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Mann's Model Moments

Airfix 1/72nd Scale Messerschmitt Me410A-1/U2 & U4

Airfix 1/72nd Scale Messerschmitt Me410A-1/U2 & U4

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The Messerschmitt Me410 was developed as a heavy fighter but went on to perform several roles such as night fighter, bomber destroyer and reconnaissance. Entering service two years later than scheduled in 1943 as a replacement for the Me210, the aircraft featured several distinctive features including the twin gun barbettes. 

The Me410 was essentially a development of the 210 featuring a lengthened fuselage, revised wings and more powerful engines. Although the Me410 performed well, it entered service too late to make an impact on the tide of war and was soon relegated to reconnaissance roles.

The Messerschmitt Me410 is undoubtedly one of the most impressive looking aircraft types of the Second World War, the ultimate incarnation of Germany's fascination with the Zerstörer heavy fighter concept.

Today, just a single complete example of a Messerschmitt Me410 is to be found on display anywhere in the world, one of the prized aviation possessions maintained by the Royal Air Force Museum at their Midlands RAF Cosford site, the very aircraft Airfix scanned at the outset of this exciting new model tooling project.

Although an excellent and extremely heavily armed aircraft, the Me410 could not adequately defend itself against the latest Allied single engined fighters. No match for the latest Spitfires, Tempests, and P-51D Mustangs, once USAAF commanders freed their fighters from bomber protection duties and allowed then to go hunting the Luftwaffe, any advantage the heavily armed Me410s had were effectively negated and if caught in the gunsights of Allied fighters, they were unlikely to survive the encounter.

Production of the Messerschmitt Me410 ended during August 1944, when the manufacturing lines were switched to producing single engined Messerschmitt Bf 109G fighters for home defence duties, however by that stage in the war, things were already looking rather futile for the struggling Luftwaffe.

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