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1/48 Tamiya Messerschmitt Pre-Production Me-262 “S” (Werknummer 130006), “VI + AF”

Here's another article that I hope you enjoy... This time it's based on 's excellent Me-262 in scale.

This model was started as I was "hitting the wall" and getting bogged down with research on the group of 4 Tamiya FW-190 A's, and the Monogram He-111 build I was doing at the time. So what's the cure ?

Build up a kit that has a simple monotone finish, and was something that I had been wanting to build for quite some time now...

It all started shortly after I picked up these two excellent books and started turning the pages.

Once I saw how these early "pre production" machines were painted in overall RLM 76, I knew right away that some day I would end up building one of them. You simply don't see many 262's painted in this color, even though the first arriving jets were delivered this way.

After delivery to the unit's they most often received camouflage paint on top of this color, using the RLM 76 as a base.

Here's a link to the build... in case you're interested in seeing what went into this one. Other than a self imposed canopy mishap, it was smooth sailing, with no putty needed to fill in seams any where. I did use some Tamiya white putty to fill in the flare ports, since the early machines didn't have them.

It was as they say "Typical Tamiya / Shake and Bake". It has to be the easiest and most relaxing build that I have done in quite some time, and was just what the doctor ordered.

This model was painted using an Iwata HP-C Plus air brush, and I used Model Master enamels for the finish.

The kit comes with a nice metal nose weight, that also acts as a support for the nose gear. I used bare metal foil to replicate the shock absorber portion of the oleo struts. The kit has some very nice details cast into the outer side of the cockpit tub, which can be seen through the main gear wheel wells.

I gave this area a very light oil wash using Windsor and Newton "Lamp Black" as the color. It helped to make the details pop.

Inside these books were some very interesting photos showing the early "S" machines as the were called. Going from memory, there were 10 of the "S" planes built after the initial batch of prototype 262's.
This next photo shows the actual plane my model was built after, and it states this plane was the first of the pre production aircraft. This plane made it's first flight on April 19th, 1944.

It would have flown sooner, but it was damaged during the assembly phase of construction at the AG plant at Augsburg-Haunstetten on February 25th, 1944. The factory was bombed by a flight made up of 196 B-17 bombers from the 1st Air Division of the 8th AF.

This one, "Red 3" Werk Number 130008, "VI + AH" suffered a nose gear failure on June 16th, 1944. This is the original plane I wanted to build. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a proper "Red 3" in the decal stash...The nose gear would continue to plague the jet throughout it's short career.

Here's another photo of the same plane. It clearly shows the under wing call letters. This is the photo that helped me decide to add these letters under the wings on my build.

This next photo is one I tried to replicate, but I couldn't get the proper angle to take the picture... so this is the best I could do with what I had...

Here's the original photo of Red 1 and the tail assembly...

My black and white version photo of the model... It looks "kind of" close.

followed by the actual color photograph of the model... The clear light at the base of the tail is what was used on the very early A-1 planes and "S" machines. This part is included in the Tamiya kit, so it's a very easy plane to build using out of the box components.

In this photo below, you can see this plane had an odd shaped "Red 6" painted on the side of the nose. More details from the picture can be gathered from the caption.

I have noticed that these pre production "S" machines all had numbers painted on the sides of the nose in Red.

The very first "S" machine 262 was the one I built my model of, and it's "Red 1", with the fuselage radio call numbers as "VI + AF". The "Werk" number is 130006. from what I have noticed after looking at all of the information I have found on these early machines is this:

Messerschmitt appears to have kept the numbering system and the radio call letters in sequence.

Red 2 was Werk Number 130007, and had radio call numbers "VI + AG"
Red 3 was Werk Number 130008, and had radio call numbers "VI + AH"

If this practice was continued, then the plane shown in the last original photo was involved in another crash on July 18th, 1944. I have a chart that shows "VI + AK" (which should be Red 6) crashing fatally after an engine problem. The cause is listed as "separation of the turbine engine rings". Hauptman Theirfelder was killed in the crash.

However, when you look at the photo of "Red 6" you can clearly see that it has radio call letters of "VI + AL"... Maybe they switched things up a little to confuse Allied intelligence Units ?
Who knows for sure...

I was able to build this early "S" machine with only a few modifications. First off, I had to fill in the flare tube exits that were molded into the sides of the fuselage, not too far from where the insignia cross is located.

The kit I used for this build included the little "Kettenkrad" Tractor. This version came supplied with a two cannon nose. The pre production "S" machines had a four gun nose. Luckily I have several more of these fine Tamiya kits left in the stash, and I was able to "borrow" a correct four gun nose cover from another Tamiya model.

I have plans to build the remaining Me-262 1/48 scale planes in my stash in the near future. A few years ago Hobby Boss released a series of the jets and covered most of the types. I have another "photo recon" version from Dragon. It also seems to have been delivered from the factory in an overall RLM 76 finish, with random dark green squiggly lines sprayed on top.

This multiple Me-262 build I am planning will happen sometime in the early part of 2019. It should include two seat trainer jets, as well as bomber and night fighter planes to round out the collection. I also want to build one as a jet (White 8) that was being flown by Walter Nowotny when he was shot down and killed.

The Me-262 builds might actually correspond (or overlap) with the future planned FW-190's. I have some decals to build up a few of the JV 44 Focke Wulf's, so I plan on doing some research and finding some photos of JV 44 jets. It would be cool to have both the 262 and the 190's from JV 44 sitting side by side...

Overall I would rate this building experience as a 10 out of 10. The fit was spot on, the engineering of the parts was outstanding. But the most important thing of all was this... I had a great time building this one.

The only problem I ran into was when I accidentally "fogged" the canopy when I was spraying on the Future clear acrylic in preparation for the decals. Somehow I managed to get some over spray inside the canopy.

Luckily I was able to carefully remove the clear parts, and after some careful cleaning, I gave the parts a dunk in some Future. After the stuff dried for a few days, I added the parts back on... and presto !
Thankfully, the problem was gone.

After letting things settle down for a day or two, I decided to give the plane a coat of flattening agent to knock the shine down some. It made the plane look even more authentic. The weathering was kept to a bare minimum, as these planes didn't last too long before they were gone... You can see from the original photos that they didn't get too worse for wear...

I hope you enjoy reading about this one as much as I enjoyed building it. There will definitely be some more of these wonderful kits built by me in the future, and I will post them here for you to enjoy.

Thanks for reading, and as always,
"Comments are encouraged"

47 responses

  1. Lovely good looking aircraft
    Well finished off

  2. Hey Louis, Looks great! Love the simple paint scheme. Even after 70 years the Schwalbe looks as good as any modern day jet. Such a beauty.

    • Thanks Gary !
      The 262 is my favorite WW2 jet... I know there were not too many jets to chose from this era, but this one just looks the part. It's sleek, elegant, and shark like lethal looking...way ahead of it's time. The plane is a thing of beauty, at least to my eyes.
      Thanks again ...

      • I have no choice but to agree, I don't built anything with a swastika on it as a rule because ...well lets face it they were a bunch of criminals, but the262 simply looks awesome like a shark.
        Good job .

        • Thanks Neil. The plane is definitely ahead of its time. The Germans had some great scientists and aerodynamicists, but they had a madman in charge. Some of the Germans were criminals, as were some of the Japanese and the Russians too if you want to include the worst offenders.
          I'm sure that all sides involved had members who perpetrated crimes. Unfortunately that kind of thing happened and we can't change it now. I don't condone what was done by the Germans or anyone else that I was referring too. I sincerely hope that we never forget what happened as they say those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

          Thanks for posting.

  3. Great job Louis. Really like it!

  4. Well, I love the Swallow, Louis. Lovely lines and immense power. Talk about ‘ shark-like’...

    • I know what you mean ! Look at this Great White would you... I wouldn't want to have either one of these two chasing me... The 262 or the shark !

      Thanks David... 🙂
      I sincerely appreciate the compliments.

  5. Louis, the comparing photos of your model vs the real thing are stunning.
    Great job filling the niche of the first roll out 262... first time I see one all RLM 76 and it’s a beauty. Thumbs up!

  6. Louis, if you cover the upper two gun placements on the 262, the likeness is uncanny...

    • What if the shark was swimming upside down ? Then you could count the "nostrils" too... They may not be 30 MM though. More like MG 151's... 🙂

      On some of the 262 versions, they covered two of the openings and used only two nose mounted cannons. Then it would be spot on for sure...

      Scary isn't it ?

  7. Excellent model and overall presentation. It is nice to have a change of pace and engage in a less challenging relaxing kit. I did the same thing recently with an old, simple Tamiya BF-109. It did the trick. I like your article and the format of your writing. Nice read.

    • For me this was the perfect build and I needed something to change the course where I was headed. It was a lot of fun, and other than the self imposed problem with the canopy, it was a very fun build. They all should go that smooth. But they normally don't happen that way for me.

      The 1/48 scale Tamiya Bf109 E4/E7 is another fine kit right from the box. I remember building up a few of these and they went together just as smoothly as this one did.

      Thanks again buddy.

  8. We're going to need a bigger boat!

  9. Here’s one I (literally) made earlier...

    “Here’s to swimmin’ With bow-legged women”

    • Nice! "fair well adieu to you fair Spanish ladies"

    • Now all you need for that one is Cheif Martin Brody on the bow with a M-1 Garrand.

      I remember when the movie "Jaws" came out. It scared the begeesus out of me ! I didn't want to go back into the ocean anytime soon after watching it.

    • "Your gonna need a bigger boat."

      Roy Scheider's line while chumming the waters for Bruce. I'll never forget that line. Of course that model moved those neurons into thinking.

      • Quint; 'Indianapolis' speech... · on youtube

        "Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into her side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We'd just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail.

        What we didn't know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin' by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin' and hollerin' and sometimes that shark he go away... but sometimes he wouldn't go away.

        Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn't even seem to be livin'... 'til he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then... ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The ocean turns red, and despite all your poundin' and your hollerin' those sharks come in and... they rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don't know how many sharks there were, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour.

        Thursday mornin', Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boson's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below the waist. At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot, lot younger than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol' fat PBY come down and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945.

        Anyway, we delivered the bomb."

  10. Another fine build, Louis! Beautifully finished.

  11. Well, Louis, that is one beautifully made model of the Me 262. With my limited experience, I have not seen a better one.

    Funny, I was only reading about this aircraft two nights ago. Thinking I would like to build such a model. You certainly know how to raise the benchmark. Another model I would like to build is the Horten ho 229. What I like about these two aircraft is the advancement, at the time, of aerodynamics. The thing is, they both have elements of design that still hold inspiration for today's designers.

    • Thanks Peter for the kind words. I sincerely appreciate them my friend.

      I think there are many other persons who have made much better looking versions of this plane. Some of them can be seen right here on Imodeler.

      Isn't that strange how we are reminded of similar experiences ? I was also reading about the 262 two nights ago. I have some more of these unbuilt kits in the stash and was looking for inspiration on a future project.

      I say go for it and give it a try. I really think you would enjoy building one of these 1/48 scale Tamiya kits. However, I don't have any experience with the Horten 229 kits, other than seeing the one that was built here that will be displayed at the Smithsonian. It's a work of art !

      here's a link in case you're interested...

      These links may help to "fuel the fire" to build one (or both) of these subjects.

      Thanks again.

  12. Really nice build, Louis...I love it!

  13. The one thing thats quite striking to me is the single overall color of the 262. With the plethora of Luftwaffe schemes available for the 'Swallow" you take RLM76 Licht blau (light blue) no mottling, no camo and present an excellent model. Enough detail to make it pop. Thank God there were not enough of these and introduced late in the war to become a factor. But they were lethal when the experten were in the cockpits. Few and far between. Inexperienced pilots in a hot plane probably caused more accidents than actually able to fly it. I do agree that I do not condone what the Germans did, but I don't hate the German people at all, (especially since I was married to one) it was their leaders and their criminal acts. But just think the state of aviation in 1933 and then 12 years later in 1945 at the end of WWII how far we have come along. From bi-planes to jets. And not just aviation, armor and what we put to sea also saw some amazing advancements as well. War at times bring out the best for the worse intentions. And it has been a race ever since. What Germany had on the drawing board was rather ambitious, those eventually ending up here and some of it in the hands of the Russians as well. It is the history of flight that I love to model in the colors and markings of the nations they represented. So I do build them like you Louis, not for promoting the terrible things their leaders did, but for the love of aviation and the marvel of flight the Germans achieved. And too me that Me-262 was the ultimate gem of them all. Thanks for sharing an amazing model.

    • Thanks Chuck !

      Your comments are right on the money about the history... and I couldn't have said it better. The sad thing about mankind is how we excel when it comes to new and improved ways of killing each other off. The numerous advances in medicine, aviation, logistics and communications are just a few that have progressed in this fashion. You mentioned a few more...

      Like you, I don't hate the German people, (or anyone for that matter). Life is too short for that, and I want to leave a good impression for others when I'm gone. You reap what you sow...

      It does seem that the Germans were, (and still are) some excellent engineers.

      They turned out some state of the art things that were way ahead of their time. We have our current Space program thanks to Werner Von Braun, and all of the others that we "secreted away" during Operation Paperclip. The other Allies, namely Great Britain (and the Soviet Union) also did their best to advance their technologies since the Germans were light years ahead of the rest of the world in many areas... except for the Manhattan Project, where they were very close behind the US, and thankfully not ahead.

      If Churchill didn't send the British Commando raid in Norway, (to sabotage the heavy water facility), and another one to sink the boat (containing barrels of the stuff) under transport, things could have turned out far worse for the Allies.

      Look at the Mig-15, and the North American F-86 Sabre and you can trace their lineage directly back to the Me-262 with it's swept wings...

      I like the aircraft, and not what the regime represented too. We share a lot in common.

      The rest they say... is history.

      Thanks again my friend.

  14. Nice realization of "history" in 3D. Great research overall (crucial!) and an excellent result.

  15. When my eldest, Bill, saw one of these at Hendon, aged 3, he referred to it as 'Sharky'.

    Out of the mouths of babes!

    I loved this at the time, Louis, and the finished article and photography makes it all the better!

    My favourite part of this, anecdotally, is that you need a rest from building some models so...

    You build a model!

    You couldn't make it up! Legendary, Louis!

    • Hello Paul,
      This has to be the best picture yet !
      The comment by Bill with 'Sharky' put a big smile on my face...

      Yes it does sound rather strange doesn't it ? ... about needing a break from building a model... Maybe I should have stated it more correctly that I needed a break from building a model that wasn't going as well as I had hoped for... I think that combined with not being able to find any good pictures of the desert schemed FW-190's at the time was getting to me.

      So I needed a change of pace, with something I was hoping would be a more relaxing build... something that I already had a good supply of photos on and it had a simple paint scheme to boot.

      It was a win / win for me, and I actually went back to finishing off the Monogram He-111 with new enthusiasm.

      Now I need to get the ICM He-111 completed too. It has been a very good model too.

      Thanks again my friend.

  16. Thanks for posting Louis, your Swallow really came out well, really like the overall color scheme. Followed along with your build postings and as usual those Tamiya kits just fall together and are fun to build. Franz Stigler writes about flying the Me-262 in Adam Makos book "A Higher Calling." A highly advanced flying machine but one that he described as "a dangerous machine that a pilot could never fully master." Just ask the boys in Everett, Washington, that built several replicas. They make lots of engineering changes to make it a safe aircraft to fly.

    • Thank you Tom. I sincerely appreciate the compliments. Once I saw the original photos with the plane in the overall RLM 76 color, I was hooked...

      You're correct about the Tamiya kits. This one has to be one of the best building kits that I have every had the pleasure of assembling.

      I have not read the book you mentioned, but I have read some first hand accounts by other pilots. I can imagine it would have been a big change going over from prop driven aircraft with torque problems, to flying these machines. From what I have read the pilot had to slowly advance the throttle to accelerate, where the piston powered engines got an immediate response when you throttled up. Add in the dangers of in flight fires and engine failures, then a weak nose gear strut and I can see how this one would be dangerous to fly.

      Imagine how it must have been trying to master the "People's Jet" He-162 ? On a demonstration test flight in front of the "Top Brass", the aileron separated on a He-162 causing the wing to fail. The ensuing crash killed the test pilot... Not too appealing if you know what I mean. It definitely would not be something you would want to put on a "recruiting poster" for sure...

      I have been watching them build those flying "replicas" of the 262 several years ago (or so). The biggest change they made (going from memory) was to swap engines out with a new modern unit. The newer engines weighed a lot less than the originals, so they had to make changes to get the balance point correct among other things.

      Thanks again for the comments and compliments. It's always good to hear from you.

  17. Louis, Nice work on this, I always enjoy seeing an unusual scheme, especially when its done well !.

  18. Like it Louis! I recently found out (through a club members build project) that the Ar 196 flew in a light blue scheme, and actually wore French decals as a "disguise" (used on a raider). I knew I just had to build one in such an unusual scheme, so even though I'd already build a 196, I added one to the stash and found French decals for it. Similar to your 262 prototype scheme / build! That's the kind of thing that keeps the hobby interesting for me!

    • Thanks Greg. If you're like me, you know it when you like something at first sight.

      That's very cool how you guys were able to find some information about the French markings on a 196 and how it was used by the Germans on a commerce raider. I remember seeing your postings about that one, but I didn't have a clue that a plane was used with those markings and in that manner.

      This definitely makes it worthwhile to add another model in your stash with plans for a future build.

      I'd really like to see that one going underway. I like the oddball schemes and stuff that you normally don't see.

      This build your talking about would have both of those boxes checked !

      Very cool my friend.

      Thanks again.

  19. Very nice Louis

  20. Louis,

    Your so ...productive. Who's helping you? I think you have discovered an army of elves and have put them to work. Now your thinking he's going to write something about the North Pole. In all seriousness, what a great model and a little history with some fun through in. That's what the hobby is all about. Keep up the good work and the enthusiasm ...I hear its a social disease and you should spread it around.

    Two thumbs up.

  21. Great build, I really like plain RLM 76 finish on this Me 262.

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