Special Hobby 1/72 Me-262 '3 seat night fighter'






One aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run with vac canopy & etched fret


Messerschmitt had been doing a lot of experimentation with swept wings; in fact, the Me-262v9 was eventually flown with swept tail surfaces just like what you see on this aircraft. The swept wing offers many benefits in terms of speed, though the trade-off is a higher stall speed. Early in the 262s design phase, a three seat night fighter design was produced, but little was done with it as the need was to get the aircraft into production. Once that had happened, other design variations could be developed.

One was the three seat night fighter with swept wings. The biggest difference other than the swept wings was the placement of the engines. Instead of being on pods under the wings, they were close to the fuselage centerline and along the wing centerline. This gives the benefit of minimal trim changes when an engine is lost. It also complicates wing spar construction and requires moving the landing gear. In this configuration the main gear would have been very close together. It would have been a very 'tippy' aircraft if developed as this design shows! Radar would have been centimetric with a fully enclosed dish; unlike the exposed dipoles that had been used previously.


What you have here is your typical short run kit. Looking it over, it isn't very complicated, but I'll guarantee that it will be an interesting build. The fuselage alone is three sections, each formed on a different axis from the adjacent one. The nose is split vertically, the main fuselage horizontally and the tail section vertically again! As you can see, you are given three replacement wheel halves as three of the ones on the sprues have serious mold deformations.

The cockpit is basic with a tub, three seats, a control stick and a few consoles. There is a metal etched fret that includes such things as rudder pedals, seat belts and a few antennas. Nose weight will be needed as this looks to be a bit of a tail sitter. There are also some drop tanks for under the wings if you wish to attach them. The plastic itself is nicely engraved as is the norm. There is some flash and ejector pin posts. Most of these posts are out of the way, but some will need to be removed to construct the kit. One vacuformed canopy is provided.

The instructions are more than adequate for the job and offer several construction steps. Decals are for one aircraft and are by Propagteam. Though the paint scheme offered is RLM 76 upper with RLM 75 squiggles and a black underside. However, you can paint it any way you want as it is a Luft '46 aircraft and the Color Nazis can't argue camo on this one!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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