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Cracking the Box: Meng's Me-410B-2/U4

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About Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim)

I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...


Hi Chuck, Same error as in the Monogram kit I'm afraid. I feel like Steffen Arndt about the kit and don't believe it is a huge improvement over the Monogram one except for the two engines, movable control surfaces and small PE fret (but the price of the Meng kit is higher). Built to the same standards, both will look very similar in the end. Jean-Luc
JAN 16, 2013 - 09:40 AM
Ah, so the innies are on the outies, Jean-Luc? The Monogram kit has it correct. The CMK vac canopy is the wrong one.
JAN 16, 2013 - 10:51 AM
A brief examination reveals that the clear parts seem to all have scribed frame lines on the outside, but most of the rivet heads seem to be pointing to the inside on the fixed parts, giving the frames a falsely "heavy" appearance, with the notable exception of the entire fixed windscreen portion, and the openable access hatches, where the rivets are pointing to the outside. The rivets are raised and do not appear oversized or out of line. The clear parts are absolutely flaw-free and incredibly well protected, with TWO layers of plastic bags, the inner bag brilliantly "shrunk" around the sprue, and "static-attached" to the plastic, so that the bag cannot move around and scratch what it protects... One wishes this had been thought of before... The canopy frames lines are deeply marked (not broad but deep), so I doubt very much they could be sanded off... On the positive side, there is some incredibly intricate clear "panel-withing-a-panel" detail, with even their hinges moulded-in, with two panels within a very small panel to the left side, just in front of the rear gunner's opening hatch. The interior detail is really superbly treated, and does not seem to have too many parts, if still very intricate in places when necessity dictates. Considering the heavy internal canopy framing we know about from Chuckw's build, there is here only a pair of A-frames holding a single transversal roll-over bar in-between the crew stations. Given the nature of this omission, I would discourage the use of anything other than the kit's canopy, since a thinner vacu-form canopy would actually make this omission more evident (at least that is my initial impression on this matter)... The Meng spinners are confirmed to be wrong: They are much too short by a whopping 2.5 mm compared to the Zvezda Me-109F spinner, and thus way too "flattened". However they are the correct diameter, and the nacelles will thus accept the spinners from either the Eduard Me-110G or from the Zvezda Me-109F (cannon hole plugged of course), or any appropriate AM resin spinner. This is a huge, huge improvement over the previous Monogram kit... I will use two spinners from my many spare Zvezda kits, and also -maybe- the Zvezda's oil coolers, since they are actually deeper and seem deep enough(!), as the Meng ones are just too small. I know how to paint spinning light-coloured spinners on a drill, so that they really appear to be turning at high speed, and that will side-step the wrong prop blades for me (with a crew inside of course)... The radius of the lower nose profile is another issue to examine later, as is the Meng's longer tail. The nose's tip could prove to be quite some work "bulking up"... I would rate this kit as better than Great Wall's entry kit, the FW-189, because here the clear parts, and the overall apparent shape soundness (The FW-189 had straight booms, with no aerodynamic "swelling" for instance), really push this kit over the top, despite its other flaws. Of course an actual build could reveal more problems: I am not thrilled by the all-round fully positionable control surfaces, which get in the way of the "scale sharpness" trailing edges as I like to do them... Gaston
JAN 16, 2013 - 01:06 PM
Still looks like an Me410 to me.........why bother talking millimetres when none of the problems our resident kit basher mentions detract from what is a very good kit. It seems like no kit released today will be able to satisfy those who demand millimetre accuracy. Will I be buying this kit? Yes I will as I haven't seen a Monogram kit in my neck of the woods for a long time.
JAN 16, 2013 - 01:27 PM
Hi Chuck, As Gaston said, the inner frames are molded on the inside (with raised rivets) AND on the outside as engraved frame line. This is the case on both the Monogram and Meng models. Below is a picture of the frames I'm talking about. Jean-Luc
JAN 17, 2013 - 06:13 AM
Going into details, this is how Meng treated the dark grey RLM 66 horizontal frame that looks different in the above picture: Exterior: A very narrowly spaced pair of fine scribed lines, very close together. Interior: A more broadly spaced pair of fine scribed lines, overstepping the narrower outer ones towards the bottom only, with fine raised rivets pointed towards the interior. Same with the inner framing of the openable canopy hatches, although on at least one of them (rear gunner with four separate panes) the raised rivets are on the outside on one of the outer vertical frames and on the inside on the opposite vertical side(?!)... Unfortunately, the slightly more broadly-spaced inner frame lines (maybe to accomodate rivets) incline me to paint that frame on the outside only(!), but in gloss dark grey instead of the flat light blue of the typical exterior colour... Painting within the inner frame lines would make the frame look much heavier than painting just the outside frames... If the frames are broader because of the raised rivets between the scribed lines, frankly I could have done without the rivets altogether, as they seem to bring little good to the canopy, especially in light of the above photo... Gaston
JAN 17, 2013 - 07:55 AM
Hi Gaston While the interior framework would most likely be RLM 66 (dark grey), surely the exterior canopy frames would normally be painted in the topside day-fighter camouflage colour? You might have RLM 76 (light blue) on the canopy of a night-fighter of the period, but on an Me 410? All the best Rowan
JAN 17, 2013 - 09:27 AM
It's obviously freakishly flawed, totally unbuildable and a complete waste of money and time. WHY!? Oh Why did Meng produce such a hideous kit? The designers of this insult to the hobby and humanity should be hunted down like Frankenstein's monster and jailed. I have a ready supply of pitchforks and torches if anyone needs one. I weep for the children, please think of the children before purchasing this obscenity. Canopy frames...really? Who cares? SUAB! Oh, great video Jim! Thanks for the review.
JAN 17, 2013 - 10:39 AM
Hi Gaston While the interior framework would most likely be RLM 66 (dark grey), surely the exterior canopy frames would normally be painted in the topside day-fighter camouflage colour? You might have RLM 76 (light blue) on the canopy of a night-fighter of the period, but on an Me 410? All the best Rowan [/quote] What I meant was that the "inner" frames, which are only placed on the inside of the canopy and, as a result, are not overpainted by the exterior colour (as can be seen in the museum photo), and so they seemingly retain the inside rlm 66 colour even though a part of them faces towards the outside. This could be (weakly) suggested by just a gloss rlm 66 outside colour vs the flat blue rlm 76 for the other type of frames... On further examination of the Meng kit, I have to say the front of the canopy has a cross-section error that means I am no longer interested in dealing with this kit: The real Me-410's fixed windshield canopy portion has a near-semi-circular cross-section at the rear "bracing" frames, this fairly close to being as tall as it is wide... On the kit, that area's cross-section is like a rectangle laid on its broad side, with the corners barely rounded. The error is not evident from most angles, but when seen from the front at similar angles, it is quite flagrant. How could such a large error occur is a bit mystifying: Seen from above, the kit's cockpit opening outline is shaped like a tear drop: It could be the sides of the tear drop are "swollen" too wide towards the front, creating too wide a seating base for the canopy, and thus necessitating an erroneous rectagular cross-section for the clear part to "reach across" there... With pliers and newly smash-moulded clear parts, this could be solved, but at way too large an effort for me... Fortunately my local club has a swap meet next month! Gaston
JAN 17, 2013 - 08:34 PM
According to Brett Green at Hyperscale, the interior framework is indeed molded on the interior of the canopy.
JAN 19, 2013 - 06:41 AM