Jari Juvonen'S Home Page / Flyingplastic.net

Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a

Suomenkielinen sivu

Model review

Tamiya 1/48 Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a (No 87)

Box cover and painting guide

The kit

Tamiya has announced three Me 262 kits. First came a bommer version Me 262 A-2a wich included a puller waggon (Kettenkrad) and two figures. Next came a fighter version Me 262 A-1a and lastly came Me 262 A-1a which was moulded in clear plastic so one can show the interior of the model if one wish so. These three Tamiya kits are considered as the best Me 262 kits in this scale ever since they were announced. Older Monogran and DML/Dragon kits are not bad kits at all but they can't reach Tamiya's level. They are also more difficult to built. Hobby Boss is the latest kitmaker with Me 262 kits in 1/48 scale. Hobby Boss Me 262 kits are generally considered quite good but they don't reach Tamiya's level. Tamiya's Me 262 is accurate in scale and shape, well detailed and easy to build. Unfortunately all the kits previously mentioned, also Tamiya, has one weakness. They are all lacking separately moulded leading edge slats which normally are open when a plane is on the ground. This problem is hard to fix without aftermarket resin parts. It would have been nice if Tamiya would have paid attention to this thing too.

The kit has finely engraved deep and sharp Tamiya type panel lines on fuselage and wings. On a real Me 262 almost all seams were puttied and sanded smooth to reduce drag. Only the seams of removable panels and hatches were not puttied. Tamiya has made a clever desicion to cast nose wheel well of metal so you don't have to add any weight to the nose of the modell to make it sit properly, good idea.

The kit includes painting scemes and decals for four planes:

1. Major Rudolf Sinner "Green 1", III/JG7, Brandenburg-Briest, March 1945
2. Oberstleutnant Heinz Bär "Red 13", III/EJG2, Lechfeld, March 1945
3. Unteroffizier Johann-Karl Muller "Red S", JV44, Brandenburg-Briest, March 1945
4. Oberfähnrich Hans-Guido Mutke "White 3", 9. Staffel, III/JG7

There are serious doubts about the colors of Heinz Bär's plane. During the time frame it is likely that Bär's plane had 81/82/76 paint scheme. There's a lot of discussion of this case on the internet.

Building the model

I started the building from the cockpit as usual. It is quite good as such. Backside of the instrument panel is open and visible when the model is completed so I added instrument wirings along a drawing I found on the internet. I added a hood's emergency launcher lever made of a narrow plastic rib to the right side of the cockpit, the lever is red. I also added two shoulder belts buckle's to the top of the seat's back rest behind the pilot's back. As a pilot I used the figure which came with the kit and painted his flying suit to the colors of late war pilot's flying suite. If you are going to build your model on the ground with canopy opened for better viewing to the cockpit it is worth to acquire a PE instrument panel. I used kit's instrument panel on my model.

When the cockpit was ready I glued fuselage and wing halfs together. When test fitting fuselage to the wings I noticed little steps on the wing roots. I added small thin pieces of plastic sheet to the wing roots to make wing profile a little thicker to fix the problem. When I glued wings to the fuselage I noticed a depression on the bottom of the plane at the front joint of the wing and fuselage. Certainly putty and sandpaper were needed to fix this flaw. I didn't expect this kind of flaw on a Tamiya kit. When engine's small parts were painted I assembled the engines and glued them to the wings. After little sanding and engraving missing panel lines the model was ready for painting.

When I test fitted clear parts I noticed that canopy's middle section was a little narrow to its place. This was fixed by pressing it gently down so it widened a little and then gluing it in place with CA glue. A small DF-loop antenna behind the cockpit is a plastic part and it is too thick. I tried to sand it thinner with poor results, it broke in pieces. I made a new one of a thin aluminium strip which was cutted of a beer can.

Painting the model

My model depicts Me 262 A-1a "Yellow 7" of 11./JG 7 in April 1945 at Alt Lönnewitz. It's pilot in that time was Oberfeldwebel Heinz Arnold. Nowadays the "Yellow 7" is preserved in Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C USA. The plane has been restored and repainted. During the painting process original paint scheme and color shades were used as precisely as possible. For a reason I don't know the painting scheme of the "Yellow 7" pleased me more than those of the Tamiya offering.

I primed my model with RLM 66 black grey. Undersides, fuselage sides, fin and rudder are painted with RLM 76 light blue grey. Upper sides are painted with RLM 81 brown violet and RLM 82 light green. All paints are Mr Hobby products. I used Mr Hobby's acryl paints for the first time and it was a pleasent surprise to notice how well they worked. They were easy to spray, dried fast and became even very well and produced nice satin surface when dried. "Morane" type aerial mast under the fuselage was advised to be painted with RLM 76 on the instruction booklet but at least on Arnold's plane it was a wood color. Next I brushed the model with Johnson's clear floor wax before decals. After decaling I brushed a second layer of Johnson. Then came AK washes. The final finish was made with Tamiya's clear matt varnish which was toned with Mr Hobby's acryls, RLM66 on undersides and RLM 81 on upper sides. After matt varnish had dried I rubbed gently all surfaces with a piece of wool cloth.

Decaling the model

Decals I needed to make "Yellow 7" were from Italeri's Me 262 kit. Italeri's decal sheet has markings for Heinz Arnold's plane. Tamiya's kit national markings and smaller markings were also used as well as Eagle Gal's decals. Eagle Gal's decals didn't react Micro Sol and I used only underwing balkenkreuzes.

Paints used on the model::

The first figure which indicates sheen level of a color on FS number is dropped off. X=XtraColor, LC=LifeColor, HU=Humbrol, R=Revell, WEM=White Ensign Models, Mr Hobby=Mr Hobby Aqueous. (Between brackets alternative paints).

RLM66 Schwarzgrau FS - Mr Hobby H416 Cockpit interior
RLM81 Braunviolett FS - Mr Hobby H421 Upper side camouflage, brown violet
RLM82 Hellgrun FS - Mr Hobby H422 Upper side camouflage, light green
RLM76 Hellblau FS - Mr Hobby H417 Underside camouflage, light blue grey
ALC-101 Aluminium FS - Alclad 2 Lacquers Interior of engine's front part
ALC-104 Pale Burnt Aluminium FS - Alclad 2 Lacquers Turbine fan wings
ALC-113 Jet Exhaust FS - Alclad 2 Lacquers Interior of engine's "hot" part


The model is accurate in scale and shape with nicely engraved panel lines (altough most seams on a real aircraft were smoothed) and nice details of one of the most iconic Word War Two area figter. The kit was easy to build and fit of the parts was mainly good (look at the review above). A little disappoint was that there wasn't separately moulded leading edge slats with the kit. Luckily there are many after market makers to resolve this problem.

Photos from different stages of the work

Hold mouse cursor over thumbnail for a while before clicking !

Heinz Arnold


Aces of the Luftwaffe: Heinz Arnold

Heinz Arnold was a German fighter ace who was born on 12 February 1919 at Flöha near Chemnitz. He joined the Luftwaffe initially training in a technical role with the Kampffliegerschule at Tutow from 5 September 1939. Arnold began flying training on 27 January 1940 with Schule/Flieger Ausbildungs Regiment 12. He undertook his advanced training with Jagdfliegerschule 5 based at Parndorf from 11 December 1940. Arnold began his combat career with JG 5 on the Eastern Front.

He gained 42 victories before transferring to JG 7 to fly Me 262 jet fighters. At the end of 1944, Arnold was transferred to JG 7 to operate the new Me 262 jet-fighter. Oberfeldwebel Arnold was assigned to 11./JG 7. He was to gain seven victories, including five four-engine bombers, within the space of three weeks in March 1945 flying the jet. On 17 April 1945, Arnold was shot down and killed in aerial combat, possibly by USAAF P-51 fighters, during a ground-attack mission near Großebersdorf in the Thuringer Wald area of Germany.

Heinz Arnold was credited with 49 victories. He recorded 42 victories over the Eastern Front. Of his seven victories recorded over the Western Front, five were four-engine bombers. All his Western front victories were claimed flying the Me 262 jet fighter.

Me 262 "Yellow 7" wk/nr 500491:


STORMBIRDS.COM: `Stormbird Rising` by Hugh Morgan

Me262A-1a, (Wk.nr500491) NASM, Washington DC

When surrendered to the Allies on 8 May 1945, Me 262A-la wk/nr 500491, 'Yellow 7' had seven kill markings painted on the rear of its fuselage. This aircraft had been the personal mount of Ofw Heinz Arnold, who flew with 11./JG 7 from Brandenburg-Briest. On 3 March 1945 Arnold had opened his Me 262 kill-account with two aircraft destroyed- a P-47 and B-17, both near Genthin. Four days later over Wittenberg, he claimed a P51 Mustang. On 18 March, Arnold submitted claims for a pair of P51`s that had fallen to his cannon fire, followed by a single B17 on the19th and 21st. He claimed a further two B-17s on 22 and 24 March.

Wk/nr 5000491 was unserviceable at Alt Loennewitz when, on 16 or 17 April, Arnold took a replacement Me 262A-lb into an action from which he failed to return. Ofw Heinz Arnold had been one of a very small, and highly select, group of pilots who had become an ace on both jet- and piston-engine aircraft during World War 2; he had earlier scored 42 victories with JG 5 over the Eastern Front, prior to scoring seven, or perhaps even nine, victories with Me 262A-la wk/nr 500491. Having scored all his jet kills over such a short period of time, it is likely that he would been awarded the Knight's Cross had he survived.

On 18 April wk/nr 500491 was flown from Alt Loennewitz to Saaz, whereupon it became the aircraft of Lt Muller, who flew it until the end of the war. Muller made the final Luftwaffe flight of wk/nr 500491 when he flew from Prague-Ruzyne to Lager Lechfeld on 8 May. He later said that he handed this aircraft over to Karl Baur, the former chief test pilot of experimental aircraft for Messerschmitt who, by this stage, was working for the USAAF, and leading the training of American aircrews on the new jets. However, M/Sgt Eugene Freiburger accepted the surrender of wk/nr 500491 and its pilot, Lt Muller.

At Lager-Lechfeld it was allocated Watson's Whizzers' number 888, and was initially christened 'Dennis' after Eugene Freiburger's son. When Col Watson's team of pilots arrived at Lechfeld, it was renamed Julie' and then 'Ginny H'. After leaving lager Lechfeld, wk/nr 500491 was flown to (Cherbourg, via Melun, by Lt James K Holt, before being shipped to the USA on HMS Reaper and ascribed Foreign Equipment No FE-III for use in USAAF trials. It was located firstly at Wright Field in August 1945, and then at Freeman Field the following month, before being transferred to No 803 Special Depot, Park Ridge, Illinois, during July 1946, and placed in storage.

By 1950, wk/nr 500491 had been moved to the National Air and Space Museum's Silver Hill annex in Maryland. Restoration at the Paul E Garber Preservation Restoration and Storage Facility at this location commenced in 1978, and extensive corrosion in the nose was discovered. Over 6000 hours were consumed in the successful transformation of this aircraft back to it's original configuration, and it now resides in the National Air and Space Museum, in Washington DC.


Messerschmitt Me 262 was the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started already in 1938 and the first prototype Me 262 V1 flew its maiden flight in April 1941. The V1 prototype was powered by Junkers Jumo 210 piston engine and it was propeller driven because the BMW 003 jet-engine which was the intended powerplant of the jet fighter, wasn't yet ready. Due to the problems with BMW 003 engine Junkers Jumo 004 engine was chosen to power the new jet . First flight with the Jumo 004 powered prototype was in July 1942. Serial production started in November 1943.

Delivering planes to front line units was delayed for two reasons. Hitler wanted to use the plane as a fast bomber instead of a fighter and disagreement of the use of the plane delayed its introduction in front line units. It was not until turn of the year 1944 - 1945 when it was officially allowed to use the plane as a fighter. The second and the major issue which delayed Me 262 introduction in combat units was the Jumo 004 engine's poor reliability and production problems. Operational lifetime of the Jumo 004 engine in operational use varied between 10 - 25 hours. Engine production never came up to expectations.

The most importantant operational versions were interceptor Me 262 A-1a (Schwalbe) and fighter-bomber Me 262 A-2a (Sturmvogel). The Me 262 A-1a was built in many different versions and armament configurations. Despite many problems in production totally 1433 planes were built and delivered to use during the Word War 2. Planes were constructed of components built in many factories around Germany by prisoner labours.

Although the Me 262 was not as maneuverable as its piston driven counterparts, its overall performance was superior compared to many other fighters of its time. Me 262 A-1a reached at one time extremely speed of 870 km/h which was almost 200 km/h more thant that of the P-51 Mustang. In addition of overwhelming speed the Me 262 had also deadly armament, there were four 30 mm MK 108 cannons in the nose of the plane.

Me 262 pilots claimed a total of 542 Allied aircraft shot down. The Allies countered its effectiveness in the air by attacking the aircraft on the ground and during takeoff and landing. Engine reliability problems, from the pioneering nature of its Junkers Jumo 004 axial-flow turbojet engines, the first ever placed in mass production, and attacks by Allied forces on fuel supplies during the deteriorating late-war situation also reduced the effectiveness of the aircraft as a fighting force. In the end, the Me 262 had a negligible impact on the course of the war as a result of its late introduction and the consequently small numbers put in operational service. A number of aircraft survive on static display in museums.


Me 262 A-0
Pre-production aircraft fitted with two Jumo 004B turbojet engines, 23 built.

Me 262 A-1a "Schwalbe" (= pääskynen)
Primary production version, usable as both fighter (interceptor) and fighter-bomber.

Me 262 A-1a/U1
Single prototype with a total of six nose mounted guns, two 20 mm (0.787 in) MG 151/20 cannon, two 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 103 cannon, and two 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon. One build.

Me 262 A-1a/U2
Single prototype with FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 90 MHz radar transceiver and Hirschgeweih (stag's antlers) antenna array, for trials as a night-fighter.

Me 262 A-1a/U3
Reconnaissance version modified in small numbers, with Rb 20/30 cameras mounted in the nose or alternatively one Rb 20/20 and one Rb 75/30 (Rb – Reihenbildmesskammer – series-picture, topographic camera). Some retained one 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon, but most were unarmed.

Me 262 A-1a/U4
Bomber destroyer version, two prototypes with an adapted 50 mm (1.969 in) MK 214 (intended armament) or BK 5 (test ordnance only) anti-tank gun in the nose.

Me 262 A-1a/U5
Heavy jet fighter with six 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon in the nose.

Me 262 A-1b
Trio of A-1a evaluation versions, starting with Werknummer 170 078, re-engined with two BMW 003 turbojets in place of the Jumo 004s, maximum speed 800 km/h (500 mph; 430 kn).

Me 262 A-2a "Sturmvogel"
Definitive bomber version retaining only the two lower 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon.

Me 262 A-2a/U1
Single prototype with advanced bombsight.

Me 262 A-2a/U2
Two prototypes with glazed nose for accommodating a bombardier.

Me 262 A-3a
Proposed ground-attack version.

Me 262 A-4a
Reconnaissance version.

Me 262 A-5a
Definitive reconnaissance version used in small numbers at end of the war.

Me 262 B-1a
Two-seat trainer.

Me 262 B-1a/U1
Me 262 B-1a trainers converted into provisional night fighters, FuG 218 Neptun radar, with Hirschgeweih (eng:antler) eight-dipole antenna array.

Me 262 B-2
Proposed night fighter version with stretched fuselage.

Me 262C
Proposed development prototypes in four differing designs, meant to augment or replace the Jumo 004 jets with liquid-fueled rocket propulsion, as the "Home Protector" (Heimatschützer) series.

Me 262 C-1a
Single prototype [made from Me 262A Werknummer 130 186] of rocket-boosted interceptor (Heimatschützer I) with Walter HWK 109-509 liquid-fuelled rocket in the tail, first flown with combined jet/rocket power on 27 February 1945.

Me 262 C-2b
Single prototype [made from Me 262A Werknummer 170 074] of rocket-boosted interceptor (Heimatschützer II) with two BMW 003R "combined" powerplants (BMW 003 turbojet, with a single 9.8 kN (2,200 lbf) thrust BMW 109-718 liquid-fuelled rocket engine mounted atop the rear of each jet exhaust) for boosted thrust, only flown once with combined jet/rocket power on 26 March 1945.

Me 262 C-3
Heimatschützer III – proposed version with Jumo 004 turbojet engines replaced with Walter HWK RII-211 Liquid-fuelled rocket engines.

Me 262 C-3a
Heimatschützer IV - a rocket-boosted interceptor with a Walter HWK 109-509S-2 rocket motor housed in a permanent belly pack. Prototypes and initial production aircraft were captured before completion.

Me 262 D-1
Proposed variant to carry Jagdfaust mortars.

Me 262 E-1
Proposed variant based on A-1a/U4 with a 55 mm (2.165 in) MK 114 cannon.

Me 262 E-2
Proposed rocket-armed variant carrying up to 48 × R4M rockets.

Me 262 S
Zero-series model for Me 262 A-1a

Me 262 W-1
Provisional designation for Me 262 with 2x 2.7 kN (610 lbf) Argus As 014 pulse jet engines

Me 262 W-3
Provisional designation for Me 262 with 2x 4.90 kN (1,102 lbf) "square-intake" Argus As 044 pulse jet engines

Me 262 Lorin
Provisional designation for Me 262 with 2x Lorin ramjet booster engines in "over-wing" mounts, one above each of the Jumo turbojet nacelles.

Me 262 A-1a technical data

Engine 2 x Jumo 004B, thrust 900 kg/engine; /power-weight ratio 0,28
Dimensions Wingspan 12,51 m; lenght 10,61 m, height 3,83 m
Weights Empty 3,795 kg, Normal flying 6,473 kg, Max. takeoff 7,130 kg
Performance Max. speed 870 km/h, cruising speed 740 km/h
Ceiling / Wing loading / Wing area 11582 m / 326 kg/m² / 21,7 m²
Climbing speed 1200 m/min (with max. mass. 7130 kg)
Armament 4 x Rheinmetall-Borsig MK 108 30 mm cannon (80-100 rounds/gun); 24 x R4M air-air rockets; 2 x 250 kg bombs
Designer / Users Messerschmitt / Germany, Czechoslovakia
Range 1046 km
Produced 1433 in Germany during WW2


Wikipedia: Messerschmitt Me 262 (en)
Wikipedia: Messerschmitt Me 262 (fi)
Trumpeter: Messerchmitt Me 262 A-1a (with R4M Rocket) 02260
Me 262 In Action No.212 by Hans-Heiri Stapfer, Squadron Signal

Main page