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Paul A H

Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a with W.Gr.21 - 1:72 Hasegawa

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Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a with W.Gr.21

1:72 Hasegawa


me262a1boxtop.jpg


In April 1944, the Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe, or Swallow, became the first jet fighter to enter service anywhere in the world. It would have entered service even sooner where it not for problems with its Junkers Jumo axial flow turbojets. The Me 262 was a fast and highly effective fighter, with 542 kills claimed by its pilots. Its impact on the war was limited, however, thanks to a shortage of engines and fuel, as well as the fact that the Allies developed tactics to counter the new threat by destroying the aircraft on the ground or at the point of take off or landing.

The Werfer-Granate 21 was the first air-to-air rocket to be deployed by the wartime Luftwaffe, entering service in mid-1943. It was essentially a modified version of the 21cm Nebelwerfer artillery rocket, adapted for airborne use. The rockets were intended for deployment against tightly-packed bomber formations, but the low accuracy of the weapon, combined with the small number that each fighter could carry, meant that it was never a truly successful design.

Hasegawa's Me 262 has been around for a few years now, but it has aged gracefully and is still regarded as one of the best 262s available in 1:72 scale. This particular editions of the kit is comprised of over fifty parts moulded in grey plastic, with the two W.Gr.21 rockets cast in white metal. The kit bears all the hallmarks of classic a Hasegawa kit; clean, sharp mouldings, fine, recessed panel lines and smooth, glossy surfaces.

me262a1sprue1.jpg


me262a1sprue2.jpg


Hasegawa kits of this vintage are often light on cockpit detail and this kit is no exception. A basic cockpit tub, instrument panel, control column and seat are all that is provided. All of the basic shapes are there but decals have to be used to detail the cockpit as the consoles are devoid of detail. The seat also has a rather noticeable sink mark in the middle of it which will be awkward to remove. Once youve buttoned up the fuselage, you can add the wings, engines and horizontal stabilisers in order to complete assembly of the basic airframe.

me262a1sprue3.jpg


The engines feature nicely detailed turbine blades in both the intakes and exhausts. The undercarriage is also nicely depicted, with crisp hub detail and convincing tyre treads. Optional R4M underwing rockets are provided, along with two bombs. They can go straight into the spares box though as they are not used with either of the airframes represented on the decal sheet.

The canopy is nice and thin and is moulded in three parts so it can be posed in the open position. Having said that, you might want to add some more detail to the cockpit before you show it off. The Werfer-Granate 21 rockets are cast in white metal and are nice enough, but you'll need to clean up the seam lines as these are fairly prominent.

me262a1sprue4.jpg


Two marking options are provided on the decal sheet:
Me 262A-1a III./JG7, flown by Kommandeur Major Rudolf Sinner, Germany, March 1945. This aircraft is finished in a splinter pattern of RLM 81/RLM 82 over RLM 76; and
Me 262A-1a Stab/JG7 Geschwader Adjutant Hauptman Erich Mikat, Germany, February 1945. This aircraft is also finished in RLM 81/RLM 82 over RLM 76, but this time a squiggly pattern.
The decals look pretty good but seem to be thinner and more matt than those usually provided with Hasegawa kits.

me262a1decals.jpg


Conclusion

Hasegawas Me 262 has long been regarded as a nice kit and its easy to see why. Whilst the typically spartan cockpit is something of a weak point, the rest of the kit makes up for it. Surface detail is excellent and the treatment of areas such as the engines and landing gear is very good. What isn't so good is the price, but unless you simply must have the white metal W. Gr. 21 tubes, you can acquire the basic kit for far less. Overall though, a good kit from which a pleasing model can be built.

Review sample courtesy of logo.jpg UK distributors for logo.jpg

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Hi Paul,

Thanks for the review.

Personally, I prefer the Revell kit as it exhibits similar levels of detail, is cheap as chips and has the WG.21 included, although not the RM4s. One other factor in its favour for me; the engines feature a one piece intake / compressor disc, so there's no issue in trying to 'true up' the seams on the Hase intake if, like me, you're an indifferent assembler.

Admittedly, things aren't all rosy with the Revell; the canopy is a poor fit and it's one piece, so there's no chance of posing it open without hacking around the kit piece, or resorting to AM. However, I know which '262 I'd rather buy.

regards,

Martin

Edited by mike romeo

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The Revell canopy mould is getting worse too. The last one I bought - admittedly a decade or so back - was unusable.

The Hasegawa 262 has a better 'sit', with the correct tail down stance, whereas the Revell one is nose down. There is a fix for it, which I've explained elsewhere.

My own feeling is that you should really cross the two to get the best 262 - Hasegawa airframe with Revell interior, engines, wheels and nosegear/nosegear bay. Given that you can pick up the older releases of the Hasegawa 262 A for a fiver or so these days (don't scoff because I've seen people flogging them off for a fiver), you could do it for well under the price of what this release will cost.

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The Hasegawa 262 has a better 'sit', with the correct tail down stance, whereas the Revell one is nose down. There is a fix for it, which I've explained elsewhere.

Lee,

Thanks for that. Hadn't NB'd the stance issue but since you mention it, any chance of providing a link to the fix?

regards,

Martin

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Lee

Thank'ee kindly!

I must try that the next time I'm doing a Schwalbe.

regards,

Martin

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you could do it for well under the price of what this release will cost.

this detail might perhaps have appeared in the review - Hasegawa and Limited Edition means 'mega' price tag (I won't tell you what I saw it listed for, you won't believe me...oh OK, it was £ 33 .....) . I don't know what happened to the Revell kit though - first one I built came with a three-part canopy - now they've supplied the rear decking as a plastic part with an ill-fitting one-piece canopy. The Academy 262 has the R4Ms - but like most Academy WWII kits, it has 'issues'. Currently smash molding a new plastic clear part for a Revell build....

Edited by FalkeEins

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this detail might perhaps have appeared in the review - Hasegawa and Limited Edition means 'mega' price tag (I won't tell you what I saw it listed for, you won't believe me...oh OK, it was £ 33 .....) . I don't know what happened to the Revell kit though - first one I built came with a three-part canopy - now they've supplied the rear decking as a plastic part with an ill-fitting one-piece canopy. The Academy 262 has the R4Ms - but like most Academy WWII kits, it has 'issues'. Currently smash molding a new plastic clear part for a Revell build....

Yup! £32.49 at Hannants. Think I might pass on that. The Hasegawa 262 is a very nice kit but, I just bought a pair of Revell 262 A1-A on evilbay for a grand total of £15.08!

Allan

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