I purchased this kit in 1998 when
it was first released. Other than a few half-hearted attempts
over the years, I really didn't make much progress on the kit
until several months ago when I started it once again. This
time, unlike previous attempts, I managed to finish it.
Funny what a difference 6 years
can make in your perception of cutting edge model technology.
Don't get me wrong, this is a pretty good kit, but having just
finished the Tamiya 1/48 Thunderbolt, the 110 didn't look all
that great anymore.
There are many aftermarket detail
sets for this kit, but I decided to built it pretty much out of
the box, with the exception of Cutting Edge decals (product #
48-046). Of course I had to try the most visually interesting
and difficult scheme, one with lots of squiggles! This aircraft
is from NJG 101 over Germany in late 1944. Good thing I didn't
rely on the kit decals. Perhaps due to age, the decals
fragmented into many pieces after soaking in water.
The kit assembles fairly easily.
The cockpit could be spiced up with aftermarket, but looks good
straight out of the box with careful painting and weathering.
There were minor problems with the engine nacelle-to-wing fit,
but an application of putty took care of that. I found the
multi-part main landing gear somewhat ornery and difficult to
position securely in the wheel wells. Aligning the 4-section
radar array took special care and was accomplished with the help
of slow setting superglue.
The entire aircraft was painted
with RLM 76, or at least my approximation of 76, using a
combination of Tamiya paints. This also served as a primer coat
that allowed me to find a couple of seam lines which were
subsequently puttied, sanded and resprayed. Gray squiggles were
RLM 75, using the Gunze Aqueous brand. I had trouble getting a
good clean line with the squiggles until I hit upon the
combination of Gunze aqueous paint, and Gunze Mr. Color thinner.
Although advertised as being for the acrylic lacquer line of
Gunze paints, I found that Mr. Color mixes beautifully with
Gunze Aqueous (and Tamiya) paints, and results in a very smooth,
satin spray which creates almost no build up of paint on the
airbrush needle tip.
Canopy and windscreen pieces were
masked using Parafilm. This was probably my least favorite and
most time consuming subassembly. Although most of my modeling
buddies don't seem to like this stuff, I've found that with
practice you can get Parafilm to behave, and the results look
The model was weathered using
Prismacolor brown and black pencils to simulate oil stains, and
a Prismacolor silver pencil to simulate paint chipping. I also
applied a highly diluted mix of black artist's acrylic ink
(thinned with 91% isopropyl alcohol) which was sprayed at very
low pressure (around 10-12 psi) along panel lines.
If you decide to build this
beast, there are two
references I highly recommend. They are Modeling the
Messerschmitt Bf 110 by Brett Green; and Messerschmitt Bf
110 Walk Around, published by Squadron/Signal Publications.