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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Luftwaffe WWII Combat Vet Jets: 1/48th TriMaster Me 262A-1a

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Trimaster produced a series of 1/48 scale Luftwaffe subject kits, which had fine surface scribing and were highly detailed with metal parts and photo-etch. They were all notable kits, however the company went out of business after a few years (in the early 90s) perhaps partially because the kits came with a hefty price tag. Luckily for model makers, the molds were sold and re-issued by DML (Dragon) as well as Revell AG and Italeri so you can still try them out.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Nicely done surface details

  • Photo-etch for gear bays, cockpit, and other details

  • Metal main and nose gear

  • Vinyl tires

  • Cast metal guns

  • Copper tubes for gun barrels

  • Steel tubes and wires for pitot and antennas

  • Nose weights

  • Good thin & clear 'glass' parts which can be positioned open or closed

  • Optional Jabo version parts

  • Optional wing / fuselage rocket packs / tubes

Build Inspiration:

I had wanted to build a Me262 for quite a while however, to do this aircraft justice I needed the skills to produce a decent Luftwaffe mottle. Such an historic aircraft should have a place in any Luftwaffe collection, therefore once I had built up the necessary experience I added this aircraft to the build slot. Originally I had planned to build Heinz Arnold's jet however issues with the supplied decals had me switch to White 4, which was first used in Kommando Nowotny (hence the distinctive tail) and then transferred to III/EJG 2 where it was flown by Rudolf Harbort who made Ace in this aircraft.

Heads-Up Report:

  • Nose area did not fit well requiring filling and sanding to shape

  • Fit between fuselage and wing is problematic along the underside

  • Shims required in wing join to fill gaps next to fuselage

  • Engine nacelles required shim for better fit on wing

  • Nacelles to wing-join will need filling and sanding (even with shims)

  • I added my own disaster by gluing the wings together and then realizing I had not installed the photo-etch wheel bays... had to rip the wings apart and install the very nice gear wells and then repair my damage to the wing. (Note: read the instructions and don't rush or try and pick-up where you think you left off ;)

Kit Additions / Modifications:

Not much you'll need to add to this one, seat belts included in the photo etch you even get bootstraps... although I never got mine fitted. I had to make my own #4 markings and painted on the fuselage stripe (which is always better than a decal) as my decal sheet was not included in the kit (bought on the secondary market) ...the original decal sheet was a lovely triple decal sheet at that.

End Result:

I am quite happy with the end result here, with the combination splinter on the wings / fuselage and distinct Kommando Nowotny camouflage tail on this sleek jet aircraft. (Didn't have to do too much of the Luftwaffe mottle after all, more blending the upper camouflage down the fuselage sides.) The open gun bays add some interest and the delicate details give the kit a good scale look.

The After-Build Report:

The After-Build Report on this Schwalbe kit is that I would definitely recommend it for an experienced model maker. Due to the photo-etch, gun bay and cockpit details (not to mention the minor fit issue fixes) you need to have a number of kits behind you before you tackle this one. With the contents provided in the box you can produce a very nice aircraft to display with some time and patience.

Completed build #246 - January 2021 using the 1/48th scale Trimaster #MAB-112 (MA-12) 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

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