Dragon 1/48 Me-262A-1a
|PRICE:||$30-35 on the second hand market|
|NOTES:||Includes a p.e. fret and vinyl tires|
This kit originated in the 1980s. Released by Trimaster it was one of the first “wonder kits” complete with photoetched details, vinyl tires, engraved detail and comprehensive decals. The price when released was extravagant, making it somewhat of a “Holy Grail” of models. Dragon picked up the molds after Trimaster went belly up and released the Me 262 as one of their “Master Series” of kits in the early 1990s.
How does it hold up today? The engraved detail is okay, but not as refined or extensive as that of an Eduard kit. There is minimal flash, and the clear pieces are of good quality. The photoetched details are thick. This thickness is good for antennas and structure, but difficult to work with on the small parts. The kit decals are thin, opaque and in register. Nicely appointed and detailed, the cockpit is really good. Vinyl tires are a nice touch.
Per the usual, construction began with painting and detailing the cockpit. As mentioned earlier, the RLM 66 was already painted throughout. I brush painted the cockpit details and gave the interior a thin black wash. Once the wash had dried, I drybrushed the interior with a slightly lighter shade of gray. I added the photoetched seatbelt for the pilot’s seat. Because of the paint interacting with the Tenax, I had difficulty getting the interior bits to hold together. Perseverance prevailed and I closed up the fuselage. Though fit is not the best, the rest of the airframe built up without drama. Several sessions of adding putty, Mr. Surfacer and sanding followed.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
Oberstleutnant Heinz Bar was a jet ace with 16 “kills” to his credit while flying the Me 262. There are well circulated black & white photos of Bar’s “red 13”. There are also countless reviews showing it in late war camouflage of RLM82 and RLM83 over RLM84 (a late-war version of RLM76). While this may be the case, there is evidence that Bar’s plane was an early version and would have been painted in RLM74 & RLM75 over RLM76. Evidence includes: the airframe serial number (earlier aircraft), lack of pilots head armor (clearly visible in the photos), and lack of gun blisters on the nose. I chose to finish my Me 262 in the earlier camo scheme (it is a good looking bird either way).
There are many reviews of the Dragon/Trimaster Me 262 out there. Most agree that it is still a good kit that turns out nicely. There are two areas where this kit falls a bit short of current offerings. When compared to Tamiya and Hobby Boss Me 262s, the finesse/amount of the engraved detail and the fit of some parts in the Dragon kit is a bit crude. Though it looked a little rough in the box, I’m impressed with the end result. The airframe builds up relatively easily, the photoetched structural parts are straightforward to install, and the level of detail they add is really nice. The clear parts are okay and the decals work well. Due to the multimedia nature of the kit, the higher parts count, and the sometimes fiddly construction, I would recommend the Dragon Me 262 for those modelers with some model building experience.
Thanks to for the review kit. You can find this one at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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