login   |    register

In-Box Review
Messerschmitt Bf 110D1/R1
  • Drag_Bf110D_Boxtop

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Originally published on:

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.

What's New?
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.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Beautifully moulded and highly detailed. Very well printed decals.
Lows: Some omissions in the instructions. Not cheap.
Verdict: Dragon's Bf 110's are excellent models and, if you have the space, the new 'D makes a great stablemate for the earlier version.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 3207
  Suggested Retail: 79.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 17, 2009

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.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

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 2021 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 ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Good review, but some additional points. The box art shows two aerials coming from the cockpit mast, when in fact it should only be one, to the starboard fin, on the 'D'. Also, it seems that there is no decal sheet with stencils, which is surprising for a kit of this size. Finally, I was also surprised at the omission of the W. Nr. 3148, for M8+SL, on the decal sheet as it was clearly identified on the 'C', 'D' &'E' book from Fernando Estanislau and myself. Hope the foregoing helps those who purchase the kit. John V.
JAN 24, 2009 - 01:08 PM
The sooner they do a G-4 the sooner they'll sell a boatload of kits.
OCT 12, 2009 - 01:23 PM
They have the wing tank supports included, though they don't include the wing tanks themselves, so I suspect a G-4 is coming at some point. Eduard's G-4 issue should help push interest in the plane to new heights. The lack of stencils and swastikas on the 110 kits is a real mark against what would otherwise be a perfect OOB build. Fortunately EagleCals has a lovely set of three sheets to choose from.
OCT 14, 2009 - 05:26 AM

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_A
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_B
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_C
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_D
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_E
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_F
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_G
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_J
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_N
  • Drag_Bf110D_Nose
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_P1
  • Drag_Bf110D_Sprue_P2
  • Drag_Bf110D_Clear
  • Drag_Bf110D_Etch
  • Drag_Bf110D_Colours
  • Drag_Bf110D_Decals
  • Drag_Bf110D_Tail
  • Drag_Bf110D_Tailwheel_Leg
  • Drag_Bf110D_Tailwheel
  • Drag_Bf110D_Tailwheel_Hub