by: Andy Brazier [ ]
In the box Meng models latest 1/48th release follows on from the Me-410B-2/U4 fighter version with the high speed bomber variant of the Me410.
The kit comes packed in a top opening box with a painted picture depicting a 410 dropping a couple of bombs on an unseen target.
The sides of the box show the two marking options available.
Inside the box is packed to the gills with plastic sprues, instructions, decals and a small photo etch sheet.
Starting with the plastic, there are eight light grey sprues which are packed separately, apart from two sprues with the engines and some of the undercarriage parts packed in the same bag.
Two sprues of clear parts are also packed separately.
First inspection of the parts show there is no flash, but there are a few raised ejector pin marks to be found on various parts. The marks look to be in places that won't be seen, but until I build the kit I can't confirm that will be the case.
Surface detail for the exterior is some finely engraved panel lines and some recessed rivet detail. The fabric control surfaces are moulded with raised strips, which are a tad heavy looking, but it would be very easy to sand them down to a more natural look.
The horizontal tail surfaces have some very prominent raised detail on them which also could do with sanding down.
The wing radiators can be modelled in the open or closed position, whilst the control surfaces can be positioned neutral or deflected. The leading edge slats are moulded into the wings and would require surgery to open them up.
Detail wise this kit is exceptional looking, with an impressive looking front and rear cockpits, forward gun bay, bomb bays, undercarriage wheel wells and full engines.
Starting with the cockpit, the kit features photo etch harnesses for both the pilots and gunners seats. The cockpit has multiple instrument panels and consoles which are dealt with as raised details. No decals or p.e are supplied for the dials or panels, (so there is an opening for various aftermarket companies).
The forward weapons bay features very nice renditions of the 2 × 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns and 2 × 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons, which have the barrels drilled out a little. The weapons come complete with breech blocks. How much of this you will actually see on the completed model is debatable as it all fits underneath the pilots cockpit!
The bomb bay has a little detail and two bombs can be put inside. The doors can be modelled in the open or closed position.
The 2 × 13 mm MG 131 machine guns for the rear barbettes are as detailed and both barbettes are movable (just in case you like to play lol).
The main undercarriage wheels are well moulded with the tyres having a tread pattern and raised writing on the sidewalls of the tyres.
The main undercarriage legs are a three part affair and are sufficient in detail, but are missing brake lines, which can be easily added.
The wheel wells have raised details in them and once painted and weathered will look rather good.
The kit comes with two Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines. They are made up of 23 parts each and look fairly good. The engines can be shown if one leaves the upper cowling covers off.
External weapons for the kit come in the shape of six bombs and two rocket launchers. Not all of the external stores can be used at the same time as each of the two marking options have different wing loads.
The canopy is crystal clear and can be modelled with the pilots and gunners access panels open.
The canopy is made up of several parts and the tubular roll cage is moulded onto the inside of the parts. The instructions do give you a painting guide for these parts during the build process.
The P.E fret holds the harnesses, mounts for the cockpit sights, radiator grills and parts for the wing flaps.
Instructions The instruction booklet is 25 pages long, in black grey and white shades for the build sequence and in colour for the marking and painting guides.
The build sequence is easy to follow with internal colours given for the Vallejo range of paints.
Construction starts off with the forward weapons bays, then the front and rear cockpits, barbette installation, and the rear tail wheel, before closing the fuselage up.
Construction continues with the external stores followed by the rudder and tail planes.
Glazing comes next followed by the main undercarriage assembly.
Engines, internal engine bay details, radiators, flaps and external stores are then fitted to the wings.
The last thing to assemble is too attach the completed wings to the fuselage. Now if these parts fit correctly and don't need filling then its possible to paint the wings before attaching to the fuselage, only building this plane will see.
Decals and markings Decals are printed by Cartograph and are in register and with very little carrier film.
Stencils are supplied for the aircraft.
Two marking options are provided
A - 1/KG 51, France, January 1944
B - 7./ZG, Sicily, December 1943
Marking option A has a splinter camo on the wings and fuselage, with two internal bombs and four external bombs on the inner part of the wings. Option B has a splinter camo on the wings with mottling on the fuselage sides and tail, and has two internal bombs and the rocket launchers on the outer part of the wings.
Meng models supply the corresponding Vallejo paint numbers for internal and exterior colours.
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