High Planes 1/72 Me-262v1

KIT #

72038

PRICE:

$17.95

DECALS:

one aircraft

REVIEW :

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

Short run kit with vac canopy & metal gear

HISTORY & KIT

Allow me to weasel out of doing an intro to this article by referring you to the preview done a while back.

CONSTRUCTION

 As with all short run kits of this type, the first few hours are spent sanding, cutting, scraping and cursing. This last one because if you are like me, you generally end up cutting yourself during this process. It is hard not to as some times there are some rather large lumps of plastic that need removed. This kit is no exception in that regard as you can see by the image of the chunk left in the wing root. Upset by this? Not really. It is all par for the course when doing these kits.

In addition to these things, there are large sprue gates that need sanded off the wing inner sides as well as a lot of rough edges and general flash that needs removed. Once you get the kit pretty well cleaned up, it is time to start gluing some things together. I started with the wings. Removing any lumps and bumps on the inside that may prevent a good join, the wings were test fit to each other. Some sanding is required to get a flat join surface, but thanks to the relatively soft plastic, this isn't much of a chore. 

With the wings glued, the fuselage is tackled. The kit is designed to have the interior installed after the fuselage is glued together. There is a small nose radiator that needs to be glued in. The fit on this piece is pretty poor and much sanding/carving and test fitting was required before it was permanently installed. Then on to gluing the fuselage. You'll find it easier to do this in stages and to clamp each stage until dry. I found that there was quite a gap just aft of the tail wheel doors. This was later filled with superglue. As with the other parts much carving away of flash and sanding/filling was needed. 

Next on to the interior. This part is pretty crude and fit of the cockpit tub with the end plates is particularly poor. The seat was cleaned up and glued in place. It seems to stick up quite a bit and my guess is that perhaps this is too large. Having no decent photos of the prototype's interior, I can't tell for sure if this is normal or not. Anyway, the interior and surrounding area was painted RLM 02. (I based this on some period color photos of the v3 which showed this color in the cockpit.) The kit supplies no control stick and no rudder pedals. It does have a control panel of sorts and this was glued into the fuselage. Once that was in, the interior was glued in. Fit on this was very poor. Rather than fuss with it too much. I just got in as straight as I could and let it dry. Fortunately, you won't be able to see much of the interior and there is NO WAY that this will be entered in a contest or anything.

Probably the worst fitting part to date are the wings. Here's the problem. The very deep and scale-looking wheel wells are right where the fuselage sides should mate with the upper wings. To get the wing to even get close to fitting, you have to carve away the upper wing root on the fuselage as well as sand the heck out of the wheel wells until they are nearly paper thin. After many test fittings to where the forward wing/fuselage join is flush, the aft wing section is cut away (it's too long) until it is also flush at the back. More carving is done on the fuselage to allow much of this to happen. You are then basically gluing the wing at the front and rear. Any gaps on the upper wing/fuselage join are filled with superglue and then filler putty. Several applications are needed and then sanded smooth. The tailplanes are cleaned up and butt glued to the fin. Now we have a pretty much complete airframe. All of this took quite a bit of time, as you can imagine. Frankly, it is this kind of work that many really enjoy as you get a real feeling of accomplishment, unlike what you can get from a 'shake and bake' Tamiya kit.

Now on to putting on some more bits. There are three additional intakes that need glued in place. One on the top right  and two on the bottom right. The instructions show where these go and there are hatched areas molded in the plastic to assist in getting things on right. The two lower ones are sort of round and after all the flash was cleaned off, these were drilled out. 

Adding the metal landing gear was next. The tail wheel fit into a sort of slot in the tail wheel well without too much trouble. Superglue was used on this after the minimal mold seam was cleaned off. The main gear were a bit different. These needed to have holes drilled in the wheel well to accept them. Despite all my efforts, I managed to drill through the top of the wing on one side. Arrgh!

With the holes drilled and enlarged it was time to fuss with the main gear. These had the mold seams removed. There were very large lumps of metal on the top of the axles that had to be removed. This was rather time consuming and required the use of a file. Eventually the chunks were filed off. Then the wheels (which look too wide to me, but what to I know) had the hubs drilled out to accept the metal axles. Once that was done, the axles were superglued into the holes. I don't know if the oleo links are supposed to face forward or aft so I faced them aft.

The inner gear doors were cleaned up and glued on. The next item was the canopy. You only get one, so don't mess it up. While I don't doubt that High Planes would send another one, it will take a while. Once cut out the canopy was masked. The frames are not very crisp so this wasn't an easy task. The masked canopy was then glued onto the airframe with non-fogging superglue. Turning to the prop, I noticed that there was a bit of a chunk taken out of one blade. An attempt to sand it smooth resulted in the prop blade breaking off. Must have been a mold fault as the rest of the kit wasn't that brittle. I then got a replacement prop from the stash of metal Aeroclub props that I have. I found one the same length and after cleaning up the spinner, glued the metal prop in place. The kit was now ready for some paint. By the way, if you are wondering what the square lump is at the tip of the tail, it is a housing for a movie camera so don't sand it off!

PAINT & DECALS

Since the aircraft was basically bare metal, this gave me an opportunity to use more Alclad II. So to facilitate this, I sprayed the airframe with Tamiya gloss white  acrylic and let it sit for several days to allow the paint to properly cure. At least I thought it was long enough. I was to find out later that all was not well regarding my choice of undercoat. Acrylic was chosen as it would not react with the Alclad lacquer and provide a smooth and light surface as well.

The next step was to paint over all this with aluminum. So far, no problems, though I did notice that in some spots it was difficult to cover over the white. Letting this dry for a day or two, certain areas were masked with Tamiya tape and polished aluminum was painted in those areas. The tape was then removed after a day and here is where I noticed my first problems. When one section of tape was removed, the area under the tape had taken on a wrinkled appearance. Not exactly sure why this happened. It almost looks as if the paint had softened and handling the model has shoved it around. Knowing that this wasn't going to be a contest model. I made no attempt to fix it. Besides it is on the bottom of the plane where it won't be seen anyway. 

I then did more masking and painted on dark aluminum. Again, a spot or two showed this wrinkled appearance. Another round of masking around the exhaust and the area was painted with Jet Exhaust, another Alclad color. Then all the tape was removed. There are about 3-4 wrinkled areas on the model. I can only assume that either the paint hadn't fully cured or it reacted with something in the tape. Having used this tape with Alclad and other types of acrylic paint on several other models with no problems, I can only assume it is something to do with the Tamiya paint, as it is the only new part of the equation.

With all the painting done, it was time to apply the decals. These are quite nice. Properly thin and with good stick. They are also a touch transparent, not a problem with black against a light background. A bit of Solvaset to get them to crawl into the various recesses of the model and it was set aside for a few days while I worked on other things.

CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES

Coming back to the kit to do final touches, I was less than thrilled to see a series of cracks starting to form in the Alclad. I have seen this phenomenon before when Future is sprayed over uncured paint and I fear that this is what is happening to the Alclad. There is really no way to fix this problem other than to strip off all the paint and repaint it. Not worth the time and effort on this kit. 

Anyway, some of the final steps were to remove the masking from the canopy, attach the wheels, paint the wheels and the inside of the wheel wells and gear doors. Now I'm not really sure if the wheel well and gear door insides are supposed to be painted, but Messerschmitt seemed to be pretty consistent on this so they were painted RLM 02 as were the gear struts. The wheels were painted gloss black and the tires with RLM 66. A dab of superglue was enough to get the gear doors to stick to the struts. Another touch of superglue was put on the prop shaft and the model was done. According to the photos I have seen of the plane, the prop and spinner are dark. I doubt if they are black so painted them RLM 70 black-green. A small hole was drilled in the canopy and a short antenna post made of stretched sprue was installed. Then the long wire was made from clear stretched sprue and glued in place. The kit was done!

CONCLUSIONS

Easy to build this kit wasn't. It is relatively crude and requires you to use a number of modeling skills to complete. However, the end result is a prototype Me-262 that you won't find anywhere else that I know of. As with many of the models I have built, I learned a few things while building this model. Actually, while painting this model. I now know not to use gloss white acrylic underneath Alclad II or I'll be sorry that I did. You won't see this kit at a show and I seriously doubt if it will leave the display case, but it does look nice next to the 262v9 and 262A-1a on the shelf! Recommended only to experienced modelers.  

REFERENCES

Me-262: Volume I, by Smith and Creek, Classic Publications, 1997.

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