|PRICE:||$0.49 when new (1963)|
(From Revell Instructions - abridged) One of the most advanced fighter planes to emerge from the second World War was the German Me-262 “Schwab” or “Swallow”. Its twin turbo jet engines announced the beginning of a new era in the history of flight.
The Me-262 was originally designed for the role of fighter Interceptor and proved quite successful in this operation. However, its introduction to combat was initially delayed by an official order to convert the planes into bombers called “Sturmvogel” or “Stormbirds”. The delay caused by the necessary changes in the design brought considerable objections from the German Air Force, and eventually approval was given to produce two planes as Fighters. A total of 1433 Me-262s were completed but only a handful reached the fighting lines, as a lack of fuel kept most of the planes grounded.
Years ago, my father had a huge collection of models in the basement. The Revell 1/72 WWII “H” series kits – specifically the fighters, (24 of them) were a favorite of mine and I always wanted to build them. This is #23 of the collection. Also, this is a tribute to the box art that inspired all kids to build models.
WHAT A TERRIBLE KIT… by today’s standards. But his old kit represents many of our childhood dreams of flying around our living room at incredible speeds shooting down bombers and mixing it up with Spitfires, Mustangs, and Lightnings. As we became better builders, we discovered the many faults of this model that were overlooked from our youth.
The hard silver swirl plastic, with raised panel lines and rivets is a pretty standard design of the 60’s. There is no cockpit except a seat and pilot, and no wheel well details. So, like all Revell kits of that series, it is great to build in a day and become a BB Gun target in a week! The old Daisy cannon ball BBs (1/72 scale of course) could rarely penetrate the thick plastic side of the fuselage.
Typical of these kits are 3 wing parts, 2 fuselage halves, elevators, main gear and bullet proof canopy. Nothing out of the ordinary. The instruction sheet is straightforward with appropriate graphics. Typical for 1963.
Dry fitting this kit is a MUST! The builder will discover the fuselage alignment pins are off just a bit (just remove them for better alignment). The wings fit, but they rattle around a lot, so be ready with filler and a lot of patience. Putty will sag in time showing the gap regardless, and as you sand the wing root you will destroy all the raised details. Instead, I recommend inserting a piece of Evergreen sheet plastic and glued in place as your primary filler. Trim and use a thin file or sanding stick to remove the extra. It is almost undetectable, and you save the details. Stretched sprue will also do in a pinch.
I tried my best to avoid destroying the details on the engine/wing attachments. It is a poor fit and leaves a Grand Canyon gap that is impossible to fill without destruction of some surface detail. Once filled with stretched sprue and puttied (many times), I re-added the rivet patterns painstakingly with the tip of an #11 Xacto by gently punching in and lifting the surface of the plastic to create a rivet pattern.
If you are doing a true out of box (OTB) model, don’t paint the interior or add the pilot yet. There is plenty of room for that later.
As with all nose-sitters you need to add nose weight. Superglue and BBs were easy to insert and glue in place through the nose wheel well. You will need at least 15 BBs. The back is heavier than you think.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
The box art was a good concept if viewing the black and white photos in 1963. It looks pretty cool in shark gray, but colorized documentation shows it to be a mottled green.
RLM 76 Graublau (grey and a hint of pale blue) is intended for the bottom. A modified Tamiya XF-12 JN Grey gets pretty close. The top is Gunze Sangyo H421 RLM 81. Finally, the blotch of the Camo is Gunze Sangyo H422 RLM 82. The nose was not painted on the photos of this aircraft. It is medium gray (RLM02) with white “putty” on the seams.
Decals: A lot was assumed about markings of WWII aircraft back in 1963 (example the red Revell #H-619 P-51D and you will know what I mean). Sadly, the decals were nearly all wrong. All the markings were a bit oversized but stuck well and settled nicely with Micro Sol/Set solutions. My intention was to make the Revell Model out of the box – even if it is sort of wrong (builders choice). Many of the additional markings were not produced like the small lettering (9K, and H) and Swastika.
Bits and Pieces: Not much left to do except the interior of a dark gray, touch-up and add the Pilot and canopy. None of the antennas were provided, but they can easily be made from scratch. A quick coat of Future all around to seal everything, then a dusting of dull coat, and we’re done!
CONCLUSIONS: Is this a great kit? No. There is really no comparison to modern kits. For a 1963 vintage model…well…it looks like an Me-262. It lacks a lot of details modern kits provide, and the surface textures, distract from the end-result. But it’s a great kit to re-live your past.
Re-consider what the end goal was in building this model. It is part of a series of 24 Revell Fighters of WWII kitted in the ‘60s. For me, this model is not contest competitive because of my lack of skills and quality of model. But I really like it. Recommended – especially for the Grand-Kids or a week-end build.
This is the 6th or 7th time I’ve built this kit – but the first time I put landing gear on it. The engines were natural landing gear/skids for every kid. Constructive comments from fellow enthusiasts are always welcome.
Display Stand: The model stand is easy to do. Here is a link if you’d like to give it a try. https://modelingmadness.com/review/allies/gb/fighters/miktem.htm
WINGS PALETTE - Messerschmitt Me.262 Schwalbe/Sturmvogel/Avia S.92 - Germany (Nazi) (scn.ru)
28 February 2022
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