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Sneak peek: Hobby Boss 1/48 Me-262A-1a/U3

Thanks to @michaelt for the inspiration with the three Me-262s he's doing at the WIP group. I didn't know made this kit till I saw his. The Me-262A-1a/U3 photo-recon aircraft was relatively rare, though one still exists - the airplane brought back to the States by Watson's Whizzers, that was sold to Howard Hughes in 1947 for proposed participation in the 1947 Thompson Trophy jet race (till the USAAF complained and said they wouldn't show up if it did, since the Me-262A could outperform the P-80A Shooting Star). It then ended up in the mechanic's school at the Glendale Grand Central Air Terminal as an instructional airframe, before being rescued by Ed Maloney in 1954 when the school and airport closed to become part of the Interstate 5 freeway through Los Angeles. Ed restored it to unflyable condition, but it was always a candidate for a full restoration since the Air Force hadn't cut the mainspar. Paul Allen bought it in 2000, and over the past 12 years it was restored with rebuilt Jumo 003s with parts replaced with better-constructed and more reliable guts. The airplane was supposed to fly sometime this past year, but that's been delayed due to the pandemic (and the death of Mr. Allen).

Full review here this weekend after it first gets published over at the mothership. But here it will have more photos.

Overall, I think the HB 262s are the best kits of the type. I've done all the 1/48 alternatives and like this for ease of assembly, excellent fit, and overall accuracy. I cut the slats off and posed them dropped, which wasn't as hard as I thought it might be. Full explanation in the review. There are WIP photos of the project at the WIP Group here.

Thanks to @lgardner for the photo of an Me-262A-1a/U3 with dense camo like this, after I thought I had gone "too far." And to @michaelt for the photo of "white 2", the airplane on the decal sheet, showing it used the dense "scribble."

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. An incredible good looking 262, Tom. @tcinla
    Will be getting mine (HobbyBoss 80373) delivered today and am looking forward to start building it after seeing yours.
    The scheme you applied came out very well and looks exactly like the real one.

  2. That's an excellently built 262, Tom.
    Camo is spectacular and totally researched.
    Loved the drooped slats, your "how to" advice has made me brave enough to attempt it at my next 262 build!
    IInteresting story behind this bird, equally interesting the fact that USAAF stated they would not participate at the races should it show up...

  3. Nicely done, Tom (@tcinla).
    You beat me to the finish.
    I had a great deal of trouble with my old (cheap copy) airbrush, but have upgraded to a very good one.
    I should be posting photos on my thread of my nearly completed jet in the next day or two.

  4. Great camo scheme on a great build, nice work with the slats.
    Immediate hit on the 'like' button.

  5. That is some camouflage scheme Tom.

  6. Another TC classic. The late Mr. Allen's collect is being sold off by the family. His Zero is for sale and one wonders if the 262 is up for grabs. Kind of sad to see the collection being broke up.

    • The rest of them don't care about his "toys" and "money rules."

      UPDATE AUGUST 2022: for those who have wondered about Paul Allen's collection, it has been purchased by a Walmart heir, and will remain at its location in Washington, where it will be maintained in the way Paul Allen wanted.

  7. Good stuff Tom. Really great camo work.

  8. Looks really great in that "dense" scheme! I'd try it, but not sure I'm steady enough with an airbrush yet to pull that off in 1/72. Well done.

  9. A real nice one ,Tom!

  10. sold to Howard Hughes in 1947 for proposed participation in the 1947 Thompson Trophy jet race (till the USAAF complained and said they wouldn’t show up if it did, since the Me-262A could outperform the P-80A Shooting Star).

    Love that! Can just imagine the air force not being impressed by the notion of being bested by an ex Luftwaffe jet. Would have liked to be a fly on the wall when they first ound out about Hughes idea lol!

    Great looking paint scheme Tom.

  11. Tom, @tcinla
    It's really nice to see your 262 posted here in the headlines section. I'm also glad the picture I shared with you was of help. It was part of a series of photos that were taken of the plane as it was being recovered by the ground crew after the nose gear collapsed. Somewhere on a separate disc I have the rest of the series. I had planned on building up my old Dragon / DML / Trimaster 262 recon bird using these pictures as documentation for the colors, and the paint pattern. The 262 is one of my favorite planes, and currently I have a 1/32 scale Revell two seat night fighter on the work bench. I haven't started a work journal on it, or several other Luftwaffe builds I currently have underway. I might eventually...

    I too have been watching Michael Turner's multiple 262 builds and how nice of a job he has been doing with his models.

    Another 262 I have plans to build eventually is one that was found unpainted, with the last three digits of the werke number ending in 711. This one ended up back in the US after Whatson's Wizzers picked it up. I believe it was the "brother" to the plane that Howard Hughes ended up with.

    One can never have too many 262's ! Currently in my stash I have all of the 1/48 series of 262 jets that were molded by Hobby Boss. I also have several of the Tamiya kits, and they build so easy, but I don't like the LE slats. I have a Monogram and a Dragon kit to round out the 1/48 selection. These Hobby Boss kits look very good in the box, and after seeing how nicely they build up, it probably will not be too much longer before several of them pop up on my work bench.

    Your example looks very good, and I plan on taking your thoughts with dropping the LE slats and running with it when I get around to building the rest of mine. It looks much more realistic this way, and I have often wondered why so many kit manufacturers have done it wrong for so many years.

    I pressed the "liked" button too. I'll be looking forward to seeing the article at the Mother Ship website...

    • @lgardner:

      A man can't get too many great compliments like this - thanks!

      That unpainted 262 is another "bucket list/holy grail" project I have contemplated over the years. All the putty in the seams, the different hues of metal - a real "mindbender." Good luck if you can pull it off.

      I have the Revell 1/32 Me-262A-1a single seater. Very nice. I did the Trumpeter 1/32 262s, which I was of the opinion they were the best 262s in any scale, but I think I like this one better, mostly because of the lack of rivets. It looks to be a good kit and I really ought to pull it out of the closet it's hiding in.

  12. Outstanding cameo Tom!

  13. Super nice Tom. The Schwalbe proved it could be a jet interceptor and Is perhaps the most iconic aircraft of WW2.
    Too bad for the RLM they did not realise what it was designed for !
    Pork and politics.

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