Hasegawa 1/72 Me-262A

Kit Number:851

Price: $15.50

Decals:  Two versions; JG7 and KG51

Date of Review:  17 December 1997

Reviewer: Scott Van Aken

I won't bother with the history of the Me-262 as it is as well known as the P-51 Mustang.  Needless to say, it is a very popular modelling subject, however there has not been a completely accurate kit in 1/72.  Other kits by Airfix , Revell (early) and Matchbox were just representations of the 262 and Heller's fine kit is only available as a two-seater.  The Hasegawa kit was the best available in 1985 when it was released. Currently, Revell of Germany has pantographed the DML/Trimaster 1/48 kit down to 1/72 and I understand it is a beauty, but due to the exorbitant price of the ProModeler version released here in the US, I have not bought or seen it.

Anyway, the Hasegawa kit is relatively well-detailed although a bit heavy-handed in certain areas, and goes together with the minimal amount of fuss once expects from Hasegawa.  This one had lain in its shrinkwrap from 1985 until November of 1997 when I finally opened it.  It is in typical semi-hard medium grey plastic will all the trees in one bag causing much scratching of the parts.  The decal sheet is well done, but thick and  has complete stencilling for two aircraft; one for the JG7 plane in the Smithsonian, and another for a bomber version from KG51.

As mentioned, the plane fits beautifully.  The cockpit is not as well appointed as newer kits would be and can benefit from some attention.  The gear doors are quite thick and the main doors are molded as one piece instead of two.  The result is rather bulky looking.  Engines fit well to wings and the wing to the fuselage.  The fuselage has the gun access bay separate for some reason and the fit there is not perfect.  In additon, the gun ports are overdone as are the flare dispensers on the aft fuselage.  The canopy is designed to be in the open position and there is a small tab on the canopy that I, unfortunately, cut off.  Don't you do the same. The aft portion of the canopy is molded with the surrounding section of fuselage. This is to allow the same fuselage to be used for the 2-seater. In the same way, the cockpit tub is for a 2-seater, but the back section is hidden behind the front seat.  Anyway, this aft canopy arrangement caused me some grief when it came time to glue it in.  Fit was not perfect and needed work to blend in properly (probably just me).

Painting was in RLM 81(brown-violet) and RLM 82 (light green) with RLM 76 undersides and side mottleing in the 81/82 colors. I used Xtracolor paints and highly recommend them.  As with all these late war colors, it could have easily been done in 81 and 83.  The shades are given in the instructions along with a mixing formula for Gunze paints.  Don't sweat absolute accuracy on these colors as often two planes with the same colors looked different due to no precise standardization in the last months of the war.  I used some of the kit decals and did White 7 of JG7 with the R4M rockets.  The kit is Yellow 7, but I had to be a bit different.

Overall, the kit was fun to build, not very difficult, and makes into a respectable model.  Don't forget lots of nose weight!

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