Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Arado AR-234B



Kit

Kit Manufacturer

Scale

Price

Options

Out of Box (OOB) or Modified

Rating (1-10 10=best)

Arado 234B

Hobbycraft/War Eagle

1:48

$18

True Details Cockpit, Squadron vac canopy

8

The Arado AR-234B was introduced as the world's first jet bomber/recon aircraft. The aircraft was designed to be what Hitler tried to turn the ME-262 jet fighter into - a jet powered fast attack aircraft. While too late to change the result of the war, it allowed German commanders to get reliable recon photos over England and Italy as it, like the Mosquito, was fast enough to avoid being intercepted completely. Later variants had four Jumo 004 engines, or were tested (unsuccessfully) as night fighters. This aircraft was eagerly examined by all of the allied powers after the war.

The kit - well, the kit needs some help. There aren't many parts to it, and it depicts an Ar-234 with a 1000 kg bomb for the fuselage. Upon looking at the kit, two things were immeidately apparent - first, like all Hobbycraft kits I'd seen so far, the kit cockpit had no detail. Second, the clear parts for the canopy were thick and distorted, and needed replacing. I replaced the cockpit with a True Details resin cockpit. Some small parts were broken or warped, which were fixed easily. The Squadron vac-form canopy had soft detail, but very clear. With a little work cleaning it up, it makes for a great replacement.

Working further on the kit, the wings, tail, and fuselage needed some taping together while the glue dried due to slight (but not unmanageable) warping. The engine nacelles needed a lot of work - there's not much to them, but they needed putty for serious sinkmarks and a lot of scraping to get rid of seams. Still, not much out of the ordinary, and nothing unmanageable.

I painted this with Model Master Acryl paints - but forgot to prime it, unfortunately, which led to large areas of paint peeling off after light masking. Others (such as PollyScale or Gunze Sangyo) would have worked better, but I had found myself missing some of the shades I needed.

The decals had one main problem - a large number of the markings are white, and so is the decal sheet. Most of the decals went on without a problem, but due to international market regulations (dealing with some markets that outlaw the swastika in public display) the swastika markings (which seem too large anyway) are split in half. Unfortunately, they also curl over easily. My suggestion - replace those decals with sheets from Aeromaster.

Summary - it's a workable kit, but replace the canopy, cockpit, and decals, and be prepared for a little work.