Dragon have followed up their highly acclaimed 1/32 scale Bf 110C-7 with the Bf 110 D1-R1, complete with the notorious Dachelbauch fairing containing a 1050 litre fuel tank and 106 litre oil tank. Although streamlined, the fairing was not jettisonable and seriously increased drag and impaired the aircraft's manoeuvrability, added to which it had a lethal tendency to fill with explosive fuel vapour. Unsurprisingly, it proved highly unpopular with its crews.
Note: According to the excellent "Messerschmitt Bf 110 C,D and E - An Illustrated Study" by John Vasco and Fenando Estanislau (2008 Ian Allen Publishing) the 'D1 carried long range fuel tanks under the wings and an oil tank under the fuselage, the Dachelbauch being fitted to the Bf 110D-0.
The kit arrives in a large and sturdy conventional box, with all the parts bagged separately and the decals and other accessories taped in their bags to a cardboard liner for further protection. The kit comprises:
365 x grey styrene parts (plus 10 unused)
21 x clear parts (plus 1 spare)
13 x etched brass parts
1 x piece of wire
Decals for 2 x colour schemes
Since the bulk of the kit is identical to the earlier model (see the Review HERE
), I'll concentrate on what's new. Suffice to say, the moulding is still quite superb, without a trace of flash or sink problems, and a beautifully subtle surface finish. The kit features a highly detailed cockpit, landing gear, engines and armament.
A new section of sprue provides eight new parts, including a tailwheel with a larger diameter tyre, plus the extended tail cone which accommodated the life raft in the full-sized aircraft. Incidentally, the boxart shows a tailwheel strut with an oleo scissor, which isn't included in the kit. (According to John Vasco and Fenando Estanislau's book, this was introduced with the Bf 110E but retro-fitted to some earlier aircraft.) Rather than mould an entire new fuselage (as Eduard did with their quarter scale 'D), Dragon have supplied the life raft cable that runs down the port side of the fuselage as a pre-shaped length of steel wire with small holes to open up to attach it.
Of course, the big (literally!) distinguishing feature of this variant is the Dackelbauch. This is moulded with an excellent taught fabric effect and its bulk really gives and idea of just how clumsy the original contraption must have been.
Instructions & Decals
The assembly diagrams are clearly drawn and break construction down into 12 quite logical stages. The instructions in the original release fell down somewhat in omitting or mis-labelling some of the detail parts (particularly in the cockpit). Figuring out what had been missed was actually pretty simple, but it's disappointing that Dragon haven't taken the opportunity to correct the diagrams. What is a very welcome change though, is the inclusion of painting details for the interior and other areas, with notes keyed to Gunze Sangyo paints.
The kit includes decals for two aircraft:
1. M8 AL, 3./ZG 76, Norway, 1940.
2. M8 SL, 3./ZG 76, North Sea, 1940.
The decals are printed by Cartograph and look excellent quality with a silk finish. The carrier film is trimmed tightly around most items. Once again there are no swastikas provided, and the only stencil markings are a pair of first-aid crosses. (Eagle Editions provide a comprehensive set of stencils with their Bf 110CD aftermarket sheets.)
Dragon's Bf 110D looks another superb kit. It's not cheap at almost £80 in the UK, but this hasn't stopped the earlier 'C version selling out almost as fast as it hits the shelves. Nevertheless, when combined with the quite large size of the completed model it probably means an either-or choice between the 'C or the 'D for most modellers. If you like large scale Luftwaffe kits, Dragon's Bf 110 is pretty much a "must have" addition to any collection. Highly recommended.
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