Dornier Do 335B
by Larry Cherniak
During the summer of 1944, Dornier worked on improving their unusual Do335A "Pfeil" pusher-puller design. The B-series was a more heavily armed Zerstorer that featured a slightly revised cabin and heavily armored windscreen. From the B-2 on, two 30mm MK103 cannon were added just inboard of the landing gear attachment points in special fairings along the wing leading edge. The nosewheel was increased in size and redesigned to rotate 45 degrees upon retraction. Do335M-13 (RP+UP) and Do335M-14 (RP+UQ), built at Friedrichshafen and tested at Mergen, were the two development aircraft for the B-series. Nine additional B-series craft, both single and two-seaters, were built, rebuilt, or under construction at Oberpfaffenhofen at War's end.
In 1944, Ernst Heinkel and his engineers (with excess design capacity after the cancellation of several projects) were charged with improving the high altitude capability of both the single seat Zerstorer and the two-seat night and all weather fighter. They designed new outer wing panels, extending the wingspan to 60'-4.3" and gross area to 463 sq. ft. Like many other projects, this one never flew off the drawing boards- aided undoubtedly by the bombing of the Heinkel Vienna factory while it was tooling up for Do335A-6 production.
Models of D0335B's can be built from DML/Dragon 1/72 kits and converted from the Monogram and, soon, Tamiya 1/48 kits with Paragon resin sets (This set includes short wingtip extensions, overwing camera, cannon fairings, and front gear leg).
I was curious, though, as to what an "Arrow" would have looked like with the Heinkel extended wings so I decided to do a "quick and dirty" conversion on my own. I had been saving this old Monogram kit for a well-detailed, rescribed project that dried up when the Tamiya kit came out (freeing me to do what I had really wanted to do all along!).
The wingtips were sawn off just outboard of the wingtip panel lines and wings from an old Monogram P-39 were grafted on. These were chosen because they had the correct taper and span, and the wingtip shape was close enough to be filed into shape. The ailerons also happened to line up, which helped a lot.
Care was taken not to destroy the raised panel lines on the Do335 kit. New raised lines were added to one wingtip by gluing on stretched black sprue but this didn't work out well, so the other was simply cut into with an Exacto blade to send up raised lines on either side of the cut.
I added on other features from late-war B-series Zerstorers, like the armored windscreen and canopy with bubbles for rear-view mirrors (Squadron vac), the wing cannon and fairings (scrap box and 1/72 torpedoes), and larger front wheel with one-sided attachment and no mudguard. It is unlikely that the cannon fairings would have been used on this wing, but it's my speculative model and I thought they'd look good.
The rear cockpit was cut into the deck, with the rear wall coming from the front cockpit of a scrap Monogram Arrow, new sidewalls, and the rest of the tub from the rear cockpit in the kit. The location was based on photos of a postwar French Do335M in Greihl's "Nightfighters Over the Reich". The second canopy in the Squadron set was found to fit the opening if trimmed carefully, giving the backseat man his own rearview mirrors in the process.
The model was primed with charcoal black sandable auto primer from a spray can. I wanted to build up a bit of thickness to "bury" the raised panel lines and bodywork. After painting with Modelmaster and Floquil Military Colors enamels, the panel lines were "optically recessed" by sanding through the paint to reveal black primer or dark green plastic.
All in all this was a fun project. A lot of time was taken in making and fitting the conversion bits and working out fit problems with the kit, but the results made it worthwhile. I hope you enjoy seeing something a bit different in a Dornier "Arrow" as much as I do.
Model, Text and Images Copyright © 2000 by Larry