Luftwaffe WWII Combat Vet Jets: 1/48th He162A-2 Volksjäger (Salamander)
Updated: Sep 20, 2021
This kit is a re-release of a former Trimaster mold (The molds were acquired and re-released by Dragon and by Hasegawa as well). A key feature of this kit is the nicely detailed, separate engine which can displayed by the open clamshell doors option. I picked up one of these kits in a much later release by cyber-hobby.com at a model show from a retailers table for a good price... after the release of the Tamiya kit (which probably influenced the lowering of the price here.)
Notable Kit Features:
Finely engraved surface detail
Low parts count (it is a small aircraft)
Nicely detailed engine provided
Metal hinged cowl details (which ended up so popular that they were released separately to be used on various kits)
Photo-etch details for cockpit and gear provided
Optional V tail
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa (Ontario) happens to have an excellent example of this WWII Luftwaffe aircraft which I have seen on a couple of occasions. The aircraft was captured from the Luftwaffe at Leck on May 8, 1945. It has been reported by a number of museum staff over the years that this aircraft was kept (at least partially) in original paint. Many He162 kits show the paint job in (late war colours) half brown - half green, however I was hard pressed to find photo evidence of this and came across examples of what appeared to be more single tone paint.
I had read reports that this kit was a more challenging build than the newer Tamiya kit, however I found this kit a fairly straight-forward build with few issues to report.
Ejector pin marks on the inside of the cowl required removal
Fitting glass canopy closed required cutting off hinges and minor sand and fill
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Some wire was used to give the engine extra detail and depth
Added nose weight to the kit (which was not called for but required, which I found out a bit late in the build but managed to accommodate)
I am pleased with the end result on this compact aircraft. The open engine feature was too good to pass up by building the closed cowl version. With a bit of detailing you can add to the kit's nice detail level and have an attention grabber on the display shelf. As I said, the suggested paint was not supported by the photos that I came across in my research, so I went with the best evidence at the time (end of war production problems, paint shortages etc. appeared to lead to a paint it whatever you could, close to the directive application). I may have got the tone too light or off colour to some, however these details are still being debated and I had an aircraft to paint so I ended up settling on a version of RLM82
The After-Build Report:
The After-Build Report on this Volksjäger kit is that I would definitely recommend it for an experienced model maker. Due to the photo-etch, and open engine details you'll want to have some experience behind you before you take on this one... assuming you go for the open cowl version. With the contents provided in the box you can produce a very nice aircraft for your display shelf (and you won't need a lot of space).
Completed build #241 - December 2020 using the 1/48th scale Cyber-hobby.com / Super Value Pack (Dragon - actually Trimaster) #5564 kit.
Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers