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Messerschmitt Me 262-1a/U1 "Schwalbe" (Swallow) 1/72 scale

by  Fabian Vera


The "Swallow" was one of the "aces under the sleeve" of the III Reich. It was one of the most impressive and modern of all the fighting planes in the WW II, and the first jet fighter built in series. This version was a radar driven night interceptor flying for the 10./NJG 11.


The kit
There is a great number of manufacturers producing a model of this airplane in this scale, but few of them (maybe only one) has the excellent price-quality combination of the one made by Revell. All the panel lines are engraved, as it should always be, and the only minor complaint could come from the clear canopy which is very thick and in a single piece. The cockpit has good detailing in the side panels, although a little "poor" in the other parts.


Building and detailing
For the detailing of this kit, I used the PE set from Eduard for this airplane. I didn't use the #12 part ("belly" antenna) and rather used the one in the kit, although I had to thin it very carefully with a file and finished it with copper wire. I built the #8 part (tail antenna), combining the PE part with the original in the kit.


I used copper "thread" for the hydraulic system and the straight antenna, located in the lower part of the fuselage (part # 34). For the dorsal fin antenna I used a "hair" strand.


For the cockpit, I used the piece that comes in the kit (# 57) and cut it, in order to leave the cockpit in an open position. I cut the flaps and the ailerons very carefully, so I could give them some "movement". I also detailed the inner parts of the wing.


I used a little file to correct the shape of the openings for the machine guns, and opened them. For the gun barrels I used hypodermic needles, making them visible through the holes.


I also modified the landing gear wheel wells. I cut the wing bottoms so I could use the original molded parts, and modified the operating arms to put them in the correct position.


When it came to the painting, I opted for the original camouflage scheme that comes in the kit box. I checked it with the information available. Here, I've found some discrepancies with other kits because they put the same numbers, although with a different camouflage scheme.


I used the colors recommended by the manufacturer, which were in accordance with my information. These are the colors that I've used, all of them come from the Model Master brand, except for the black which is from Winsor & Newton. The colors are:
RLM 76, 74, 81, 82.


I applied all the painting with an air brush, except for the aluminum (shock absorbers and paint chips) as well as the black ink in the recessed panel lines, which were applied with a brush. For the red color in the "nose", I used ink in order to depict the "transparency" or "wearing" seen in the pictures.


"Warbird Tech - Me 262 Sturmvogel"
"AJ Press - Me 262 Schwalbe pt.2 - N9"
"Eagle Editions - Luftwaffe Color Chart"


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