The "convicted bomber": Me.262A-2a/U-2
Dragon 1/48 scale
by Giovanni Galvan © 2007 Modeler Site
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Incredibly the Messerschmitt Me.262 was about to be cancelled, due to its too long development. To save it, the manufacturer proposed it as a bomber and it played this role during the first months of its operational life. Also a strike role was imagined, after better played by the Arado Ar.234. For these purposes, two prototypes of the subversion Me.262A-2a/U-2 were built, the V484 (werke n.110484) and the V555 (werke n.110555). They came directly from standard single-seater examples, with the addition of a wooden nose with a plexiglas bubble, where a "poor" aimer was placed, laying on its belly to use the Lofte 7H gyro - stabilized bombsight.
Dragon, taking the heritage of the mythical Trimaster firm, offer us the kit, comprising around 80 light gray plastic parts, with engraved panelling and accurate detail, with some flashes, maybe due to the "age" of the mold. There is also a steel photo etched fret, very good but hard to be worked.
The cockpit comes well detailed with many photo etched parts, such as the belts. The "tank" which contains the cockpit, is the typical pressurized gear of the Me.262, well observable from the landing gear bays. I did not glue Revi gunsight, because the airplane with the new nose didn't have the guns. Very beautiful and detailed is the front cockpit, with the well done Lofte bombsight. Unfortunately there are no belts or buckles, so, they were made from scratch using adhesive paper and copper wires.
The interior was painted Schwarzgrau RLM 66 FS 36081 (Gunze H301), details in Matt Black, with brown seats belts. Some areas of the instruments frames were painted Yellow, Red and bright Green typical of the German planes. Light Grey drybrushing embossed all the details while a washing with Brown oil enhanced the shades.
Assembling the nose bubble required a lot of work and had to be glued with superglue.
The kit offers two different external bulges for the bomb aiming system, one for the V484 and one for the V555, but I adopted the latter.
After painting, I put in place the front canopy opened, painting the inside frames RLM 66 and the inner panels RLM Grau 02 FS 34226 (Gunze H70). The details of the canopy and cockpit are very good, with etched handles and straps The frames come molded separately.
The fuselage halves fit fairly well, except for the difficulty to hold in his place the "tank - shaped" cockpit. In fact the inner walls require some trimming.
A big problem was the gap in the front part of the wing joint, which had to be filled with a 1 mm thick plasticard. To fix the wing correctly, I used an adhesive tape stretched between the wingtips and passing through the upper fuselage, to adjust the dihedral .
The interior color of the gear bays is Matt Aluminium, with the inside part of the hatches in RLM 76. The kit features two 250 Kg bombs with their hooks, and were painted Matt Black.
I chose the example coded V555, in its definitive scheme in Braunviolet RLM 81 FS 34088 (Gunze H304) on upper surfaces and Hellblau RLM 76 FS 35622 (Gunze H314) on lower surfaces.
For a good weathering effect, I used Niche LW-3 acrylic paint for the faded areas in the interior of the upper panels.
Besides the panels joints were slightly drybrushed with Brown oil to give more depth to them.
The white bands and crosses were painted White with adhesive masks, while decals provided with the kit were applied for the codes, stencils, swastikas and lower crosses.
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