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ProModeler 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Me 410B

Kit: No. 5936
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: ProModeler, Revell-Monogram, 8601 Waukegan Rd., Morton Grove, IL 60053-2295, &847-966-3500
Price: $$23.50
Comments: Injection molded

Strike another line from the list of most-wanted kits as ProModeler releases the 1/48 scale Me 410. Molded in light gray styrene, the parts show excellent recessed panel lines and raised fasteners. Optional cannons and an optical gunsight are provided for the Me 410B-2/R2 version, and underwing rocket pods are included for an Me 410B-1/U2 machine.

The excellent 24-page instruction manual includes detail photos of a restored Me 410, 13 easy-to-follow assembly steps, and paint and marking guides. Each part is numbered and named. The decal sheet provides markings for three aircraft, including swastikas.

The parts fit well and no filler was needed. You may want to modify the assembly sequence for easier painting. I cleaned up minor mold-parting lines and painted many small parts while they were still on the sprues. I left off the cockpit superstructure until after painting the camouflage to ease masking the interior. I tacked on the engine nacelles and fuselage-side turrets with rubber cement, painted the mottled camouflage, then removed them to install the exhausts and gun barrels - this avoided awkward masking. The same method was used on the spinners; it's easier to paint and apply the white curlicue decals with the prop blades out of the way. When they were dry, I popped them open, inserted the props and retainers, and reassembled with glue.

As usual, I kept the canopy off while painting the airframe, but I did install and mask the front window (part No. 90) in step 3. I built up the main canopy parts off the model by placing the assembly on double-sided tape. The tape held the parts in position while I carefully glued them with liquid cement and a fine brush. I left the assembly on the tape for masking and painting, too.

The main gear spays out slightly, so remove a little plastic from the inboard sides of the flat areas on the bottom of the tires to make better contact when the model is placed on a level surface.

I painted the model with Testor Model Master II enamels. My sample's decals were printed slightly out of register - the white on the crosses and swastikas was lopsided. I found better ones on aftermarket sheets. The kit decals were thin and went on perfectly with a little Micro Sol.

The finished 410 measures perfectly with the dimensions in George Punka's Messerschmitt Me 210/410 in Action (Squadron/Signal), but I noticed the fixed trim tabs outboard of the adjustable trim tabs on the ailerons were missing. Also, the direction to place the fuel and oil access markings (decals 1 and 11) on the hatches is questionable; usually the markings were placed adjacent to the hatches.

About 30 hours were invested in my 410. Beginners may find some of the small parts difficult to handle, but the glitch-free assembly will be appreciated by builders of all levels. I've waited a long time for this kit, and now I'm going to take a long time gazing at this beauty.

- Bill Gebhard

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