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Tamiya's 1/48 scale
Dornier Do 335A-0

by Chris Wauchop

 

Dornier Do 335A-0

images & text by Brett Green


Tamiya's 1/48 scale Dornier Do 335A-0/1 is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

Tamiya's 1/48 scale Do 335 in the box

Tamiya's 1/48 scale Dornier  Do 335A is a big, impressive kit.

The model is made up of 104 parts in grey styrene, 5 parts in clear, 2 poly caps and a cylindrical metal nose weight. All major sprues are bagged separately to limit scuffing of parts.

The relatively small number of parts permits rapid assembly but does not detract from the detail of the kit.

All main components are free of imperfections, but the bomb bay ceiling, undercarriage legs and a few other parts have ejector pin marks in visible places. The insides of the gear doors also reveal the ghost of ejector pin outlines in a few spots.

 



The kit fuselage features a detailed rear radiator, standard exhausts (fitted from the outside to ease painting) and a cylindrical metal nose weight. The mid-upper fuselage is an insert part, allowing for the Do 335A-12 two-seater that was released subsequently. The upper front engine cowl is another insert part. These inserts maximise the possible variants for Tamiya but they also minimise the need to fill and sand centre seam lines. All the inserts join at natural panel lines. Another nice touch is the separate forward cowl gun troughs.

The kit supplies optional open or closed cowl flaps. Radiator detail is very fine, and even the back face of the radiator is represented on the open cowl flap part. The propeller assemblies are fixed using poly caps. This will simplify final painting and assembly.

The kit cockpit is nicely detailed. The main focus is a 4-piece ejector seat plus a decal harness. The armrests are moulded as part of the main seat, and are in the "up" position. The instrument panel will be familiar to anyone who has bought a Tamiya kit recently. It has flat instrument faces and an option to apply decals for dial detail.

The cockpit floor, with integrated side consoles, is moulded as the forward section of the bomb bay ceiling. The bomb bay itself comprises 12 parts, including a 500 kg bomb and a substantial wing spar. Bomb bay doors may be positioned opened or closed.

 



The wings are simple assemblies of two parts each. The wheel well walls are moulded as part of each upper wing half, and structural detail is included on the wing root of the fuselage to complete the wheel wells. The wings locate onto the main box spar and a smaller spar moulded toward the rear of the fuselage wing root. The spars feature a small spur that effectively locks the wing in place when it is pushed home. Keep this in mind when test fitting the wings to the fuselage - you might wind up with a permanent connection!

Instructions are supplied on a ten-page, single sheet foldout. Construction is called out over 12 steps with simple to follow diagrams and comments where necessary. A 1/48 scale foldout sheet is also included, showing the camouflage pattern on the upper surfaces and both fuselage sides. This may be used as a guide, or may be cut out and used as a camouflage template.

Decals are provided for three aircraft but colour instructions are understandably vague. The painting guide discusses the RLM instructions for colours 81 and 82 to be used after existing stocks were used up. In the event, Tamiya seem to have settled on a scheme of 82 Light Green and 83 Dark Green. Lower surfaces are light blue - the choice between colours 65 and 76 is up to you!

 

 

Construction

 

Chris Wauchop built Tamiya's 1/48 scale Dornier Do 335A-0 when the kit was first released in 2000. However, he felt that because the model received so much exposure in print and on the internet - and due to the limited possibilities with colour schemes - that there was no real need to post photos of his model on HyperScale.

Naturally I disagreed, and I am now pleased to be able to present Chris's Pfeil, albeit four years after the model was finished!

 

 

Chris built the model with only minor modifications. These included:

  • seat harness from lead foil (for the straps) and fine wire (for buckles and anchors)

  • foot straps for rudder pedals from lead foil

  • interior framing for the canopy cut from thin strips of painted Tamiya masking tape

  • gun muzzles and exhaust stacks drilled out

  • tyres flattened

  • brake lines added using fine soldering wire on the front gear leg only. There was no photographic evidence of visible brake lines on the main gear.

 

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

Chris painted his Do 335 using Gunze acrylic paints for RLM 81 Brown Violet, RLM 82 Bright Green and RLM 76 Light Blue.

The paint was applied using the Testor Aztek airbrush fitted with the tan coloured fine tip.

The upper surface camouflage pattern was masked using Tamiya tape, but the low fuselage demarcation between upper and lower surface colours was sprayed freehand.

 

 

Kit decals were used. They behaved perfectly, and responded well to a coat of Gunze Mr Mark Softer.

Chris next employed his usual method of post-shading the panel lines for the model. This method comprises airbrushing a very thin mix of brown and black along the panel lines. This is followed by a thin semi-gloss black heavily thinned with water, applied directly to all panel lines using a 10/0 brush.


 

Photography

The composite images were created in Photoshop CS using images of the model and of background photos taken by myself last year at Duxford, and by George Pfromm in Germany and Belgium several years ago.

The model was photographed on a base of artificial grass and dirt against a plain grey background.

The backgrounds were modified by adjusting brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, plus removing and relocating foliage and other features.

 



Returning to the Do 335 photo, the model and part of the grass base were masked using Photoshop's Magic Wand and Lasso tools, then cut from the original image.

The model was then pasted as a new layer onto the modified background. Extra work was done merging the model photo with the background, especially around the canopy (through which the background was visible) and around the edges of the aircraft. Where the outline of the model was stark against the background image, the Blur and Gaussian Blur tools were used to blend it in.

The imported grass was highlighted using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools. The colour, hue, saturation and brightness was then modified to match the tone of the photo. The Clone Stamp and Healing Brush tools were used in a few places to blend the the artificial grass with the real concrete runway.

Finally, the composite images were cropped, resized to 700 pixels in width, and saved as a .jpg file for posting on HyperScale.

All the photos were taken with my Nikon Coolpix 5700 digital camera.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model  2004 by Chris Wauchop
Images & Text Copyright 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 22 August, 2004
Last Updated 22 August, 2004

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