Academy 1/72 Me-262A-1a
|KIT:||Academy 1/72 Me-262A-1a|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New mold kit|
We all know that the Me-262 was the world's first operational jet fighter. We also know that it was unbeatable in the air when it used its superb speed against its foes. It was not a dog-fighter and generally got into dire straits when it tried to turn with other fighters. It was also not the most well built aircraft of the time. The German aviation industry was short of skilled workers and often had to use parts that were not totally up to design specs. People are often amazed to find that a lot of wood was used inside these airframes for floors, consoles and the like. Because of a shortage of aluminum, steel was used for major castings, adding weight.
Regardless, the 262 will forever be impressed into the minds of aviation minded people and it does deserve its place in history.
I have to admit it. I'm not always on top of the latest and greatest. I'll leave other sites to take care of that. MM has always focused on reviews and preview, regardless of when they were issued. This is what makes MM special and how I like things to be. So it was a bit of a surprise to me to see this particular kit on the shelves at my LHS. What really drew me to it was not that it was a new mold Me-262. Face it, the Revell and Hasegawa kits of this are quite nice and won't set you back $22.00. It was the ability to model the Me-262C-1a that grabbed me. So after letting the box sit on the shelves for a few weeks, I had accrued sufficient shop credit to get it.
Once the wrapping was removed from the now-standard Academy box for kits of this size, I was quite pleased to find a huge number of parts, many of them options. To accommodate the C tail, that section is separate. This will also help when doing the Me-262B version which is undoubtedly in the works.
First thing I did was inspect the parts. Nicely molded as are all new Academy kits and the shape of things seems to be spot on. Next I looked for ejector pin marks. Oh my. They are all over the place. On the inside of the gear doors, on the wheels, on the seat, the backing of the cockpit canopy section, the instrument panel, landing gear legs, cockpit tub, nose gear well, main gear well and the bulkhead where the guns fit. Not exactly what I'd call a pleasant surprise and one that will take a lot of additional work to eradicate.
Other things I noticed is that the nose gear strut has the oleo scissors molded in place. Many 262s did not have this feature so check your references. There are optional bits for bombs, and the R4M rockets used in the last month of the war. Rockets are not molded in with the rack so you don't have to use them if you do not wish. 21cm mortar tubes are also provided with the shells being separate as well. The C variant tail section with its accompanying piping is also included and the reason I picked up this kit. However, the rear end just under the shortened rudder isn't correct according to the Smith/Creek book on the 262. Academy has it closed up when it should be open for the exhaust of the rocket. Fixing it will be difficult as the closed area when seen from the underside is in the shape of a >. The only cure would be some epoxy putty built up and then drilled out.
Instructions are well done and offer colors in generic, RLM and Gunze references. Markings are for no fewer than 12 aircraft including aircraft from JG 7, Kommando Nowotny, JV 44, Watson's Wizzers, EJG 2, and KG 54. They are well printed, but Academy decals have a somewhat checkered response to setting solutions so one needs to be cautious. As one would expect, the swastikas are in bits so dig out the aftermarket ones for this.
I have to say that I was disappointed by the glitch on the Me-262C-1 as I really wanted to do that one. However, the rest of the kit looks good, despite the ejector pin marks. I'm sure it will be popular and do well.
Thanks to me and 'store credit' for this one.
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