Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Dornier DO-335 "Pfeil" (Part II)

The front fuselage.

So far so good. Assembling the forward segment of the fuselage went smoothly. Cutting and pasting those engine exhaust vents was very tedious though.

Here's a picture of the fuselage segment with the engine+cowling. I haven't glued it on yet... I'm just dry fitting it to test the build accuracy.

The cockpit interior is quite sparse for a 1:32 model. I was expecting more parts.

It came out okay though.

Cockpit segment of the fuselage and front segment.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Dornier DO-335 "Pfeil" (Arrow)

The Dornier DO-335 "Pfeil" (arrow), also known as the Ameisebaer (anteater) was the fastest piston (prop) driven fighter plane of WW2. Unfortunately, it never saw action.

You'll find more information on this fascinating aircraft at the Dornier Do 335 page.

The DO-335 kit was designed by Marek. It's a 1:32 scale model, a bit complex and has a lot of bad fitting parts. But despite that, I persevered and finally completed the model.

Here's a summary of the entire build.

Front Engine

Unlike most prop-driven card models I've encountered, this one does not have any provisions for a rotating shaft. Damn! I don't want to end up with non-rotating props!

I must come up with something.

Before proceeding with my mini-solution, I do a dry fit to ensure that everything is lined up properly.

I create my make-shift spinner shaft by rilling paper on a bamboo toothpick. As you see in the picture above, the outer 'roll' of paper is fixed to the toothpick. The inner roll, is not.

The propeller cone will be attached to the 'fixed' roll. The non-fixed roll on the other hand will be attached to the main engine part. Once done, I'll plug the shaft with another 'fixed' roll of paper.

All done!

And it spins!

-- end of part 1 --

The Horton HO-229 Flying Wing

The Horton HO-229 was another one of Germany's last ditch efforts to snatch defeat from the Allies. Unfortunately for Germany (or fortunately for the Allies), they lost before this HO-229 became operational.

The HO-229 (sometimes referred to as the Gotha GO-229) is a twin engined flying wing. Due to the apparent shortage of critical resources towards the end of the war, the bulk of this aircraft was made of wood. I think only the supporting structures were from metal. This had the side-effect of being slightly radar-proof for the radars of that era. Hence, had this flown and seen action, WW2 would have had the first stealthy flying wing!

Anyway, on to the model.

The card model is designed by Marek. Scale is 1:48.

The model is designed in three main portions:
  • The center fuselage
  • Left and right wings
Center Fuselage

I start with making the center fuselage's formers.

As you can see in the first photo, the fuselage is 'strengthened' by a 6 formers. Three along the fuselage, and another three across it. As with most tricycle landing gear type models, I add a little 'insurance' by gluing a couple of coins to the nose to ensure the model does not topple backwards.

Once I completed making the formers, I proceed to 'wrap' the skin around them to form what would eventually become the center fuselage.

The Wings
Assembling the wings was straightforward enough. Notice that unlike most 1:48 big winged card models, this one employs very little formers/spars. However, this did not affect the assembly of the wings.

Almost done! I did a sloppy job at wrapping the fuselage skin over the formers. Because of that, some of the formers stuck out and became obvious when the wings were fitted. Hence, I had to 'smooth' out those areas by sanding it with 800grit sand paper.

Though the model came with landing gears, it did not have provisions for wheel wells. This made assembly a lot easier at the expense of some missing details.