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Cyber-hobby 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 110D-3

The Bf 110D-3 langstrecken (long-range) Zerstörer was developed from the C series as a convoy escort equipped with external fuel tanks or a bomb rack. The longer fuselage housed a rubber dinghy aft.

Kit:No. 5555 // Scale:1/48 // Price:$39.95
Cyber-hobby, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322
High level of detail; excellent fit; numerous options
Colors not listed for some interior parts; bonus engines not intended for kit
Injection-molded, 351 parts (16 photoetched), decals
The long-range Bf 110D is longer than other Zerstörers, so Cyber-hobby’s kit is different from 110s previously issued in 1/48 scale.

Opening the box and finding 351 parts is eye-opening: there are posable control surfaces and other options for leading-edge slats, flaps, canopy, nose gun bay, and landing gear. The kit provides loads of detail in the cockpit, gun bays, and gear wells, all in plastic. A photoetched-metal fret has harnesses, parts for the loop antenna, and supports for the fuselage wire antenna. Two sprues hold thin, clear parts. A pair of well-detailed engines comes as a bonus, but the cowls fit better without them.

Two sheets of decals include the box-art aircraft of 6./ZG 76, based in Greece in 1941, and another in anti-British Iraqi “colors of convenience.” Cartograf-printed decals are in register with minimal clear edges.

The 10-step instructions are crammed onto a single 8-fold sheet (it’s easy to miss things), while a small supplementary sheet describes engine assembly. There are three-view illustrations for color and markings, and references to Gunze Aqueous Hobby Color and Mr. Color as well as Testors Model Master paints.

Step 1 begins inside the fuselage. Refer-ences show most of the interior was RLM 66 schwarzgrau (black gray), but the instructions call for a mix of 95 percent field gray and 5 percent flat black. That’s workable. However, many parts have no color callouts. The upper part of the pilot’s shoulder harness should pass through a slot in the seat back, but there’s no slot – and it would be tough to cut in that small space.

The parts are precise, so you’ll want to be sure everything is in tight. The assembly order is critical; ammo canisters for the ventral guns would not fit through the cockpit floor with the guns installed. Assembly was slow but glitch-free; there are an awful lot of parts to paint. I really liked the way the nose cone (Part L1) slipped perfectly over the gun tray (Step 3). I left canopy parts off until the end. The armored windscreen should not be used.

Following Step 6 without the bonus engines, the engine cowlings fit perfectly. They even lock with molded fasteners. Tearing them apart later to install the bonus engines was probably not best.

I fastened the wire fuselage antenna (Part MB) with super glue. The kit furnishes three little photoetched-metal wire guides; two of them are used if you can find them after removal from the fret. I stretched clear sprue for antenna wire and strung it from the canopy mast to each of the vertical fin tips, according to a photo. I had to open the rear machine gun hole in the aft canopy section slightly.

I painted with AeroMaster Warbird Colors and followed with several coats of Model Master clear semigloss lacquer. The decals softened with MicroScale Micro Sol, and there was no silvering, but they did not adhere well – one came off under my finger even after being oversprayed with more semigloss clear.

According to War Planes of the Second World War: Fighters, Vol.1, by William Green (Doubleday, ISBN 978-0-911295-02-3), the Bf 110’s wingspan was 53' 4.9"; mine was less than a scale inch too long! However, I have doubts about the accuracy of the fuselage length. It’s only a half scale inch longer than the Bf 110C-4, which did not have the extended tail.

Still, it’s an amazing kit: The precise fit is extraordinary, and the detail in this scale goes above and beyond. Its complexity calls for an experienced modeler. But would I like to see more like it? You bet!


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