Luftwaffe Hornisse: 1/48th Revell - Monogram Me 410B-1
The Messerschmitt Me 210 / Me 410 series was overlooked by 1/48th scale model manufacturers until the release of this Me 410B kit in 1997 under the Pro Modeler banner. The kit instructions include helpful reference photos and modelling tips and the kit itself is quite nice. The Me 410 series featured a rather unique defensive armament system, having a rearward firing barbette on each side of the fuselage containing a (MG 131) 13mm gun. In combat however, this system would not prove to be very reliable or effective.
Notable Kit Features:
Nicely detailed pilot and rear-gunner cockpits
Multi-piece canopy with option for open hatches
Two crew figures included
Finely engraved panel lines and exterior details
Optional aircraft gun armaments for B-1/U2/R4 or B-2/R2 version
Rockets provided to build B-1/U2 version
Well detailed underwing radiators
Weighted tires and nice gear detail
Good overall dimensions and shape
The Me 210 / Me 410 aircraft series seems to get left out of many discussions on WWII Luftwaffe types, which is a bit strange as more than 1,000 of these were built during 1943-44. I managed to find one of these kits a few years after its release. Admittedly it did remain in the stash for quite a number of years (as many kits tend to do with us "Stash" types). Part of what was holding the build of this type up was the honing of my airbrush skills (and fine-detail equipment) to be able to produce a decent Luftwaffe mottle. Eventually I got to the stage where I felt I should give it a go and selected the markings of leading Hornisse ace Eduard Tratt.
Assembly of the fuselage with the nose window requires careful alignment and gluing
Little filler was required with only minor seam cleanup and sanding
Some mold-lines required sanding
Underwing radiators require patience and test fitting to get correctly seated parts
Challenging canopy assembly due to shape and multi-part components
Kit Additions / Modifications:
All I added here was the crew seatbelts
Once I had the major components in place it was time to head for the paint-shop. The white tail band was painted on and base underside (RLM 76) as well as upper splinter pattern in (RLM 74/75) was established using a standard masking tape process (although I did make the executive decision that RLM 74 was not used on the top of the engines as the instructions indicated). The paint mottle scheme on the sides was carefully applied using a fine tip airbrush setup, properly thinned paint at low air pressure (you have to experiment to see what ratios work best for your airbrush) RLM 02/74/75 were used in the mottle. Minor touch-ups were made with RLM 76 on areas as required. Kit decals were used to complete the markings.
The After-Build Report:
I was pleased with the details and relatively reasonable cost of this kit and therefore will recommend it to model makers with at least intermediate skills. Due to some of the complexities in the assembly and the challenging paint finish, I think it would be a handful for less experienced modelers or those just wanting a relaxing, easy build. You may be able to find a less demanding paint finish as some of the 410s had fairly hazy overspray patterns, if this is the only item holding you back from getting this one on the bench.
The Pro Modeler molds were later re-released by Revell as late as 2013 (and also by Hasegawa in the late 90s). Meng has also released their own new tool Me 410 series (2012-15) with both the A & B versions getting high-praise.
Completed build #226 - September 2019 using the 1/48th scale Pro Modeler #5936 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers