As mentioned, this model is based on Dragon’s previous release of the Arado Ar-234C. Sprues A & C (photos 1 and 2) are still marked for this kit and all the parts are there for the C-3. If Dragon threw in some C-3 decals, they could correctly call this a 2-in-1 kit.
The new sprues consist of a new cabin, armament gondola, radar nose dome, antenna blisters, all done in clear plastic, new photo-etched brass, and decals. I am not sure about the PE, but I do not recall it in my prior build. (See photo 3.)
Your spares box will receive BT-1400 weapons, Rb-50/30 cameras, and drop tanks. Other unused parts are specifically for the Arado Ar-234C-3 variant.
This would be a quick build and the instructions take you through the process in only 7 steps. There is an errata sheet, since the parts map incorrectly identifies parts for the cabin on the newly tooled L sprue. Decals are included for four aircraft.
I haven't built this kit yet but, luckily, I saved the instruction sheet from the C-3 and I've looked at the notes I took. The plastic is soft and tends to string if the cement used is to ‘hot’ such as Tenax 7R or my favorite: Methyl Ethyl Chloride.
The biggest issues were the nacelles. Both sides of the upper nacelles are labeled C1. However, they are not identical. See photo 4. Parts C1 are to the right. Note how they are handed to match with parts C13 and C14 to their left. The pins on the latter parts are not properly placed. Remove the forward pins and this improves their fit enormously.
There are pin marks in the landing gear doors, but I did not find them too difficult to remove by rubbing them with a pencil eraser tip onto which I glued a punched disk of sandpaper. I also replaced part A34, the parachute cord, with twisted wire for a better appearance.
The wings to fuselage fit was not the best during a trial fit and it was improved dramatically by carefully block sanding the wing roots on the fuselage sides (parts A1 and A2).
This kit is of a prototype that existed only on paper. However, there are a few things we do know. It was a two-man aircraft and the radar operator sat in a tight compartment where the cameras (or rear firing cannons) were housed. To ease entry and eliminate claustrophobia, a hatch with a Plexiglas panel was added between the stations. Sadly, this has been completely omitted. Second, the modeler is informed to fill in the ETC rack mounting holes from the lower nacelles (parts C1). The night fighter used drop tanks to increase its range and this would be no exception.
Outline accuracy is fine by me, although some have expressed concern over the shape of the vertical fin and the ailerons (see photos 5 and 6). On my previous kit, I added rear firing guns and replaced the molded stubs on the lower cabin with hypo tubing. The same can be done here.
Even though this is a Luftwaffe ’46 aircraft which never flew, it is unlikely that the ground crew would paint over the radar nose dome. So, ignore the instructions and leave it in the correct frosty finish that it already is in. To give it a touch of authenticity, scrounge up a radar dish and paint it black so it appears as a silhouette.
The kit is nice. If one wants to put the effort of adding the clear panel for the second crewman, a unique aircraft can be added to one’s collection. I will probably use the C-3 parts and build another version which did see combat.
Jet Planes of the Third Reich by J. Richard Smith & Eddie J. Creek - published by Monogram Aviation
Arado 234 Blitz by J. Richard Smith & Eddie J. Creek - published by Monogram Aviation
Arado Ar234 by Martinec published by Hobby Manual Ar234 Blitz by Seweryn Fleischer and M. Rys - published by AJ Press
Dragon has released another 1/72nd scale kit from their Golden Wings Series. This kit is a modification of their Arado Ar-234C-3 model which I built a few years ago. The box top painting is rather timely as it shows the radar equipped Arado Ar-234P-2 shooting down a Lancaster. Didn’t Hasegawa recently release a Lancaster?