12 pages. The first main page covers the parts trees, and highlights any parts that are not used. The rest of the pages cover the build sequence which is quite easy to follow (even if attaching some of the smaller parts won't be lol) with the different P.E parts made clear during the build. Any parts that must be cut or sanded away are highlighted in red.
Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby colour and MR Color range of paints for external and internal colours are given along the build sequence.
Five pages are dedicated to the marking options, which are
A - Bf 110F-2 flown by Oblt. G. Tonne, CO of II./ZG 1, Belgorod, Soviet Union, June 1942
B - Bf 110F-2 W. Nr. 5080, flown by W. Frost, 13.(Z)/JG 5, Kemijärvi, Finland, Winter 1942/ 1943
C - Bf 110F-2 flown by Ofw. T. Weissenberger, 6.(Z)/JG 5, Kirkenes, Norway, June 1942
D - Bf 110F-4 flown by Oblt. M. Bauer, CO of 11./NJG 6, Zilistea, Romania, June 1944
E - Bf 110F-4 flown by Ofw. R. Kollak, 7./NJG 4, Juvincourt, France, June 1943
The last page shows a diagram showing a placement guide for the decal stencilling.
The decals are printed by Cartograph, so quality is pretty much assured, and are printed on one sheet along with the various stencils.
The swastikas are made up of two parts each, so alignment will be a bit tricky. The instructions just show them as blacked out boxes.
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