Even though first conceived as early as 1941 by Professor Walter Blume and his design team, due to delays in the production of the Jumo 004 engines, it was in July 1943, that the first prototype of the world’s first jet powered reconnaissance aircraft enjoyed a successful maiden flight. The prototype utilised a jettisonable take-off dolly and landed on retractable skids. It was quickly realised this was not ideal and further development saw the inclusion of a tricycle undercarriage.
After more prototypes the Arado Ar 234 B went into production as a fast reconnaissance aircraft or a fast bomber. The first operational sortie was on 2nd August 1944, when a reconnaissance version overflew the Allied beachhead unhindered due to its high speed and high altitude. A further 13 missions were subsequently successfully carried out shared by the same aircraft and another Ar234B, all without interception by allied aircraft.
The kit is one of the few Ar234B’s that were converted in the field to night fighter spec by the installation of FuG 218 Neptun radar and a belly pack housing a pair of additional two 20 mm MG-151/20 cannons. The radar operator was crammed into the fuselage behind the wing sitting on a cushion. Although it is reported these improvised night fighter aircraft coped well with this new role, no kills were ever recorded.
Plastic Parts: 99 (7 NOT USED) on 4 sprues
Clear Parts: 11 (4 NOT USED) on 2 sprues
Etched Parts: 9
All parts are beautifully detailed with fine panel lines on the larger parts and all with minimal cleanup required as flash is virtually non-existent. There should not be any fit problems and is expected to go together exceedingly well. This a very comprehensive kit of a very high standard and scores accordingly.
The cockpit is very well detailed especially for a 1/72nd.
Also included in the parts are a pair of “Rauchergeraut” rocket assisted take-off boosters and a pair of bombs.
Very good clear parts that are both thin and clear with crisp detail.
One small fret is provided containing antenna. The quality is superb.
Decals supplied look very good quality as is usual with Dragon kits, and look reasonably extensive, including swastikas.
Excellently presented assembly instructions and camo diagrams. Clear and precise illustrations throughout.
As this is a very comprehensive kit of a very high quality, the asking price represents good value.
Overall, this kit will make up into a very nice model and should be a very attractive addition to any collection. A must for all Luftwaffe fans. Although the kit consists of many parts, with care and patience a modeller of limited experience should produce good results.
About Peter Allen (flitzer) FROM: ENGLAND - NORTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
Greetings to all.
My real name is Peter Allen and I have recently returned to UK from working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as a creative director in an advertising agency.
My home town is Wigan in the north of England.
I’m married to Emily, a Polish lass who tolerates my modelling well.