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Louis Gardner
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1/48 Monogram Messerschmitt Me-262 A1a, flown by 1. KG 51, WNr. 111625, “9K + FH”

August 16, 2017 · in Aviation · · 47 · 3.9K

This is a golden oldie that I built shortly after my return to the hobby back in the mid to later 1990's.

Back then I didn't have access to the internet, and I mainly relied on books that I had gathered. I frequently followed the build and marking instructions that were provided with the kits, (and aftermarket decals when I decided to use them...).

Recently I was doing some research for one of my upcoming builds, (which happens to be a Tamiya Me-262),

so I thought I would dig this one out of the display case and share it with you.

As luck would have it, I found a few pictures of the real "9K + FH", and they were in color too !

There seems to be several photos floating around of this plane as it was found by the US Army in Saaz, Germany, (now called Zatec in the Czech Republic) on May 1st, 1945.
Messerschmitt had a production facility here... it was part of the "annexed" Sudetenland.

These different photos seem to have a color shift so even though they are of the same plane, the colors look entirely different. I would guess that the actual colors fell somewhere in between the two pictures...

In the original photo I didn't notice the KG 51 emblem on the side of the fuselage as it's depicted on my build. Here's a prime example of instructions not getting it right.

But please keep in mind that back then the persons who researched the decals for our models faced the same problems that we did as builders. The information just wasn't as easily available to them as it is to all of us today. We truly live in the Golden Age of model building.

This kit will have several faults with the building, which were probably my own fault...but this one has survived rather well over the years. The decals have started to yellow a bit, due to their age.

This one was finished using Model Master enamels, and sprayed using a Testor's "Aztek" air brush.

I really like these older kits...

As usual, comments are encouraged.

Reader reactions:
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47 responses

  1. Very nice job on an old really brought this one up to modern standards.Great job!

  2. Nice job on a classic Louis. Like you, in the beginning I followed instructions to the letter, now it might take several weeks or months before I find enough info on a subject before I start building. This is almost more fun than the actual build

    • Thanks George. Like you, I also enjoy the research portion as much (if not more) than the build. It's almost like doing some detective work...but on history instead of a crime.
      Another part that is really fun for me is the actual hunt for a new kit or trying to find a neat set of unique decals for a particular plane. I guess it's that hunter / gatherer gene kicking in... 🙂

  3. Fabulous looking build (those"old" Monogram kits still kick butt, IMO) and a beautiful set of photos (as always) to boot. Nice job, Louis.

  4. Especially considering this was fruit of a recent return to the craft, you really show yourself well, Lou. The Monogram kits were my staple as a kid, too.

    • Thank you David...I appreciate the kind words. I tremendously enjoyed building these Monogram kits as a kid, and they still work for me... You get a lot for your money with them. With a little work you can really make them shine.

  5. Your Schwalbe ROCKS, my friend! I'm glad you like to do research - I hate it! (Prob'ly because I'm not very good at it!) Do ya wanna do some for me? Just kidding.

    Great 262, my friend. It's really cool that you found pics of the real bird you modeled!

    • Thanks buddy ! Yes I like to do some digging to find out information on my builds. To me it helps to bring the model to life and gives some historical significance to the build at the same time. I'm happy to see that you liked the article as well... I guess I was lucky to find a photo of the real "Bird"... Schwalbe / Swallow

  6. Louis, was the actual aircraft found near Schwabishe Halle? Love them late war spatter schemes! Fine job on one of Monograms finest! To Cleaver says this kit has the best overall shape for a model 262.

    • No it was supposedly found in what is now the Czech Republic, South of Dresden Germany, and West of Prague. Apparently Messerschmitt operated a factory there both during and after the War. They build Avia S-199's there post War.
      It's a nice building model if my memory serves me. It's been a while though...

  7. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Very nice work on what I consider to be a double classis.
    The Me 262 has a very significant spot on the aviation side as well as a good spot on MONOGRAMS history ... got to love those kits.

  8. I have one of these in the stash as well as a DML and Tamiya Me-262. Though under the Revell label same classic Monogram kit. You did this one very well. I do love to research and read about the subject I am about to build. And read quite a bit not of the history of the aircraft but also the exploits and life of the pilots who flew them. Need to get around to starting one of them soon. Don't think it will be this year though. Thanks for sharing.

    • I recently bought a few Hobby Boss kits. Since they started releasing various 262 kits in 1/48, I wanted to get one of each. Others in the stash are a Monogram / Revell kit just as this one is, and three of the Tamiya versions. I'm looking forward to building up the Tamiya and have started a build log on it here.

      Your F-51 Korean War Mustang was an inspiration for me to start the "Cripes - a Mighty" plane, thanks my friend. I started a build log on it too.

      The machines would be useless without a person to fly it. The person flying the machine makes the history that we enjoy reading about. You are absolutely correct about the exploits and life's of these pilots.

      When you get the chance to build your 262, I'm sure it will turn out fantastic, as all of your builds have.

      Take care my friend. It was good to hear from you.

      • Louis, I'd like to know what you think about the Hobby Boss ME-262s. Like you, I've got a couple, including the one with the photo nose.

        • I have been thinking about posting a few kit reviews of the HB 262 kits... Soon I hope to build one (or two) as well. I'll keep you posted Bernard. 🙂

          • I have also been tossing around the idea for posting a kit review on the new 1/32 scale Revell of Germany Me-262B two seater, and the new FW-190's they have just released. When I get some extra time...

  9. I used to visit the RAF museum at Colindale and stand in awe of their Schwalbe regularly - although I think they have moved it since. My oldest little boy - aged about 3 at the time used to call it 'Sharky' for obvious reasons. I was always stunned that it was so small and unobtrusive given how important a plane it was historically (and how much more important it could have been without the wrangling and politics that played out over its role and development - the biggest error in aircraft production throughout the war?).

    All that reminiscence aside (!) that's a cracking job Louis - it has the exact 'gait' of the aircraft as I recall it, and I really like the paint job - subtly done!

  10. Years ago I visited the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Florida, and the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio. I know for certain the Naval Museum had a 262, but I think there was one at the AFB too... What really captured my attention was the streamlined shape of the plane. Your little boy was right on the money with his comments about the plane.
    It's on my "bucket list" to visit these museums again...

    One can only imagine how bad things could have turned out had not politics been in the way of the production and development of this plane. It was way ahead of it's time.

    Years ago when I was a boy, I would talk with a relative of mine who was a top turret gunner in a B-17. He flew over Europe in WW2. He said that they had an encounter once with a few "Schwables"... by the time he turned the twin .050's in the direction of the planes, they were long gone. The 262's made one pass at the bomber formation and disappeared. Next he told me about how they reported this event to the unit's "Intelligence Officer" who didn't believe them. "What do you mean a plane without a propeller ? and it was how fast ? Sure you did...have a drink it will calm your nerves." This was the reply the crews got.

    Thanks for the compliments my friend. This old kit still holds up well.

  11. Louis, the Smithsonian has an ME-262, I saw it at silver Hill (their old restoration facility) years ago, while it was being done. A guy I knew worked in their facility, and told the story about a former luftwaffe personality. The smithsonian in those days would watch out for visitors whose aircraft or ones similar were in the collection. Mike was working one day while the ME 262 was there, restored. A party of visitors came walking through, and went up to the ME. One of them looked at the aircraft, went up on the ladder, and got into the cockpit(!). He sat there for a couple of minutes, got down and as the party went by Mike, said to the others "We could have won the war if we'd had that earlier". Favorite story of mine.

    • Bernie - & all y'all others - great discussion on a great build of an historic airplane. I enjoy hearing & reading everything. I said earlier that I didn't like the research but don't mistake that by thinking that I don't like reading about the planes & the men who flew them!

      I live in Indianapolis which is only 2 hours from the USAF museum & I've been there 3 or 4 times. Twice I had an encounter with pilots who were associated with airplanes on display. The first time was about an A1 Skyraider (I forget the exact model) with a second display in front of the a/c that featured a propeller blade with a pretty good-sized hole in it from flak. As I stood there admiring the display & reading about it, an older gent came up to see the same display. I commented that I thought the pilot must have been lucky that day! The old gent said "Yes, I was." He was the pilot of that old A1 from Viet Nam! We talked more, of course.

      The second time I didn't actually meet anyone but I had just finished my visit and was heading out to leave. The last plane I had seen (and read the history) was an F4 painted as Steve Ritchie's plane. As I was leaving, a voice came over the loudspeakers saying that the Museum was happy & honored to have Gen. Steve Ritchie visiting that day. I didn't have time to stay longer so I didn't get to meet him, but it sure puts real history in those displays!

      Sorry, Louis - Gen. Ritchie & the other gent never flew any Me 262s (that I know of - LoL) but I had to add these experiences of mine.

  12. Geezing further, I built the Lindberg ME-262 in my misspent yuth. Favorite of mine. Yeah, it DOES look like a shark. Folding landing gear, opening canopy, engines you could look at, working rudder. High tech stuff! Oh, and the gun doors opened so you could see them, too.

  13. Yup - I too fell for the 262 upon my return to the hobby - was probably built during my first year back (same Mono kit, and like you, followed the instructions, did no research, used no filler, etc.). Always loved the 262 - the iconic introduction to the jet age. I think those old Mono kits were the modelers equivalent of marijuana - you get hooked on low-priced, easy-to-build kits that really provide some pleasure, and before you know it you are selling the candelabras to score a Tamiya or ZM with all the aftermarket goodies you can fit in the thing!

    • Thanks Greg !

      I have always had a liking for the 262... I guess I'm a s****r for them... every since I built my first 1/32 Revell two seat night fighter way back in the 70's when it was first released.

      I still have that plane too... and now they have released it again... So guess what ? I have a new one in the box, to go along with the 1/32 Hasegawa single seater ! One of these days I hope to get to it, and probably will when I start cranking out some 1/32 scale Luftwaffe subjects.
      Love your sense of humor ... Good stuff.
      Yes, my name is Louis... I'm a plastic-aholic, and my go to fix is Monogram... or Revell... or Tamiya... or Hasegawa... or what ever 1/48 or 1/32 stuff I can get ... 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. Hi Louis, in my opinion you've done a great job with the old kit. I reckon you also have to see ity in the timeframe you have build it. These days we are spoiled with online information and lots of smaller companies with aftermarket items like PE, resin and decals. So it still holds its keep this "262". And I must say that next to online information I still add reference books to my collection as well. The "262" got my intrest now since Airfix is releasing a new tooled version in 1/72 later this year, which is more my scale, but I'll certainly will follow your larger scale builds and the history you provide. Thanks Louis.

    • Hello Ferry ! It's great to hear from you. I appreciate the compliments. Like you I still keep adding paper books and magazines to my "Hobby" library collection whenever possible. It's just easier for me to flip a page or even have a book laid out at my work table as it is to keep going online and then back and forth as needed...

      I like what Airfix has been doing lately. They have a lot of great new releases, and I hope that many more are to follow. I have looked at your builds and in particular your Mercedes Benz 300 SLR is fantastic !

      I agree that we are indeed spoiled with today's aftermarket additions for our kits. But it's nice isn't it ? 🙂

      I can remember back when we were not so fortunate...

      Take care my friend...

  15. Profile Photo
    said on August 17, 2017

    Very nice Louis.I built one of these years ago. It did not look as good as yours. Great job.

  16. Real nice Louis!

  17. Louis, very good build, you've given me some thought on taking down my Tamiya kit. I just can't find the prop in the box !

    I've came across the dilemma myself on colors, especially with Japanese aircraft, the best advise I heard was that anyone that's says they are an expert on the actual color is either liar or a fool, as colors fade paint suppliers differ and all sorts of reasons colors are off, but the big thing is that color photography was in its infancy, and has never really been greatly reliable, you've given a good example here, and I think you attacked the issue very well by using the best evidence you had available. Another nice build !

    • That's the same problem I'm having with my Tamiya build Rob ! Someone forgot the prop on mine too ...

      I try to get colors close as I can to what they are supposed to have been. But normally after I do this, some new information is found and my work is no longer accurate.

      My early build Hasegawa A6M's and D3A "Val" are a prime example of this. I painted mine with Model Master IJN Gray overall, only to find out years later that these planes were most likely painted in "Ame-Iro"...

      Thanks for the compliments my friend.

    • One thing I have found about colors is this: Lighting makes a huge difference in the way a color appears. The same color can look as though it was an entirely different shade. OD Green is a prime example of this... Plus what you said, with the paint suppliers is absolutely true. Thanks again !

  18. Nice job... Classic kit!

  19. Looks great Louis !

  20. @lgardner- not only the model looks great but the stories told here are priceless. Good one my friend, now try your hand and newer airbrush on a newer 262 model, like Tamiya or Hobbyboss

    • Pedro @holzhamer
      I am definitely going to try revisiting the 262 again. Since I have built this old Monogram, I ventured off the deep end and built a 1/48 Tamiya Schwalbe, but I chickened out and painted it in overall RLM 76 because by that time my old Testors Aztek air brush had given up the ghost and quit working for me. So I purchased an Iwata HP-c Plus and used it to paint the new build. The Iwata never allowed me to do ultra fine lines, but it was beautiful for painting larger surfaces. Now I have a new purchase. I recently picked up a H&S Infinity with a .015 tip, thanks to your help with picking out a good one for small detail work... and I plan on using it soon. On a big 1/32 scale Revell 262 two seat night fighter.

      So please stay tuned. I love building these 262's... and I always have.

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