The production of the Messerschmitt Bf 110 was put on a low priority in 1941 in expectation of its replacement by the Me 210. During this time, two versions of the Bf 110 were developed, the E and F models. The E was designed as a fighter bomber (Zerstörer Jabo), able to carry four ETC-50 racks under the wing, along with the centerline bomb rack. The first E, the Bf 110 E-1 was originally powered by the DB 601B engine, but shifted to the DB 601P as they became available in quantity. The E models also had upgraded armor and some fuselage upgrades to support the added weight. Most pilots of the Bf 110E considered the aircraft slow and unresponsive, one former Bf 110 pilot commenting the E was "rigged and a total dog."
Eduard's "new" Bf 110 E kit is packed within a big top opening cardboard box with the typical artwork for this kind of boxing. "Weekend Edition" means that this kit will only feature plastic parts, decals for a single decoration and simplified black & white instructions to reduce costs. No photoetched frets or masks are included for example. If you want the more complete box, you will have to buy the initial release. But I think it is currently out of production from Eduard.
The new "Weekend edition"kit comprises the following items:
- 7 olive green plastic sprues protected within three plastic bags.
- 2 transparent plastic sprues protected within two resealable bag.
- 1 decal sheet.
- 1 instruction booklet.
If you want to read a more detailed review of the Bf 110 E kit, please check the aformentionned review of the original boxing by Rowan Baylis. There you will find many more pictures of the kit parts, especially detail shots. The plastic parts remain the same so I think it is not necessary to comment too much on the overall quality of the kit because everything has already been said. I will only confirm that the plastic parts have been crisply molded with no traces of flash or sink marks and that the surface detail is subtle and the level of detail extraordinary. Sprue G in particular is very impressive with parts so small that you can only wonder how Eduard did to achieve such a result. The parts to be used on the model must represent only about 10% of the injected plastic used to produce the sprue!
The kit is also a big spare parts provider as many parts are not used during construction. I have highlighted them in red on the pictures accompanying this review. For example, once the model finished, there will be an entire fuselage left, as well as four (!?) instrument panels, many underwing stores or fuel tanks, a central "Dackelbauch" fuel tank, clear canopy parts etc... If you have an old Fujimi kit, don't throw it away, with the addition of the Eduard spare parts you may end up with a decent model.
The absence of photoetched parts in this boxing isn't a too big loss because, like I've already said, it is possible to do a highly detailed model with the plastic parts provided. The interior for example is made out of more than 100 parts! The only things that are missing are the seatbelts which one can scratchbuild. There are also generic German WWII seatbelt sets available from Eduard.
The absence of masks means that you will have to cut them yourself to protect the canopy before airbrushing the model. This will represent a tedious task for sure but it's not impossible to do with a sharp knife. It will take some time though.
The transparency of the clear parts is excellent. It is possible to build the model with the canopy in the closed or opened position. This is very nice since it will make it possible to show all the detail of the cokpit.
The only marking option available in the kit is the following:
- Bf 110 E, 1./Erg. Zerst. Gr. Deblin-Irena, Poland, december, 1942.
I must say that the decals are the only little disappointment in the kit. The black in particular is a bit blurry (see picture) which is something I wasn't expecting from Eduard. However, I must also say that the macro photo emphasises the problem and you must really take a closer look to notice the problem. To be honest, on a war machine with some weathering, nobody will notice. The white is a little offset as well but overall I'd say they are usable.
The aircraft coded 4M KB wears a RLM 74/75/76 camouflage with a nice nose artwork and yellow tactical markings It is to note that this decoration was available in the Royal Class kit. Color references are given for the Gunze range of paints (Aqueous and Mr. Color).
The 16 pages , A5 size, instruction booklet is printed in black & white. For color references, one will have to take a look at the profiles printed on the sides of the kit's box. Though the instructions look "cheaper" than the ones in the regular boxes, they are still very nice and far better than some made by other manufacturers. The drawings are clear despite the small size of the booklet and will provide a sufficient guide through the building process.
Given the complexity of the kit, it is important to carefully read and follow the building sequence given by Eduard. There are a lot of build logs on the net as well as articles in model magazines about the Bf 110 kit, so I would also recommend to you to read one of them. I know that there are problems in the nose area (gun cowlings) as well as with the fit of the engine nacelles to the wings. So be carefull when reaching these stages of the build.
It is to note that it is necessary to replace the shorter fuselage halves B1 and B2 with the longer fuselage halves Q1 and Q2 to do the model of the box. This is not shown in the instruction but there is a small note present in the kit which tells you. It is also to note that despite the shorter fuselage being present in the kit, it is impossible to do a Bf 110 E-2 trop or a nightfighter version because sprue "P" holding the different engine cowlings as well as the radar mount isn't present this time. To do these variants, the only option is the Royal Class boxing
Will it be possible to build the kit in two or even three days? I don't think so. The model is far too complex but you can give it a try if you want! The price however is really "Weekend" like, the kit being 40% cheaper than the "Profipack" version.
The Bf 110 was the first twin engined aircraft released by Eduard in 1/48 scale and is probably the most ambitious kit made by the Czech manufacturer so far. Like Rowan Baylis (Merlin) wrote in his review
of the initial box, the kit is so complex, especially in the cockpit area, that Eduard felt the need to release more manageable kits afterwards, like the Hellcat or the 1/32 scale Bf 109E. However, the high level of detail of the kit has the big advantage to allow a modeler to build a very nice model out of this Weekend Edition boxing without the need to include aftermarket items. The only things one will need are patience and painting skill. But aren't these the basics of modelling?