Revell of Germany 1/48th Arado Ar 234 C-3
Reviewed by Steve Jantscher
If you think you've seen this kit already, you mostly have. This is the second release of the Ar-234 this past year. Earlier Hasegawa released kit number 09083, the Ar-234 B-2 two engine jet bomber / reconnaissance aircraft. Now Revell of Germany has the privilege to release the four engine version of the same series of aircraft. All the same comments I made before about the earlier release apply to this kit. the same molds were used as before for the common areas. The wings and the cockpit / nose areas are the only different parts used. The 'C-3 version had a larger and somewhat more egg shaped canopy structure. This lends a neat "organic" look to the rather plain looking earlier version. It's actual purpose was to provide better rearward vision to the pilots. The 'C had the distinction of being the fastest turbojet powered aircraft flown during WW II. Only the Me-163 was faster.
Given the commonality with the earlier "B" version, this kit has many extra parts listed as not for use on this kit. In my research (the excellent Monogram book Arado 234 Blitz by Smith & Creek) a pilot reports flying the AR 234 V19 (the first true C series prototype) with the Walter take-off assistance rockets. these are included in the box, but are not listed for use. They presumably were placed on the between engine hard points, where the external fuel tanks are called for. This would make for a special variant not likely to be seen at many model contests. Another possibility would be to use the fuselage of the "B kit" with the wing and four engines of the "C kit" to make some of the early prototypes. One also hopes that some of the exotic cockpit / nose sections for the proposed night fighters will become available from the after market crowd. The Germans had many plans for the C airframe.
This kit is typical Hasegawa quality, petite panel lines, crystal clear canopies and average to very good fit. I haven't built either of the versions yet, but I've heard the nose section / fuselage fit isn't the best, and to use plenty of dry fitting before finally closing the cockpit section or joining the cockpit to the fuselage. I heard there was some need for trimming the rear cockpit bulkhead to get it to better fit when mated to the fuselage. The decals seem to be thin, but have a dull flat appearance to them. I wonder just how well they will disappear when applied.
Oh yes, the box. Revell of Germany decided to release this kit in the same size box that the huge Bv 222 giant flying boat came in. Hasegawa managed to get their kit into a small, standard sized box. RoG needed over three times the volume to release an almost identically sized kit. This kit comes in a 13x20 inch box, 3 inches deep. What were they thinking? Oh My!
(click to order)