1/48 Trimaster Me 262A-1a 

by Rafi Ben-Shahar

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This is yet, another Me-262 from the Trimaster molds. I bought and built six of these wonderful kits for the price of $15 each. So, pay attention to Ebay bargains.

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Although an out of the box topic, you need to invest a lot of extra work in the kit to achieve a decent resemblance to the original aircraft. Me-262 V056 was used for radar installation aerodynamic trials. It is perhaps, the most photographed 262 in the Luftwaffe service including color photographs. As such, it is not too difficult to trace down the exact paint scheme. And, the V056 was painted with the traditional RLM 74 and 75 over 76 in contrast to what model makers indicate in their instructions.

I chose this example to demonstrate another painting technique that I practiced for years. I call the technique, "Micro Pre-Shading." It is a step beyond the conventional pre-shading  technique where dark paint is applied crudely along panel lines and is highlighted from below final paint layers.

In this method, which is appropriate to mimic a light weathering condition, I remove excess paint (usually oil paint that is easily removed with a tissue) to leave the exact signature of recessed panel lines and rivets. Then, I paint with the appropriate color scheme albeit using a highly diluted paint. In such a way, I can manipulate the degree of transparency and highlight or hide the existing dark lines of panel lines. If I want to show heavy weathering, I can paint the lines with dark colors after the camouflage scheme has been applied. The nice thing with this technique is that it allows you to take advantage of the usually light gray plastic parts, like was the real primer hue of many aircraft types and let it blend with the actual paint scheme. Naturally, light colored schemes will show better results. In the end, you can always hide the base and revert to post shading if the result is not satisfying.

Rafi

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Photos and text by Rafi Ben-Shahar