Messerschmitt Me 410 A-1
High Speed Bomber
Meng Model, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
|Catalogue Number and Description:
Meng Model Kit No. LS-003 - Messerschmitt Me 410 A-1 High Speed Bomber
|Contents and Media:
||248 parts in grey plastic; 18 parts in clear; one photo-etched fret; markings for two aircraft.
USD$43.99 plus shipping available now from Lucky Model
will be available from Hannants
||Excellent mouldings; high level of detail including full engines and weapons bay; optional position rudder, elevators, landing flaps and ailerons; fine recessed panel detail; corrected propeller blades; very clear canopy parts with raised roll cage moulded to the inside; high quality decals.
||Meng's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Me 410 A is just as good as their earlier B-2/U4, and it is nice to see that they have gone to the trouble of correcting the propeller blades from the original release.
Reviewed by Brett Green
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The Messerschmitt Me 410 was a direct development of the disastrous Messerschmitt Me 210.
The story of the Messerschmitt Me 210 reads like a Shakespearean tragedy. Our flawed main character contributed to the downfall of many great reputations, the suicide of the famous Generaloberst Ersnt Udet, and the wasted lives of many German airmen. It was the subject of ongoing bureaucratic interference and clashes between high profile political, military and political personalities. Perhaps most importantly, this flying cul-de-sac diverted limited production resources away from proven defensive aircraft in the critical mid and late-war years.
The Messerschmitt Me 210 was conceived as a development of the Bf 110 even while the earlier type was in the prototype and early production phase. In these years leading up to the Second World War, the heavy fighter, or Zerstorer, was considered to be the prestige arm of the Luftwaffe. The concept would not falter until the Messerschmitt Bf 110 was tested and bested in the skies over Britian during the fateful summer of 1940.
The Me 210 was not, as legend sometimes has it, designed as a replacement of the Bf 110 due to any known failures or shortcomings of the first Messerschmitt heavy fighter. Rather, it was considered to be a more versatile and technically sophisticated design capable of fulfilling even more roles than the Bf 110.
Such was the confidence in this new multi-role design that mass production was ordered even before full flight testing of the prototypes was completed. The original flawed short rear fuselage was largely responsible for potentially fatal flight characteristics, especially during takeoffs and landings. Eventually, the fuselage was lengthened and this improved the handling of the aircraft.
The Me 210 was not declared suitable for operations until well into 1942. Even then, indecision about the proposed roles and a reluctance on the part of operational units to use this new type limited its production and deployment, although those that did see service garnered favourable reports.
When the DB603 engine was finally available, the new variant was named the Messerschmitt Me 410. The new designation was partly intended to distance this aircraft from the disasters of the Me 210. The Me 410 proved itself to be a versatile and successful aircraft. However, by the time it was entering service, there were already more capable contenders for the roles of heavy fighter and bomber in the wings.
Meng has followed up their 1/48 with their Messerschmitt Me 410 B-2/U4 from early this year with an Me 410 A-1 bomber.
This version substitutes the 50mm BK5 cannon in the lower weapons bay with new bomb bay doors, external ETC bomb racks for the wings, and ordnance.
The other major difference is a set of retooled propeller blades. The set included in the B-2/U4 were overly pointy, but the profile of these look good.
An alternative windscreen is also offered with this boxing.
Meng's 1/48 scale Me 410 A-1 comprises 248 parts in grey plastic, 18 parts in clear, one photo-etched fret and markings for two aircraft.
The quality of moulding is excellent - all that we have come to expect from Meng so far. Surface detail is by way of finely recessed panel lines and selected rows of recessed rivets.
Interior detail for the cockpit, weapons bay and landing gear is excellent. The cockpit benefits from photo-etched harness straps.
The instrument panel, side consoles and radios are treated to crisply raised plastic details that should respond well to careful painting. I especially liked the tiny flare pistol.
Two sections of the prominent roll cage are moulded as separate parts, while the rest is moulded as raised detail on the inside of the canopy parts.
The remote barbettes on the fuselage sides rotate an the guns can elevate and depress.
The rudder, elevator, ailerons and landing flaps are all supplied separately and may be posed neutral or deflected according to the modellers tastes. The upper radiator flaps are separate but the lower flaps are moulded as part of the floor of the radiator housings. Even so, it would not be difficult to cut these lower radiator flaps free and scratch build some simple extended actuators if you wanted to display the radiator flaps open. Leading edge slats are moulded shut.
Fabric control surfaces are finished with raised strips. If these are too prominent for your liking they may easily be sanded down to a less obvious level. The raised circles on the horizontal tail surfaces could do with sanding too.
Two complete engines are included. These are nicely detailed while being simple to build - only 23 parts each. The engines may be displayed by leaving the upper cowl parts off, or enclosed between the cowlings
The wheels and undercarriage look great.
By the way, the "Harburg" lettering on the sidewalls is not a mistake. The name of the tyre company is "Phoenix Gummiwerke Hamburg-Harburg".
The transparencies are sparkling clear and thin.
The pilot's and radio operator's hatches may both be posed open.
Markings are supplied for two machines:
2N+FR, 7./ZG 1 Sicily, December 1943
9K+EH, 1./KG 51, France, January 1944
Stencil markings are included too. Decals are in register and colours look good.
Meng's first entry to the world of 1/48 scale aircraft is impressive.
Meng's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Me 410 A-1 continues this new comnpany's growing tradition of good detail and useful features. It was also very pleasing to see that they took the trouble to correct the inaccurately shaped propeller blades from the debut Hornisse release.
I will look forward to seeing what Meng has in store for us as their next 1/48 scale kit.
Thanks to Meng Model for the sample
Text and Images Copyright © 2013 by Brett Green
Page Created 24 October, 2013
25 October, 2013
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