Revell 1/72 Arado Ar-240A-02

KIT #: 04331
PRICE: $10.00 'used'
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1994 tooling


The Ar-240 was a response to a request for a heavy fighter to replace the Bf-110. The other entry, the Me-210 won the contract. In May 1939, the RLM ordered a batch of six prototypes. The first Ar 240 V1prototype, DD+QL, took to the air on 25 June 1940, and immediately proved to have poor handling in all axes, also tending to overheat during taxiing.

The handling was thought to be the result of the ailerons being too small, given the thick wing, so the second prototype was modified to have larger ones, as well as additional vertical fin area on the dive brakes to reduce yaw. In addition, small radiators were added to the landing gear legs to improve cooling at low speeds, when the gear would normally be opened. Ar 240 V2, KK+CD, first flew on 6 April 1941, and spent most of its life at the factory in an experimental role.

Ar 240 V3 followed, the first to be equipped with the FA 9 rear-firing armament system, developed jointly by Arado and DVL, armed with a 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 81Z machine gun. Ar 240 V4 was the first to include an operational dive brake, and flew on 19 June 1941. Ar 240 V5 and the V6 followed in December and January, including the upgraded FA 13 system, using two 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine guns in place of the MG 81Z for a considerable boost in firepower.

The Ar 240's excellent performance quickly led to the V3, V5 and V6 being stripped of their armament, including the defensive guns, and used as reconnaissance aircraft over England, where no other two-seater could venture by 1942. It was apparently used over the Eastern Front for the same reason.

Several variants were planned including a night fighter, which were never built. The later Ar-440 had four examples built, the first one being converted from one of the Ar-240 prototypes.

When this kit was developed in 1994, and either sold very well or was a bit of a bust as I did not see one of this boxing until the mid-2010s when the LHS had one on the sale table for $10.00. Most of the major parts had been removed from the sprues (probably for test fitting), but the kit was all there so I bought it.

The kit has a separate forward fuselage along with a wing that is divided into two section for each side with the inner section including the nacelle and an outer wing. The tail planes are single pieces with the fins slotting into the outer portions of the horizontal stab.

The cockpit is fairly well appointed for the scale with two seats a control and rear machine gun fitting onto the floor. This is inserted into the forward fuselage half along with the instrument panel. There is a decal for this panel and there is detailing on the inside of the fuselage halves. The rear 'gun' is basically a sight with trigger for the upper and lower fuselage defensive armament. This fits into the fuselage halves along with the little 'periscope' sighting equipment. The clear bits are then attached and the forward fuselage is then glued to the rear fuselage halves. I'm not sure if it would be easier to glue the front and rear fuselage sections together prior to joining the halves, but it is a viable option.

Once the wing/upper nacelle pieces are joined and attached to the fuselage, the instructions would have you then build up the nacelles. Depending on how well these fit, it might be useful to wait to attach the wings until after the nacelles are done. Test fitting the wing assembly before attaching the nacelles will determine this. The engine exhaust fit from the outside so can be installed after the airframe is painted.

The kit does provide an open or closed gear door option and if you wish it to be open, you need to cut the doors. Landing gear is well formed and can also be fit into the gear wells after painting. There is credible main gear well detailing provided.

Instructions are standard RoG of the time with well drawn construction steps and colors in only Revell paints. Some will need mixing. The decal sheet is also standard for the time in that it is quite matte. I'm not sure how viable these 24 year old decals might be, but that is it as no one produces aftermarket for this plane. They are fairly well printed and typically, no swastika is provided.

The tooling on this one is quite nice and I can only assume the subject is what has kept modelers away from this one.


September 2018

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Thanks to me for getting this one to share with you.

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