I like reconnaissance aircraft and I have been building a collection. This is one of such aircraft, an Arado Ar 234 C-4, built using an old 1:72 scale Dragon kit. As far as I could gather, only a couple of these aircraft were ever completed at the end of WWII and I completed it in the decoration suggested by the kit’s producer. The decals were quite old (this model was produced in 1992) and during their application I encountered several problems, with silvering showing in many of them. While solving this issues, it came to my mind that I do not know of many online tutorials that show ways of solving this problem. So this was the motivation to make the attached video.
As I previously wrote, I could find only a few references to this type of aircraft (mainly on the Ar 234 monographs published by Kagero) and I suspect that none were used operationally (I just found photos of the several C variant prototypes). So I built this model in the hypothetical operational decoration, that is provided in the Dragon kit.
Construction wise, there were a few issues to solve, but nothing that a modeler with a little experience could not fix. As with most aircraft models, the cockpit was the first thing to be tackled, being detailed with some photoetched parts from an Eduard set and instrument face decals from Mike Grant.
A few issues with part’s fit ( mainly around the canopy, the engine nacelles and the fuselage underside) were solved with epoxy putty, filling and some engraving of panel lines (necessary to replace some of the details erased during the filling and sanding required to smooth out the aircraft’s airframe).
Painting was carried out with Vallejo Acrylics without any problem, with the camouflage requiring some masking to reproduce the straight edge scheme found in many bombers of the Luftwaffe. Although decal application was carried out using the traditional care, that can be found in several online tutorials (I particularly like Paul Budzik’s approach, that is clearly shown in his video tutorial), I found the dreaded silvering effect on most of the applied decals. I suspect this was a result of the decal’s age, which may have affected its glue. As I did not found many tutorials on how to work around this issue, I decided to make a succinct video showing how I try to minimize this issue.
To complete the model, it was satin varnished, panel lines were picked up with washes and some smoke and oil stains were applied. This was a simple model to build and it would be a very quick build if not for the few fit issues and the problems I faced with the decals. It now sits in the shelf, next to my other reconnaissance aircraft models. I hope you find these tips useful if you are ever faced with silvering on your decals. Cheers.