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1/32 Trumpeter Me 262A-1a "Yellow 3"


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I think it is time to queue up my next LSP project.  I want to get out of the 109/190 groove and try something different (for me anyway) and I've settled on a Luftwaffe jet fighter, the Me 262.  My subject will be this aircraft...




Lots of cool visual features on this aircraft.... the hard mottle on the tail... the blue and white checkers... the yellow numerals... the bold skull badge... so the painting and markings should be fun to do.  Here is a profile by Tom Tullis that shows what the entire plane may have looked like...




I'll be using the Trumpeter Me 262 A-1a (Heavy Armament) kit.




The following aftermarket add-ons have been purchased for this build:


Aires Me 262 Resin Cockpit and Wheel Bay set

Barracuda 262 Resin Main Wheels and Nose Wheel

HGW Seat Belts

Montex Super Masks


I'm still in the painting stages of the 1/48 Hien build so I'm not sure when this one starts.  But before I start cutting sprue, I'd like to take a look at the kit contents and the aftermarket stuff too.  Visualizing the build components helps the gears in my head to start turning, identifying potential trouble spots and highlighting options and possibilities.

Edited by Thunnus
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The Me 262 A-1a comes in a big sturdy TOP OPENING box.  About the same size as the Tamiya F4U-1a box, which I also have on the shelf.






The instructions are the typical heavy-on-graphics, light-on-words approach that you find on most modern kits these days.  Color call-outs are Gunze.






I chose this particular boxing of the 262 because it had the markings for Yellow 3 included.  The Montex Masks should cover the bigger markings but I'll still need to use the stenciling from the kit decal sheet.  The black and white assembly instructions is augmented by a large color sheet showing the camo and markings.  Again, Gunze colors are referenced.







I'm not going to run the stenciling through spellcheck... I'm satisfied if it LOOKS like German wording and not just scribbled lines, which I've seen on some decal sheets.  I also have lots of extras from the multiple G-10's and D-9's that I have built in the past.





The Trumpeter kit comes with some non-styrene extras that are packaged in this little side box.




The extras include metal landing gear (there are also styrene versions, giving the modeler a choice), soft vinyl tires (no plastic alternative) and some photoetched harnesses.  The clear parts were also packed into this box.  Note the clear instrument panel.





The majority of the plastic parts are molded in neutral grey and packed, 2 or 3 sprues at a time, in plastic baggies.





This big sprue holds the two fuselage halves plus some interior structural parts.





The parts are embellished nicely with mostly recessed details including fine panels lines and rivets.  Lots of rivets.  The rivet work on Trumpeter kits is not universally appreciated.  While I can't say I hate rivets since I've personally put them on my last 5 or 6 builds, I don't know if I like Trumpeter's execution of these rivets.  They tend to more obtrusive than rivets applied manually using tools like RB's Rivet-R and more than the competitor's rivets (Tamiya or Eduard for example).  I'll leave it at that for now.





The interior side of the fuselage features ribbing down its full length.  The Aires resin cockpit tub will require the removal of at least some of this ribbing, I suspect.





The other main sprue holds the wing parts in the standard 3-part configuration.





Like the fuselage, the molding is nice but the rivets look to be a little overpowering.





To be continued...

Edited by Thunnus
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Excellent entry into the WIP thread, but dude, as much time and effort that you put into this intro, you should submit it as a Kit Review!  Excellent photos and descriptions - nicely done!  


Thanks and can't wait to see how you get along with this.   :popcorn:



Edited by CANicoll
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Thanks guys!


More sprue shots!  This documentation is actually very helpful to me as it gives me a closer look at the parts before I start.  This sprue contains the tail control surfaces, the landing gear components and various cowlings and doors.





Trumpeter put a lot of detail into this kit as evidenced by the fasteners on the stabilizers and the detailed wheel hubs.  I don't have any experience with vinyl tires but am leery with being able to perform paint work and weathering on this material so I've opted to go with Barracuda resin replacements.





The landing gear is provided in both plastic and metal versions.  I've reviewed as many of the online builds of this kit that I could find.  One of the things that was pointed out was that the main landing gear legs may be too long. 





This sprue looks like it has mostly front fuselage stuff... the gun bays and some cockpit components.  I plan on building this one with all hatches closed.  





Note the smooth face on the instrument panel.  The clear sprue has the outer instrument panel.  Trumpeter has supplied a sheet of clear acetate with the instrument gauges printed on it that is supposed to sandwiched between the two plastic parts.  I've seen pretty nice results using these components but I have the Aries set, which has its own version of the instrument panel.





This sprue is dedicated to the fuel tanks, both internal and external.  My plan for this build is: all hatches closed but the canopy hinged open.  I'm guessing a lot of the internal detail that Trumpeter supplies will not be visible.





The external drop tanks are nicely represented but I haven't decided if I'll use them.





This sprue holds what I assume are the engine parts and two identical sprues are included.  I was expecting to see a big long piece that resembles a turbojet but I guess that it will be built up from these parts.




The engine nacelle sprue is also repeated twice.  If you do the math, that means 4 complete nacelles?  Yup.





If you want, you can utilize the clear components to make see-through engine cowlings.  Interesting but not my cup of tea!





I'll be sticking with the traditional solid plastic for the nacelles.  Aren't the semi-circle hand hold things supposed to be flush?





This little sprue is the HEAVY ARMAMENT section.  The R4M rockets under each wing.  I'm glad that Trumpeter chose to mold the rockets separately from the racks, which makes painting easier.  I'm not sure if R4M's are appropriate for Yellow 3 but I'm considering hanging them on the wings.




That concludes our look at the kit contents.  Next is a review of the the aftermarket stuff...

Edited by Thunnus
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Here are the Montex Masks that I've picked up for this build.  I really like using masks instead of decals whenever I can and at a minimum, I'll be using these masks for the numerals, crosses and swastikas.  They also have the yellow/black skull badge as a mask but it looks a bit fiddly to use.  I can use the Trumpeter decals for badge as a back-up. 





In lieu of the PE belts that Trumpeter supplies, I've purchased a s et of HGW fabric belts.  I have a hard time getting PE belts to look natural and fabric belts, whether they are from HGW or RB, are my preferred choice, especially for open canopy builds.  And no, I didn't make a purchasing mistake... I saw that the 262B set was about the same price as the 262A... a great cost-cutting move to pick up two harness sets for the price of one, no?





Nest is the Barracuda 262 resin wheel set, plain-hub version.  The plain hub refers to the nose wheel, which looks like a 109G/K wheel.  Barracuda also offers the nose wheel with a ribbed hub.  That thick black dog hair is actually a piece of wire that Barracuda includes to model the brake line... very thoughtful!





Molding on these is exquisite!







I love the treads.





A very detailed and comprehensive set of instructions from Barracuda... bravo.  



Edited by Thunnus
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Great review John! Thanks for taking the time to post this. I really enjoyed building this kit, especially adding the wiring and markings to the underside of the cockpit tub that can be seen in the main landing gear opening. Note that the nose cannon covers are a poor fit, so you might consider adding shims if you keep the covers closed.


Cheers, Tom

Edited by Uncarina
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John ,

Your builds, photos and descriptions are phenomenal and I thoroughly enjoy following your work. When the 109 project came to completion, I found myself anxiously waiting for your next build. Thank you for sharing your work and I look forward to more on  "Yellow 3".


kind regards

mike j.

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Thanks for checking in guys!  Especially for those comments about your Trumpeter 262 build, Tom. Any hints on this particular kit are helpful and I'll keep that in mind about the nose panels.


I've come to the biggest and most questionable aftermarket piece... the Aires cockpit and wheel well set.  Since cockpit tub is integral with the wheel wells on the 262, it makes sense that any cockpit upgrade would have to include the wheel well too.  The Aires set is well appointed and includes a bunch of resin in grey and creme as well as a fret of photoetch and a clear sheet of printed acetate for the instrument dials and gunsight glass.





I really like the PE/acetate/resin sandwich approach to the instrument panel, especially when the PE itself is layered with separate sections and bezels.  Much preferred over the pre-painted Eduard stuff.  One can even highlight the instruments with some color if so inclined.  The PE fret also includes harnesses and separate buckles for the seat belt system.  Redundant for my build since I'll be using the HGW belts but nice to have.  That large rectangular piece?  Keep that in mind as I look at the next component in this set.





Aires also includes a nose wheel bay, cast in one, inconveniently deep, piece.  How you go about painting and weathering inside this narrow orifice is a big head- scratcher.  That big rectangular piece on the photoetch fret above is supposed to be rolled into a half-tube and glued into the deepest recess of the nose wheel bay... are you kidding me?  I'm picturing the designers giggling amongst themselves when they got away with that one.





The central piece is the cockpit tub.  Very nicely molded with lots of detail but similar to the nose wheel well, cast in a way that will make painting difficult.





The outside of the cockpit tub is the tubular ceiling of the main wheel well.





The next two pieces are the sidewalls of the wheel well, festooned with detail including wiring harnesses.  I really like how crisp Aires casts their resin parts... top of the line quality.







What's NOT so top of the line are the Aires instructions.  All of the Aires parts are represented in relation to each other but do you notice the lack of reference to the Trumpeter kit?  After studying the Aires instructions, I have little or no idea where the resin parts end and the kit parts begin.  I don't know what modifications of the kit parts are required for the resin parts to fit properly.  And the illustrations seem to be inconsistent with the resin parts, showing notches on the top edge of the cockpit tub and bulkhead where none exists on the part itself.  Resin upgrades, in my limited experience, are usually inexact affairs with no positive locating pins or tabs and relying on edge to edge connections.  This inexactness is further complicated by casting blocks along the join edges... a sloppy cut or imperfect trim will rob you of precious contact surface area for joining parts.  Lots of uncertainty about this set in my mind.





So before doing anything on this build, I have to figure out how this Aires set works with very little help from Aires.  I've decided the best way to do this is to assemble, by dry-fit hopefully, the kit components first.  Putting together the kit cockpit, wheel and nose well will hopefully shed some light onto the Aires replacement parts.  I need some more confidence before I commit to using this set.


I've cobbled together the main components of the kit cockpit using tape.





Those big tabs fit into slots in the fuselage sides, giving the cockpit a firm and positive fit.  No problems fitting the fuselage sides together, trapping the cockpit in between.  Ah... so easy and simple.   I'm wondering if the Aires upgrades are worth the effort.







Concurrent to this, I've started to remove the casting blocks off of the resin components and do some preliminary assembly of the Aires cockpit.









I'm getting a better picture of how things fit but I still have a lot of learning to do.

Edited by Thunnus
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Looking forward to this! Seams you're taking the 262 whole the way to town!

Those Barracuda wheels look delicious, such detail....


A few guys at my club are building the 2 seater version of the 262 and I think it's a great kit, especially considering all the updates you will be using.

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