Hobby Boss 1/48 Me-262A-1a/U2 (V056)
KIT #: 80374
PRICE: $30.99 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


One thing about the Me-262 is that it was a versatile airframe, being used as a fighter, bomber, recce bird, trainer and night fighter. For the latter job, it needed to be seen if the standard airborne radar of the time would fit into the airframe and if it was possible to intercept aircraft. There was some thought that the speed of the plane would be too great to make for a successful night fighter. The only way to determine that would be to develop a prototype.

A standard day fighter was removed from the production lines and outfitted with a FuG 218 'Neptune' 158-185 Mhz radar set and antennas. This was one of the newer array's used by Bf-110 and He-219 night fighters, among others, currently in service. The modification also included wing mounted antennas to help in image resolution. The results were positive as the aircraft was fully capable of intercepting aircraft. The workload on the pilot was considerable so it was recommended that a two seat plane be developed with a dedicated radar operator.

Interestingly, V056 was used in a variety of additional experiments, so it had quite an interesting airframe life.


The kit's composed of nine numbered grey sprues, two clear ones and a metal nose gear bay. This latter item saves us from trying to figure out how to put in nose weight. A plastic one is also included if you want to use it, though I don't know why you would. This kit basically has all the bits of previous ones, but replaces the recce or cannon bits with the bits needed for the night fighter version. So far, Hobby Boss has not done a 'normal' 262 and has produced experimental versions and those of which few were built. That is just fine with most of us as you can do a standard fighter with what is in the box if you so desire.

Molding is really superbly done with fine engraved detailing as you can see from the image. You get a full cockpit tub complete with stick, seat, instrument panels and a bevy of other bits. The kit includes decals for the instrument panels and side consoles. There is also raised detailing in these areas, though the main panel only shows gauge blanks with no detail. The decal sheet will take care of that, for us as it includes an instrument panel decal. There is detailing on the underside of the tub as this is quite visible through the wheel wells. An item new to this kit is that there is a fully detailed radio compartment. A panel on the rear of the fuselage is open so that you can see the many bits and pieces that will be put in here. This also includes the oxygen generation system as well as the radios.

The kit instructions show that all four guns are carried. The normal 262B night fighter only carried two, but this test aircraft did, indeed, carry all four.  Two different styles of nose wheel are provided. One with a tire that has horizontal ribs and the other relatively smooth. Clear bits are well done with the windscreen including a bit of the forward fuselage to make it easier to fair in place. A separate bullet proof glass is included to go behind it. A pair of JATO bottles are also included.  

Instructions are very nicely done with six construction steps. Gunze and RLM paint info is provided during the construction steps and a list of unused parts is provided. A single set of markings is provided along with a complete color painting reference. Typical of these planes, the camo scheme is rather complex With the basic colors being RLM 74/75/76 though the upper surfaces look more brown and green than the two greys given in the reference. It also shows that the entire tail section was painted RLM 70 black green. I have my doubts, as period color photos show that while heavily mottled, it was not a solid color. It also shows the engine intakes in unpainted aluminum. Again, some period photos show these painted, though others show them unpainted. The Jumo 004 turbojets had a very short operational life so engine changes were very common on those airframes that had any significant hours on them.  Decals are nicely printed and provide swastikas in sections. As usual, Hobby Boss gives us a full color painting and markings guide, something I appreciate.


This is another fine kit from Hobby Boss. While it does duplicate what was done by Dragon more than a decade back, this kit will be a great deal easier to build. I highly recommend locating those color photos I mentioned of this plane before doing the exterior camouflage as you will find them quite helpful. In all, a super kit that I can quite easily recommend to you.



Classic Books' superb series on the Me-262.

May 2012

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local retailer.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page