Hasegawa'a 1/48
Arado Ar 234

By Will Riepl


In the fall of 1940, work began on a twin engine reconnaissance aircraft, code name E370/IV. This was to have such a high performance that armament was not required due to the inclusion of jet engines. A clean and straight-forward aircraft with a tapered wing and two underslung engines, there were however, a number of problems along the way with the design. The jet engines needed a large amount of fuel, requiring a large area of the fuselage for fuel storage. This left no room for retractable landing gear and the high wing meant that wing mounted gear wasn't a viable propostion either. In the end a releasable wheeled dolly for take-offs and sled runners for landings was used.

Six prototypes were ordered in the spring of 1942. The landing gear was changed after the first prototype and the aircraft's use was changed from recon to bomber. The recon equipment, however, was left in place, creating a dual purpose aircraft. The first plane of this batch made it's maiden voyage on June 8, 1944. There were 210 aircraft produced by the end of the war.

The Kit

This was the last kit that I thought we would see. It seems like a long time ago when we had the new issue from HobbyCraft. At that time it was the only kit in 1/48 scale of the Ar 234 so I got one and started on it. From the first look I could see that it would take some work, but I hadn't figured on that much!

I used the intake from the Monogram 262 kit, and they fit, so that was not too bad. Then I made some cameras and cut out the bottom for the glass, and the top of the fuselage. This was also going well - but then I came to the canopy. That was the worst part of the kit. I made a vacuform of it and cut the hatch open and did some work on the inside. Now it "looked" like a 234. And that is as far as I got on it. I just put it away. So when I saw that Hasegawa was going to do a kit, I said now I can finish what I started a long time ago but I won't have to do all that work.

There are some 200+ parts to the kit and it looks like it will go together fast. In looking over all the parts they are very nicely done. Typically Hasegawa with very fine scribed lines and detail. There have been some postings on Hyperscale about Part No 2 of the engine being a short shot of plastic but the one that I got was OK.

Included are the recon cameras, so you can make the bomber or the recon version of the 234. Also there are some parts that clearly indicate the upcoming night fighter. There are some extra periscopea for the different models of the Ar234 in the kit.

The decals are for 3 aircraft out of KG 76. One aircraft is in a snow type of camouflage. That would be a fun one to do.


All in all, it sure looks like Hasegawa has a winner with the Ar 234 and for fans of the aircraft, Revell Germany will have the four engine Ar 234 C next year. More stuff to look forward to!

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