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1/48 Revell scale
Me 410B-1/U2/R4
“Hornisse – Zerstörer”

by Emanuele Pravatà


Messerschmitt 410B-1/U2/R4 “Hornisse – Zerstörer”

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The history of the Messerschmitt Me 410  began with the disappointing performance of its predecessor, the Me 210, which had itself the ambitious task to replace the Bf 110, the first of the Zerstörers (Destroyers) dynasty. Messerschmitt had to develop a further version of the Bf 110 (the G series), due to the catastrophic results from the Me 210! The Me 410 was essentially a corrected Me 210 with 1m lengthened fuselage, automatic wing slats and new engines; the Me 410-B series were introduced in the early 1944 and were equipped with more powerful 1.900hp DB603G engines and specific armament. The heavily armed Zerstörer variant was therefore best suited to intercept the unescorted allied bombers formations, which began to attack deeply the Third Reich since late 1943. However, as soon as the Allies were able to escort their bombers over the German territory with single-engined fighters, the Zerstörer groups begun to suffer heavier and heavier losses. They were withdrawn from service before the end of the war. 

I decided to represent the aircraft showed on p.42 of Squadron/Signal publications #1147 “Me 210/410 in action”: the Me 410 B1/U2/R4 of Stab I./ZG 26 Holzschuh flown by Lieutenant Wenko. The picture shows it behind another Me 410 of the same gruppe, so that only its individual letter “A” -in green- is clearly visible, while the staffel identification letter is partially covered. I studied the picture for a while and in the end concluded that the staffel identification letter was much probably a “B”, just like the one of the foreground aircraft, that is coded “3U + GB”. So I thought that the correct codes for my model would have been “3U + AB”.  

Aeromaster’s sheet #48-360 provides the decals for a I./ZG26 “3U + AA” aircraft, with the individual “A” letter in green as I needed, so I just cut away the second letter and printed myself a black “B”, together with the “Werk” number printed on Wenko’s aircraft nose.



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This is Revell's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Me 410B-1.

Overall engineering  is very good, panel lines and cockpit details are amazing, so the kit was built almost out of the box, except for Eduard’s photo etched detail set #48243 and some other improvements:  

  • Fixed the incorrect shape and length of the supercharger intakes; they should be exactly round-shaped, while those provided in the kit have a curious “0” section and are too long. They were cut away from the assembled wing, replaced with two Evergreen 4,8mm tubes and “blended” to the wing root. Replacing the supercharger intakes is definitely not difficult nor time-consuming, while it makes the kit much more accurate. (See picture for details).   



  • My reference walkaround pictures clearly show  the correct panel lines pattern for the nose of the Me 410; these are not matched after the initial assembly of the fuselage. In particular, the clear item #90 includes in one piece part of the metal fuselage struts (solid) and the two front glasses (that you will preserve clear); moreover, it has a structural role in the fuselage assembly, too. A horizontal panel line between the two above mentioned glasses is also missing, and has to be scribed. There are two other “undesired” joints where the fuselage main halves meet the lower gun bay cowling part, in the lower section of the nose, too (see picture for details). I fixed this by scribing and applying either CA glue or putty as required.



  • Some minor improvements included lowered rear ailerons, scratch built blind-landing antenna and handles on the starboard fuselage side, the two MG17 gun barrels added inside their nose ports and other details in the cockpit and on the inner canopy. Eduard’s photo etched set also provides the correct (and very thin) items to represent the asymmetrical flame dampers and exhausts stains array. 



The last issue was the canopy assembly. Revell’s effort to depict te characteristic “double-sided” canopy detailing is rather noteworthy, but the assembly could be a tricky task, due to the congenital fit flaws of the clear parts. For example, the front clear item on my sample was too narrow, so I had to glue it in place while a toothpick section was keeping it wide enough to fit the fuselage and then, when dried, I removed the toothpick. In general, it is highly recommended to perform several dry tests before gluing the clear parts! After a successful assembly, the joint on top of the two canopy halves could be hidden. I used the dedicated Eduard’s masks set for painting, but found my sample very inaccurate and definitely disappointing.



Painting and Markings


The standard Luftwaffe fighters camo scheme, RLM 74/75/76 and 02/75/74 mottling on fuselage sides, was airbrushed after priming. Reference pictures for late 1944 subjects clearly show the evidence of  heavy duty conditions: I tried to represent this by applying either pre- and post-shading and a general heavy weathering on the model. The exhaust stains were intentionally exaggerated, in order to simulate the poor fuel quality Luftwaffe warbirds suffered from towards the end of the war. Many thanks to Mauro di Massimo, who kindly gave me some advice I will surely follow in my next projects!

Pictures were taken with my Nikon Coolpix 3700 digital camera in natural sunlight.





I’ve always found the Me 410 to be a beautiful and interesting warbird, despite its tormented development and career: its curious blunt nose, its complex greenhouse and cockpit,  the very high technology equipment and fire power made it one of the most fascinating WWII aircraft.





  • Squadron/Signal Aircraft #147: “Me 210/410 in action”
  • Aeromaster Decal set #48-360: “ME 410 Pt.III, Hornisse – Zerstörer Collection”
  • Eduard Photo etched set #48243
  • Eduard  Express Mask set #XF012



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2005 by Emanuele Pravatà
Page Created 27 March, 2005
Last Updated 29 March, 2005

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