1/32 Revell Messerschmitt Me-110 G4

Gallery Article by Olivier Barles on Nov 4 2011

 

Here is my Messerschmitt 110 G-4 from Revell USA in 1/32 scale, a box I bought in 1993.  Considering the amount of work to get an acceptable model out of it, I always found some good reasons not to start building this night fighter!  Eventually, 2 years ago, I finally re-opened that box to discover that I would even have more job than I initially thought. 
But this time, no more escape!

Construction:
First job was to clean all surfaces and then, to engrave new panel lines.

Then, I cut off the tail control surfaces to get a more dynamic look when I realized that the direction control surfaces did not have the right shape: on the Me 110 G, to get a more effective yawing, control surfaces had an increased surface giving a more rectangular shape compare to the semi-elliptic ones of previous types of Me-110. So, adding some pieces of plastic card at the top of the surfaces to get the right shape, applying some putty to fill the gaps, sticking some very thin bands of plastic cards to reshape the structural lines and wisely using some sand paper to finish the work took me a few hours... But in the end, I obtained the correct control surfaces of a G-4.

Then, as the cockpit was "nearly empty" or made of a few inaccurate parts (actually, building the cockpit as per the Revell modeling guide mainly consists in painting and sticking on their so-called seats the 3 crew members!), I had to do some scratch-building from the pilot's seat to the gunner's one, adding anti-crash pylons, cables, controls, boxes, etc...  One of the interesting moments was to make the large seat for both the radar operator and the gunner, a sort of long rectangular stool made of twisted leather stripes.  I finished by also building the double MG machine gun with its cruciform sight.

 

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Then, came the problem of the canopy.  
On this model, it is in fact more designed "like a toy", aimed to be closed or opened at will. So, to get something solid and able to resist manipulations, canopy parts and hinges are molded "very thick"...
Unusable at this scale...

So, no choice than vacu-forming the whole canopy but the windscreen, plastic thickness being at this point "acceptable" as it was normally armored by another thick glass layer.  Once done, I built the canopy frame out of strips of plastic card, creating as much as I could a realistic locking system, putting joints, cables and handles where there should be as per the documentation I had.

After that, it was the time to modify the undercarriage: firstly, there was no separation between the engine and the wheel wells.  So I built them and I added a few parts in the wells that otherwise would have looked like the Gobi Desert.  I also dug the holes for the wheel at the rear of the wells.

Finally, I added some putty in the engraved lines of the tires because such tires were no longer used on the last types of Me-110 which were flat looking, without any drawing on their surfaces.

I also had to reshape the propeller spinners to get the typical "rounded look" of DB 605 spinners, those provided in the box being spinners of DB 601 engines (that equipped the former types of Me 110); a generous use of putty and a "controlled use" of sand paper could end in a satisfactory result.

For the propeller blades, I admit I got "sort of tired" to start another consequent work to correct those provided by Revell (because of course, they are blades of DB 601 as well) and I purchased two sets of DB 605 blades recently edited by Quickboost for the Me 109 F.

Another big work was to correct as much as I could the wings that were twisted and to "massively" thin their trailing edges... Not to mention "the tons" of putty I used for filling in the gaps after sticking the various parts of the model as well as the generous use of sandpaper to get nice surfaces all over.

As final work, I added two supplementary tanks as it became one of the standard equipment for the Me-110 G in order to increase their flight autonomy during their long nights of British bombers hunt...

Then came the most relaxing part: the model was ready for painting with the usual combination of  RLM 75 and 76 that ended up with some moderate weathering and the applying of markings of the NJG I (partially handmade).

Conclusion:
As you see, I started the assembly of this Me-110 2 years ago.  It was a long lasting project I was doing from time to time, in between other projects that were not as challenging as this one.

In the same "construction concept", taking very old models to make them up to an acceptable standard, I am currently finishing an 1/32 scale old Revell F4U-1 I will paint with RNZAF markings for which this time, opposite to the scratch-building I did for the Me-110, I also used some extra-detail kits for the cockpit, the engine and the undercarriage.

Then, I still have a few old 1/32 Revell model kits sleeping in my cupboards: the P-51B, the Fw 190 D-9, the Beaufighter and the Hawker Typhoon. I guess They'll keep me busy for the rest of my life!

Hope you'll enjoy the pictures...

Olivier Barles

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Photos and text by Olivier Barles