First of all, a closer look at the Bf110c miniatures from Raiden. Though I might well be repeating myself here, it is no secret that Raiden is one of my favourite manufacturers due to their propensity for capturing the feel of an aircraft in 1/300, despite the occasional slight symmetry issue and other, detail-oriented concerns.
The Bf110c was designed on theoretically sound principles that were learned during the first world war and reaffirmed during the the Spanish civil war - namely that in air superiority combat, maneuverability was subordinate to speed. The more nimble radial-engine biplane fighters of both WW1 and the Spanish civil war could easily out-maneuver more modern designs of both conflicts - though this helped little. The more powerful, modern designs of both conflicts were unable to out-turn the opposition, yet had enough engine power to pick their fights - and this proved a desicive advantage. If the situation was favourable, the faster fighters could "boom-and-zoom," diving down on the opposition, make a high speed attack and then use velocity gained in the dive to climb rapidly out of retaliation range to repeat as required. If the situation was unfavourable, the faster fighters could quite simply avoid combat altogether.
Symmetry issues - at the least to me, it appears like the wings are not quite alike. Never mind, it will never be noticed during a game...
The Bf110c was designed to both have long range and to use superior speed to win air engagements. The only problem was that, like for many other inter-war "fast" designs, aircraft design evolution overtook the 110 before the war broke out. Designs like the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire pushed the envelope on what was thought possible performance-wise, and heralded a new age of high-speed, single engine monoplane air superiority fighters. During the first year of world war 2, the concept of the "fast" multi-engine bombers and fighters was buried by the merciless evolution of powerful single engine fighters by all air forces.
Though the Hurricane and Spitfire fighters gave the 110s a run for their money over the Channel and England in 1940, I find it interesting to note that the design principle was proven very sound in other theatres where the opposition lacked high-speed fighters. On the eastern front, the 110 proved a fearsome opponent for the slower opposition.
Before and after images. Due to the size of the model no doubt, there are lumps of metal on both engine spinners and the nose, where the air has been allowed to escape the mould. It cleans up well, though I must say it was less than ideal to have this lump right below the finely detailed nose machine guns. Although the poor maneuverability of the 110 may make tailing the more nimble RAF fighters tricky, the four 7.92 mm MGs and two 20 mm cannon should have good effect in fly-by and boom-and-zoom attacks.
At any rate, early war + 20 mm cannon = win...
So, what can be said of the models themselves? Like all the Raiden sculpts I have received, they are fine models indeed. After making an effort to compare the sculpts to photographs of the aircraft, I am satisfied. Except for the less than optimal placement of the metal lump remaining from the casting right below the four nicely made 7.92 mm MGs, there is one other detail that bothers me - the etched lines on the canopy were quite subtle, meaning painting the multi-pane canopy will be a right bitch, pardon my french...
Due to these details, I'd rate this model as a 4 out of 5. A fine model that I am very much looking forward to painting up and gaming with.
As a side note, the Bf110c is a huge aircraft, nearly rivaling the Do17zs for size!
Coming soon to a fjord near you - undercoated Zerstörers ready for painting
Being at my father-in-law's cabin, I had brought only the Bf110cs for udnercoating. Having some available time later that week-end, I sat down with my children's crayons and paper to draw a little something for my office wall. As I have previously said, the Bf110c fascinates me no end. That being said, the nazi regime does not, so I was happy to find a photograph to draw after that had the swastika obscured due to exposure.
By clamping a straight piece of material onto the plywood, one can saw uncannily straight using just a normal hand saw.
Finally, I started work on a project that has been lying in my basement for ages - a full size gaming table, which will be required to get the gaming mat fully unfolded. The "table" will consist of a 4-by-8 foot plywood plate, cut in two, stiffened with wood beams and fitted with hinges and latches for stowage. Work was cut short when it started to snow like mad, preventing outdoor carpentry work.
The table will not have legs, instead I will stick on felt pads so it can rest on any smaller table without scratching it. Latches will secure it in a locked, unfolded position. It will likely be unpainted, as I intend to use felt mats whenever gaming on it, though I might paint it for some added durability, in that case in any neutral colour.
And that was that. Well, there was one other matter, though I'll return to that later...