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Shar2

Messerschmitt Me-262-A2a/U2. 1:48

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Messerschmitt Me-262-A2a/U2
1:48 Hobbyboss


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History
The history of the Me-262 is pretty well known, but in the short career of the aircraft there must have been more designs and prototypes than almost any other aircraft. In this latest release in their series of Me-262 variants, the Me-22-A2a/U2, only two prototypes were actually produced before the end of the war.

The Model
Hobbyboss have now released no less than ten different variants of the Me-262, with yet more to come. They have certainly earned a reputation of being reasonable on the pocket, fairly easy to build, pretty accurate and with so much choice, the modeller can build either their favourite variant, or an extensive collection. This kit is of a bomber version, with a wooden and perspex nose, housing a prone bombardier. The top opening box has a nice portrayal of the second prototype in flight, being chased by a Mustang, presumably on its defection flight. Inside there are six sprues of grey styrene, three of clear a metal part for the nose wheel bay/bombardiers station and a well filled decal sheet. As we have come to expect from Hobbyboss, the parts are well moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few moulding pips.


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Construction begins with the cockpit tub, which takes the form of two halves of a tube that are split horizontally to allow better access to add the details of the instrument panels, rudder pedals two seats and the instrument panels in, before the top is added to form the sidewalls, with a long slot in the top for the cockpit sills. The end bulkheads hold the cockpit in the correct place within the fuselage, and additional parts are added under the cockpit tub to begin forming the main landing gear bay. The nose gear bay has its walls formed from the white metal part, to which the various parts of the bomb aimers office are attached, including the two piece bomb sight, a cushion and the curved section of the nose bay roof. The metal part is a little more roughly cast than one would perhaps like, with detail lacking in the bay roof. The rear bulkhead is then attached and the assembly is fitted in place in the fuselage, followed by the fitting of the nose wheel with its single long gear leg and captive forward door fitting into a slot in the roof of the bay. A choice of wheel types with either fine tread or coarse radial tread, in case your chosen airframe was fitted with one or other, but check your references.

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The cockpit and nose bay are fitted within the fuselage halves, and a radio bulkhead is added behind the cockpit, along with various other detail parts, that you're probably wondering what their purpose is. There's a little radio hatch in the starboard side of the fuselage that will enable the parts to be seen within. With all of these parts glued in place and painted (if you're leaving the door open), the fuselage can be closed up, and you can begin construction of the engines. These are rather simple but effective, consisting of two halves of the cowlings with ribbing detail inside, split vertically. The ribs will never be seen, sadly, as the nacelle is capped off at the ends with a two part intake with short trunk and separate engine face, and at the rear an exhaust trunk/bullet and exhaust cowling. The profile and thickness of these parts are well done, having a much better shape than the old Dragon kits, which were too blunt and thick, especially at the intake lip.

The closed up fuselage is still open at the front by this point, and the canopy for this area is a separate part, allowing the part to be posed open, should the modeller require it, followed by the clear nose cone. The rear decking behind the cockpit is attached, along with the brace and fixed section of the canopy, followed by the windscreen and optionally posed mid section. The main spar and central bulkhead between the main gear bays is fitted to the single piece lower wing section, followed by the fitting of the two upper panels. The wing is then cemented into place with the fuselage and fitted with the pitot probe on the port wing. If you are going to model the aircraft that defected to the Americans near the end of the war, then you will need to add the two long probes to the nose, one on each side. These were probably fitted to detect any yaw during bombing runs. Part D9 is the extended fairing under the nose, used with the Lofte 7H “Kansell II” bombsight, and, as such, should only be fitted to the second prototype, V555. The first prototype, V484 used the Lofte 7H “Kansell I”.

The completed nacelles assemblies should clip right into the wings with little in the way of fettling, but as always, check before applying glue. Once again Hobbyboss haven’t allowed for the passive leading edge slats that are generally dropped as the aircraft slows down, as they are pressure activated. The elevators are single parts that fit into slots in the side of the tail, with their tabs interlinking to improve the strength of the joint and hold them at the correct angle. The elevators themselves are moulded into the fins, but the rudder is a separate part that can be posed deflected at your whim.

The main landing gear has only one choice of tyre, which has a diamond tread and a radial pattern on the sidewalls. They are split vertically, so some clean-up would be wise, unless you plan on using some of Eduard's wheels that we reviewed HERE, which although designed for the older Tamiya kits can be made to fit quite easily. The gear legs are sturdy and have separate oleo-scissors, as well as a two-part captive bay cover attached via small lugs and slots on the inner face of the doors. The inner door covers are single parts with moulded-in retraction jacks, while the nose gear bay door has a separate cranked retraction jack that holds the single door open to the correct angle. If you plan on fitting the bombs, you will need to open up the holes before gluing the two pylons in place. Now Hobbyboss have kindly provided the two types of pylons mostly associated with the 262, so once again check your references as to which is the most likely used, as I have yet to see a picture of whether prototype actually carrying any weapons. With the pylons fitted you can attach the two six part bombs.

Decals
Along with the instrument panels, the decal sheet carries national markings and individual markings for both prototypes. The decals are well printed with minimal carrier film. They are slightly glossy, with good opacity and in register. There is also a full set of stencils included, whilst the swastika has been printed in two halves, to get round the laws in some European countries.

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Conclusion
Whilst this is yet another Me-262, it is different enough to make for an interesting comparison and companion to the standard aircraft. For the money, you do get a great looking model, one that should build up relatively easily and with a rather simple camouflage scheme could well be built in a weekend, or as a mojo booster. Highly recommended.



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Review sample courtesy of
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Now Hobbyboss have kindly provided the two types of pylons mostly associated with the 262, so once again check your references as to which is the most likely used, as I have yet to see a picture of whether prototype actually carrying any weapons.

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http://www.48specialmodels.com/48pics/48SM-kits/M4/U2-02.jpg

HTH

Andy

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Thanks Andy, I knew someone would have a picture. :thumbsup:

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Thanks Dave,

If I have to buy one of those HB 262, it will be this one.

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I've been waiting for this one for ages... I also have the old Dragon one that probably won't get built now :shrug:

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Man that is fugly. talk about destroying the nice lines of the original.

Julien

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