Hasegawa 1/72 Me-262B "NJG 11"

KIT #: 00168
PRICE: I paid $9.00 from the 'used' bin. MSRP probably more.
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Limited reissue (2001)


The two seat Me-262 was originally developed to provide initial training for pilots moving from piston engines to the new turbojets. The standard single seat airframe was modified by removing the rear fuel tank and extending the interior room for an instructor pilot. Much of the interior was made of wood to save on strategic aluminum for other parts of the aircraft. These planes were normally armed with just two cannon and due to the loss of the fuselage fuel tank, had the option of carrying external tanks where the bomb racks on the fighter bomber version were placed.

It was seen that this aircraft would be great to use as a night fighter. Several of the single seat 262s were used in this role and while they had some success, the workload on the pilot was very high during the intercept phase. Thanks to the worsening war situation, the 262B night fighters only saw operational use during the last month of combat, operating in the Berlin area. The amount of success they had was minimal and as was the case with most of the technology advances of the last years, was too little and too late to have any impact on the outcome of the conflict. There is at least one night fighter version still extant in South Africa and perhaps the one that was at NAS Willow Grove may have been a night fighter as well. That plane has been restored to static display and is in the Seattle Museum of Flight, if I recall correctly.



Prior to Hasegawa releasing their Me-262 series, the two seat version was available in 1/72 from Jo-han and a bit later from Heller. It is the Heller kit that was the most highly sought and could be made into a fine representation of this aircraft. Since then, Hobby Boss and perhaps Academy have released it.


Hasegawa's kit is typical of their products in the early 1990s, with engraved panel lines and the use of decals for cockpit instrumentation. The detailing is a bit on the heavy side with several items like the flare dispensers and gun covers being somewhat thick when they should be nearly flush. The kit also has enclosed wheel wells and on the real aircraft, the center section is quite open. The cockpit itself has a pair of seats and the appropriate instrument panels for the pilot and radar operator. Figures are provided for the seats, leaving them rather barren if one does not include the figures.


The wings do not have extended flaps or slats, which is not unusual for Hasegawa. Landing gear is well molded with the nose gear having the wheel integral with the strut. The cockpit canopy is designed to be displayed open, despite the lack of real detail. It is a simple matter to cut the protruding tab for a closed display. Hasegawa supplies a length of wire that is to be cut into 11mm sections for the radar aerials. There are grooves in the aerial base section for these bits to fit.  The night fighter version normally carried but two cannon and the optional nose is provided.


The standard Hasegawa instructions provide the usual Gunze paint references and are well drawn. Markings are given for two planes from 10./NJG 11. Both have matte black undersides. One has an upper surface of RLM 76 with somewhat open RLM75 squiggles. The other has RLM 75 upper wings and tailplanes with the fuselage in a snake-like pattern, also in RLM 75. The decal sheet is well printed and the 'old' style from Hasegawa where the white is actually off white. However, it makes no difference on this scheme, though I've found their markings to be somewhat translucent so it might be a good idea to apply them prior to the fuselage and wing squiggles.




This is a kit that can still be found without too much difficulty and does make into a very nice model once complete. It is a relatively quick build, not very fiddly and with various aftermarket bits available for those that are into adding more detail.


December 2008


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