Dornier Do 335B-6
by Allan Wanta
Late-war German aircraft included a number of unique designs and ideas.
The Dornier Do 335 evolved into a number of aircraft designs to fulfill numerous roles including heavy fighter, fast bomber and night fighter. Although the ultimate defeat of the Third Reich was inevitable, construction and development of the B-6 nightfighter continued, but only a test aircraft. The Do 335 V-16 was constructed before war's end.
This is a conversion of the wonderful 1/48 scale Tamiya Dornier Do 335 using the old Paragon Do 335B-6 Nightfighter conversion.
The conversion has been around for quite some time and was designed to modify the Pro-Modeler Do-335. Time has marched on and so has the need to use the old Monogram kit. I managed to buy two of the old kits in hopes to someday make this and the other conversions offered by Paragon, but now the Tamiya kit will sacrifice its original identity for this conversion.
There are already many articles heaping praise on the new Tamiya kit, so let's move straight on to the Paragon parts and how we can use them with the new model.
The Paragon parts include two drop tanks molded on pylons, two resin radar antennae, vacuformed canopy, Radar operators cockpit tub, two leading edge resin inserts to correct the Monogram kit, weighted main and nose wheel and a new nose gear strut. On some Do-335 versions, the single fork nose wheel as supplied by Paragon is needed, but because the detail is so much better on the Tamiya leg, I decided to forgo using the front wheel and nose gear from Paragon. The main gear wheels are great, as are the drop tanks and radar aerials. The radar operators interior is also well done, with a bit of sanding, it fits very well into the Japanese kit. It was fairly simple to cut the opening for the second cockpit by using the canopy as a guide.
I would later install a piece of plastic to simulate the coming above the radar panel.
For the most part, the kit was assembled stock. Reheat seat belts and an Eduard instrument panel are the only deviations. I also needed the exhaust flame dampeners. None were in the scrap box, so I took thin aluminum tubing, cut to length and wrapped thin strips of BareFoil near the ends.
Paragon also supplies 4 flame dampener intake screens which neatly fit into the tube openings. Since this conversion was designed for the Monogram kit, two extra aerials from that kit are needed on the left wing to complete the conversion.
Luckily for me I happened to have a couple of the old kits stockpiled away for such a day.
A great source of information is contained in the soft cover AJ Press release on the Do-335 and all it's variants, constructed or planned.
As I continued with construction it struck me how well the Tamiya kit was going together. This gave me a bit more time to spend on some tiny details that I might otherwise ignore. Landing gear indicator rods on the upper wing surfaces are represented by Tamiya as two small bumps. I added the rods on top of these painted red and white.
Paint was with Xtra-color in the usual nightfighter scheme. National markings were painted on with the marvelous paint masks from Eduard. I sure hope they catch on as they eliminate the need to gloss coat and possibly ruin or mess up the paint finish. And after all, the originals are paint!
Possibly the most tedious part of the finish work is masking the canopies. No masks for the Paragon canopies are available yet.
Yet another Dornier Do-335B-6 hits the road (or air). I have no reservations in recommending the Tamiya kit to all levels of modelers; although the conversion is perhaps beyond the entry-level hobbyist.
A good time was had getting this kit on my shelf!
Click the thumbnail to view the
image full size.
Text and Images Copyright © 2001 by Allan