1/48 Trimaster Me 262A-1a Nachtjager

by Bill Lachance

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The Trimaster Me 262 is my favorite kit of all time. While it takes patience, dryfitting, and creative assembly sequences to build, the detail that's in the box is second to none. The only aftermarket items I used were True Details resin wheels. I added the wiring and hydraulic lines to the wheel wells and landing gear with fine copper wire and micro solder. I used the kit markings to portray "V056," an airframe used to test the aerodynamic properties of the added, non-functional, nose antenna array. Tufts were applied to the right side of the vertical fin to show airflow while the aircraft was in flight. I replicated these with narrow strips of white tape. I'm still not completely satisfied with the way they look, but they will be easy to remove when I discover a more convincing way of depicting them.

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The camouflage was airbrushed freehand, using Model Master enamels. Separate washes, comprised of the base color with black, were applied to the panel lines in their specific areas. This creates a shade that is darker than the surrounding color. It is a relative approach, rather than an absolute one that uses one dark colored wash for all the panel lines. To my eye, a wash dark enough to show on the brown violet areas would be much too dark for the light blue areas.

I cut the kit's leading edge slats from the wing, and glued them in the open position. Sheet styrene was used for the opening in the wing, and the slat's supports are short sections of micro solder.

The method I use for masking wheel wells and other openings is very useful for areas that don't lend themselves well to typical masking. If you're careful with your airbrush, you may not even need to fill the openings. It leaves a smooth, even coat of paint right up to the edge.

Many white metal and photoetched parts are included in this kit, along with brass tubing and wire. The radar antennas and pitot tube are made from the kit's brass tube and wire, and the cannons are also brass tube.

This was a fun kit, and the second in my nightfighter project. I built three Luftwaffe Nachtjagers simultaneously (ProModeler Ta 154, Me 262B two-seater, and this one) in 1/48. As long as the kits use the same colors, you don't have to clean your airbrush as often!

Bill

Visit my website to see other models of mine, I also build models on commission.  http://www.pix.prettyneatinc.com/

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Photos and text by Bill Lachance