Do 335B-8

The B-8, the final B-series variant, was to be a two seat night fighter for which the M23 was the designated development prototype. The B-6 night fighter was to be based on the A-6 airframe. The B-7 was also to be a night fighter with an enlarged laminar flow wing with 441 square feet of surface area and 2000 hp DB 603 engines for which the M22 would have been the development prototype. The B-8 was to have been a high altitude night fighter which incorporated the Heinkel designed high aspect ratio long span wings with 463 square feet of surface area and powered by the DB 603 LA engines of 2000 hp. It would have carried the standard armament of 1 x MK 103 and 2 x MG 151/20 cannon. There is no evidence that any of these night fighter variants were ever built. Below shows an artist's rendition of how this aircraft might have looked. The artwork is taken from the book referenced near the end of the review.

The Kit

To create a B-8 night fighter requires the Tamiya B-2 kit shown above (For a review of the B-2 kit check here) plus two conversion kits from Paragon Designs. The first is their 48065, night fighter conversion kit . It contains the following parts; flame dampers for both engines, two under wing fuel tanks, a complete set of radar antenna, a vacuformed canopy for the radar operator, the radar operators tub and two inserts for the wings to blank off the wing guns. The parts are molded in tan resin and display sharply defined detail. No air bubbles or short shots were found. The radar operators seat has a harness and seat belts molded in and the only thing that needs to be added is a combing over the radar operators panel which could be made from a thin piece of styrene. The canopy for the radar operator is thin and clear. An opening will need to be cut in the top of the fuselage and the wing guns will need to be cut off and the inserts faired into the leading edge of the wings. The parts are molded in tan resin, are nicely molded and did not exhibit any pin holes that will show or short shots. See photo below

Paragon [48065] Night fighter conversion kit

The other is their 48064, Do.335B-4 w/ Extended 'Heinkel' Wing Tips set. While designed to create a B-4 reconnaissance version it will also work for the B-8 as well. It consists of two wing tip extensions, two drop tanks, two inserts to blank off the wing guns and camera ports. For the B-8 variant only the wing tips will be needed so the rest of the pieces can go into your spare parts box. The parts like the other set are molded in tan resin, are nicely molded and exhibited no pin holes that will show and no short shots.   See photo below for this set.

Since none of these were actually built you are on your for decals. The markings provided with the B-2 can be used for the national markings and stenciling.

Other than the Eduard Photoetch mentioned in the A-0 review and an Eduard mask set no other after market items are planned for my version.

Conclusions

The Tamiya Do 335 series of kits are well engineered and and feature excellent fit and detail. The conversion sets are of high quality and will allow you to build yet another version of this interesting aircraft.

Links to kit build or reviews

A review / build using the Tamiya B2 kit with the Paragon 48065 kit may be found here

References

"Dornier 335 Arrow" by J. Richard Smith, Eddie J. Creek and Thomas H. Hitchcock

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The Build

Since the hardest part of this build will involve modifying and adding parts to the basic kit, I decided to get the hard stuff out of the way first. The wings need to have the housings for the wing mounted cannon removed and the wing tips cut off and extensions added.  I started by installing fillers supplied in the conversion kits. These are placed inside the wing and are held in place with five minute epoxy and fill the hole that would be left when the cannon housings are removed.

Following that the wings were glued together and when set up the cannon housings were cut off using a razor saw then the balance was removed using and x-acto knife for the heavyist areas and finishing off with various grades of sanding sticks until the wing and plugs matched the profile of the wing on either side of the housings.

Next the wing tips were carefully sawn off staying just outside the panel line where the wing tip started which allowed a bit of material that could be removed to square up and even out the mating surface. Then the casting blocks were removed from the new wing tips.

Once the mating surfaces were cleaned up and squared up I used a piece or .080" x .250" styrene strip stock to make a tongue that would strengthen the joint between the resin part and the kit wing.

This was drilled so it could be pinned to the resin part.

The tongue was then use to located holes in the resin part which were then drilled and pieces of brass wire were inserted and the pins and the styrene were super glued in place.

Once this was done and alignment was checked the two parts were mated with 5 minute epoxy. I felt this would provide a stronger joint than super glue. A piece of 1/4" square bar was used with clamps to keep the wing surfaces aligned till the glue dried.

A small amount of filler will be needed but that will wait till later. With the wings modified it's on to adding the radar operators to the fuselage.

The radar operators compartment was painted up. 

The high lighting on the instrument panel washed out in the photo but it doesn't much matter as it is nearly impossible to see once installed in the fuselage.

The radar operators canopy was cut out then a piece of fine sand paper was taped over the area of the fuselage where it would mount and the bottom edge was gently sanded to help it conform to the fuselage shape.


Next task was to locate and cut out the opening in the upper fuselage. The canopy was placed in the correct location and a line drawn around it. I then drilled a series of holes well inside the line and cut between them to remove the material. The opening was then filed smooth with needle files until it matched the instruction sheet and the walls around the opening were then filed to thin them for a more scale appearance.


Once that was done it was time to proceed with the rest of the kit. The cockpit was done out of box except for harness and belts, some PE levers from mt PE boneyard and some wiring behind the panel. The instruments are the decal supplied with the kit. The last one of these I did I used the PE panl. This was a whole lot easier and looks just as good to my eye !.

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Updated 1/4/09