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b757captain

USAF Thunderbirds Me-262 - Finished!

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Been wanting to do this for quite a while! Here's the alternate historical timeline:

 

Dec. 1944, Battle of the Bulge - actually worked closer to what the Germans intended, significantly slowing the Allied advance. As a result the Russians faced a more spirited opposition on the Eastern front and the end to fighting was delayed indefinitely. War in the Pacific continued and in December 1945, after the atomic attacks on Tokyo, Japan surrendered. The decision was made, due to the lack of fissile material, to blockade greater Germany until more bombs could be built. 

 

The Russians, however, continued their pressure and slowly advanced until finally taking Berlin in early 1946. The Nazi government had fled Berlin though, creating a stronghold in the southern German Alps. Slow advances from there finally ended the war in late 1948. 

 

 A war-weary American public wanted nothing to do with a brewing cold war and funding for weapons systems was cut drastically. New modern airplanes on the drawing board, such as the F-84 and F-86 were cancelled. Through the negotiated peace treaties, The new United States Air Force was given several fully functional Me-262s and the tooling for the jets passed to North American Aviation, as they were deemed the best able to produce the jet. Side by side flight testing against the P-59 and F-80 showed them to be no match for the -262. NA re-engineered some of the flaws in the Me-262, such as the notoriously weak nose gear, GE was tasked with improving and upgrading the engines, and the new NA-262 became the front-line fighter for the USAF through the early and mid 50s.

 

During that time, in an attempt to increase recruitment rates and show off it's capabilities, the Air Force decided to create an aerial demonstration team, to be called the Thunderbirds. They picked the -262 as best suited for the team.

 

So I probably shouldn't quit my day job writing alternative history novels, but here's the plan:

 

Hasegawa ME-262, been sitting on my shelf collecting dust for almost 2 decades

 

Me-262%2001.jpg

 

Parts and pieces from leftover Thunderbirds decal sheets from my F-100, F-105 and F-84

 

Me-262%2002.jpg

 

And a few pieces from the spares box to modernize the Me

 

Me-262%2003.jpg

 

That's spares box 1 of 3, btw!

 

No RLM paints on this one, it will be painted as if it came off a US assembly line, some early '50s cockpit upgrades like an ejection seat and intruments, upgraded nose wheel, perhaps mains, maybe some main wheel well detail, closed up engine and gun bays, then the Thunderbirds paint scheme. I'm thinking staying with the early siver/NMF rather than the later overall white, I think it will look better on the -262.

 

What do you think?

 

Mark

Edited by b757captain

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I think white would look cool actually!    There are a lot of NMF 262s out there (obviously non with US markings like this though) and it rings vaguely familiar with the 262...............but as long as your going what-if, has anyone seen a white 262?  Im pretty sure not!

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I think white would look cool actually!    There are a lot of NMF 262s out there (obviously non with US markings like this though) and it rings vaguely familiar with the 262...............but as long as your going what-if, has anyone seen a white 262?  I'm pretty sure not!

 

I'll take that into consideration - got a ways to go before I have to decide. Started tonite by cutting the big pieces off the sprues. This must have been one of Hasegawa's earlier (or maybe earliest!) efforts, definitely not up to their current standards.

 

Mark

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This must have been one of Hasegawa's earlier (or maybe earliest!) efforts, definitely not up to their current standards.

 

Yeah, it's an old kit, that's for sure. Watch out for the banana wings!

 

Kev

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A german jet in red white and blue Thunderbird markings….

 

Now there is a concept to wrap around your brain.

 

 

I LOVE foil and all NMFs, but that is EXACTLY what I was thinking!!!!

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I'm definitely leaning NMF - though not too sure about the foil!

 

Haven't had time to get much done other than gather parts:

 

Me-262%2004.jpg

 

I robbed the plastic gear legs from my Trumpy -262 kit (I'll be using the metal legs for the Trumpy), main and nose wheels from the extras given in the CZ T-33 kit. They're a little smaller in diameter, but I figure that smaller tires come from better rubber and higher pressures, so evolutionary change for the NA-262. Cockpit upgrades coming from the T-33 kit too cuz I have the AMS cockpit, so plastics will be fitted into the -262. The hardest thing to find was a good instrument panel. I thought I woulda had plenty in the spares box but it was kind of slim. I finally found the kit panel from the F-100, will alter to fit. Started test fitting parts, so far it's a mixed bag.

 

Mark

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I'm back!

 

Truth is I never left but life got in the way. I had multiple builds stacked up that called to me loudly, plus after some test fits of the -262 I had modeler's cramp!

 

It's back off the shelf for a (hopefully) uninterrupted finish.

 

Test fitting the pieces showed that most everything fits sort of ok with the wings being the exception. Lots of looking at how to adapt the new cockpit, etc:

 

Me-262%2005.jpg

 

I'm jumping around some on the assembly, got the engines together. Everything will be buttoned up to better show off the paint scheme, so no detail painting, just the intake and exhaust.

 

Me-262%2006.jpg

 

Mark

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Bought one of those kits at Harrods decades ago when i visited London on a school trip. I really liked the rubber wheels and the guns. Never got around to complete it, but that was probably because i demanded too much of myself and lacked the necessary tools.

This one will look awesome i thunderbirds scheme!

Edited by Hardcore

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Bought one of those kits at Harrods decades ago when i visited London on a school trip. I really liked the rubber wheels and the guns. Never got around to complete it, but that was probably because i demanded too much of myself and lacked the necessary tools.

This one will look awesome i thunderbirds scheme!

 

Thanks Hardcore. Mine has plastic wheels so it must be even more "vintage" than yours!

 

Working backwards from the instructions - after all, they ARE only suggestions! - to get the best fit of the nacelles:

 

Me-262%2007.jpg

 

Still needs a little filler but not too bad.

 

Same with the wings. I fit and glued the nacelles to the wing top first, then added the bottom outer:

 

Me-262%2009.jpg

 

After the glue drying/curing, I connected the wings to the center section. Test fitting to the fuselage so far is pretty good. Now on to the cockpit.

 

Mark

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