Tamiya 1/48 Do 335A Pfeil Kit First Look
|Date of Review||March 2006||Manufacturer||Tamiya|
|Subject||Do 335A Pfeil||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||61074||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||First full kit of the Do 335A in this scale||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
The Do 335 started life as P.231 that was design that Dornier had envisioned for a tandem-engined single-seat high-speed bomber in answer to an RLM requirement. When the high-speed raider project was cancelled, the RLM informed Dornier that they were instead looking for a high-speed multi-role fighter with the same general layout. The Do 335 was born.
The Do 335 was similar in weight as other twin-engined aircraft, but locating one engine in the conventional 'tractor' position in the nose and mounting the other as a 'pusher' in the rear did several things:
The torque from the two engines cancelled each other out
Loss of an engine still left the remaining thrust on the centerline, so no nasty single-engine controllability problems as with conventional twins
The reduced frontal area from tractor/pusher engines translated into much lower drag
The result was a stable, easly controllable aircraft that was faster given the same horsepower than conventional twin-engined aircraft. The streamlined lines of the Do 335 rendered the fastest piston-powered aircraft in World War Two. Only manufacturing challenges from day and night bombing delayed production of the Do 335 and its introduction into widespread combat operations.
Tamiya has tackled some interesting subjects in their beautifully engineered 1/48 scale aircraft line-up. Their rendition of the Do 335A is definitely in keeping with the Tamiya standards of interesting and beautifully engineered.
Molded in medium gray styrene, the Do 335 kit is presented on five parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. A big honking steel ballast plug is also included in the kit to provide sufficient weight in the nose to allow the aircraft to rest properly on its tricycle landing gear.
Construction starts in (of course) the cockpit with the assembly of the cockpit tub and ejection seat. Ejection seat? Look again at that pusher propeller! Dornier developed the ejection seat to allow a pilot to be flug clear of his aircraft without being sliced up by his own propeller.
Note the long floor plate molded onto the rear of the cockpit tub. This mounts the wing mainspar structure, serves as the ceiling of the weapons bay and the floor of what would be the rear engine compartment. The way this kit is engineered, it almost falls together on its own.
The main landing gear is nicely rendered but that nose gear is definitely unique. The Luftwaffe hadn't had much experience with nose gear equipped aircraft prior to the Me 262 and Do 335.
Assembly of this kit .should be trouble-free, but if you take a little extra time to dry-fit the parts before gluing, you should have virtually no seams to fill.
Decals are provided for three examples:
- Do 335A-0, W.Nr. 240102, VG+PH, 102
- Do 335A-0, W.Nr. 240107, 107
- Do 335A-1, W.Nr. 240161, 1-3
As you can see in the images, the decals also include maintenance stencils for the airframe.
Tamiya did a nice job with this kit and would be a simple build for a relatively quick project. If you've acquired any of the multitude of aftermarket products for this kit, you could also turn this model into a Do 335 with virtually everything unbuttoned on the airframe and into quite a project as well. If there is a good kit to start from, this would be it. Simple or AMS, this kit is definitely recommended!