Eduard's hugely popular Bf 110G-4 nightfighter returns as a Weekend Edition. A Weekend Edition? - well, I've no doubt building the kit in two days is just about possible if you lock the doors, disconnect the phone and Internet, and don't worry about such niceties as food and sleep, but don't be fooled by the name; this is a complex kit that warrants care and a fair bit of time spent building it.
The sturdy conventional box carries full colour profiles as a painting guide and is stuffed with no less than 11 sprues divided between several resealable bags. The kit comprises:
413 x pale olive parts
13 x clear parts
Decals for a single colour scheme
Now, that parts count is a little misleading because the kit includes sprues from the earlier DB 601-engined versions. There is a sprue guide in the instructions, but it doesn't show which parts aren't needed, but rest assured there will be a large number of unused parts for the spares box when you're done - you can see clearly in Jean-Luc's review of Eduard's original ProfiPack version
Returning to Eduard's Bf 110 after a break, the first thing that struck me is just how good the exterior finish is, with finely engraved engraved panel lines and beautifully subtle embossed rivets. The latter really do make many other manufacturers' efforts look more appropriate for a boiler than a fighter. Jean-Luc found a fair amount of flash on the wings in his earlier kit, but there's none there this time. However, I did note a couple of small sink marks on the nose to take care of.
This is the first time I've had a chance to look at the 'G-4, so I was interested to see what Eduard have changed from the 'G-2 dayfighter. Obviously, there's radar - with a whole new sprue devoted to a complex array of "antler" diploles - and a new nose containing a pair of neatly detailed MG 108s. The gunner's MG 81Z remains, but it's joined by a pair of 20mm cannon in an upward-firing Schräge Musik mounting. Rounding off the main changes are a set of flame-damping exhausts and new rudders with extended trim tabs.
One thing I've always liked about Eduard's approach to tackling different versions is that they don't try to "over-engineer" a kit with lots of optional sub-assemblies (which often don't fit as well as one might hope in other manufacturers' kits). Instead, they simply provide an entire new main part. In this case it's the fuselage halves featuring a number of small panel detail changes.
Intriguingly, Eduard have also modified how the wing roots are moulded compared with the earlier Bf 110G-2
. I presume this was to make for a more positive assembly, but ironically I found the earlier style gives a better fit (although I'm sure a little trimming will probably sort matters out).
The nacelles proved a slightly awkward fit on Eduard's first Bf 110 kits, and that's still the case on the 'Gs - on both my kits there's a small gap between the top of the nacelle and the wing. There's been some concern voiced that the rear fuselage is too slender at the tail, so experienced modellers may wish to insert a plastic-card spreader and adjust the fit of the stabilizer accordingly.
Something for the weekend?
Eduard's "Weekend" kits are simplified re-editions of their existing range, so what do you lose? The obvious thing is the etched fret. For the most part this is not too much of a sacrifice on the Bf 110 because the interior is still very highly detailed with well moulded consoles and instrument panels. It's a shame the decals don't include instrument faces, but I guess you can't have everything. What you will probably miss are the etched seat harnesses, which goes to show just how much we've come to take these "extras" for granted in Eduard kits.
The other change you'll really notice come painting time is the omission of the canopy masks. I think a substantial chunk of your "weekend build" will be lost masking the complex greenhouse canopy neatly!
Instructions and Decals
The instructions are printed in black and white as a neat little A-5 booklet. It's nowhere near as fancy as the glossy colour versions that Eduard are noted for, but I have to admit I prefer it - the diagrams are perfectly clear, and the booklet takes up much less room on the workbench. If you do want the instruction in colour, they can be downloaded from Eduard's website. Painting notes are keyed as usual to Gunze Sangyo acrylics.
Only one colour scheme is included taken from the original kit, and Eduard have taken the opportunity to correct the painting instructions for it:
W.Nr 110087, 4./NJ3, Kjevik, Norway, 1945
The decals are thin and glossy with crystal clear carrier film, but the black ink is touch smeared in places and slightly out of register on the sample sheet. There's a nice set of stencil markings includes, plus the engine instruments mounted on the cowlings. The latter look great and make it all the more regrettable that Eduard didn't also include decals for the cockpit instrument panels.
Despite a couple of niggles, Eduard's Bf 110G-4 will build into a very impressive model of the famous nightfighter. Even in this "cut down" form, it's still quite a complex kit and not really suitable for absolute beginners. However, experienced modellers will really appreciate the level of detail and it should prove a really satisfying build. Recommended.
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