Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura: A-12 version in 32nd scale.admin
Extreme is the word that describes this airplane when you come to think of it. It was heavy, non-standard twin engine beast, not only being the fastest prop that Luftwaffe had in WWII, but also filled with innovations hardly seen before.
The unique design of push-pull engine concept eliminated the turning tendencies typical for twins that have their power plants on the wings. Not only that, but the rear prop defined the need for an ejection seat which was something revolutionary for the time.
It was huge and scary looking compared to the contemporary fighters and even though propeller driven and in the dawn of the jet age, it was proving a concept that still stands to this day. If it wasn’t for this beast, the idea of a heavy twin interceptors would’ve been different. Thus, you can easily consider this the grand- grand- daddy of designs such as MiG-25 and F-15.
Only around 40 were built and of those, very few were twin-seaters like the model of the subject in this article. Actually, according to some sources, most of the planes were pre-production/prototype versions. The actual production Do-335 were built in extremely modest numbers: 11 single seaters and 2 twin-seaters. However, sources vary in their conclusions and being the end of the Second World War nobody can tell with absolute certainty.
Zoukei-Mura are a company that accepts nothing but the best and does no compromises with their kits. The boxes are always perfect and so is the case with the Do-335 A-12. It comes as with their other Luftwaffe planes, glossy and high-quality appearance, with yellow sides and beautiful boxart.
Once you lift the lid, the cardboard case enclosed from all sides is what you see. This adds to the curiosity and the childish-tension feeling that we all get the first time we open the box of the newest kit we get. The cardboard is top quality as everything else with this set.
Beneath it, a crowded box with separately packed sprues opens the door to another dimension of modeling, different from what you are used to. Instructions are two sets, packed independently from each-other. The sprues are two types: standard gray plastic, and semi-transparent ones, with milk-ish appearance and fantastic texture. Of course, there are some sprues for the clear parts too. To be perfectly honest, even the plastic bags that holds everything are nicer than everybody else’s. At this point of your introduction to the kit, especially if it is your first Zoukei-Mura, you will be completely enchanted. It simply doesn’t get any better than this. Trust me on that.
There are two sheets included. Surprisingly, one is for the initial version of the Pfeil that Zoukei-Mura released back in 2016 – the A-0. The second one is very thin and features the differences you have to apply while assembling the Do-335 Anteater. It also includes the color schemes for the specific plane.
It is rather odd on one hand. Why wouldn’t that kit get its own set of instructions, but instead get a patch only? Maybe that is a good thing, since thorough research of the sheet is needed well ahead of the assembly process. On the other hand, Zoukei-Mura eventually will keep the price a bit lower using that technique. I am not certain, only guessing here.
Anyhow, the instruction sheet is the standard bundle of info typical for the Japanese model maker. There is SWS information blocks, which feature valuable and hard to find tips about the planes and its assembly. Also, alignment guidelines are included, which is the first thing IPMS judges look for in a kit. What’s the point in having perfectly painted and weathered kit with misaligned forms? It could never fly in reality, so there your work goes in the bin. Well, not if you follow through here.
The sheet by itself is a booklet that will take decent amount of time for reading, even if you don’t assemble the plane in the same time. So you can imagine that this is one very well thought-through guide, designed for modelers who are very devoted and patient.
The grey plastic sprues feature superb details on every single piece molded onto them. I will be cheap on words here, compensating with pictures. That will do the job better. It is important to add, that the plastic that Zoukei-Mura featured in Do-335 Anteater /and their other kits/ is of very high quality. Especially when sanding, you can enjoy it to the maximum.
Zoukei-Mura went deep enough to depict the cylinders and the pistons inside, impeller of the turbocharger, perfectly shaped openings of the exhaust system. There are cables, rivets and all kinds of goodies in the cockpit too. Simply put, no stone was left unturned.
Semi Clear Sprues:
The second set of sprues are the milk-ish ones. They feature the control surfaces, the outer parts of the aircraft and the outer parts of the wings. In one word, the skin. All those parts are designed in a way that can be used as they are. No primer, no paint. Nothing.
Even if you decide to show everything inside and apply them directly over the built skeleton of the aircraft, they will fit perfectly and will unveil the beauty of this scale model. Of course, for the purpose you should approach the building process and more specifically – application and type of glue differently.
Those parts are not perfectly clear. Nor should they be. Transparency is just enough so you can peak beneath and enjoy. However, if you ask me, I would paint all over. If I would like to show something, I would be cutting through some of the parts, exposing the internals, as if someone just ripped a panel or two off of the plane.
Again, pictures will say more than any text could possibly can. The really important thing here is the option added. Transparency is not for everyone. Some love it, others hates it. Zoukei-Mura managed to please both sides.
The Do-335 A-12 Anteater features dual separated tandem cockpit layout, which are embedded on different levels in the fuselage of the plane. They feature decent number of frames and are similar but not equal in appearance. One of those is a single-piece, while the other have the front windshield divided from the rest of the canopy. In addition to that there are spares from the original A-0 included.
The sprues are made from high-quality material and looking through the windows doesn’t bend the light significantly. In other words – realistic to the highest level in the industry. They are both very well detailed, featuring even the tiny vent windows that are present on the sides of the real aircraft. Modelers/Glider pilots probably will smirk here.
There is special attention devoted to the semi-transparent canopy bed, with tension dividers /to be removed/ placed in order to avoid bending and provide a guarantee for a perfect fit and alignment. The only thing needed here are the highest-quality sprue cutters that you can get. Everything is delicate and demands attention. In the same time the parts are thoroughly thought through and you will easily achieve superb results if using good tools.
Two decal sheets are included. Printed by Cartograf. Pretty much enough said. But let’s elaborate on those. The smaller sheet features small dashboard decal and two white numbers – 112. In addition to that there is an option for separate decal gauges. Each one cut neatly if you want to weather the dashboard first and then put only the dial faces in each’s own bed.
Same thing is done with the other sheet which is larger and features everything else needed. Again, complete dashboard decal and separate gauges. In addition to that, technical markings – yellow, red, white. Crosses and letters, which – considering the manufacturer – will be nothing short of perfect.
Transparent film on each decal is barely visible and the thickness of the carrier material /light blue/ suggests flawless work too. I will conclude with what I pointed out in the start – Cartograf. Enough said.
Masks are separated alongside with each instruction sheet. Zoukei-Mura simply included an add-on to the original single-seater packing. Masks are cut into a green vinyl material, which is unknown for me, even though I am familiar with many brands and models. There are barely any shrinking with Zoukei-Mura’s material and the masks are cut perfectly for the purpose. Maybe some will prefer Kabuki tape, but I can assure you – these will do the job perfectly.
Canopies are abundant in framework, so adding masks was unavoidable, epsecially if the Japanese kit maker wanted to hold the reputation of one of the top modeling companies in the World. Nice touch, to which DN Models probably will add mask set for the Insignia of the Do-335 A-12 Anteater. Not that decals are bad, but masks for scale models always give you the best possible realism. In whatever scale.
Zoukei-Mura offer some additional sets for the Do-335 Anteater available on their site. First and most important of those is the Concept Note dedicated to the single seater. You can learn more about it here.
Parts and accessories are offered too. Those include photo-etch parts for the instrument panel and seatbelts, pilot figures, metal gear struts, weighted tires, metal machine gun barrels/pitot tube/antenna set, resin/pe bomb set, PE radiator set and of course – proper color set from Vallejo.
My opinion on those is, that not everything is needed. However, this is only my perspective of modeling and you will most likely disagree with the most of it. Anyhow, here it goes: No on the bomb set and the PE instruments. Both will deteriorate the appearance instead of improving it. Pilots too /but some figure masters will strongly disagree here/.
Metal machine guns, antenna and pitot are mandatory, as well as metal gear struts combined with the weighted tires option. Photo-etch radiator set probably will make the Do-335 Anteater even more attractive.
As for the color set, since Vallejo are demanding I would suggest another approach. I have no troubles with those, but people often do and there is something else too. Once, not so long ago I heard a rumor about a possible collaboration between Zoukei-Mura and Mission Models Paints. Mission Models are far better paints than Vallejo and their derivatives. They are abundant in colors and I trust that they are the best match for the quality of the Do-335 Anteater. Maybe Mr. Paint too.
This is one insanely nice kit. The quality is unmatched. The details are perfect. The options for modeling are practically endless. Dornier Do-335 Anteater is huge in 32nd scale and that is demanding, both in modeling and space terms. Not for inexperienced modeler, this kit is designed in a way that will please even the most demanding glue sniffers. Even though a novice modeler won’t be able to comprehend the complexity of the kit, if one builds couple of Tamiya’s 48th scale Pfeils, this can be a step up from those, due to the brilliant instruction sheets and the out-of-this World engineering.
This kit is miracle, as with all Zoukei-Mura creations. The price is high, but please trust me on that, it is under-estimation of the quality that Japanese maker provides in return. Even if it was 50% more expensive, it would’ve deserved every single penny.
Highly recommended is an understatement. Saying that would be like saying that a tsunami wave is a slight water displacement around the shore. This Do-335 A-12 Anteater is a complex engineering miracle, a product of a genius mind. There is nothing on the market that comes close to it. From the packing to the very last tiny bit of plastic detail, it is a masterpiece. It is pleasing, intriguing and satisfying, deeply inspiring and in the same time humbling experience even for the top expert modeler.
It simply doesn’t get any better than this.