This build represents the Do 335 V−4, the grosse Flach, or extended wing, long
range reconnaissance version. The Werk Nr is 230004, and the Stammkennzeichen is
CP + UD. The first flight was on July 9, 1944, and there are no photos of the aircraft
in any of my five reference books. Several authors speculate that the reason for
this is the fact that this aircraft flew very in the later part of 1944, and no
photos have survived (most of the other Do 335's flew in late 1943, early 1944).
The history of this aircraft is very interesting. The V−4 was a development of
the V−3 reconnaissance version, with two cameras in the V−4 instead of one. According
to Smith, Creek, and Roletschek, Dornier Do 335 Pfeil Arrow (Smith 1), page 92,
the V−4 was destroyed on December 24, 1944, during a ferry flight from Oberpaffenhaffen
to Rechlin. An incorrect compass reading led the aircraft to mingle with a fighter
stream protecting some allied bombers, and the aircraft crashed near Bonefeld, and
the pilot was killed. This incident may have resulted in Allied after action reports
that the aircraft was engaged in air combat, but the type of aircraft (the Do 335),
was unknown at the time to the flight crews.
However, in Rys, Dornier Do 335 Pfeil, Aircraft Monograph 15 (Rys 1), page 20-22,
it states that no V−4 aircraft were built! In many other instances, Rys provides
information that is at odds with Smith 1.
In Smith, Creek, and Hitchcock, Dornier 335 Arrow, Monogram Monarch 2 (Smith
2), page 40 and 166, it states that the V−4 was completed and flown, during the
time that five other different prototype of the Do 335 were flown. It also attests
that the V−4 was tested as a fighter bomber in January 1945. So this author says
the aircraft was still flying in 1945, while Smith 1 says it was destroyed in December,
1944! So the mystery continues!
The basis for this build was a partially completed A−12, that I bought on E-Bay.
The built kit included the resin wheel bays, the detached flight controls, and the
resin cockpit interiors. The biggest challenge was the wing extensions, which was
a slice and dice of the existing wings, and use of other wing sections from another
kit. The slicing part worked pretty well, and would have worked even better, if
I had not made two measurement errors. The task went OK, but I would characterize
the port wing undersurfaces as "rough."
The other challenge was the resin rear engine. This is from the infamous Aires
4108, which is a really nice piece of resin! The rear engine went together much
better than the Aires front engine (on the A-6), as all the parts fit together really
well. I used some photos of engine details on built Do 335's on E-Bay, and the engine
photos in my references. So this was a lot of fun to build.
When I got everything assembled, I found that the upper fuselage deck over the
rear engine would not fit, because of some top engine accessories. So maybe the
floor of the engine bay was a bit too high, as this model was originally an A−12.
I have taken some liberties with the decal placements. According to Smith 1,
page 166, the prototype aircraft only have a white letter and number on the ventral
fine. Therefore, no Werk Nr on the dorsal fin, or Stammkennzeichen on the wing undersurface
and fuselage sides. I enjoy working with the Tamiya decals to get the correct codes,
so I enjoy this poetic license.
Taking a break from the Do 335 for a short time, the next project is an XP-61E,
the “Heavy Penetration” fighter, with four .50 cal nose guns. I will use the 1/48
Monogram P-61 kit, with the Lone Star Models vacu-form sets, that I originally bought
in the middle 1970's! In the two sets, the one in the box has a solid resin nose,
and the one in the bag doesn't. They both have canopies, and vacu-formed fuselage
halves, and some basic instructions.
- Steven Krick