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Bf110E-2 Tropical - 1:48 Dragon / Cyber Hobby - Master Series


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Bf110E-2 Tropical

1:48 Dragon / Cyber Hobby - Master Series


The Messerschmitt Bf110 was designed to fulfil a German Air Ministry requirement for a long-range, twin-engined fighter aircraft, or zerstörer which was issued back in 1934. Following the prototypes first flight in 1936, it beat off competing designs from Arado, Focke-Wulf and Henschel and was in service by the time war broke out three years later. Fitted with the same engines as the Bf 109E, the Bf 110 was a powerful aircraft and was very well armed in comparison to its counterparts.

Despite early successes in Poland, the inadequacy of the Bf 110 as an out-and-out fighter was exposed by the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Heavy losses resulted, mainly as a result of the aircrafts lack of manoeuvrability. This aspect of the design was not improved to any degree in later versions, and for this reason the Bf 110 found itself increasingly utilised in other roles such as fighter bomber. The aircraft performed this role well in the North African campaign. The E models were mainly fighter bombers, the had a strengthened able to carry a bomb load of up to 1200 Kgs and featured extra bomb racks outboard of the main engines. The E-2 was fitted with DB601P engines and featured the same fuselage extension as the D-3

The Kit
This kit is a variation on the earlier versions that Dragon has released since 2008, but this time its in their Cyberhobby range. The kit arrives in a sturdy box, upon opening you are struck by the sheer amount of plastic which seems to be packed in there. There are 15 sprues of light grey plastic, a clear sprue, and a small phot-etched fret. It's clear from the sprues that they have been designed in such a way to extract the maximum number of 110 variants from a common core of sprues, however there are not that many parts in this box which will not be used. The instruction sheet is large than normal giving the modeller bigger diagrams which are clearer to read. There seems to be a lot of detail in this kit with some intricate build steps. Most of the detail for the cockpit areas will be seen under the large canopy, however detail in the nose gunbay and other areas is a bit strange as there are no removable panels supplied in the kit?


Like most aircraft the build begins with the cockpit assembly. Construction of the pilots seat is first and this is made up of the seat and two supports, with the left hand support featuring the seat adjustment handle moulded in place. The etched seat belts are then fitted and adjusted to shape. The main instrument panel is fitted with the gun-sight and small selector box and attached to the main cockpit floor, along with the rudder pedals, joystick, throttle quadrant to the left and side console the right. To the rear of the floor there is a large spent cartridge bin for the rear machine gun. The rear bulkhead is fitted with the spare ammunition drums for the rear machine gun, whilst the central framework is fitted with the radio panels and spare 20mm ammunition drums. There is a panel that fits in a trough just behind the pilots seat, this is the mounting panel for the 20mm cannon, two of which are fitted on the underside, whilst the ammunition drums, air bottles, radio operators seat and associated frame are fitted to the topside. These subassemblies are then fitted to their respective positions on the cockpit floor, followed by the side walls. The upper cockpit frame is then assembled from the main shoulder height frame, upper frame over the radio section, auxiliary instruments over the radios and the rear machine gun at its mounting plate. The completed framework is then fitted to the cockpit assembly and the whole cockpit glued into one half of the fuselage which can then be closed up.



The nose gun mounting is assembled and the two machine guns fitted along with their ammunition belt runs before being slid into the single piece nose cone. This seems to be a bit of a waste as none of this detail will be seen unless the access panels in the nose section are carefully removed. The numerous sections of the cockpit greenhouse are then attached (or the modeller can use the one part canopy). With the fuselage closed up, the single piece centre wing spars complete with extra cannon bay detail is attached and covered with the fuselage centre panel, thus again covering all the detail previously fitted. Whilst the fuselage is upside down the PE DF aerial and styrene HF aerials are glued into position.



The build moves onto the two DB 601 engines. These begin with the assembly of the main block which comes in two halves onto which the cylinder head and two cam covers are attached. Onto this main block the ignition harness, engine bearers, turbocharger assembly, oil tank and pipework are fitted. The undercarriage is the assembled, with the main units made up of the oleo, scissor link, retraction jack and support framework. The main tires are in two halves to which the separate inner and outer hubs, also in two parts are fitted. The upper cowling is fitted with the oil cooler intake, the exhaust stacks and their fairings are assembled and the main undercarriage bays are assembled from the firewall and roof sections, and completed with a selection of pipework and fittings. The exhaust stacks are then attached to the engine assemblies which are then fitted to the firewalls and the main undercarriage fitted to their bays. Before the radiator housing can be fitted to the lower cowling a large section must be cut out. The separate upper cowlings can be fitted, or left off to show off the engines.


The instructions move onto the wings and the assembly of the underwing radiators which are made up of five parts then attached to the lower wing panels. The main wheel bays are detailed with internal frames after which the wheel bay doors are attached. The engine/undercarriage sub-assemblies are fitted to the lower wings followed by the upper wing sections, wing tips, leading edge intake scoops and landing lights. The flaps can be positioned in either the raised of lowered positions. The propellers are assembled by fitting the three separate blades to the hub, which is then attached to the backplate and finished off with the spinner. The modeller has a choice of whether to fit the two drop tanks or two pairs of bombs and their respective racks. The completed wings are then slid onto wing spars on the fuselage and glued into place.



The final section is the assembly of the tailplane with the two halves of the vertical fins joined together then attached to the horizontal tailplane which comes as a single piece upper and two lower sections. In the centre of the lower section the tailwheel bay is attached then fitted with the tailwheel, made up of two wheel halves and single piece oleo, then the bay is completed with the addition of the bay doors. The completed tailplane is then attached to the rear of the fuselage thus completing the build.



The clear parts are thin and free from distortion. A complex mulitpart canopy is supplied which can be modelled open; or the modeller can chose a one part canopy which will make things easier but be closed.


Phot Etch
A small photo etch fret is supplied which contains the seat belts, and radiator parts, along with two loop aerials.


Decals are supplied for three aircraft. All feature the RLM79 over RLM78 scheme. They are printed by Cartograf so should pose no problems.
  • 8./ZG 26 - North Africa 1942
  • 7./ZG 26 - Italy 1941
  • 7./ZG 26 - Libya 1942


This is an impressive kit from Dragon. The parts build is fairly high with some great detail. Like other boxings of this kit in other scales it is puzzling as some of the detail will not be seen. The modeller though could if they wished with some care expose this. Overall the kit is recommended.

Review sample courtesy of logo.jpg UK distributors for logo.jpg

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