HK Models | 01E08: 1/32 Dornier Do 335A
Reviewed by Kevin Futter
HK Models released its Do 335B-2 kit back in 2014, with the promise of more variants to come. In January 2016, they began to fulfil that promise with the release of the subject of this review, the standard Do 335A fighter-bomber.
Unlike the earlier kit, this version lacks the big cannon and associated housings in the wings. It also features a different nose wheel leg, smaller nose wheel, and a different cockpit canopy and unarmoured windscreen. These elements are all depicted in the kit.
The kit contents comprise the following:
- 19 grey plastic sprues
- 1 clear plastic sprues
- 2 white metal nose weights
- 1 photo-etched fret
- 2 resin crew figures
- 1 decal sheet
- 1 instruction booklet
The Plastic Sprues
Everything is housed in protective plastic bags, though many of the smaller sprues are bundled together and bagged in groups. A feature of previous kits from HK Models has been the inclusion of some very large sprues, which of course makes sense given the large size of many of the company's chosen subjects. This is also the case with this kit.
There's a new sprue (L) containing most of the parts specific to this version, including the new cannon-less leading edge inserts for the wings, and the new nose wheel leg, mudguard and tyre.
The large belly fuel tank from the B-2 kit has also been replaced with what appears to be an SC500 bomb.
Below is a close-up of the new nose wheel leg:
Two styles of main landing gear doors are also included, each featuring subtly different bulges for the wheels:
Generally speaking, the doors with the blunter, more rounded bulges were seen on the B-series, so the pair with the more pointed bulges is more appropriate for this kit (hence their inclusion, no doubt).
This release features the same awesome moulded-in detail as its predecessor, and having built that kit, I can say that it really looks fantastic with some careful paintwork:
Surface detail is also very impressive, being clean, crisp, and suitably petite (bear in mind that the effect is exaggerated by the camera in the photos below):
The Clear Parts
The clear parts are housed on a small sprue, and consist of the main canopy, windscreen, and landing light covers:
Both the canopy and windscreen parts are new in this kit, being of a different design to the B-2 represented by the earlier kit. The main canopy comes protected by small sheet clear plastic film.
As expected these days, the clear parts pass the clarity test with flying colours:
Bonus Resin Figures
My review sample arrived with a bonus pair of resin crew figures. This is likely only a limited inclusion, given the short-run nature of most resin products. They consist of a seated pilot figure with separate arms and head, and a standing ground crewman, hand on hip and gazing upward, presumably towards the cockpit.
They're not mentioned in the instructions, and there's no clue as to their provenance, but they are very nicely sculpted, and feature very crisp, clean casting. If your figure-painting skills are up to it, should result in some impressive additions to any diorama or vignette based around this kit.
A very small photo-etched fret is included, consisting exclusively of seat belts for the cockpit, and a grill for the rear of the ventral intake duct. I had some minor issues with the fit of the latter part when building the B-2 kit, which threw out the alignment of some of the internal parts, and eventually the fuselage spine. I advise trimming the top of the part carefully by about 1mm or so, or leaving it out entirely.
Of much greater utility are the two moulded nose weights to help prevent the model from sitting on its tail. One is designed to fit inside the forward engine block, and the other goes between the cockpit tub and the forward firewall. Both fit very well indeed in their designated locations, and do their intended job admirably.
Decals and Markings
The decals in early kits from HK Models were not that great, but the earlier Do 335 kit came with decals printed by Cartograf, and so too does this one. These are basically aftermarket-quality decals, far surpassing what you get from most other mainstream kit manufacturers.
I was surprised to discover that no fewer than four markings options have been included:
- Do 335A-0, WNr. 240102, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, October 1944
- Do 335A-0, WNr. 240107, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, December 1944
- Do 335A-1, WNr. 240165 (?), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, May 1945
- Do 335A-1, WNr. 240165 (?), Neubiberg, Germany, June 1945
The last two options are in fact the same machine, with the last one representing it as captured by the Americans.
The instructions consist of a large-format, saddle-stitched, 24-page booklet. There's a Colour Guide on the back page that lists the paint call-out codes, and their respective options in each of the Gunze, Tamiya and AK Interactive paint ranges. The pages are quality glossy stock, and the print quality is excellent.
The instructions themselves are nicely done, featuring greyscale isometric line drawings and exploded views. The large page format allows the assembly sequence to be rendered in a far less crowded fashion than those from Revell, for example. The painting guide is rendered in greyscale too.
This is a terrific follow-up kit to the company's earlier Do 335B-2 release. They are, of course, largely the same, though HK has the differences nicely covered with a selection of new parts. The decals are also excellent, and the included schemes are thoughtfully chosen. The surprise inclusion of two excellent resin crew figures is a really nice bonus. It's a great release, and is highly recommended!
For more insight into how this kit goes together, please see my build of the Do 335B-2 test shot in the forums.
Thanks to HK Models for the review sample.
© Kevin Futter 2016
This review was published on Friday, April 29 2016; Last modified on Friday, April 29 2016