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Michael Smith
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Me 262A - 1960 and 2017 Airfix 1/72 kits

April 18, 2024 · in Aviation · · 7 · 232


I recently finished a double-build - two Me 262A German jet fighters. The reason for the double-build was that I had two kits - a 1960 kit which I sat on for so long they came out with a much-improved version in 2017, which I then bought.


The newer kit on the left was a 262A-1a day fighter, had far more parts and was magnificently engineered. The older kit was a -2a - the bomber variant - and came with bomb racks and a pair of torpedo-shaped bombs.

I decided to build the older kit as a bomber - as Hitler intended - and the newer as a day fighter.


For my model for the bomber I chose the only surviving bomber version, the "Black X" that is on display at the Australian War Memorial. In part this was because it was one of the few -2a aircraft I could document markings for, but also because it had a very interesting paint scheme.

The latter Me 262s weren't even finished in factories - they were assembled in open fields or forests, and by the time this plane was assembled it only got a light and ragged application of two-color camouflage, which meant that the bare aluminum with dark puttied seams tended to show through on the top. On the bottom, most of the aircraft was unfinished aluminum with the dark putty seams, which was a fun opportunity to show a partially painted aircraft. The actual colors I used were the first time I tried the late-war RLM 81/82/83, and the RLM 83 was not green enough. But I was happy with how uneven and watery the paint as applied worked out, even though it doesn't come across in the photo.

The 2017 version I finished as Adolf Galland's last plane, known as "White 3". While there are no photos of it to use as reference to confirm the details of the camouflage, it seems to match most of the artwork and models I have studied. The kit is simply magnificent, and I really wish I had paid more attention to weighting the nose down properly so it didn't need a tail stand. I used aftermarket decals, and there were approximately 50 to reflect the many stencilled warnings on, under and around the plane. Both aircraft got repeated black washes after completion, and could probably use even more.

All in all, a really fun build, with challenging camouflage patterns.

Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

7 responses

  1. Nice comparison, the old kit was pretty crude.

  2. Excellent double build, Michael! Great comparison!

  3. Great comparison between both kits, Michael @mcsmith1964
    Both come out beautifully.

  4. Great comparison, Michael. I built one of those old Airfix 262s back in the day. The new kit looks appealing as I’m seriously considering focusing mainly on 1/72 again.

    • I deliberately do 1/72 for space reasons, but also because I am more interested in having a representative of the subject on the shelf than having a really quality build. 1/72 subjects let me get in and out before I get bored or frustrated - for example I started my first Zero Monday and finished it last night.

  5. A nice pair of 262's. I also only build 1/72 for space reasons... However, it still takes me a long time to get one finished!

  6. Both nicely done Michael.

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