Kit: Revell 1/72 Me-262 A-1a.
Price £2.99 (UK).
Decal options: i) III/Erprobungsjagdgruppe 2, Lechfeld December 1944 ii) III/JG7 Lechfeld, March 1945
Review by Duncan Flint
This new kit from Revell represents the most common Me-262 variant, the single seat A-1. The kit is moulded in medium grey plastic ( 4 sprues ) and clear ( 1 sprue ). The parts breakdown is such that a recce bird (A-1a/U3 or A-5 ) and 2 seater ( B series ) are planned. First impressions are of excellent surface detailing, and these impressions are confirmed during construction.
Construction starts, as usual, with the cockpit area. This comprises a tub, seat, joystick and instrument panel, the latter being very well detailed and , according to my data, very accurate. A bulkhead is fitted to each end of the tub, and the fuselage halves are joined, trapping the tub in-between. Do NOT forget to put nose weight in, this is one hell of a tail sitter, so be warned. ( Ive built 2, and they are both marginal in balance ). Fortunately, there is a good bit of space in the nose, and, if necessary, the engine nacelles. Next comes the nose wheel bay, comprising the bay itself and the underside of the nose, incorporating the ammo chutes. This last part is a bit of an awkward fit, being a touch large, but nothing a bit of filler, care and sanding won't cure.
Moving onto the top of the fuselage, the radar operators position, not needed in this kit, is covered with a bulkhead. This is the worst fitting part of the kit, but again a bit of filler and it's solved. The wings are in 3 parts; one piece lower and two uppers. These fit together very well, and the fit to the fuselage is also very good. The engine nacelles are each 4 piece assemblies, comprising left and right halves, front turbine housing and rear "moveable bullet". This last is a nice idea, but ( you knew there'd be a "but" didn't you ) it leads to a lot of "see through". Still, a coating of RLM66 over the insides will help reduce this problem. One other problem is a small amount of sinkage on the nacelles at the rear, but this is, again, a minor quibble. The nacelles fit the wing perfectly, and by now the plane looks like it's ready to fly ( if a little drafty ! ).
Moving quickly on, the tail planes are next fitted with no problems, and then the undercarriage. These are lovely little assemblies, delicate but sturdy. The nose gear is in 2 parts; oleo and wheel. These parts fit well ( I used super-glue for a quick, firm assembly ) and have well defined divisions between tyre and hub, helping painting no end. The main gears are equally well detailed, the wheels having a very accurate tread pattern moulded on. This is marred however by 2 mould release marks, 'though these are again easy to fill ( or ignore !). The oleo and retraction jack are the other 2 parts of each unit and fit their locating holes well. Again superglue was used for speed.
Nearly done now, the undercarriage doors are added. These are all moulded as one piece, needing cutting into 2 ( nose ) and 3 ( main ) parts. The interior detail of these is very well done and the location to the oleos is OK, but could be a bit more positive. final touches are 3 ariels, a DF loop and the canopy which is nice and clear. Optional parts are 2 Wikingerschiff bomb racks for the A-1a/jabo for which either 2 drop tanks or 2 WGr.21 rocket tubes.
Decals come for 2 variants, both in RLM76/81/82 ( or light blue, brown and green ) with mottling and some belly panels in aluminum. I have to confess that the decals look like the awful Revell decals of old; very matt and very thick, so I have put them aside for "later use". Instead I used some Aeromaster decals which went on excellently. Overall, a superb kit for a superb price ( I understand it's a lot more in the US ). Even with the naffo decals, I still recommend it whole-heartedly.
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