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  1. The final pieces to this puzzle arrived today. So, I thought I should reserve the space for my very first build on LSM, now, even though it will probably be a couple weeks before I can start it. My initial intention was to have an early Bf 110 in my collection, but I was fairly certain that it would be a day fighter. The C variant seemed to be the obvious choice, so that's the kit that I picked up. I found a few promising schemes (something I'm very picky about when it's going to be in my own collection. It has to have "the look" and be "the one".), but when I came across this photo of an early nightfighter, I knew that it was indeed "the one" and it happens to be a D. So, since I had only the C kit, I ended up doing some trading of parts, in order to obtain the proper tail and tail wheel pieces that would be required to do a D variant. On top of that, I managed to pick up the following parts that I thought would help complete this build and make some improvements over what comes in the box (which is already pretty darn nice, from what I can see!). Dragon Bf 110C kit (with swapped out parts to make it a D) Eagle Cals decals (probably only be using the stencils) Montex masks HGW seatbelts (will be my first time using them) Eduard Zoom PE set Eduard canopy masks (but may just use the Montex, not sure yet) Quickboost exhaust pipes Aber brass barrel set for the 110C/D (these look amazing!) Some spare squadron crest decals donated from a fellow member at the LSP forum. I'm not a 110 fanatic, but I've always liked the look of the plane and it has a pretty rich history. In my lifetime, I have built a couple of the Monogram 1/72 kits, the Promodeler 1/48 G-2, as well as Revell's 1/32 G-4. However, only one of the little 1/72 builds survived over the years and the Dragon kit, along with all this aftermarket support and my improved patience and skills over the last twenty years (since I built my last 110), should be able to produce something that will blow all the previous builds clean out of the water. So, I am really looking forward to this one. I also have a pretty good stash of other Luftwaffe twin engines to build, so I figured this would be a great place to start with that lineup. I hope you all enjoy it and I want to say that I'm not opposed to constructive criticism and helpful information. So, feel free to add anything that you may feel is helpful. I may not implement every single thing, but the information is appreciated, nonetheless. John
  2. Welllllll..... I'm off to build Fly's 1/32 jetted cigar too! Like Jim Hatch I chose the Nachtjäger version. Something different and besides, I already have the bomber/aufklärer-version in the stash from MDC. That one always intimidated me a little, to be honest... Anyway, I nicked the box-art from Jim's SPAR-review to head off my build: So, the slightest bit of history from Wikipedia: it was intended to modify upwards of 30 Ar 234B-2 airframes for the night-fighting role, from a proposal dated September 12, 1944. Designated Ar 234B-2/N and code named Nachtigall (Nightingale), these aircraft were fitted with FuG 218 "Neptun" VHF-band radar with the appropriately reduced-length dipole element version of the standard Hirschgeweih transceiving AI radar antenna system, and carried a pair of forward-firing 20mm MG151's within a Magirusbombe conformal pod on the ventral fuselage hardpoint. A second crew member, who operated the radar systems, was accommodated in a very cramped compartment in the rear fuselage. Two of these jury-rigged night fighters served with Kommando Bonow, an experimental test unit attached to Luftflotte Reich. Operations commenced with the pair of 234s in March 1945, but Bonow's team soon found the aircraft to be unsuited for night fighting and no kills were recorded during the unit's very brief life. It's also very hard to find any photos of these nightfighters, so there are lots of things I'm unsure of... For example T9 + NL from the box art seems to be Bonow's W.Nr. 140146. It seems that this aircraft is fitted with bot the FuG 218 Neptun radar (see the "antler" antennas) as wel as a FuG 350 "Naxos" under a plexiglass bubble on the spine. Maybe the FuG 218 was used by the radar operator and the FuG 350 was to be used by the pilot as the last system is known to also have been used on single-seat fighters? Furthermore, the box art shows the aircraft to be in the regular bomber scheme of RLM76, 81 and 82 while the painting directions show 140146 in overall RLM82 with RLM76 undersides.... The gun pod in the kit is also different than I see on many profiles... And lastly we have the 1/48 kits from Hasegawa and Revell that direct the modeller to paint these Versuchsmaschinen in regular nightfighter schemes, complete with painted out lower halves of the nose canopy. Maybe all true, but it seems a bit much for only 2 aircraft that were flying some operational testsmissions in March 1945 and were very quickly to be found unsuited for nightfighting, scoring no kills whatsoever... Therefore I'll be building scheme 2, W.Nr. 140145, SM + FF, flown by Hauptmann Bisping and Hauptmann Vogel in the standard bomber scheme. So work commenced with separating the resin parts for the radar operator's station from their pouring blocks as we want to have as little weight in the back as possible... It doesn't happen very often, but it seems that I tried to sever my left index finger from it's pouring block too! Of course, the pouring block uttered some swearing at that point but persevered with the resin. So after some time I was rewarded with the basic parts of the radar operator's station, some pouring block remains and a nice heap of resin dust! *Cough!* Did you BTW notice that they're quite mad in the Czech Republic? Since it's quite late, I'll stop for today.
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