Revell AG 1/72 Me-262A-1a
One of the myths surrounding the Me 262 that immediately comes to the mind is the supposedly advanced concept of its swept wing. It is now known that it has nothing to do with advanced aerodynamics: the projected speed could have been perfectly attainable with a straight wing (à la Ar 234, as the original, wind-tunnel proved P.1065 had) but it was the need to put the most possible mass behind the center of gravity to take it backwards that dictated the sweep. It was the thinness of the wing’s profile that was the real advanced aerodynamic feature, and responsible for the aircraft’s performance.
Regarding this particular airframe: "110956 Me 262 A-1a. This III./EJG 2 training aircraft at Lechfeld was flown by Fw. Franz Holzinger on 16 March 1945 in a high altitude flight, and the next day on a cross country flight. Possibly also flown by Heinz Bär. It was captured at Lechfeld 29 April. Marked 'White 17' and ‘White S' for Schulemaschine, indicating a training aircraft." (Dan O'Connell)
This particular 262 holds some importance because it can be ascertained to have been finished in RLM74/75/76, an early scheme once thought not applied to operative machines (see “Modelling the Messerschmitt 262” Osprey Publications, where the builder of this very machine regards it as most probably painted in RLM81/82 –though finishes it in the earlier scheme!) There are a couple of colour pictures that proves that conclusively. It is also unique in that it sports a Black open Balkenkreuz in the fuselage, instead of a White one.
The diminutive Revell 1/72 Me 262 is one of a series of budget kits issued in the 90s. They featured a clean and accurate outline, good surface detail and good decals. Most of them were hampered by a particular “shortcut” that compromised the quality of the resulting model, in case you intended to make anything other than a simple OOB one. Not that you cannot overcame it (with some aftermarket or simply with sweat’n’tears), but some extra work was needed. I can mention the canopy in the Fw 190A (with the metal frame solid with the fuselage) and the lack of intake bulkheads in Tornadoes and Taifuns. In the case of the 262, the problem is the wheel well, which has a solid “roof” (notwithstanding sporting a finely molded cockpit bathtub and sidewall detail) and an awful canopy, which certainly looks like taken from a Frog kit from the sixties. The first one is just a matter of obliterating the “roof” by vigorously grinding it; but the canopy issued cannot be righted without the help of an aftermarket piece. For this I summoned a Rob Taurus replacement (or two, more on that later). An old Eduard copperish set was also routinely added.
For a change, I started by dynamiting the wheel well “roof”; smallish as it is, it took a session of Dremel. I kept the leg bays, but the auxiliary struts are “left in the void”. Then you face options. You can keep the (wrongly rounded shaped) bulkhead already in the kit, or obliterate it and make your own. I followed the second, harder path; rebuilding a detailed bulkhead. The work altogether is not difficult and overly enjoyable. Then I moved into the cockpit tub (both upper and lower surfaces) and the fuselage sides detailing them with some wiring and accoutrements. All was painted Alclad Aluminum. I had hoped that the ugly ejection marks (and the various mounting holes) in the lower bathtub would be masked by the wheel well central frame, but they weren’t, so I had to fill and sand them. The Eduard set was not particularly well fitting, especially the instrument panel (typical of first generation sets). The gunsight was scratchbuilt. The fuselage is surprisingly complex for its size, but assembles well. Remember this is a Messerschmitt product, so it shows the characteristic upper and lower rear fuselage longitudinal seams. The model is a notorious tail sitter; I stuffed the nose with shot (to the point of fearing the nose strut would collapse) and even so its center of gravity is marginally adequate: a strong stare and it falls back on its tail! The turbojets’ central bosses were a chore to fit, especially the rear ones, which lack a positive fit and are difficult to center. I just painted the interior of the turbojet’s nacelles Black and that made short work of any see-inside effect.
I am no newcomer to vacuform canopies, routinely replacing kits’ canopies with them; but my usual practice is keeping the fixed parts from the kit while replacing just the openable hood. In this case, I had to replace everything, such is the mess of the kit’s canopy (pun intended). I had not exactly problems but a lot of putty and sand work to fair windscreen and rear part into the fuselage to an acceptable degree. Then I managed to screw the moving hood; not having a direct replacement (and the proper piece being sold out) I resorted to the corresponding part in a Rob Taurus set intended for the Academy kit. It was completely different in proportions; I almost manage to screw it again, but finally manage to get a presentable result. Opened as it is the difference doesn’t show; but it couldn’t have been posed closed! The head armor was fitted on a styrene transversal bar which looks a bit chunky, but not overly so. Main wheels are particularly finely molded.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I kept it simple. Over the Grey primer, a Raw Umber preshade. Then RLM76 overall; masking the fuselage, I painted the wings; masking the wings, I painted the fuselage. Turbojet nacelles have some complex painting I solved with some extra masking, including the Aluminum replacement intake cover. The Yellow band was painted afterwards, providing “instant weathering”; the Black paint over… a repair? was brush painted. Interior was painted with Humbrol 67 (mimicking RLM66); the NMF parts in Alclad; the rest of the paints were Xtracrylixs. A MiG Grime Streaks bottle provided, well, some grime streaks; a Silver pencil some chipping and some pastels light dust.
Well, the kit’s decals, though very usable, lacks swastikas; they must be from the times when the prohibition to depict them already stood but decal makers had not yet come to the present-day way of circumvallating it, printing them in parts that make them not immediately recognizable. Therefore, I was forced to buy aftermarket decals; already being in such a situation, I bought proper Me 262 decals instead of a specific swastika sheet (mistake). I got the HAD decals sheet, which proved well printed and good quality (they are thin and do not like to be moved around) as well as depicting interesting subjects. Guess what: I managed to screw a swastika! The multipart print hampered my ability to properly place it. Moreover, the second machine in the sheet had a different design! What I had to do? Buy a swastika sheet! I bought a Fantasy Shop sheet with swastikas aplenty; however, none matched exactly the original one on the other side, and I was too annoyed to get rid of it also (it entailed repainting the whole tail) Therefore, the model has swastikas of slightly different sizes! Stenciling came from the kit and worked fine.
A nice little kit; cheap (around seven euro in the toystore in my village –Bonn) and finely moulded. It looks great in the sprues and a good model can be made out of it.. The obvious (and unexplainable) shortcuts make getting a model as fine as potentially could be a bit more complicated than it should. However, the finished model shouts at you “Go and buy another, you moron!”
- “Jagdwaffe: Luftwaffe Colours Vol.5 Sect.4: Jet Fighters and Rocket Interceptors (1944-45)”, Richard Smith and Eddie Creek, Classic Colours Publications
- “Me 262: The Erste Turbinenjäger der Welt”, Heinrich Hest, Waffen Arsenal Publications.
- “Me 262: Das Vielzweckflugzeug” Horst Schreiber (Editor), Waffen Arsenal Publications.
Rolandelli 11 July 2016 Copyright ModelingMadness.com If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
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11 July 2016
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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