I was going to save this for a while but decided to get stuck in and hope to knock it off before Chrissy day. I imagine most here would be familiar with the shortcomings of the 210 series that led to them being finally rectified with the 410 but here's a quick wrap up from Wiki.
The Messerschmitt Me 210 was a German heavy fighter and ground-attack aircraft of World War II. Design started before the war, as a replacement for the Bf 110. The first examples were ready in 1939, but they proved to have unacceptably poor flight characteristics due to serious wing planform and fuselage design flaws. A large-scale operational testing program throughout 1941 and early 1942 did not cure the type's problems. The design entered limited service in 1943, but was almost immediately replaced by the Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse ("Hornet"). The Me 410 was a further development of the Me 210, renamed so as to avoid the 210's notoriety. The failure of the Me 210's development program meant the Luftwaffe was forced to continue operating the Bf 110 after it had become outdated, despite mounting losses.
Prototype Me210 V1. Besides the carry over Bf110 tail design it's interesting to note one of the props is feathered.
Deliveries to frontline units started in April 1942, and the plane proved to be even less popular with pilots. Production was stopped at the month's end, by which time only 90 had been delivered. Another 320 partially completed airframes were placed in storage. In its place, the Bf 110 was put back into production. Although the Bf 110 was now equipped with the newer DB 605B engines and greater firepower, it was still an outdated design.
The Luftwaffe started receiving their Hungarian-built planes in April 1943, and the Hungarians in 1944; when they entered service they were more than satisfied with them. Production ended in March 1944, when the factory switched over to produce the Bf 109G. By that time, a total of 267 Me 210C had been built, 108 of which had been given to the Luftwaffe. They operated mostly in Tunisia and Sardinia, and were quickly replaced by the Me 410.
Enter the Me410
The major change between the Me 210 and 410 was the introduction of the larger and more powerful Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines, which increased power to 1,730 hp (1,290 kW) compared to the 1,475 hp (1,100kw) DB 605s used on the Me 210C - the interim Me 310 design experiment actually used the DB 603 powerplant choice first. The engine performance increased the Me 410's maximum speed to 625 km/h (388 mph), greatly improved rate of climb, service ceiling, and most notably the cruising speed which jumped to 579 km/h (360 mph). It also improved payload capability to the point where the aircraft could lift more war load than could fit into the bomb bay under the nose. To address this, shackles were added under the wings for four 50 kg (110 lb) bombs. The changes added an extra 680 kg (1,500 lb) to the Me 210 design, but the extra engine power more than made up for the difference. As with the Me 210, the 410's rear gunner used the same pair of Ferngerichtete Drehringseitenlafette FDSL 131/1B turrets mounted on each side of the aircraft, each still armed with a 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine guns, retaining the same pivoting handgun-style grip, trigger and gunsight to aim and fire the ordnance as the 210 did.
The new version included a lengthened fuselage and new, automatic leading edge slats, both of which had been tested on Me 210s and were found to dramatically improve handling. The slats had originally been featured on the earliest Me 210 models, but had been removed on production models due to poor handling. When entering a steep turn, the slats had a tendency to open due to the high angle of attack, analogous to the opening of the slats during the landing approach. (This problem was first observed on the Bf 109V14 and V15 prototypes for the Bf 109E), which added to the problems keeping the aircraft flying smoothly. However, when the problems with the general lateral instability were addressed, this was no longer a real problem. The wing panels of the earlier Me 210 had been designed with a planform geometry that placed the aerodynamic center in a rearwards direction in comparison to the earlier Bf 110, giving the outer sections of the wing planform beyond each engine nacelle a slightly greater, 12.6° leading edge sweepback angle than the inner panels' 6.0° leading edge sweep angle. This resulted in unreasonable handling characteristics in flight for the original Me 210 design. The new Me 410 outer wing panels had their planform geometry revised to bring the aerodynamic center further forwards in comparison to the Me 210, thus making the leading edge sweepback of the outer panels identical to the inner wing panels with both having identical 5.5° sweepback angles, which improved handling.
Deliveries began in January 1943, two years late and continued until September 1944, by which point a total of 1,160 of all versions had been produced by Messerschmitt Augsburg and Dornier München. When it arrived, it was liked by its crews, even though its improved performance was not enough to protect it from the swarms of high performance Allied fighters they faced at this stage of the war. Production was eventually cancelled to concentrate on Bf 109Gs in August 1944, the month after the Jägernotprogramm (emergency fighter program) had gone into effect.
I thought it would be also be interesting to compare the Mossie and the 210/410 time line.
The replacement for the 110 had started in 1937 when the Messer design team began work on the 210. The day after WWII officially broke out, 2nd Sept 1939, the prototype ME 210V-1 was making its first flight.
It wouldn't be until January '43 before the 410 was finally starting to be rolled out as a production machine. So nearly seven years from design, to aircraft that wasn't riddled with issues, which seems a common theme in the German aircraft industry (during the war).
The Mosquito became an idea around April-July 1938 and by September 1939, de Havilland had produced preliminary estimates for single and twin-engined variations of light-bomber designs using different engines, speculating on the effects of defensive armament on their designs. 'We believe that we could produce a twin-engine bomber which would have a performance so outstanding that little defensive equipment would be needed'.
By the 29th of December 1939 a full scale mock up had been built and examined and received backing. Work on the prototype was begun in March 1940, was cancelled after Dunkirk and then reinstated in July 1940. On the 25th November 1940 the prototype made its first flight and the first operational missions (recon) were made in July 1941 with delivery of the bomber version being taken delivery of in November 1941.
Around two years from mock up to a production machine.
Besides the famous 'You can call me Meyer' Goring Quote, he is aslo said to have stated the following while lecturing a group of German aircraft manufacturers-
'In 1940 I could at least fly as far as Glasgow in most of my aircraft, but not now! It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy. The British, who can afford aluminium better than we can, knock together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building, and they give it a speed which they have now increased yet again. What do you make of that? There is nothing the British do not have. They have the geniuses and we have the nincompoops. After the war is over I'm going to buy a British radio set – then at least I'll own something that has always worked.'
Anyway, getting back on track..despite all of the above i have always thought the 210 and 410 were just great looking machines. Stumbling on a Meng 410 at half price was an easy sale although i would have preferred a clean fighter version without the Bk5 cannon, which crazily enough was derived from the Panzer III (i'm guessing the PZIII J) tank's main armament, the 50 mm (2 in) KwK 39 L/60.
This was also a plane i skinned sometime in early 2003 in EAW. I remember even those pixely prop spinners took myself and Col Gibbon a good couple of days to be functional. Plane models and skinning has come a long way since those days that's for sure!
The real deal
and that 50mm cannon
The kit includes a really nicely laid out 23 page instruction booklet with two schemes, 6./ZG26 and a captured 410 in Russian markings.
The moulds are really nice although the panel lines and details seem a bit deep.
I'm already a couple of days in so playing catch up here, the lower gun bay doubles as the forward cockpit section. Unfortunately you see zero of any of this detail once buttoned up. I suppose if you were making a nice static display you could leave the BK5 cannon assy off to show this area. Still to be added in this pic is the ejector chutes for all four guns.
Upper side of the same piece.
Rear section, gunner/radioman pit.
Since towards the end of the KI84 build i had noticed i was having some slight issues with my spraying regards flow and needing more psi to get the job done. Upon further inspection i realised the nozzle (where the needle end seats) had become flared, from me pushing the needle in too hard over the last 8 odd months I decided to attempt to see if this was the issue, the needle not squaring in properly, and sand the flare off. This ended up turning into a multi hour session of stripping the brush down including the valve chasing another issue as it was now bubbling in the cup like a blockage. The end result was me dropping it on hard concrete at about 2 in the morning when i should have been counting sheep. This totally destroyed the nozzle...
..but luckily the needle was out at the time. The next day was a 120k round trip to the closest model shop that had one on the shelf and i was back in business.
The controls for the fuselage mounted Mg131s.
From Bomber Aircraft-Combat development in world war two by Alfred Price
The aircraft's wireless operator aimed the guns, using one of the reflector sights fitted on either side of his position. By moving the sight on the target with the control handle, the gunner 'clutched-in' the out-going drive shaft to one or both of the continuosly-rotating drums and thus traversed and elevated one of the guns until it was aligned with the target. The guns were able to traverse between 45 degrees outbard and 2 degrees inboard, and elevate or depress to 70 dgrees of the fuselage centre line."
"For the gunner's peace of mind , the guns were fitted with a simple interupter system which prevented him from shooting bits off the aircraft if they got in the way.
The kit allows you to make the guns movable but i declined the option as doing so requires me to have the guns and blisters mounted to the fuselage when i join the two halves. I decided to fully glue the inner mount rings before joining the fuselage, mainly i was worried i may knock or break the guns if i add them so early in the build.
Complete cockpit assembly and how it should fit up. Some parts to be touched up before final fitment.
Ejectors added to the guns and after several trial fits this side is glued and i let it sit overnight once i added the front glass section. Also added are the wing spars. The top cockpit section i've glued at the rear but will wait for the fuselage to be mated before aligning the front.
The next day (two days ago) was just a tad hot to be doing anything in the shed at all. Outside we saw 38.7c and it felt like instant sunburn out in the yard. I was having Sarah Connor flashbacks.
With the halves joined i've needed to add some zapagap to fill one side of the glass section. This whole front section is going to require some clean up work further down the line.
Trial fit of the wings, it looks like this kit will require no filler for the fuselage to wing joins, which is awesome.
Rudder, Meng went a bit hard core with the detail here. I'm thinking they are trying to replicate a fabric covered rudder and went stuff it, that'll do. I may sand those five obnoxious horizontal sections down to a mere hint of themselves.
The BK5 cannon assembly, once fitted all that will be seen is a section of the barrel.
I've decided i am going to attempt a clean paint job on this one with minimal weathering or wear and tear. I am also going to try Vallejos flow improver with their thinner and see how it stacks up against the windex i have been using for the last three or so builds.