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Arado Ar 234B-2/N "Nachtigall"


One-Oh-Four
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Welllllll..... I'm off to build Fly's 1/32 jetted cigar too! Like Jim Hatch I chose the Nachtjäger version. Something different and besides, I already have the bomber/aufklärer-version in the stash from MDC. That one always intimidated me a little, to be honest... Anyway, I nicked the box-art from Jim's SPAR-review to head off my build:

 

valek02.jpg

 

So, the slightest bit of history from Wikipedia:

 

it was intended to modify upwards of 30 Ar 234B-2 airframes for the night-fighting role, from a proposal dated September 12, 1944.  Designated Ar 234B-2/N and code named Nachtigall (Nightingale), these aircraft were fitted with FuG 218 "Neptun" VHF-band radar with the appropriately reduced-length dipole element version of the standard Hirschgeweih transceiving AI radar antenna system, and carried a pair of forward-firing 20mm MG151's within a Magirusbombe conformal pod on the ventral fuselage hardpoint. A second crew member, who operated the radar systems, was accommodated in a very cramped compartment in the rear fuselage. Two of these jury-rigged night fighters served with Kommando Bonow, an experimental test unit attached to Luftflotte Reich. Operations commenced with the pair of 234s in March 1945, but Bonow's team soon found the aircraft to be unsuited for night fighting and no kills were recorded during the unit's very brief life.

 

It's also very hard to find any photos of these nightfighters, so there are lots of things I'm unsure of... For example T9 + NL from the box art seems to be Bonow's W.Nr. 140146. It seems that this aircraft is fitted with bot the FuG 218 Neptun radar (see the "antler" antennas) as wel as a FuG 350 "Naxos" under a plexiglass bubble on the spine. Maybe the FuG 218 was used by the radar operator and the FuG 350 was to be used by the pilot as the last system is known to also have been used on single-seat fighters? Furthermore, the box art shows the aircraft to be in the regular bomber scheme of RLM76, 81 and 82 while the painting directions show 140146 in overall RLM82 with RLM76 undersides.... The gun pod in the kit is also different than I see on many profiles... And lastly we have the 1/48 kits from Hasegawa and Revell that direct the modeller to paint these Versuchsmaschinen in regular nightfighter schemes, complete with painted out lower halves of the nose canopy. Maybe all true, but it seems a bit much for only 2 aircraft that were flying some operational testsmissions in March 1945 and were very quickly to be found unsuited for nightfighting, scoring no kills whatsoever...

 

Therefore I'll be building scheme 2, W.Nr. 140145, SM + FF, flown by Hauptmann Bisping and Hauptmann Vogel in the standard bomber scheme.

 

FlyArado_0001.jpg 

 

So work commenced with separating the resin parts for the radar operator's station from their pouring blocks as we want to have as little weight in the back as possible...

 

It doesn't happen very often, but it seems that I tried to sever my left index finger from it's pouring block too! 

 

YBT_4283.jpg

 

Of course, the pouring block uttered some swearing at that point but persevered with the resin. So after some time I was rewarded with the basic parts of the radar operator's station, some pouring block remains and a nice heap of resin dust! *Cough!*

 

YBT_4289.jpg

 

Did you BTW notice that they're quite mad in the Czech Republic?  B) 

Since it's quite late, I'll stop for today.

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Great start Erik! You only got one set of fingers mate... look after them!!

Cheers and please keep the updates flowing!

Alan

...... my order arrived today - bought both models! Looking forward to building them! So, keep pioneering the builds!

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  • 2 weeks later...

No, that's it Alan.

 

Erik doesn't usually progress beyond the box opening stage, so this one was a rare treat for us. I really enjoyed it! ;)

 

:popo:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:D

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