Fine Molds 1/72 Me-410B-1/U4
KIT #: FL 10
PRICE: 2160 yen
DECALS: one option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2005 release


The Me 410B-series was largely the same as the A-series, but replaced the pair of 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s with a pair of the harder-hitting 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine guns. The originally planned 1,900 hp (1,400 kW) DB 603G engine had been cancelled in early 1944, so all Me 410Bs used DB 603A or DB 603AA engines. The DB 603G would have increased the maximum speed to 630 km/h (392 mph), and cruising speed to 595 km/h (370 mph), although the weights increased once again. The versions were the same as with the A-series, the Me 410 B-1, and Me 410 B-3 filling the same roles as the earlier A-1, and A-3 versions, also with the options of using the same Umrüst-Bausätze factory conversion kits as the A-series aircraft used.

The U4 package used the 50 mm (2 in) Bordkanone series weapon, the BK-5 cannon with 22 rounds (21 rounds to load and 1 extra round already loaded into the cannon), to turn either an Me 410A or B-series aircraft into a dedicated bomber destroyer. The BK 5 cannon - derived from the Panzer III tank's main armament, the 50 mm (2 in) KwK 39 L/60 - allowed the Me 410s to shoot at their targets from over 914 m (1,000 yd), a distance at which the bombers' defensive armament, usually consisting of the "light-barrel", .50 calibre AN/M2 aviation version of the M2 Browning machine guns, was useless. Frequent problems with jamming and limited ammunition supply, together with the extra 540 kg (1,200 lb) weight of the large-calibre gun under the nose, made the other anti-bomber versions of Me 410, especially those with extra 20 mm MG 151/20s, much more useful.


The Me-410 has been dealt with before in this scale with Lindberg and Revell (perhaps also Frog), with all of these kits coming to the market before 1975. They were nice kits for the time and it was no guessing as to what they were when finished. Since then, Italeri released one, but I have never seen it. I have, however, seen this Fine Molds kit before, having built an earlier boxing. The folks at Fine Molds are self-proclaimed anal modelers and make every effort to ensure that their kits are the best in terms of shape and detail that are available.

Many years back, I built one of these boxings (FL-11) and was quite pleased with the results. See photo to right. This is one of Fine Molds' early kits so it not quite as refined as newer offerings. It is very nicely detailed and reminds one quite a bit of Hasegawa kits (which it should as apparently the owners of the company are ex-Hasegawa engineers).

The cockpit area is nicely done and utilizes decals for instruments. The instructions for the kit are for both the version boxed and for a heavy fighter variant so there are sections in the build which will require some trimming or drilling. For instance, one has to drill a hole in the windscreen for the telescopic gun sight and also holes for antenna and gun ports. None of this should be beyond the skills of most modelers and specific directions are provided for doing this.

Once the cockpit has been assembled, it is attached to the inside of a fuselage half and the halves closed. Wings are a full lower section with half wing upper pieces. One builds up each engine assembly and attaches it to the nacelle. Landing gear are well done and have the proper cant to the main wheels. The rear gunner's position is nicely molded as are the remote control side guns. Tailplanes are single pieces and slot in the rear fuselage.

The 'bomb bay' area contains the BK 50 cannon and some modification to the nose will be required to fit this section. The canopy is three major sections with a center section and two side pieces. Due to the design of this, the way Fine Molds attacks it is the best way. Props are a single piece trapped between the spinner and backing plate.

Instructions are well done with lots of little detail drawings. Markings are for a single aircraft from ZG 26 in 1944. This plane is in RLM 74/75/76 with motting on the fuselage and fin sides. Fine Molds provides a base sheet with common markings, then a smaller one for the version being kitted. The decal sheet is nicely done. While it looks like the parts are there for the heavy fighter, there is only the single set of markings so you'll have to look elsewhere if you wish to do the variant not specified .


While not the only Me-410 in this scale, it is considered by many to be the best one available.


January 2017

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