Hobby Boss 1/48 Me-262B-1a

KIT #: 80378
PRICE: $31.99 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


Having developed an aircraft that was as radical as the Me-262, it was felt that perhaps a two seat conversion trainer would be appropriate. Thus the two seat Me-262B was developed. From what I gather, some 120 planes were built with most, if not all of them converted from single seat planes.

Since the 262 differed so much from standard planes in terms of having a nose gear, turbojets and twin engines that a trainer seemed like a smart move. This was especially true regarding its engines. These were very temperamental and so the new pilot had to learn to treat the throttles as gently as possible to keep the engines operating in their peak range.

Just about every unit flying the 262 had at least one or more of these trainers on hand with the dedicated training units having more. As most of you know, several of these planes were converted into interim night fighters, awaiting a large, dedicated airframe which never made it past the early development stage.


This one adds to Hobby Boss' growing list of 262 variants and I think with this one they have finally tied Dragon (DML) in terms of kits that have been done. I'm sure we will see a night fighter version as the sprues already have the parts for it.

Since they have done all those other versions, you will not be surprised that most of the sprues are the same as earlier kits. Basically the sprue for the fuselage and the additional clear bits for the longer canopy are new to this one. There is a new tub with a new rear instrument panel, seat and side consoles. Hobby Boss provides decals to put over the raised detailing if you so wish to go that route. I had always thought the canopy was a single piece, but after looking at period photos, I realized that was not the case. Hobby Boss offers it in two sections.

The kit offers a full gun suite for the nose. I am betting that trainers generally carried but two. This would be to offset the additional weight of the rear cockpit. I am not sure if Messerschmitt would have bothered to fair over the unused gun openings in the nose. However, you can put in all four if you want as they are provided. Also provided are R4M rocket racks and additional lower fuselage fuel tanks. I have seen no photos of standard trainers carrying either of these items, so I'd just leave them off. The fuel tanks and racks for them would be appropriate for the night fighter, and as mentioned, Hobby Boss seems to have included all the bits for this version save decals.

Other bits included are the gyro and oxygen bottles for the aft fuselage, for which there is a separate access door. There are also separate lower forward fuselage sections where you would drill holes if you were using the fuel tanks. I should mention that the kit is designed to have the gun bay doors and the canopy sections posed open. Removing small tabs will allow these to be closed. No mention of how much weight is needed in the nose, but it is quite a bit. If you recall, the Tamiya kit molds the nose gear well/lower gun bay floor in metal to compensate for this.

Markings are provided for two planes. The box art plane is the most flamboyant with its big white lighting bolt. This plane is from I./KG(J) 54 and is painted in RLM 74/75/76, though the painting guide does not show the RLM 75. The other is from III./EJG 2, which is a training outfit. One of the two greys on the upper surface is replaced with RLM 82 light green. It has a yellow stripe aft of the cockpit. The decal sheet is nicely printed and offers two styles of swastika, both of them split in two so we can pretend that Nazi Germany never existed.

It is nice to see Hobby Boss include this in its run of Me-262 versions. It was a smart move on their part to do the whole series and while the older DML kits are nice, they have a reputation for being a bit fussy to build. My experience with Hobby Boss is that they are generally not like that. B model 262s were not widely photographed and those that were tended to be rather plain aircraft. We are sure to see aftermarket sheets for this kit in the near future if you are seeking something a bit different.

December 2014

Thanks to me for picking this one up. I found it interesting that the US and Japanese SRP are currently within a dollar of each other.

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