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In-Box Review
148
Bf 110D Nachtjäger
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Just as with the Dragon 1:32 Bf 110 series, it was odds-on that Cyber-Hobby would bring out a nightfighter version of their popular quarterscale counterpart. The only real difference being that a Bf 110E hasn't been released yet, so this isn't a 2-in-1 boxing like its big brother, instead focussing solely on the Bf 110D.

Let me begin by again declaring my small involvement with the preparation of Dragon's Bf 110 kits, joining Jerry Crandall and Mark Proulx in supplying links and references and generally casting a modeller's eye over the models through their test-shot stages.

The kit arrives in an attractive conventional box that bears a striking image of a nightfighter peeling away from a stricken Hampden, and is packed almost to bulging-point with a plethora of separately bagged sprues and accessories. The Bf 110D comprises:

349 x grey styrene parts (plus 40 x spare)
13 x clear parts (plus 1 x spare)
16 x etched brass parts
33 x steel wire parts
Decals for a single colour scheme

Now that is a pretty phenomenal parts-count for a model of a compact twin-engined aircraft, so it's clear this isn't really a suitable kit for beginners. That said, the moulding is exceptionally good, with crisp detailing and no flash or other flaws whatsoever in the sample kit. When I built the earlier day-fighter version I found the overall fit of parts very good indeed.

The exterior surface has a satin finish with neatly engraved panel lines and embossed fasteners, plus a few raised panels on the metal areas of the airframe. Fabric surfaces have rib tapes (sadly, still not on the landing flaps) which are a bit overdone for scale appearance.

A few details
As you'd expect, the kit is basically identical to the original 1:48 Bf 110D-3 release , so I won't go over too much of the same ground here.

The cockpit is very effectively detailed with well over 50 crisply moulded parts, including etched seat harnesses. The only real difference this time is the inclusion of a well depicted FuG 202 set for the mid section. I have to say the instructions for the cockpit are pretty cluttered, with what seems a myriad of "info views" intruding into the main diagrams, and I found it well worth ticking off parts as I assembled the earlier kit just to keep track of everything. The only part that I found need adjustment was the cockpit sill (part F35) to get a flush, tight fit.

You can display the finished "office" with a crystal clear 8-part canopy that can be assembled with the entry hatches posed open, but a nice touch is the inclusion of a 1-piece alternative to make life simpler.

The nose can also be posed open to display the battery of machine guns, but be careful – you must open up a hole to fit the radar antennae later (something easily missed in the jumbled diagrams). There's no wiring provided for the radar aerials, so a little "gizmology" is probably in order if you do open up the nose.

The wheel wells and undercarriage are once again very nicely detailed, and the wings can be fitted with operating leading-edge slats. This involves a simple bit of surgery, but is well worth the effort as the result is very effective.

In the original kit, a very nicely detailed pair of DB601s was included as bonuses for the first Japanese/American production run. The potentially exciting news this time is that the engines are once again present, and there's nothing on the box to suggest that they are a limited edition. With 20 crisply moulded parts each, they are little gems, and really do score over other Bf 110 kits available in this scale.

Construction ends with the nose radar "antlers". These can be assembled in two forms. The simplest is all-plastic. I say "simplest", but that still entails 23 separate parts, so the term is relative. If you're feeling ambitious, Dragon provide a combined styrene/metal alternative that uses the same plastic mounts, but this time features individual pre-cut wire dipoles. Do it this way and you're talking no less than 51 pieces (!) – but the result should look pretty amazing.

Instructions and decals
As stated above, the assembly guide is rather confusing. The actual drawings are excellent, and all the information you need is there – it's just that the layout (particularly for the early sections) is over-cluttered and swamps you with too much crammed into each stage. Gunze Sangyo paint matches are keyed to most details, and once again the designers have opted for their odd "home-brew" mix for the interior, which is pointless as GS include accurate RLM matches in their range.

The only disappointment with the kit comes at the final painting stage, since just a single colour scheme is offered. This seems particularly odd since the 1:32 version included markings for a pair of Bf 110Ds.

The aircraft covered is "G9 FM" of 4./NJG 1, St. Trond, 1942, and the decals look excellent quality, which is hardly surprising seeing as they are custom-printed by Cartograf. There was presumably a muddle at some stage, as an additional set of standard "day scheme" crosses is printed which will find a ready place in the spares box. Sadly, no swastikas are included, but what is very nice is the comprehensive set of stencil markings.

Conclusion
Cyber-Hobby's latest addition to their range of Bf 110s is excellent, scoring in some areas over rival kits. Its complexity makes it suitable for reasonably experienced modellers, but they can look forward to a very satisfying build and a finished model that's packed with detail. Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent moulding and detail. High quality decals.
Lows: Rather confusing instructions. Only one colour scheme.
Verdict: Cyber-Hobby's Bf 110 nightfighter is a beautiful kit, but is probably too complex for beginners despite its clever design and good fit. Experienced modellers should love it though, and it will certainly look striking in its menacing all-black camouflage.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 5561
  Suggested Retail: TBC
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 22, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.66%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.50%

Our Thanks to Dragon Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)
FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2017 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Dear Rowan, thank you for the review. I actually bought the kit, and in my opinion too it is excellent. In the instruction booklet I notice your name, under technical assistance, if I remember correctly. Therefore I am somewhat puzzled, as, at least in my view, there would be a little bit of conflict of interest between taking part, at least in some extent, in the developing of a kit, and then reviewing it. Just my 2 cents. Best, Al.
FEB 24, 2011 - 09:43 AM
Hi Al You're right - I should add a note to the review. I've done so on all the other Dragon/Cyber-Hobby kits that I've provided references and a "modeller's eye" for. I simply forgot this time (probably partly because I didn't assist directly on this release - it's Dragon being polite after I helped on their earlier 1:48 and 1:32 '110s). All the best Rowan
FEB 24, 2011 - 10:28 AM
Hi, Just wanted to know if there is on records the History of this particular Aircraft with markings 'G9+FM' and possibly the Work Numbers....Please. Best Regards Sujoy
APR 25, 2011 - 08:45 AM
I'm also curious about this, none of the reference books I have, and I have numerous, make any mention of a radar equipped "D" version night fighter. There is mention of some equipped with the infrared scope, but nothing beyond that. Since the "D" was essentially a long range version of the "C" and the model carries no long range tankage I would think it would more closely represent a "C" model night fighter. The kit instructions contain no history as well. Does anyone have a photo of a known"D" model that was equipped with radar to lend credence to the reality of this kit or can perhaps point me to some history indicating that some "D" models were radar equipped ?
JUN 15, 2011 - 09:27 PM
Hi Sujoy and Gary G9+FM is featured in a pair of photos and a profile in Eagle Editions' "Wings Of The Black Cross #5" reviewed HERE. It's described as a 'D-3 and appears to have small rudder trim-tabs, but carries an 'E-style pitot tube (included in the kit). All the best Rowan
JUN 16, 2011 - 04:49 PM
OK, thanks Rowan, looks like I'll be adding another reference to my library ! Cheers, Gary
JUN 16, 2011 - 07:40 PM
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