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Arado Ar 234B Cockpit

 

Cutting Edge Modelworks

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: CEC48406 Arado Ar 234B Super Detailed Cockpit for Hasegawa.
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 20 parts in grey resin (including a few spare levers/handles)
Price: USD$11.99 from Meteor Productions website
Review Type: FirstLook and Construction
Advantages: Accurate and complete; only replaces what needs replacing; will be very visible behind the clear nose of the Ar 234; crisp details; perfect casting; minimal cleanup required; good instructions
Disadvantages:  
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions

 

FirstLook

 

Hasegawa's new 1/48 scale Arado Ar 234B is an excellent kit.

The cockpit is a crucial area of this model, because the large clear nose will reveal all the detail inside. Fortunately, Hasegawa has done a nice job with this aspect of the kit and many modellers will be perfectly happy with he cockpit straight from the box. However, the limitations of injection moulding technology, and some missing parts from the research subject at the National Air and Space Museum, means that there is room for improvement and addition.

Cutting Edge has released a cockpit update set for the Hasegawa 1/48 scale Arado Ar 234. This resin set acknowledges that most of the cockpit is very good already, and therefore concentrates only on the areas that need improvement.

20 parts in grey resin are supplied on three casting blocks. The parts can be easily removed with a sharp knife, but I found that my side cutters were helpful in nibbling away the block from underneath the replacement seat.

 

 

The resin parts on my sample are free of any imperfections, and casting is up to the usual high Cutting Edge standard. A small acetate sheet with printed instruments is also provided.

The highlights of the set are the seat with its cast-on backrest and harness, the crisply detailed side consoles and a two-piece panel with raised instrument housings on the back. The batch of small details will add an authentically busy atmosphere to the cockpit and, even better, it will all be visible through the clear nose.

Instructions are also good. Ten drawings and photographs accompany the instruction text, but there are no real traps to assembling this simple detail set. The instructions do suggest the addition of "wiring" behind the instrument panel from stretched sprue or fusewire, as this area is very exposed to view.

 

 

Construction

 

I have been looking for an excuse to start my Hasegawa Arado Ar 234, and the arrival of the Cutting Edge cockpit was the trigger.

 

Preparing the Kit Parts

First, the kit parts were prepared. The basic kit cockpit tub is retained, but the raised detail on the side consoles must be removed. I scraped the higher features off with a sharp hobby knife, then sanded off the remainder with a coarse sanding stick.

The clear nose part (Hasegawa part no. P1) has a slight step and moulding seam running from top to bottom along the centreline. I started by scraping the seam line with the blade of a hobby knife until the step was eliminated. Next, I sanded the now-cloudy band down the centre of the nose with progressively finer grit sanding sticks. When the visible scratches were hidden, I applied a generous coat of Gunze Mr Polishing Compound (although toothpaste does a good job too), waited for it to dry, then polished the compound off the clear plastic. After a final buffing with a sanding stick, the seam line was officially gone!

It is important to further prepare the clear kit parts with a thorough soaking bath in Future floor polish. This will vaccinate the canopy from fogging when resin parts are glued to the plastic. It will also bestow a sparkling shine to the canopy.


 

Assembly and Detailing

Holes were drilled for instruments as required, and these parts were then thinned down by gently rubbing them against a medium grit sanding stick. I prefer to drill my instrument holes first to avoid possible later damage to the thinned resin part.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The main components, separated and prepared for painting

The detail will all be clearly visible through the large clear nose of the Ar 234

A centreline seam and step have been scraped, sanded and polished off the front of the canopy. A bath in Future Floor Wax completes this little job

Wiring has been added to the rear of the instrument panel. In hindsight, I might have gone a little overboard!


One small hole was drilled in the back of each instrument housing with a pin vise. Fusewire of two different gauges was inserted in the holes. The instrument panel mount (a kit part) was glued to the back of the instrument panel then the fusewire was bent to shape with electrical pliers. The long wire was cut off at a length and height that would meet with the widthways canopy frame that wraps around the nose.

The kit-supplied armrests were glued to the resin seat. I eventually repositioned the port-side armrest in the "up" position, as it looks like it would have otherwise interfered with access to the throttles and levers on the side console. The tiny levers were added to the throttle an fuel control quadrants with the aid of tweezers. Spare parts are supplied in the event that any of your levers take the long, one-way trip to the carpet.

The kit bombsight, control column, rudder supports and pedals plus some extra detail including rudder foot straps and plumbing to the rudder assembly was added to the plastic cockpit tub. The resin parts were test-fitted with no problems, but not glued in place just yet.

 

 

Painting and Weathering

The canopy was masked with Tamiya masking tape, inside and out. The sub-assemblies including the seat, side consoles and instrument panel, were then temporarily secured to a piece of cardboard. All these parts were sprayed flat black.

A coat of dark grey was then sprayed from a single angle. This meant that a "shadow" of black remained visible from certain angles.

Before going any further, I painted the seat backrest brown and the harness straps off-white. A wash of thinned black oil paint was then applied to the cockpit tub, the side consoles, both sides of the instrument panel and the seat.

After waiting a few hours, the wet excess oil wash was swabbed off, and a coat of Polly Scale acrylic Flat was sprayed overall. Details such as lever knobs, instrument surrounds and harness buckles were picked out with a fine brush.

Finally, the acetate instruments were wedged between the panels, glued into place and the seat was secured in the cockpit tub.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Canopy halves are masked on both sides in preparation for spraying the interior colour

The base coat has been applied and the black oil wash is still wet on the parts

Almost finished - just a little tidying up still to do

 

 

Conclusion

 

Cutting Edge's 1/48 scale cockpit set for the new Hasegawa Arado Ar 234 will add plenty of useful detail to this highly visible area of the model.

I probably spent four hours or so stretched over a single day to get the cockpit to this stage, and I consider that was a good investment of my time considering the result.

 

 

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Meteor Productions for the review sample


Cutting Edge Modelworks accessories are available online from Meteor Productions website



Hasegawa's 1/48 scale Arado Ar 234 is available online from Squadron.com

Text and Images Copyright by Brett T Green
Page Created 19 September, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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