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Dornier Do-335 V11 Anteater***FINISHED***


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Back in 1974 I came across a new Frog kit in my then "LMS" in Chester. As ever it was somewhat "exotic" - a 2 seat Dornier 335.  It was a nice enough kit but I later decided that I would have preferred a single seat A-1 version, and having seen a conversion, probably in Airfix magazine, I picked another up in 1991 but never got round to building it. By this time the moulds were with Revell and they released it in their own name initially, but this 1991 boxing is under the Matchbox label for some reason - I believe they later started releasing a Dragon kit of the 335 under their own label. Anyway, here it is!

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I have glued the spinners to the props a few years ago but done nothing since. The box art is pure fantasy as I doubt that the V10, as the first prototype of the A-6 two seat night fighter, ever saw action. The colour scheme is problematic as they suggest "Matchbox" paint references and I have no idea what they refer to but they seem to be green uppers and a blue/grey on the unders . I believe that the original Frog kit had a "3 greys" scheme of 74/75/76 which I painted in the old Humbrol Authentic colour range but I suspect had they been built the production versions would have been all over 76 with a mottle of 75 on the upper surface as was standard on night fighters at that stage in the war. Having said that I have read that by that stage some night fighters were getting day fighter camo uppers, presumably to make them less visible on the ground given the risk of strafing. Of course prototypes were not always painted in the current paint scheme anyway but I will go into that in my other entry!

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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The kit looks typical of a FROG layout to provide a simple but effective model of the subject so you should be in for a pleasant project Pete. I'm not seeing a selection of transparent parts there though; do you have them laid aside or are they simply super clear?

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  • PeterB changed the title to Dornier Do-335 V11

I have been doing a bit of research on the Do-335, and it seems that it was probably unique at the time – there had of course been many examples of pusher aircraft together with examples of engines mounted fore and aft in the same nacelle as in the V1500 and the Do18, and even one or two aircraft with tandem front and rear mounted engines, but the latter apparently, had only a short fuselage with the tail mounted on booms well behind the rear prop. The 335 is the only one I am aware of that actually had the rear prop behind the tailplane of a normal full length fuselage, but somebody else may know better! There seem to be certain advantages to this configuration compared with twin wing mounted engines, such as lower drag, better handling with an engine out, and presumably better manoeuvrability without the “inertia” caused by the weight of engines mounted out on the wing. One possible disadvantage apparently found on the tandem engine planes seen earlier was that the pusher prop was not as efficient when the air was disturbed by the tractor one in front of it, but they were fairly close together whilst the props on the 335 were over 40ft apart so maybe that was not too much of a problem.

 

Green says that Prof-Dr. Dornier had been interested in the concept for some time but it was not until the mid 1930's that he began to seriously think about a design. He apparently commissioned Ulrich Hütter to build his Gö 9 test bed which had a shaft driven pusher engine behind the tail, and when this flew in 1940 it proved to be very efficient, achieving 137mph from am 80 hp engine. Having already patented the tandem prop design in 1937, Dornier was in a position to offer what was to become the Do-335 when the RLM tendered for a fast single seat bomber in 1942, the V1 prototype flying on October 26th 1943.

go9-crop

Gö 9

 

The Frog kit is that of the V10 – prototype for the proposed A-6 night fighter but research shows that they have actually based the model on the A-6 as it should have looked in service. The V10 was test flown with a slightly modified A-1 fuselage – the second cockpit had a flush glazed canopy as you can see in the pic below showing it after the war when it crashed in French hands.

V10-crop

The fully modified “humped” fuselage first appeared on the V11, prototype for the A-10 which was an unarmed trainer with no radar aerials so it looks like I will end up building that instead!

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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  • PeterB changed the title to Dornier Do-335 V11 Anteater
  • 4 weeks later...

The kit provides a very basic cockpit

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A combination floor/nosebay roof at the front and two crude seats that glue on to the top of the fuselage. I decided to improve it a bit -.

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bulkheads, floors, sticks and IP's. Still crude but a bit better. The V11 was prototype for the A-10 conversion trainer so the instructor sat in the new raised rear cockpit. There is no mention of weight but I suspect it will need it so I have put some lead in.

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The fit is not too bad except around the separate upper front panel - the V11 was unarmed so I have removed the nose guns. This should not be a difficult build, particularly as I won't need to fit any radar aerials. The only other "improvement" should be boxing in the main wheel wells.

 

So out with the filler and away we go.

 

Pete

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I have boxed in the main wheel wells and added a bit of spurious ribbing so now I can fit the wings.

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I will have to look at adding a bit of detail to the actual u/c legs as they are a bit simplified.

 

Pete

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Bit more work done.

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And of course you will have spotted the problem I guess! As I mentioned earlier Frog went for the A-6 Nightfighter version with markings for the V-10 prototype, though in fact that looked totally different in terms of the rear cockpit. Thinking I was being clever I decided to build it as the V-11 prototype of the A-10 trainer which got round the problem with the fuselage, but I forgot the exhausts! The kit provides shrouded ones when in fact the V-11 almost certainly had normal ones. I will have a look in my spares boxes to see if I have anything suitable but it could be a little tricky as the front ones were shorter than the rear and they had some unusual details - bit like the ones on the Ju-88 where some of the "stacks" were bigger than others or "faired in". Failing that I will just leave it as it is - as I have said many times few if any of my kits are entirely accurate! I will check my sources to see if I can find anything that might be better - say a night fighter trainer for example, though I believe that they abandoned the A-6 version pretty early on and started looking at the B-6 - in fact there is some confusion as the photo of the crashed night fighter prototype I showed earlier is labelled as the V-10 (A-6) in one of my books and as the (M)V-17 - B-6 in another!

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Perhaps you could argue that, as a prototype, it may have been fitted with the shrouded exhausts at some point.

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After a bit more work on the joints and a coat of spray primer I have brushed on a first coat of Xtracolour RLM 82 sometimes called "Hellgrun". 

DSC07054-crop

 

I don't normally put the u/c legs on this early but I wanted to check the ballast, and as I suspected it needs some - in fact rather more than I had initially put in so it was a good thing I had not already glued the front cowling on. The Frog u/c is rather simplified by comparison with the Hobbyboss one but not too bad, although the mounting pins are very small - had to use a bit of CA to strengthen them and will need to be careful with handling. It sits very high off the ground which may in part explain the nickname Ameisenbar aka anteater.

 

Next up a splinter pattern of RLM 81.

 

Pete

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Upon initially seeing your latest post I did wonder if you'd dry-fitted the undercarriage to test the balance point of this one Pete so hopefully they survive the handling you'll need to do for the masking and painting process.

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Sometimes I mask the splinter and sometimes I can't be bothered Col. So far this has been freehand but I may use masking tape when I put the second coat on to straighten up the lines.

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This is just the first pass and a fair bit of touching up and correcting to do. I have gone for RLM 81/82 and have both those colours plus RLM 83 in Xtracolour and Colourcoats but initially I could not find the latter so I used Xtracolour for the 82 "Lichtgrun". Both makes of 82 are in fact pretty similar in colour, but there is a big difference with the RLM 81 which is variously known as Dunkelgrun, Olivgrun and Braunviolett - both tins are actually labelled "Braunviolett" but the Xtracolour is an sort of olive green whereas the Colourcoats as you can see is definitely brown!

 

Pete

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  • 2 weeks later...

Second coat on and splinter tidied up.

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At that point in the war the official instructions to manufacturers were to replace the RLM 65 light blue unders with RLM 76 but they were allowed to use up old paint stocks. Comments on the restoration of the only surviving Do 335 in the states mention the two shades of "green" - RLM 81 and 82 - on the upper surfaces but are unclear about what colour was found to be original on the unders, and depending on the lighting, photos of the restored plane seem to show that they could have used either colour when repainting! As this was a prototype I will go for using up stocks of 65, but for the pre-production A-0 I will use 76 just to get a bit of variation.

 

Pete

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13 hours ago, Andwil said:

How about a “splinter” of RLM 65 and 76 🤪

 

AW

I don't know about splinter but I have seen photos of preserved/recovered planes where there have been several different colours apparently used on the undersides, and indeed some areas not painted at all. I may be wrong but I seem to remember the fuselage of a 109, perhaps in Australia which had some areas painted in the light grey/green close to Sky and sometimes called RLM 84, whilst other areas were more grey. If I were making a kit in a larger scale I might be tempted.

 

Pete

 

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After I have given it a coat of gloss varnish it will be ready for decs.

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Incidentally, yes I know that the canopies are the wrong way round. In real life and the kit instructions the one with the bulges should be at the front, but for whatever reason Frog seem to have mixed them up as what should be the rear one is too narrow for the front cut-out whilst the one that should be at the rear has steps that are clearly intended for the front location and is far too wide for the rear - in fact it is a perfect fit up front whilst the one I have used for the rear needed blending in as it is still a little too wide, but not as bad as the other one would be.. I can only assume that whoever made the moulds was having a bad day, but it was just before Frog ceased trading!

 

As to the decs the Revell ones are in pretty poor condition but I have found a spare Frog sheet that looks fine except for the misalignment of the RAF roundels for a captured A-12 trainer, which it seems Frog offered as an option but Revell did not. They are part of several pack of surplus Frog decs I bought in the late 1970's for around 50p each. Frog also split the fuselage crosses to go round the exhausts which saves me one small problem, but the temporary lettering CP+UL will probably be a pain, particularly on the starboard side where it has to fit round/over both an exhaust and an intake!

 

Pete

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Forgot to include a pic of the decs - Revell sheet on the left.

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As you can see the 40+ year old Frog one look perfect, except of course for the yellow outer rings on the roundels being slightly out of register. I thinbk their swastikas are wrong by the way - photos seem to show a white outline either with or without black infill, but that is easily remedied

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Are the RAF markings for the machine that crashed at Farnborough? The rear engine caught fire in flight and burned through the tail controls: the machine lost control and crashed attempting to land.

 

With reference to an earlier post about push-pull engines mounted in tandem, it is worth recalling that Dornier pioneered the idea with his Rs II flying boat in 1917: that had 4 engines mounted in tandem pairs. That too was a prototype.

 

P

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20 hours ago, pheonix said:

Are the RAF markings for the machine that crashed at Farnborough? The rear engine caught fire in flight and burned through the tail controls: the machine lost control and crashed attempting to land.

 

With reference to an earlier post about push-pull engines mounted in tandem, it is worth recalling that Dornier pioneered the idea with his Rs II flying boat in 1917: that had 4 engines mounted in tandem pairs. That too was a prototype.

 

P

Yes I rather think it is the one that crashed - the V12 prototype in fact, but I could be wrong. I am doing the V11(probably).

 

Pete.

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I have just discovered what went wrong with the canopies - true they are not a brilliant fit but it was more my fault than Frog's - one of them had fallen off the sprue and I mixed the other up with the one from the HobbyBoss kit when I dipped them in future!:banghead: Bit of repair work to do and then it should look a little better.

 

Pete

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  • PeterB changed the title to Dornier Do-335 V11 Anteater***FINISHED***

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