Tamiya 1/48 Me 262A-2a w/Kettenkraftrad Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||June 2006||Manufacturer||Tamiya|
|Subject||Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a w/Kettenkraftrad||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||61082||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, excellent ballast design, nice tow tractor included||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$42.99|
The Me262A-2a was the first variation of the first jet fighter to ever enter combat. The Messerschmitt Company began developing the Me262 in 1939. In July 1942, a prototype jet fighter employing two Jumo 004 axial flow turbojet engines made a successful test flight.
The actual Me262, capable of 870km/h top speed, featured tricycle landing gear and 18.5-degree swept wings. In April of 1944, when Allied bombing raids on the German homeland were rapidly intensifying, the Luftwaffe proposed the hastened deployment of the revolutionary Me262A-1a jet fighter/interceptor. However, Hitler issued strict contrary orders prioritizing the development of the A-2a fighter/bomber version of the Me262.
The A-2a was equipped with only two 30mm MK-108 guns (compared to the A-1a’s four guns) but it had an extra fuel tank in the rear part of it’s fuselage. I could carry two bombs under it’s nose. The weight of these bombs seriously effected the aircraft’s speed and performance.
The Kettenkraftrad was a half-tracked motorcycle. It was produced in large numbers and used on every front that the Germans fought on during WWII. It was very maneuverable and had good traction in rough terrain. It could carry two passengers, facing rear, as well as the driver. It was capable of hauling light loads. After the war, some Kettenkraftrads wound up in the hands of the German Forest Service. A few collectors even have ones that run.
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art shows a 262 being towed around an air-strip by a Kettenkraftrad half-tracked motorcycle. There is another 262 parked in the background and 2 more just taking off. A side panel of the box shows a profile of a 262 being towed in the markings for 2/KG51 “Edelweiss”, Rhine, October 1944. Another side panel shows a 262, minus the Kettenkraftrad, from KG51 also. There is also illustrations of rocket-assist take-off units and a SC250(250KG) bomb. Most of text on these side panels is in Japanese.
The kit contains 5 medium gray trees of parts, one clear tree, a metal nose weight, the instructions and the decal sheet.
All the gray part trees are in individual cello bags. The clear parts tree shares one of these bags. The decal sheet is also in a cello bag, with a tissue sheet protecting the face of it. The nose weight is in a cello bag and stapled to the side of the bottom box tray. This will be needed to keep the aircraft from tipping back on it’s tail. I think it is a great inclusion to the kit. Thank you Tamiya.
The letter A parts tree holds: the fuselage halves, some nose panels, dashboard, rear cockpit wall, canopy retraction strut and it’s base. (10 parts)
Letter B parts tree holds: wing parts, main wheels, some bulkheads, landing gear legs and doors, horizontal tail surfaces etc. (26 parts)
Letter C and D trees are joined together. C holds: 2 choices of nose wheel (bulged or un-bulged), engine intake and exhaust cones, pilot seat, foot pedals, joy stick, cockpit side panels, nose cannon, cannon bay walls, nose gear leg and one of two pilot figures provided in the kit etc. (50 parts). D tree holds: 2 bombs and their shackles and 2 rocket-assist take-off units and their shackles (17 parts)
Letter E tree holds: Engine cowling parts and more fuselage nose panels (11 parts)
Lettering now jumps to the letter X and Y parts trees. These are joined together. X holds all the parts for the Kettenkraftrad (29 parts). Y holds another pilot figure and a mechanic figure (9 parts). One of the pilots is posed wearing a leather flight helmet and with his arms at his sides. The other pilot is posed wearing a field cap and he has one arm raised to pose him closing the cockpit canopy if desired. I doubt he would wear that field cap during a mission.
The cockpit can posed open or close as well as the cannon bay in the nose. The rocket-assist units are an option too.
The decal sheet is very complete, with lots of stencil markings. Yes…Virginia…the decal sheet includes the swastikas. Something that frequently is missing in a German aircraft kit. I am glad to see them here.
Three markings provided are for all for the KG51 group:
- White fuselage letter “B”, werk no. 170096 of the 1/KG51, Rheine, September 1944
- Black fuselage letter “B”, werk no. 170064 of the 2/KG51, Rheime, October 1944
- White fuselage letter “Y”, werk no. 170120 of the 1/KG51, Autumn 1944
The instructions consist of a single large sheet that accordion folds out into 10 pages.
Page 1 begins with a black and white photo of the 262 and Kettenkraftrad made up. This is followed by a history of the aircraft in 8 languages, including English. The bottom of the page show illustrations of hobby tools suggested for use in assembling the kit.
Page 2 begins with general instructions, a paint color list and some cautions. The rest of the page shows the first 2 assembly steps.
Pages 3 through 6 give a balance of 14 total steps for assembling the aircraft only. In each step the colors to paint items is called out. I find this very helpful.
Page 7 gives steps 15 and 16, which are solely for assembly of the Kettenkraftrad only.
Pages 8 to 10 sh9w the marking and painting drawings for the 3 paint schemes choices.