1/32 Messerschmitt Bf110D/E Night Fighter (2 in 1) model kit

Product # DRA3210 from HobbyLink Japan

Product Article by Nick Moore on Nov 18 2010


The immediately recognisable Bf110 was a stalwart WWII German aircraft that fought in all theatres of the war and really came into it’s own as a heavily armed night fighter over western Europe where it could ply it’s trade in relative safety away from the more nimble Allied day fighters.

There’s something inherently sinister looking about this plane and especially so when crews have added a great big set of teeth to the nose on their black aircraft. This Dragon boxing of the Bf110D/E is quite a package. The large box with its dramatic artwork contains a substantial kit and it just keeps on giving over sprue after sprue – see attached photographs… 

The quality of the parts is clean and crisp and it is this level of excellence that you are entitled to expect from a mainstream manufacturer like Dragon. Given that this large scale should leave little to the imagination all the basics are there and realised within the limitations of injection molding. They have done the occasional bit of slide molding to get that extra degree of capture but in other areas have stuck to the basics. It’s interesting to note the degree to which manufacturers will go to in 1:48th to serve up increasingly greater levels of detail and articulation between parts such as control surfaces and yet in this large 1:32nd kit all your ailerons, flaps, rudders and elevators are cast onto the wings and stabilisers. That seems to be a bit of a lost opportunity but of course we already have a massive sprue count and Dragon have given you plenty of part options within the big box.

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Because these kits are typically well supported by the aftermarket people you need never go without but that said the boss at Dragon has let his guys work in some nice parts and details: 

  • The highly sculptural exhausts (two variations) – will look fantastic under paint

  • Fine rivet detail on many parts such as the prop spinners and wheel bays

  • Optional plastic or fine wire antenna array

  • "Rib Tape” detail on fabric control surfaces

  • Very nicely realised weaponry detail including ammo boxes, drums and chutes.

  • Nice representation of soft flexible boots on control columns etc

  • And as stated above – a good variety of alternative part options

The PE fret supplied with the kit is very limited (comprising little more than some seat belts) and has only the most basic of surface detail, especially considering the large scale. It’s a bit jarring because we’ve seen reasonably comprehensive PE from Dragon in the past in 1:48. It seems Dragon have decided to forfeit responsibility in this department to the PE specialists of the Czech Republic – who are of course brilliant at filling in that last 10% (or more) of detail. 

The 110 had some great markings and these night hunters are no different. The markings options you get with this kit, as described in the instructions are: 

  • 1. Bf110D 4./NJG 1, St Trond 1942 

  • 2. Bf110D 7./NJG 1, St Trond 1942 

  • 3. Bf110E 5./NJG 4, France 1942 

  • 4. Bf110E 7./NJG 4, Mainze-Finthen Airfield 1942 

  • 5. Bf110E 5./NJG 4, Holland 1942 

I know I’ve already said it but this kit is a big job and once the challenge is undertaken and completed you will be left with a large, imposing and sinister looking heavy fighter of the WWII era – what a beast it is. Recommended. 

This kit can be purchased here: http://www.hlj.com/product/DRA3210 

My thanks to HobbyLink Japan for providing this review sample. 

Nick Moore

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Photos and text © by Nick Moore