Monogram 1/48 Me-262A-1




$7.50 when last issued (about 15 years ago!)


See Review


Scott Van Aken




Without going into great detail, the Me-262 was the first operational combat jet aircraft. It was vastly superior to anything that the Allies had in the air or in development. It was fortunate for the Allied nations that the Germans were late getting the jet into operation. By the time it was available in numbers, the Germans had lost control of the air, had problems with production (bombing and such, you know), had very limited fuel supplies, and had lost many of their more experienced pilots. When they did find enemy bombers, they were quite successful.


The 262 is one of the more popularly kitted aircraft. There have been a myriad of models of this aircraft in all the major scales. The most recent releases in 1/72 have been the excellent Revell of Germany kits as well as some of the prototypes released as short run kits by High Planes. For 1/48, the most recent models have been those produced by Dragon/DML about 10 years ago. They are based on the Trimaster kits and are superbly molded. The engineering of the kits is such that they are quite difficult to build.

So, where does this put the Monogram kit? Monogram's model of the 262 is over 20 years old and displays all of the traits we have come to expect from Monogram. Excellent detailing, especially in the cockpit, raised panel lines, figures, and a number of optional parts. This particular kit is dated 1978 and offers open or closed cockpit, underfuselage racks, and bombs as well as the R4M rocket rails and rockets. You need to know that if you are going to use the R4M rockets, then you'll have to do a very late war aircraft as they were only available for a few weeks near the end of the war. You can also have the cover open on the left engine as well as the gun compartment. Fit on the cover over the gun bay is a bit on the loose side, so building your kit with it closed will require filler and sanding.

The instructions are excellent for the time and give proper construction sequences and paint callouts. However, the paints are just given generic colors and not RLM equivalents. Most Luftwaffe modelers will know what colors are what, so that won't be much of a problem for them. The decal options with this kit offer the ability to do eight different aircraft. Though the units are not annotated, there are three bomber versions; at least two of them with KG 51. From the fighter versions, three of the five are with JG 7, and one with EJG 2. The decal sheet offers swastikas as well as full data stencils. However, Monogram decals of this era have not always been very good, despite being very well printed.

There are a number of aftermarket sets and decals available for the 262 so it should be quite easy to make your model a real beauty. Though out of production for over 10 years, they are not impossible to find, often being available at swap meets and on-line auctions in the $15 range, which is probably what they would sell for if reissued today.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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