These two bombers are fictional airplanes. I’ve based their designs on numerous German flying wings and Amerika-bomber projects and ended up with a strategic jet bomber (Arado 655) and long-range anti-shipping propeller driven bomber (Messerschmitt 268). The airfield is supposed to resemble a makeshift base somewhere on Azores in late 1946 and both airplanes are being prepared for a new mission.
History of German flying wing designs is very rich. Most of you have probably heard of Horten’s projects, most notably H1 and H2, which were flown both in glider and powered variants (Ho 229 or as it is often called; Gotha Go 229). Famous brothers were designing their prototypes mostly without informing Luftwaffe about their progress- a behavior that could easily be court-martialed during the war. Fortunately for them, all the brass, including Göring, realized that they were far more valuable providing good results, even though the results were kept secret for quite a long time.
Arado E.555 started out in late 1943 as a flying wing project intended to meet the RLM requirement of a high speed strategic jet bomber. There were many different variants and one of them, probably the most attractive one, exists as a plastic model kit manufactured by Revell. Messerschmitt also took part in the Amerika bomber project and actually finished three prototypes of classically designed Me 264. But even theirs design bureau was not immune to flying-wing frenzy and the P.08-01 would have been a formidable beast.
I could write about this topic for ages, but the most important fact that you have to know is, that the German strategic bomber projects were all slowly abandoned as the war progressed, because they were considered to be too expensive. Even the He177 that was produced in moderate numbers was mostly misused and notorious engine problems plagued its entire career.
Here you can see the typical Luftwaffe bomb trolley with a heavy bomb ready to be loaded into the fat belly of Arado 655.
I decided to use those LEGO wings because a lot of people despise them and find them ‘toyish’, so I wanted to prove that they can be very useful nevertheless. Abundance of studs on classical wing parts is sometimes annoying, and this (mostly) smooth surface is therefore a welcoming change. The decals came from my box of plastic models spare parts.
The parts used for the Messerschmitt 268 came from the Indiana Jones set (insert Nicholas Cage’s “you don’t say” face here :D). But as you can see, I’ve completely redesigned everything. I really like this green color, so I’ve used all the green parts from the set and even managed to scrap some from my other LEGO sets too (I don’t use bricklink, my technique is ‘build and tear down’).
The legendary Opel Blitz and Kübelwagen side by side.
Numerous types of Opel Blitz were produced, fulfilling various roles, fuel truck being just one of them. I spent a lot of time building it, because it is really challenging to capture the proper look of the front part of the vehicle.
Kübelwagen, German equivalent to the American Jeep, was based on famous VW Beetle and more than 50.000 examples were produced between 1940 and 1945. This was my first try at this light military vehicle; it turned out to be a little bit too fat, but I hope I’ve still managed to capture the essential characteristics of the ‘bucket seat car’.
A small field hospital, that adds something to the lively atmosphere.
The radar here is a ‘small Würzburg’ and it was used on various locations across the Reich. The ‘Würzburg Riese’, his big brother is of course better known, but it wouldn’t exactly fit into this diorama.
The tractor depicted here is Hanomag r40. Even though the Hanomag SS 100 was much more popular with Luftwaffe because of its greater power, I’ve decided to build this one. For my opinion the SS 100 looks just too cumbersome. These tractors were civilian vehicles pressed into military service. But after the war, they weren’t used just for agricultural purposes- numerous r40s ended up towing circus trailers across Europe for many years.
Here is the engine of the mighty Arado 655. In my alternative history, BMW manages to manufacture the best and most reliable turbojet engine that enables the bomber to achieve speed of up to 900 km/h.
The cockpit is designed for two crew members: the pilot and the navigator/bomb aimer/gunner. Bomber’s defense consists of six MG151. There is a also a special compartment between the cockpit and the bomb bay equipped with fire extinguishers and various gauges, but it was impossible to take a good picture of it.
The bomb bay is full of bombs of various sizes, but it is very doubtful, if conventional bomb loads would have any serious impact on American economy, even if Amerika-bombers have been put into service. But NBC warfare could have changed a lot of things. You can find an interesting and very well written article on http://althistory.wikia.com/wiki/Morgen_die_ganze_Welt It makes the actual outcome of WW II look like a quarrel. And makes you happy that all ‘whatifs’ remained ‘whatifs’.
Messerschmitt’s cockpit is simpler but there is one special feature- the bomb aimer lies on the floor and has huge observation window. The four MG 151 on top of the fuselage are controlled by the third crew member whose position can clearly be seen.
These three weapons also never existed. The bombs on the right and on the left are meant to be an improved Fritz-X, something like the American VB-6 Felix, equipped with a sort of fire-and-forget guidance system. The one in the middle is my replacement for Hs-293, designed for attacks against merchant shipping.
Honestly said, a true flying wing should be much thicker in order to incorporate the bomb bay and (if possible) also the engines. My Arado 655 has a separate bomb bay because I knew that building a good looking smooth shaped wing would be very difficult in this scale. But knowing the notorious problems with overheating of German jet engines, makes the decision to mount them externally quite sound, at least for my opinion.
These are really cool aircraft! Who doesn't like flying wings? The attention to all the support systems is quite impressive. I have to observe however, that those two in the back of the Kübelwagen are getting pretty chummy. Have Hans and Otto always been that close? Or did the romance of the desert overwhelm them? The bombardier’s window on the underside of the prop driven craft is an unexpected and really cool detail! Angriff!
This is a good looking MOC! Now, I think that for the Experimental Aircraft competition, you will be awarded (from me), 8/10 points. Really, I think that maybe their is room for soon improvement, (namely in the colors), but otherwise, excellent!
Excellent work! The diorama as a whole is great! all the features work properly, and it is great how you've featured so much different German vehicles etc into one, relatively small scene.
The bomber's viewing windscreen is a great feature on the 268. Very, very nice work!