|KIT:||Trumpeter 1/32 Me-262A-1a|
If you don’t know enough history of the development and combat history of the world’s first operational jet fighter, then what are you doing here, wondering if the kit’s any good? Let’s jump into it.
The Me-262A-1a has been well-represented in mainstream injection molded plastic since at least 1959, when Lindberg released their kit - the first plastic model of this famous airplane. Over the years, kits of varying levels of detail and accuracy of the airplane have been released in every scale but 1/24 - to the best of my knowledge. In1/32, that from Hasegawa has been “the only game in town” for close to thirty years.
Trumpeter’s new 1/32 scale kit of the Me-262 is now effectively “the only game in town” for a modeler who wants a detailed and accurate model of this famous airplane. Opening the box, there are 355 parts on nine sprues, including white metal landing gear and photo-etch parts that include very effective-looking seat belts. As with most Me-262 kits, the main gear are done at full extension, meaning that a modeler will have to modify the legs by shortening the visible oleo strut - this may be better-accomplished using the injection-molded gear legs to end up with the proper “sit” for the completed model.
Two different nose wheels (the wide one was never used operationally) and the main wheels are provided in Trumpeter’s now-standard rubber tires. Those modelers who want replacements can get resin wheels - in both tread patterns - from Jerry Rutman, who has them in stock at reasonable prices right now.
All movable surfaces are separate, including the leading edge slats, the flaps, the ailerons, elevators and rudder. This time, Trumpeter has not included any photo-etch or metal parts or even plastic tabs on these separate surfaces, which means you can pose these in any position you want. No other Me-262 kit has ever provided these options “out of the box” - even with the Tamiya kit, a modeler had to invest in resin slats and flaps from Cutting Edge to get the right look to their completed model.
Decals are provided for Walter Nowotny’s “Weiss 8" from Kommando Nowotny, and a Schwalbe flown by Franz Schall of 10/JG7. Eagle Editions has already announced two decal sheets for this kit and it is certain all the other aftermarket decal makers will pounce on this.
The detail throughout the kit is superb. The cockpit is so well-detailed that only the hopeless resinaholic will be looking for a resin cockpit replacement. The gun bays are filled with accurate MK108 cannon that need only some wiring to be completely accurate. The radio compartment in the rear fuselage can be shown open and is equipped with radio gear. Interestingly, the only detail option missing is the underwing R4M rockets and their racks.
The surface detail is so well done that the screws have slots in their heads. This kit does not have the heavy detail that Trumpeter has been known for previously, and will it look perfect under a coat of paint.
The engines are completely detailed, needing only wiring. The engine nacelles are done in both opaque and clear plastic that would allow the completed engine to be seen. While the forward engine covers are not separate, with two nacelles for each engine it would not be difficult to take a razor saw to them and create separate engine covers should a modeler so desire.
This is definitely the best Me-262 released by anyone in any scale, and definitely proves that Trumpeter’s Avenger was not a fluke. I will take bets that - over the next year - this kit will become the most popular 1/32 model, as demonstrated by its appearance at shows around the world.
While the kit has a lot of detail, and is very complex, it is not complicated. A modeler of average ability should have no trouble producing a stunning model for their collection. Highly recommended, and I will be building this as soon as I can get the workroom set up at the new Le Chateau du Chat I am in the process of moving into.
Thanks to Stevens International for the review copy.
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