Me-262 A-2a

1/48th scale kit from Tamiya


Model, Text and Photos by Steve Jantscher

What more can I say, than that this is a Tamiya kit. It went together well. I only had to use Mr. Surfacer 500 and 1000 along some very thin gaps. My major complaint of this kit, along with all other '262s is the open gun bay feature. I like my jets buttoned up (panel wise), and as good as Tamiya is, their closed door piece really calls for some care to fit without noticeable gaps or excessive panel lines. This is mostly out of the box except for some bomb fin stiffeners, a nose wheel brake line and of course the antenna. I plan on adding some Eduard seat harnesses and a canopy spring/shock cord assembly to give the canopy some support.

I thought of adding some brake lines to the main gear, but they'd be seen less and not add as much as the nose gear line would. I used lead wire that I picked up at a store specializing in "do-it-yourself" fishing tackle manufacture. Fly fishermen use this small wire on their flies.

I chose the markings of 9K+yH, a bird from 1/KG51 (which are supplied in the kit) but used those from Eagle Strike sheet 48007. Eagle Strike's "y" was a little finer, as well as their decals being a bit thinner. I was worried because these were from their Mexican supplier, but they responded well to the Microset/sol products, and any silvering was my fault. There are a few good photographs of this plane around, but I still had questions as to the colors depicted. I eventually decided to go with RLM 81, 82 and 76. I mixed my paints to darken both the Xtracolor Lichtgrun (which they label as RLM 83) and Dunkelgrun (labeled as RLM 82) with a little RLM 80 Grun. I'm still not completely satisfied with the contrast of the dunkelgrun squiggles over the lichtgrun under colors. My friends and I discussed the possibility that the bomber unit would have used some left over dark green "bomber colors" (RLM 71 or 72 ?) to make the squiggles. As if that were not confusing enough, the tail seems to have an even higher contrast dark squiggle pattern color.

I was worried about freehand painting the squiggles, but that turned out to be the best (only) way to do them. I filtered my Xtracolor paints through some chopped up nylon stocking squares (thanks wife...), and fed the resultant thinned mixture through my Iwata custom micron airbrush. I'm happy with the results, and was easily able to fill in the fuselage crosses and with some effort even fill in the swastikas. Even though the actual aircraft had putty covered lap jointed fuselage panels, I still wanted the effect of highlighted panel lines, and used a technical pen to deliver some Pelikan grey ink to all panel lines. Maybe the next one I build I'll fill the panel lines on the fuselage.

This was a fun build, and I hope to build more when Tamiya comes out with other versions.





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