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Mauve's 1/48 scale
Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-4

by Jan Forsgren


Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-4/R3


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I don’t remember when I first saw the name Mauve in Hannant’s catalogue, but it must have been in the eighties. To me it signalled quality and mysticism, being Japanese, and none of us local modellers had ever seen any kit from them.

In 1995 I spent a lot of time in Tokyo because of my work, and had the opportunity to visit most of the modelling shops there, and eventually I found some Mauve kits. I was particularly looking for the 1:48 Bf 110G-4, but I found a G-2, from which I thought it would be easy to make a G-4.

The kit comes in a nice coloured box with the old Fujimi sprues, lots of extra sprues and white metal, and some rather unnecessary photo etched parts as I intended to use a resin cockpit. In a shop in Paris a few years later I bought the old True Details resin cockpit for the Bf 110 C/D which I planned to use, slightly modified to go for a G cockpit.


This project started in the spring of 2002 and in parallel to the Mauve kit I also built the ProModeler G-4, and my plan was to write a feature comparing the kits. But like most projects it was delayed, this time due to me selling one house and buying another, and at Scale Modelworld 2003 the Osprey book of the Bf 110G was for sale and that was it for my idea. Not that I in any way would compare my idea with the Osprey book, but I never thought the interest for the Bf 110G was great enough for a book like that to be published. The book is excellent, but to me old news was in it.

In 2007 Eduard will release a completely new 110 in different versions, True Detail has just released a n updated and improved resin cockpit, and Lone Star Models have released their resin cockpit set for the old Fujimi 110 C/D which still is around and can be bought. There are many nice decal sheets for the 110; I especially like the different Cutting Edge sets, so for us 110 freaks the future is bright!

The old Fujimi kit

Originally released decades ago, and it is still available. Compared to other kits of that vintage it’s of a much better quality, the only drawback is its slightly narrow fuselage and the complete lack of detail in the wheel wells and in the cockpit. The surface detail could be better except for one great quality: the crisp and subtle panel lines!

Compared to the much more recent Pro Modeler Bf 110G there are many differences. The PM has a much more logical design with hidden joints and much better surface detail, but the overall accuracy in my opinion is better in the old Fujimi. The not so prominent wing kink at the engine centreline is missing in the PM, and the engines are very poor resemblances of the original and the wheel well is much too square, whereas the Fujimi is almost perfect in all these respects.

The Mauve boxing of the 110 is from the early nineties and the injection mouldings are very crisp and completely flash free.



The fuselage is split vertically in the traditional manner, the wings attach on each side and the tail section sits on top of the empennage. For the G-2 (and the G-4) Mauve supplies a new nose cone with double MK 108 cannons. Other changes are the broader fins and the typical engines with a dorsal hump for the compressor on top of the engine. The white metal parts I used were the hump, the oil coolers under the engine and the belly gun pod. I did not use any interior details, the landing gear and the tail wheel.


A hole for the main wheel was made in the wheel well, not exactly correctly as I did not buy the Eduard PE set until after this operation (it was a very long lasting project!), and all openings seen in the well was blanked off. Stringers were added in the wheel wells, an item also covered in the PE set, if I would have waited.

The flaps were cut out on the upper and lower wing halves and the wings were glued together. In this picture it is apparent how different the wheel wells on the Mauve (left) and the PM kit (right) are, and even though the Mauve wells are not perfect they are much better than the PM too square wells.



The engine nacelles are Mauve parts and they look miles better than the PM very low nacelles, the only problem is the fit. It actually concerns the whole Fujimi/Mauve Bf 110; apart from the fuselage and wing assemblies, nothing fits well! A major drawback for many modellers, but for us enthusiasts this is no problem. After assembling the engine halves and attaching to the wings it’s only a case of putty and sanding.

The white metal parts look very good and with lots of work with my files they fit all right. Endless layers of thick Humbrol matt colour acting as putty was used to blend the hump to the top of the nacelle and the ventral oil coolers. When the wings were mated with the fuselage I compared the nacelles with photographs of the real machine, and added a 1 mm plastic card to the front end. With a file I changed the angle of the front ends to a more realistic look. The spinners were also modified to match photos, but only by shortening them, this way I got an almost perfect Bf 110G in profile. To support the propeller I used a brass tube with an inner diameter of 1/16”. After measuring and drilling the centre of the front end it was inserted into the nacelle and glued with CA. In the propeller hub I drilled a hole and glued a 1/16” piano wire of the appropriate length.

The air scoop for the compressor on the starboard engine is located on the inside at roughly 30º from the horizontal plane. I used a PM scoop as it looked better than the white metal part supplied by Mauve. The position of this scoop is much more correct on the Mauve than on the PM, and the difference in engine height is also evident when comparing the two photos. The kit with the round engines is the PM and the more realistic oval profile is the Mauve kit. The port engine compressor inlet is on the wing leading edge outside of the engine.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Metal propeller blades are provided by Mauve. They were carefully sanded and glued to the hubs using a simple jig to get the correct AoA of the blades.

The exhaust pipes are from the PM 110. They don’t fit very well on the Fujimi, they are too long (Fujimi and PM don’t agree on the engine length) and the curved part over the wing is different. I did my best to adapt the exhausts and even used heat to make them fit. I opened up the rear end and painted them black.


The True Detail resin cockpit parts (for the 110C/D) were compared to photos of G cockpits and no major surgery was necessary. A spare PM 110G-4 was butchered for the pilot seat and instrument panel as the resin parts were of poor quality, and the radar operator’s equipment and the two Mk 108 for the Schräge Musik.

All traces of the original cockpit interior were removed from the fuselage halves and the resin cockpit sidewalls were thinned considerably. Some surgery was necessary to get the cockpit sides, bottom and front and rear ends to fit to the fuselage. I painted (Xtracolor enamel was used all through unless otherwise noted) all interior surfaces dark grey, a lighter shade than the real RLM 66, and used a black oil colour wash with white spirit. I painted the instrument panel dials black with white indicators and dry brushed Humbrol 11 Silver on the raised rim of each instrument, and I find the result pleasing with a minimum of effort. All interior surfaces were dry brushed with a lighter grey. The cockpit sides were glued to each fuselage half.

After I painted the pilot’s seat grey and dry brushed it with Humbrol 11 silver, I cut thin strips of lead from a wine bottle for seat belts, and Re-Heat buckles were used on the seat belts and all were glued to the seat.

The “net” seat, shared by the radar operator and the rear gunner, was painted brown and given a dark brown wash.

The Schräge Musik parts were painted black and dry brushed with Humbrol 11, this was done after a large amount of fitting had been done, because the Fujimi cockpit is narrower than the PM where the guns came from, and the barrels had to pass through the canopy in the correct place which was not so easy. The assembly of the Schräge Musik was done at a later stage when work with the canopy was under way.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The fuselage halves with the cockpit parts were assembled, a tricky operation getting all the different cockpit parts together correctly. The fit of the fuselage halves really is good and by carefully aligning the top and bottom seams the result was very good.

The C/D nose was removed with a razor saw and pedals for the pilot were installed from the front end. The new G nose is a bad fit, and putty is a poor material for scribing panel lines but that’s the way I did it.

The protection plate for the Mg 151/20 shells on the nose cone was made from thin plastic card and glued in place.

Major Assembly

At this stage the main wings were attached to the wing roots on the fuselage. First the dihedral was checked against photos of the real thing, and some adjustments had to be made to the wing roots.

Care was taken not to destroy the small gap (“panel line”) between wing and wing root on both upper and lower sides; not much liquid glue was used.

I chose the Mauve white metal Waffenwanne MG 151 Z belly gun pack instead of the more common ETC500 bomb rack (was it carried because the aircraft were also used in daylight attacks?).



I decided to paint the model as Hauptmann Martin Becker’s 110 G-4 of 2./NJG 4, based in Florennes in the summer of 1944, using the TechMod decals. It may not have had the gun pack, but you can’t be sure as the photo documentation is incomplete! The Waffenwanne installation makes this G-4 an R3 variant.

On the tail plane I cut out the elevators, as I’ve seen several photos of 110’s on the ground with the elevators “hanging down”. The trim tabs were cut out from the elevators and glued slightly upwards and the actuators for them were adjusted, and finally the elevators were attached in a down position.

The trickiest part of the flaps on the 110 is how it meets the wheel well, I used mostly guesswork and it looks right to me after seeing the real thing at Hendon. The flaps halves were assembled and test fitted against the wing, and after many trials both flaps were glued to the wings.

The slats are made from thin sheet brass. I used the wing leading edge as a pattern and bent the brass over it, then trimmed the slats with a pair of scissors. By cutting very little each time the brass will not warp so much, but I had to use some putty to make the slats flat. I sanded some plastic off the leading edge where the slats would retract, and glued small pieces of thin plastic card as slat rails. The slats were left aside for final assembly.

The vertical stabilizers were glued in place and now the airframe was prepared for painting. But before that I marked the position of the drop tanks and drilled four holes on each wing.



Painting and Markings


Painting Troubles

In the autumn of 2002 I painted my Mauve, and my only information of the camouflage pattern was in the TechMod decal sheet instructions. It specified all three greys on the upper surfaces in a mottle pattern, to me a very unusual camouflage for a late war 110 G. Much later when I restarted the project I had received a description of one photograph from Mr GR Morrison, from which I painted the whole aircraft. I don’t claim to be completely correct in my interpretation of the colour scheme, but close enough.

Anyway, my first attempt was not up to my liking. I followed the decal sheet paint instructions and it looked like nothing I ever had seen. I packed all my modelling gears (and of course everything else) and moved to a new house, and three years later I used Mr Muscle and stripped off all paint.

The second attempt was better, but I thought the model was too dark, so I decided use only RLM 76 and 75. After stripping off the paint once more, the final layers were sprayed and I liked it! It’s a pattern very much like the late war Ju 88 scheme.

Before painting I had glued the windshield with harmless white glue and the joint was made smooth with putty, because the original canopy’s fit wasn’t that good.

I used some of the ExtraTech decals, but all crosses (except for the grey crosses) and Swastikas were Superscale. I had to use lots of Micro Sol to get rid of the silvering on some ExtraTech decals, even though I had a perfectly polished surface. Several coats of Johnson Klear with water sanding in between was used to hide all traces the carrier film on the decals.

The FuB 12F ventral blind landing antennas from the Eduard 48-253 PE set was badly damaged several times during my painting sessions. Finally I flattened it and put it aside until the project was almost finished!

All gear bays were painted RLM 02 prior to the coat of RLM 76, and all bay doors also got 02 on the inside and 76 on the outside.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:



Final Assembly

I had the True Detail resin drop tank set lying around, tanks of different shapes, I chose two of the same shape as supplied in the PM kit, drilled holes for the sway braces and painted them RLM 76. For the sway braces I used pieces of thin piano wire that were cut and bent with pliers and inserted in the holes. Each drop tank with sway braces was tested and adjusted to fit. The suspension parts were made from plastic strips and rods, and the fuel hoses between the wing and the drop tanks were made from copper wire, and appropriate holes for the hoses were made in the wings.

The rods between the support legs were glued with CA after the drop tanks were attached to the wings.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The PM main landing gears were adapted to fit in the wheel wells, painted RLM 02 and provided with hydraulic oil pipes, and the link mechanism from PM was also used. True Detail wheels were painted dark grey and dry brushed with mud brown. The white metal tail wheel looked very small to me so I opted for the PM tail wheel instead.

The opening in the fuselage for the canopy is very round in the rear; I made it square and cut the Squadron canopy to fit. I glued plastic strips to make a ledge on the canopy sill for the vacuum formed canopy, and painted the strips dark grey. Originally I had planned to cut out the rear entry part of the canopy, but as I only had one canopy and did not dare to cut the soft plastic, I left it closed. I also cut away the front opening and used PM parts for the side windows and the top that opens backwards.

Now it was time to drill the holes for the barrels of the Schräge Musik in the canopy glazing, and the cannons were glued in place after dry brushing with Humbrol 11, silver. The MG81Z was painted like the MK108’s and for the shell chute I found parts in an old Verlinden box, 1261 Luftwaffe Aircraft Guns.

The canopy was painted after careful masking first in one direction and then the other, to me the simplest way to achieve a good result. It was glued with epoxy glue and held down firmly with tape until the glue had cured. The antenna pole was painted and then glued with CA, but only after careful masking of the canopy to avoid the white fogging on clear surfaces.

The exhaust pipes were dry brushed rust brown and attached with CA glue, and the FuB 12F antenna was glued in place and painted RLM 76.

In this picture it is possible to see the Humbrol 11 dry brushing I did to simulate worn paintwork on the wings.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Now for the most delicate parts!

Antenna poles for the FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2, one of the older layouts sometimes called G-4b, was fabricated from plastic strips and rods. They were assembled except for the diagonal supports, and painted RLM 76. The antennas are 0,25 mm piano wire, and they are glued to the poles with CA glue and painted dark grey, red and white.



Each unit was attached to the nose with CA glue. Attaching the antenna arrangement to the nose is not easy, at least if you want them in the correct angle; slightly downwards and in plan view straight ahead. I only glued the centre support on both sides before trying to adjust the diagonal supports to fit. In the end I succeeded, and it’s one of my best antenna installations!

For the radio antenna wire I drilled a hole in the starboard fin and inserted a small photo etched loop. A piece of stretched black sprue was used between the antenna pole on the canopy and the loop, and to the fuselage.

The canopy was completed with side and top windows for the pilot after painting the frames.





Not the best of models, regarding good fit, but since the Pro Modeler G-4 was a disappointment to me this is my favourite! I’m a Luftwaffe night fighter nut, which you may have noticed from my previous feature articles, and the Bf 110G-4 is something special. A complete failure as a day escort fighter it was turned into a success at night, and it was used during the whole war.


Now I must build a C night fighter from the Fujimi kit and a PM G-4 with the Cutting Edge correction set!


Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Modelling the Messerschmitt Bf 110
(Osprey Modelling 2)
Author: Brett Green
US Price:
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 September 25, 2003
Details: Paperback; 80 pages; ISBN: 1841767042
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2006 by Jan Forsgren
Page Created 05 November, 2006
Last Updated 21 February, 2007

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