High Planes 1/72 Me-262v1






one aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run kit with vac canopy & metal gear


As with many famous aircraft, I doubt if I could add much to the history of the Me-262. This historic jet combat aircraft has been well represented in all scales. I cannot think of a long-time modeler who has not built at least one or two of them. I know I have done at least a half dozen or more. 

One thing about the 262 is that generally most of them have been of the 262A or 262B. Though Trimaster/DML/Dragon have done a series of the more esoteric subtypes in 1/48, it has been left to MPM to do the same in 1/72. These early MPM kits are pretty horrible construction experiences, though they can be built. What has not been done by any injected plastic kit have been the early prototypes. The first of these were tail draggers and differed from the others in other ways as well. 

What many may not know is that the prototype Me-262 was not initially powered by a jet engine at all! Gas turbine technology was so new that the airframe was ready well before any flight ready engines were available. Rather than lose time waiting engines, a Jumo 210 piston engine was attached to the nose to get airframe data. Later, it was kept on when the turbines were attached so that the prototype wouldn't be lost when the engines failed!


I had heard of High Planes for quite some time, but had never seen one. Scale Aircraft Modelling has often had reviews of these kits and never really trashed them, though they also only showed the completed kit. Not knowing what to expect, I picked one up recently from a vendor. When I opened the box, I was surprised to see a mass of robin's egg blue plastic in the box. Haven't seen colors like this since the last Matchbox and Airfix kits I built! In addition to the plastic bits, there is a single vacuformed canopy. A disaster in the making for me, only supplying one canopy! There are also very nicely done metal landing gear. 

I am particularly grateful for the metal gear as the kit is definitely short run. What I mean by that, it is that it is a typical low pressure injection molding. Large gates, thick sprues, and plenty of flash. In some places there are large globs of plastic that will have to be cut away. A couple of exhaust openings are also filled up and will need to be drilled out. A shake and bake kit this is not. 

Panel line detail is engraved and rather light. Any sanding will soon remove this detailing so one needs to be careful. High Planes does offer the option of doing the prop only or prop with jet combination. To that end, there is an additional upper wing assembly along with the appropriate jet engine pods. The early prototype Me-262s were flown using Heinkel engines, so those are what are supplied. This means you can't rob another 262 kit for improved engines; sorry.  The canopy provided is clear and should work quite well. Frame lines are easy to see for masking/painting.

The instructions are about as basic as you can get. A hand drawn exploded view of all the bits is offered along with a verbal construction sequence. The other side of the sheet is a painting and decal placement diagram. A multi-hued aluminum finish is recommended. The decals look quite good. Mine were crisp and in register. Only one set for the prototype, PC+UA, are provided.

Now for the bottom line. Is this kit worth $18? Many will say no, however, I would like to point out several things in its favor. First of all, it is the prototype Me-262. No one else has attempted it in injected plastic. Secondly, it is in injected plastic. Many won't touch a vacuform or resin kit, but will build a styrene kit. Actually, the price is quite reasonable and in line with other short run kits. I can think of a few that are even more expensive and look MUCH worse on the sprues! Only building the kit will reveal how well it goes together.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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