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Robert Bausch
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Messerschmitt Me-262 “Schwalbe” in 1/32 scale by Hasegawa...

January 11, 2014 · in Aviation · · 14 · 5.1K

I've always thought the Me-262 was a “wicked good” looking airplane. My only critical thought has been that it would have been better looking if it had even just a few degrees more sweepback on the wings. And the Germans discovered this (not just for looks!) during WW2, but it was too late to change. The original sweep was only to cure a C of L problem, because of the weight of the engines, not to increase speed. But it was enough to make it a better looking airplane (and probably a little faster).

It was called the “Schwalbe” in German, which means “Swallow”, surely one of the most beautiful birds to see in flight. And even with that too little sweepback, it is enough to make it an airplane that does somewhat evoke the look of the bird it is named for, and give it a more graceful appearance. More so if you can overlook the hefty engines hanging off the wings!

This is the kit of the Me-262, so it is a bit old (though built in the last couple of years, recent for me!), certainly not in the league of the Trumpeter kits at their bloated prices (I thought this originally, and then wound up buying a couple of Trumpeter 262s from Squadron, when they had a deal). Now, prices for the large scale kits are so off the wall, that I don't even think of them anymore, unless it is that “one from the past” that you never even in your wildest dreams thought would become a kit you could buy. Like the new Pacific Coast Models 1/32 Hawker Tempest. The Tempest is one of my “get outa my way, don't take no for an answer, I'm buying it”, airplanes! We all need at least one of those.

Anyway, I did a bit of scratch work on this Hasegawa 262, in the cockpit, and also on the wheel wells and underside of the cockpit tub, using the Tamiya 1/48 and Trumpeter 1/32 kits, and the Osprey book “Modelling the Messerschmitt ” by Brett Green and Robert Oehler, for reference. Plus a couple other books, there sure are a lot on the 262.

This model is in the kit markings, of an aircraft referred to as “White 17” from ”III./EJG2”. An aircraft with these markings is also included in Brett Green's 262 modelling book, but with no mention of what unit it belonged to, except that he says it was probably a non flying instructional airframe, hence the “S” markings (S for “Schule” or “School”). I think this could also be a flying a/c with a replacement training unit (that's what the “EJG” abbreviation means), and think that is more likely (but I could be wrong!). Possibly an a/c that had been with “Kommando Nowotny” before, because of the markings (white number on forward fuselage, and yellow band forward of balkenkreuz).

For some reason, I didn't do any weathering on the model, though I'm not sure why (of course, I still can!). I guess I just wanted to have a big 262 sitting up on the shelf, and didn't want to wait.

One of these days I will have to give the Trumpeter kit a try (with weathering). From all I've read it is the definitive Me-262. A pretty fascinating airplane. And over the years it has been well taken care of by the kit manufacturers.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Beautiful, a true example of workmanship!

  2. Gorgeous paint work!

  3. Nice work as usual Robert. I am looking forward to seeing your weathered Trumpeter project.

  4. Great build there Robert, nicely finished.
    Well done .

  5. Nice job all-around, sir.

  6. Bob,
    What else can I add... Outstanding.

  7. Nicely done, Robert. The Me 262 does have a unique and attractive look and your finish certainly does it justice. On my shelf I have the OLD Revell 1/32 Me 262-b1a/U1 that I picked up from a friend cleaning out his unmade childhood kits that he wasn't going to make. If I decide to give it a try I will post the photos. Yours results give me something to aim for.

    • Thanks to all for your favorable comments. I will try to do a good job with the Trumpeter kit one of these days. The 262 sure is an inspirational aircraft to build models of!

  8. Very neat build, great finish. Yes the 262 was amazing, really interesting those re-builds of the aircraft, flying in the US with modern engines to replace the Jumo's. Anyone recall what engines they are using?

    • This is the GE J85, as used in the Northrop F-5/T-38. From what I have seen, they have "detuned" these engines from what they can deliver, to make them more realistic for the 262.

  9. extraordinary paint and build...all most looks like ink...model has a great shape...hey i'm working on the hasegawa 1/32 zero...great models at a fair price as you said

  10. Looks good Robert, nice finish!

  11. Nice clean build of a handsome aircraft.

  12. I agree, Robert, the 262 is a lovely looking plane, and I'm really tempted to have a go at one, only I know it will never look as nice as this!

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