1:48 Dragon Horton 229A
I've always had an interest in early jets and rockets, and in flying wings,
so when this kit came onto the market it was a dream come true for me.
Dragon's Horton 229A is a rather complex kit. It contains all the internal
framing for the fuselage, as well as fully detailed engines. It's designed
with the intent that the wings and a number of access panels can be removed,
showing off all the lovely detail. However, because of all this complexity,
it does suffer from some unfortunate fit problems. Still, I wouldn't have
missed it for the world. The 2 seat nightfighter/trainer 229B should avoid
most of the fit problems as it does away with much of the frivolous detail.
- In particular, the front of the fuselage doesn't fit well to the rear
top and bottom halves at the same time, due to the framework for the
intereor pushing it out. This necessitated some considerable filling
at the join points beside where the engine covers attach, and where
the front joins to the cockpit sill. Because of this, and the slight
variation in shape, it was impossible to have the engine covers sit
properly in place, so I've left them as removed.
- I used the fantastic Reheat photoetch set for this kit. The one set
provides parts to do both a 229A and a 229B kit -- talk about value.
The details in the set were excellent, and set a standard that will be
very hard to beat. Along with using the photoetch instrument panel,
I also used some Reheat instrument decals for the dial faces. I have
yet to find any that rival these for detail or for price, but don't
even dream of trying to use them without a Waldron punch set or
equivalent -- I didn't have one when I built this kit and I had to cut
out each tiny instrument face by hand -- my hands aren't that steady.
- After seeing a note by someone on the rec.models.scale newsgroup (my
apologies for not remembering who), about the DF loop actually being
on the top instead of the bottom, I did some digging through my
references, and while none of the prototypes carried a DF loop, the
diagrams of the production version all showed the DF loop on top,
confirming what my unknown benefactor had said. This makes perfect
sense compared to other German a/c of the same era, almost all of
them have their DF loop on top, rather than the bottom. This was one
of the only changes I made aside from the Reheat photoetch set.
- The only other place I changed, or rather added things was to attach
wires and cables to the back of the instrument panel (which can be
seen quite clearly. I also ran some wires from the throttles and
the gauges attached to the frame back towards the engines for a touch
- Almost all of the paints are Xtracolour, with some Model-Master Metalizers
used for the engine detail. I like the Xtracolour as they are gloss and
don't need a gloss overcoat before adding the decals.
- I used the kit decals, which were very thin, and somewhat unruly, with
the addition of some swastikas from an Xtradecal set. The walkway
outline that runs along the left side of the `fuselage' was a considerable
pain to get lined up right -- especially with the opening for the engine.
Aside from that, and some of the fuel filler markings which also had to
be split, they went on reasonably well, and reacted quite well to the
- Finally, to make the a/c look like it would if it were in service at the
time, I throughly weathered it with liberal use of charcoal dust and
washes around the fuel filler openings. I also added some drybrushing
scuffs along the walkway, and other appropriate areas. At that point
in hostilities, there wasn't time or manpower to keep a plane looking
All in all, one of my favorite aircraft. I can hardly wait to do the 229B,
as it combines my other big interest -- nightfighters, with all the ones
mentioned above. Just about the ideal combination for me. ;-)
Not recommended for the novice, but for someone who doesn't mind lots of
fiddley parts, it's a great kit.
Model by Brian MacNamara, photo by Lorenzo Vitiali (Thank Lorenzo!)