This aircraft was designed by engineer Heinz G. Sombold of the firm Bley based in Naumburg/Saale in January 1944. Originally conceived as a parasite escort plane, the design was altered to obtain a weapon able to break Allied bomber formations over Germany.
A specially converted bomber carried the device to the enemy lines and launched it at a height of 400 m. Then, it began a parabolic approach flight propelled by the Walter rocket to avoid the enemy fighters. The pilot dived in at a 45 degree angle, following a collision path with the center of the enemy “box”, then released the explosive nose and maneuvered to avoid collision.
Unlike the “Komet” and “Natter”, the So-344 kept propellant enough to escape after the attack and was fitted with machine guns for its self-defence. It had landing skids were very similar to the ones used by Heinkel in the “Julia” project. The works about the So-344 were abandoned at the beginning of 1945 when a 1/5 scale model for aerodynamic tests already existed.
The kit arrives in a simple box with a photo of a finished kit glued on its top. The kit pieces come in a close cellophane pouches. The kit consist of:
26 x beige resin parts
2 x vacuformed canopies
1 x vacuformed landing skid
photoetched seat belts
A sheet of decals for two different schemes
When you open the box you first find the instructions sheet. The instructions are printed in 4 legal size sheets. Looking in detail you notice that they are very clear to understand with differents drawings and explanations that guide you in assembling the model.
The resin has a very good surface finish with no bubbles in it. The fuselage comes in 3 pieces. You have the option to assemble the nose bomb on or off the fuselage. If you want you can leave it separate from it. The cockpit is nicely detailed with a very clear vacuformed canopy and a very good frame marking. This helps a lot when you have to mask it for painting. The different parts go together very well. I practically didn´t need to use putty.
The kit has recessed panel lines that give a nice view when you paint it. The construction itself isn´t very difficult, but you need some experience with resin.
In the instruccions you have the suggestions for the painting scheme. I used a different one, in this case RLM65, 70 and 71. The decals that come with the kit are of a very good quality.
This is a very nice kit of a strange Luft 46 plane. It´s an easy kit to make if you have experience in resin, with very detail instructions
It´s a nice option, sometimes not very common in this type of kit, to have two scheme with the decals.
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Highs: It has an exceptional surface finishLows: Some experience on resin is neddedVerdict: This is a very nice kit of a strange Luft 46 plane. It´s an easy kit to make if you have experience in resin.