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.
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