First of 3 Local BoB Bf 110 casualties
Around my home town of Eastbourne during August and September 1940, no less than 3 Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighters were brought down over land and probably many others were lost off the coast, unable to regain comparative safety in north France.
Late afternoon on the 16th of August 1940 saw a formation of Heinkel He 111 bombers attempting to penetrate through to the RAF airfields around London. Their escort on this mission seems to have been made up mainly of heavy fighters from various of the units flying Bf 110s, although there must have been some 109s about as well. RAF fighters intercepted the formation around the Surrey/Sussex borders and the Luftwaffe force turned back towards France.
Hauptmann Ernst Hollekamp was part of the 6th Staffel / II ZG 2 flying a Bf 110 C identified as A2+GL. It was shot down by a No. 1 Squadron Hurricane pilot based at Northolt and the a/c broke up above clouds over the Meads area of Eastbourne sometime in the early evening. The gunner baled out but drowned off Eastbourne seafront, while Hollekamp’s parachute appears to have failed to deploy fully and he was killed when he crashed onto the roof of one of the large houses in the Meads area. The remains of the aircraft ended up in the grounds of a school in Meads, now part of Brighton University.
Intent on modelling most of the local BoB casualties, I soon discovered that the only 1:48 scale Bf 110 C/D kit came from Fujimi whose pedigree I had little idea about as I ventured into my second modelling childhood some 10 years ago. Today there are much better renditions from Eduard mainly, but also Dragon. I have one of the Eduard kits to do and I suspect OOB it’ll kick the Fujimi offering into touch, although from various modelling sites it’s clear there are issues with various elements of the Eduard kit construction. The Japanese kit was the only one I could find back in 2005 and I ended up building 3 of these, the first of which is the subject of this post. I’ve learnt a thing or 3 about modelling realistic BoB a/c since this early rendition and hope that my next Bf 110 will be much better when I get round to it.
The Fujimi kit offered sparse detail in the pilot/gunner cabin which I tweaked a bit with some of the Eduard etched set for this model, which also provided extra detail for the oleo legs and wheel bays. The kit canopy included a moulded-in armout panel on the windscreen which didn’t appear in any of the contemporary pics I had of ZG 2 a/c of the period. I replaced it with a Squadron Vac canopy that looked much more appropriate.
I was quite pleased when the whole thing eventually came together, but I suspect the Eduard kit will look a bit better when I get around to it. My one disappointment was allowing the cyano acrylate glue to fog parts of the glasshouse, since I wasn’t happy with ordinary white glue or polystyrene cement. You live and learn by such mistakes.
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.