Hobby Boss 1/48 Me 262A-1a Schwalbe Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2013||Manufacturer||Hobby Boss|
|Subject||Me 262A-1a Schwalbe||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||80369||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build, great subject||Cons||The Mad Riveter is back|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$31.99|
In 1938, Project P.1065 was presented to the German high command in response to a request for concept to utilize a new type of engine - the turbojet. Three prototypes were ordered in 1940, but these were ready well before the engines, so the airframes were test-flown with piston engines.
By 1942, the Jumos were ready for flight and the Me 262 took to the air for the first time under jet power. By the time the aircraft had entered production and initial quantities were available for operations, there was only ten months left in the war. To delay matters further, Hitler himself protected many US bomber crews by demanding that these aircraft be used as high-speed bombers, despite Willy Messerschmitt, Adolf Galland, and others pleading to the contrary. Thanks Adolf!
Adolf Galland was allocated some Me 262s for air defense and these went to JV 44, which used the Me 262s to attack the daylight bombing and used Fw 190D-9s to protect the Me 262s from the allied fighters that waited for these jets to return home low on airspeed, altitude, fuel, and armament.
A little over eight years ago, Trumpeter released the Me 262A-1a in 1/32 scale, their first installment in the series, and the kit was a huge success. The kit offered a significant amount of details and options which raised the bar on the subject. HobbyBoss has now released its second installment of this kit in 1/48 scale.
Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on eight parts trees plus two small trees of clear parts and an optional nosewheel well cast in metal to provide ballast while retaining the detailing of the styrene part it replaces.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Detailed cockpit tub
- Positionable canopy
- Detailed nose gun bay with four cannons
- Positionable gun bay doors
- Detailed avionics bay behind the cockpit
- Positionable rear bay access panel
- Nicely detailed wheel wells and landing gear
- Positionable landing gear
- Positionable rudder
- Optional RATO bottles
The Trumpeter/HobbyBoss designers did a good job simplifying the kit when they scaled it down from 1/32 to 1/48 scale and adding the nose ballast was a great touch. For whatever reason, someone decided to put panel lines and rivets on the airframe when the aircraft had all of those 'details' taped and puttied up to create a smooth aerodynamic surface. There are of course exceptions with the maintenance access doors/panels, but the Mad Riveter has struck again.
One thing I wish the designers had done differently was making a better choice of which details stay and which go. In this release, they replicated all of the rear fuselage interior from the 1/32 scale kit where the only way to view that after assembly is using a borescope through that tiny access door. They kept those details and eliminated the positionable flaps, slats, ailerons, and elevators.
This is one kit that should be an easy choice to scale down and create a great model in 1/48 scale, and despite my comments above, the kit is very comparable to the Tamiya kit except for one thing - the MSRP and street prices are running about $10 USD less for the Trumpeter kit. You now have two good choices for the Me 262 in 1/48 scale!
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!
For a walk around look at the full-scale Me 262 under construction or restored examples on display, check out our Me 262 Modeler's Reference.