When Nicolas and François got the possibility to obtain an early release version of Hong Kong Models new Do335 Pfeil kit they were jumping up and down. Just one catch: it had to be built in only 10 days! Take a look at just how they built it so well and so quickly.
Dornier Do335 B-2
Model by Nicolas Deboeck & François Laloux
Kit Number: 01E07
7 sprues with 283 parts including nose weights & Photo-etched parts.
Wingspan: about 431mm
Length: about 443mm
Decals by Cartograf for three versions of the two aircraft made.
Available from HK’s Distributors worldwide.
The review of this kit has been featured here on TMN
First, this has to be said: this Do-335 from HK Models truly is a magnificent looking kit inside the box. However we found that during the build we were visited repeatedly by a guy called Murphy – you might know him from “Murphy’s law” – whatever can go wrong will go wrong... he crossed our path several times during our construction and tried to sabotage our efforts: first the kit got stuck in customs for nearly two weeks, then Nicolas’ compressor broke at a crucial point of the paint job and finally François’ dog ate an important part! None of these problems we encountered were a faulty of the kit itself however, and this is how we did it in ten days…
As soon as the test-shot arrived, we got started on it right away. The engineering on this kit is pretty smart; the front engine, the nose wheel bay and the cockpit are all very close to one another and in order to prevent the kit to be a tail-sitter, HK Models provides two metal weights: one to go inside the engine, one to go in front of the cockpit fire wall.
The engines are little marvels; each is made up of no fewer than 36 parts! Here is the front engine straight from the box:
The front engine fits into a fire wall with some nice detail moulded on it. It is a good representation of the DB603 powerplant, but the moulding process has its limits and we thought we could improve on it without much bother, so we cut the moulded wiring detail off and replaced it with sprue and wire.
Although we were working against the clock, we decided to add detail to both engines, so out came the sprue and wire. About a day’s work and we gave them a layer of chrome paint. This is the detailed aft engine:
The cockpit is quite nice from the box, but because it’s really very prominent – and because we can’t help ourselves – detail was added. The front of the cockpit tub was opened up and guided by photos of the real machine, detail was added
This is the cockpit out of the box:
Here it is with some extra detail we could not help adding:
Here is the front engine with fire wall and cockpit, dry-fitted inside the fuselage...
Time to get the paint out and bring some life into all the cockpit detail. Gunze paints were used with Vallejo acrylics for the details on dials and wires.
The seat is quite nice from the box, although the cushion isn’t very realistic. A new one was sculpted and some rivets were added to the seat.with lots of scratching on the seat which adds an element of wear and thin paint on the original
Our kit didn’t contain any P.E. parts though of course the final version will – so a set of buckles and some lead foil was used to make some. It doesn’t look bad at all for a quick job - a lot of people will use their own belts anyway but we liked this simple solution.
The front landing gear of the Pfeil was then constructed and just a little detail was added. The lower part was sown off in order to change the direction of the wheel to give the area a little extra interest. Careful painting, washing, dry-brushing and chipping really pays off. Here it is added to the nose section of the kit:
The wheel well itself is fantastically moulded, with a huge amount of detail. Some of the best we’ve ever seen in a kit! This photo shows the level of detail straight from the box when it is painted up. Really impressive!
Next to receive some paint were the engines. These look truly impressive, and the fact they were simple to make doubles the pleasure. Our only fear was that they would be hard to see once mounted in the kit...
The main wheel wells and wings went together like a dream. Both wings with all the detail was done in just a couple of hours. The leading edge gun pods didn’t pose any problem and only a minor amount of liquid putty was used! See all those nicely moulded rivets? These will look great with a wash after painting.
The fit of the wings to the fuselage is simply perfect. It needs a little force to get them on the fuselage spar, but you can’t get any better than this. Here is the starboard wing ready to be glued.
The kit offers the possibility to choose long or short wingtips. These wingtips are one-piece, moulded with a slide mould. Needless to say that these are as nice as the rest of the kit and that fitting them goes effortlessly.
We wanted to show of the engines off as much as possible considering how nice we thought they looked - but the engine doors have a couple of ejector pin marks. Out came the putty again and especially the front engine covers needed a bit of work to get them right on the curved inside surfaces...
You might notice although there are ejector pin marks to clean up once that is done there are rivet marks inside these engine cover doors - something you don't see on any models really.
The landing gear doors are highly detailed, again inside and out.
Painted, washed and chipped, with some nice result. It’s easy when the kit is this nice!
With most of the different components painted, it was time to close the fuselage and glue the wings on. This went rather easily and they fit well, until the large top fuselage part needed to be glued. In our kit, it needed adjusting and a little more liquid putty in order to get it airtight.
The wheel wells and the very nicely detailed bomb bay were masked for the painting. This Pfeil is the B-2 fighter version and doesn’t carry any bombs, though an extra fuel tank inside the bay was included for greater range. This is also provided in this HK Models kit.
Around this time, Murphy paid us another visit, when the top engine cover for the front engine vanished! We all looked rather accusingly to the dog that might have eaten it, but so far no proof of this has been found (and we didn't want to follow him around to retrieve the part). Fortunately we had a second test shot and we used the part of that kit as a master and make ourselves a new one. In came the rescue of Mike, the shop-owner of “Au 16 Escadron”, Brussels prime model shop, who provided us with all the material to cast a new part in resin. Here are the moulds:
Revealing our big quick-build project to Mike, he didn’t let us leave the shop without the Gunze RLM-colours required to paint the kit. Two happy modellers were ready to get back to the Pfeil!
With everything masked, the belly and underside of the wings were pre-shaded.
The supercharger air intakes of the kit are little jewels, made with slide mould technique. This one piece part just needs to be glued on the right spot.
Time to get the paint out: RLM 81/82/76 We had an entire "crew" ready for this job:
The upper-surface camouflage maybe only two shades of green, but a lot of different shades were actually used, using black, white and yellow added to the basic colours. Using just water with the Gunze paints, we obtained a very nice and mat finish.
A full night of painting, a lot of masking tape and some good music was needed to get to this result:
Photos showed that the wingtips of this particular B-2 Pfeil were left unpainted, so these were painted metal with red putty on the major panels.
The underside of the Pfeil in RLM 76, with some variations of it:
The fully painted cockpit area looks even better inside a fully painted fuselage!
With some retouches and varnishes still to be done, Murphy gave us another visit,(da-da-da-daaaa) when Nicolas’ compressor broke the kit was moved to François house where he took over to finish the paint job... Once that was done, some brushed on Future and the decals came out. These are printed by Cartograf and are very nicely registered. With some decal setting they didn’t give any trouble at all! The only critique that can be given is that the codes and balkenkreuz on the aft fuselage have to be cut when you want to position the engine doors open.
A first test fit of all the major parts was done and the landing gear was placed in position (not glued) to check if the weight in the kit was sufficient. Fortunately it worked perfectly!
A lot of parts were painted, washed and chipped separately, which makes final assembly a lot easier. Like the aft spinner:
The landing gear doors were painted in RLM 76, with a couple of different shade on the rivet lines and edges. Before assembly, a wash with burnt umber water colours was applied.
The result after the wash, ready for some chipping in Vallejo leather brown:
The end result, chipped and ready to be glued onto the kit:
After a final coat of brushed on Future, a wash was put onto the entire kit. See how nice those decals went into the panel lines and rivets?
And so we arrived at the final assembly, 10 days after she arrived. This test shot of the Do-335 by HK Models was a very enjoyable build, with a stunning end result. From the box it is most impressive and for those that like to super detail one, you couldn’t dream of a better base kit that by itself is wonderful but a superdetailer's dream!
Some close-ups of the finished model:
The kit has plenty of nice details in the box, like the ladder and struts for the engine bay covers. In case the crew were uncertain which way to go, they only need to read the aircraft’s registration!
So, can we recommend this soon to be HK Models new arrival? Oww yes we can! It is a fantastic looking model, we’ve had no real trouble building the kit and it has some very impressive detail. And don’t forget: this was only a test shot, the final kit will probably be even better! We hope that the instructions manual will be as good as the kit, which means that HK Models has a true winner here! Let’s hope that the long announced Lancaster will be of the same quality!! This Dornier Do335 Pfeil probably will have a fairly high price point, but rest assured: it is worth it!
Our sincere thanks to HK Models for sending us the kit and a big thanks to Mike of “Au 16 Escadron” for the help with the resin when we were in a bit of a pickle! And finally: thanks to Hong Kong Models for all the trouble getting the kit to Brussels!
Nicolas Deboeck & François Laloux
Thanks to HK Models for sending the kit to us to build.
P.S. The dog was fine by the way....