Hasegawa 1/48 Arado Ar 234 B-2
reviewed by Steve Jantscher
This kit is the first in what is supposed to be a series of Ar 234 jet bomber/reconnaissance versions from Hasegawa/Revell of Germany. This is very much to be anticipated and welcomed. The last major kitting of the Arado was a mediocre (at best) HobbyCraft kit of this plane.
What is not to like about a Hasegawa kitting of a subject. The plastic is crisply molded, flash free and very finely detailed. No dropped flaps, but often that is filled by after market suppliers. Armament included is a 1000 Kg SC 1000 "Herrmann" bomb and two internally mounted reconnaissance cameras. The recessed panel lines are sharp and the clear parts are finely represented by thin plastic (in a separate plastic bag with the decals). Speaking of decals and markings, Hasegawa decals have shown a lot of improvement in the last year or two, so much so that I can feel confidant in recommending these. Three schemes are available, two with the standard late war green splinter pattern, and a third with the same pattern heavily over sprayed in a patchy RLM 76 (winter ?) pattern. There are not too many different schemes for this aircraft, but this last one looks interesting.
Given the design of this aircraft, the highlight of any kit will center around the cockpit area and attention to detail when constructing the multi part canopy structure. This brings me to my only (albeit small) nit to pick with Hasegawa about this kit. The lack of a separate canopy door part. The cockpit was accessed through a hatch on the top of the canopy. I would have liked a separate hatch open option. Now, it won't be too difficult to make it open by cutting open the hatch hole, and then fabricating a simple rectangular flat hatch from clear stock. But it would have been so much better just to have given both a solid (closed) option, and two more pieces with an open hatch hole and a separate hatch.
Other than the glass hatch, I can't think of any misses on this kit. It truly stands out as another great addition to the 1/48th scale lineup from one of the premier model makers in the world today.
By the way, the best single reference work
on the Arado 234 is to be had in the form of the Monogram hardcover book, Arado
234 Blitz by J. Richard Smith & Eddie J. Creek.
(click to order)