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In-Box Review
148
Arado 234C
Arado Ar-234C
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Arado Ar-234C
Item: HC1672


Introduction
Recently a member of this site asked about the Hobbycraft Ar 234C. I decided to review the venerable model. It has fair detail and fit.

Hobbycraft debuted over 20 years ago with a line of crudely molded aircraft models that look suspiciously like models made by other model manufacturers which I had built, e.g., 1/72 F-82, 1/100 MiG-15 and F-86 set. Hobbycraft also rapidly released a series of ‘modelers' wish-list’ injection 1/48 and 1/72 models: Morane-Saulnier 406, Bell P-59 Airacomet series, Lavochkin La-5, Seversky P-35s and Curtiss P-36 series, Dornier Do 17, F-89 series, and McDonnell F2H Banshee, to name a few. Another of Hobbycraft’s wish-list models is this 1/48 Arado four-jet engine bomber, the Arado 234C.

Arado Ar 234
The Arado Ar 234 was the world's first operational jet-powered bomber, built by the German Arado company in the closing stages of World War II. Produced in very limited numbers, it was used almost entirely in the reconnaissance role, but in its few uses as a bomber it proved to be nearly impossible to intercept. It was the last Luftwaffe aircraft to fly over England during the war, in April 1945.[1] Powered by a pair of Junkers Jumo 004B-1 turbojets like the higher priority ME 262, the decision was made to re-engine the Arado. A quartet of BMW 003A engines was used, creating the Ar 234C. The new aircraft experienced increased performance but only 14 were built by war’s end.

In The Box
The instructions were printed in 1991. This model is older than I thought! It is also kitted in conjunction with War Eagle® Inc. Several part numbers specific to the 234C have “new” printed next to them in the instructions; although I don’t know for certain, I surmise that Hobbycraft kitted a two-burner Arado and partnered with War Eagle for the parts needed for the Ar 234C.

Packed in a common lid/tray box, the kit consists of five sprues of over 95 gray styrene parts and two clear pieces.

Hobbycraft engineered the airframe parts with basic shallow, but wide, recessed panel lines. The canopy parts have slightly raised lines. In profile and planform the model looks accurate. Molding is good with no flash, although I found some ejector circles, seam lines, and a few sink holes. Raised detail is 'soft'.

The fit of the wing halves is good. The fit of the fuselage halves is inconsistent (see the photographs). I squeezed the wings together and test-fit them to the fuselage — good fit. The engine nacelles, not so much.

Your Ar 234C model consists of the basic airframe, a huge SC 1400 (1400 kg) bomb, two drop tanks, and two Walter HWK 500 R-Geräte RATO (RATO = Rocket Assisted Take Off) packs. You must open the holes in the wings if you want to mount the RATOs.

Detail
First the good news. The cockpit is built with 21 parts! They have basic raised and recessed detail. The instrument panel has the instrument body cans in the back but lacks any detail in the instrument faces. Otherwise, you have a circuit breaker panel, individual rudder pedals, two throttle levers, and other separate components.

Separate exhaust cones fit into the engine exhaust ports. Individual mass balances for empennage control surfaces are provided, too.

The bad news is that is the highlight of detail. The engine intakes feature compressor blades molded into the intakes. There is no detail inside the landing gear wells or doors; the doors are thick. All other detail is pretty basic.

Painting and Decals
No paint brands are referenced for the 10 RLM and FS colors. A single camouflage pattern of RLM 82/81/76 (Hellgrün/Brunviolet/Lichtblau) is depicted.

Insignias are the standard late-war white outline Balkan Cruz for top and side, and a black pair for the underside. Swastikas are in two halves to get around their being illegal in Germany. No unit markings are included although three Werk Nummeren are. Neither data nor servicing stencils are provided.

Conclusion
With recessed panel lines, an impressive cockpit, fair fit, and fairly clean molding, Hobbycraft kitted a nice Ar 234C. The basic detail, sink marks and some fit problems detract from the overall model. It does not measure up to the Hasegawa/Revell model Arados now available. If you can find one it will probably be much less expensive than the recent kits. Just be willing to deal with some of the problems and sparse detail.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here – on AEROSCALE.

[1] Wikipedia
SUMMARY
Highs: Recessed panel lines, an impressive 21-piece cockpit.
Lows: Soft and basic detail where detail exists. Fair fit.
Verdict: Hobbycraft kitted a nice Ar 234C. It does not measure up to the newer model Arados now available.
Percentage Rating
70%
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: HC1672
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 12, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.98%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 80.00%

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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Comments

...although I don’t know for certain, I surmise that Hobbycraft kitted a two-burner Arado... I can confirm that, having built it way back in 1993.
FEB 12, 2012 - 02:39 PM
Hi Jesse, Thanks for the update. Do you have any pix of it?
FEB 12, 2012 - 11:39 PM
No, it's long departed to the Great Parts Box in the Sky. It didn't survive a move around 10 years ago. I used the Squardon vac canopy and the ancient (and crude) True Details photo-etch set on it. Sadly I had no choice but to use the kit decals which were by far the weakest part of Hobbycraft kits in those days. I don't recall having any drama around the assembly.
FEB 13, 2012 - 12:13 AM
I have built both, monogram/has and the Hobbycraft. When placing both of them side by side and comparing them. The Hobbycraft is smaller dimensionally. I think that it is actually 1/50 scale. A bit more square as well. The wheels are way too big. It is fairly easy to build and using the Aeroclub update helps it along with cockpit and some exterior stuff. The RATO units are a poor copy. If these perceived deficiencies do not hinder you build it.
FEB 13, 2012 - 12:28 AM
Modelfan revieved it maybe 25 years ago, and had absolutely nothing good to say about it. Maybe something for GastonMartin Here is really something to comment on. NPL
JUN 08, 2012 - 08:31 AM
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