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Dragon's 1/48 scale
Bachem Ba 349A Natter

by Randy Lutz

 

Bachem Ba 349A Natter

 


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Description

 

Here is my 1/48 Dragon Bachem Ba 349A Natter, built completely out-of-the-box.

As it was my intention to model this kit respecting the standard IPMS Out-of-the-box rules, it is not finished to represent any particular Natter, as the way the kit is presented, it is impossible to model any of the documented operational manned Natters without some form of modification. When I say operational, I mean Natters that actually made it to a launch tower.

 



In all the photos of Natters in a launch position, that I have come across, only two different manned Natters are ever shown. The first is the well documented "Red 23" in which Lothar Seiber perished. The kit comes close to depicting this particular airframe, but for the nose cone. Red 23 appeared to have an extra cylindrical tip on the nose cone and this is not provided for in the kit. Truth be told the Dragon release which has the pine tree launch pole, does not include markings unique to any Natter. If you want the Red 23 markings, you need to buy the release of the Natter which does not come with the launch tower.

If you wanted to build Red 23, yet remain historically accurate, it should not be mounted to the pine tree launch tower, as Red 23 only flew the one time it was launched from the metal tower.

The second well documented manned Natter is shown being hoisted into position in a series of photos. It is finished in what is either a solid dark green or a very dark grey, with what could be interpreted as yellow geometric symbols on the wings. This was the Natter I was going to model, as it is the ONLY documented Natter on a pine tree pole, until I noticed that the tail planes are quite different from all other Natters. For some reason, for which I have never found an answer, this Natter had additional panels added to the outer edges of the tail planes.

 



So all this means that my Natter would have to be a generic late-war machine. Depending on how anal you are, this can be a liberating opportunity, or it can grind you to a halt. In my case, it was like hitting a brick wall. After all, how could I build and paint a historically correct machine, without some form of proof that it actually existed in the scheme in which it is finished. After weeks of debating and soul-searching, I was finally decided to use this lack of documentation as the liberating opportunity it should be. Therefore I opted to build a generic machine that could have existed. Well, that's what I tell myself anyway.

You will also notice that my Natter does not carry the clear Plexiglas nose cone. Maybe it should, but I never located a photo showing a Natter with a clear nose cone in place. In fact most photos illustrate the aircraft without a nose cone of any kind.

 



So, I present to you my late-war Ba 349A flown by Oberleutnant Fritz Dumpkoff of JG13.


 

Additional Images

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2004 by Randy Lutz
Page Created 03 November, 2004
Last Updated 03 November, 2004

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