Cutting Edge 48375 Recon Nose




Tamiya 1/48 Me-262


Steve Mesner



This conversion set for the Tamiya M2 262 kit(s) consists of the following:

*Gun cover panel, with gun ports blanked off
*Left and right lower fuselage panels with camera ports (clear resin)
*Optional cannon barrel (some recon 262s carried one cannon)
*Left and right camera bulges.

In the informal, friendly instructions, Cutting Edge tells you that this set is “designed for the new Tamiya Me 262A series of kits. It is possibly adaptable to the Monogram and Dragon kits, but you’re on your own there!

I popped the factory shrink-wrap on a cherry ‘88 vintage Monogram 262 to find out. It looks to me like the critical piece here, the gun cover panel, has the same general contours as its Monogram piece counterpart, although you might have to do a little shimming on the lower edges--maybe the rear, too--to get it to work. This doesn’t seem to be a big deal.

It’s impossible to tell if the lower fuselage piece with the camera ports would fit the Monogram kit without actually cutting the panels out, which I didn’t do, but these shouldn’t be any problem either. If they don’t fit at all, you can always cut the camera ports out and use them by themselves on the Monogram fuselage.

I don’t have a Dragon 262 in my stash, but I don’t see why this set couldn’t be made to work on that, too. If the gun cover panel doesn’t fit the Dragon (or you don’t like the way it fits the Monogram), it would be a simple matter to cut four gun port blanking plates out of very thin sheet styrene--or maybe better yet, plastic tape--and mount them to the kit part.

The star parts of this conversion set are the two (left and right) camera bulges for the nose. It would be a real PITA to have to scratchbuild these yourself, matching them to the compound curve of the kit’s nose and getting them both identically symmetrical.

The Cutting Edge parts are made from a dense, medium gray resin that had no bubble or pinholes and minimal flash--lovely stuff! The camera port pieces are cast in a clear resin. Although this resin is very clear, the camera ports in my sample were a bit “frosty” looking. I believe this is due to surface imperfection and can be cured by polishing the ports with a mild abrasive (such as Wright’s Silver Creme) or by dipping the parts in Future.

The instructions (and the Meteor website) hint that Black Magic masks are included in this set--a pair of rectangles to mask the exterior ports, and a pair of circles to represent the camera lenses on the inside of the part. The supplied sample set did not include the Black Magic masks, so I can’t comment on them.

My admittedly sparse references on the Me 262 (Squadron, when are you going to give us a 262 in Action book?) yielded no photos or even good drawings of a recon 262, so I can’t comment on this set’s accuracy, but CE has a good reputation for getting things like this right, and the instructions make it sound like they did their homework on this one. (Those wanting an THE reference for ANY Me-262 project are encouraged to seek out the Classic Publications 4 book series on this aircraft. There is no better reference. Ed)

I don’t know of any available recon 262 decals. CE has a “recon” bird on one of their 262 sheets, but closer examination shows that it has been retrofitted with a regular gun nose, so those decals wouldn’t be applicable to a model built using this set. (Recce 262s were generally painted in a similar manner as the aircraft on the CE sheet [see decal review section under 'M'.], but with white outline numbers only and those in the 20's and 30s. Ed)

If you bought one of the two-gun Tamiya kits but are really waiting for the four-gun kit to be released, you might want to give this conversion set a look. At least you’d have something to display on the club table that’s different from everyone else’s two-gun build!

Model on!


Conversion set provided courtesy Cutting Edge.