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Smeg’s Me262A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer" (Eduard/RetroWings)

Whilst it wasn't the first military turbojet to fly, the Messerschmitt Me262 was the first to become fully operational. Faster and more heavily armed than its RAF counterpart, the Gloster Meteor, the 262 could well have seriously altered the balance of air power in the latter part of WW2 had it been available in greater numbers. Both the single-seat A and dual-seat B series can be built here, and kit enhancements and conversions are encouraged.
Runs from 10 August 2019 to 22 September 2019.
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smeg1959
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Smeg’s Me262A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer" (Eduard/RetroWings)

#1

Post by smeg1959 »

I bought the Eduard Dual Combo kits of both the single-seat Me262A-1a and two-seat B-1a not long after both were released, as both were on a local stockist’s shelves at the time. Indeed, it was either them or a smattering of older Minicraft kits, so the choice certainly wasn’t hard. I acquired a third B-1a, an E-Day entry ticket kit with Czech markings (hence, an Avia CS-92) soon after. Over the years, I have bought a small number of gashapon 262s (F-Toys and Takara, not Bandai), but only the F-Toys’ “Special” remains unbuilt. Then in 2017, I splashed out on a handful of RetroWings’ resin sets and bought both the A-1a/U4 Pulkzerstörer and Lorin ramjet conversions from rebelalpha on evilBay. As Merlin clarified in response to a query from F_IV, conversions are fair game for this type of GB. So my Cunning Plan for this GB is to build a Pulkzerstörer using the Eduard A-1a and RetroWings kits. Given that the latter company has also released a number of detailing sets, including two exposing one of the Junkers Jumo 004 turbojets (one for the Eduard kit, one for the Trumpeter), I suspect that other participants may also include RW resin tweaks in their builds.

Historical interlude. The U4 version of the A-1a was proposed as a bomber destroyer, fitted with a Mauser-Rheinmetall-Borsig MK214 50-mm cannon in a modified nose section. The MK214 was an adaption of the prolific Pak 38 anti-tank gun used by the Wehrmacht, one of the few weapons capable of piercing the 45-mm armour of a T-34 at close range. Apart from the Me262, the MK214 was also trialled on the Me410A but, due to the complexity of the gun’s design, most of the latter were fitted with the Rheinmetall-Borsig Bordkanone BK-5 of equivalent calibre. As it happened, only two prototypes of the A-1a/U4 were built and trials conducted at Lager-Lechfeld in mid-April 1945 were not favourable to the type entering production. The added weight of the cannon, ammunition and hydraulic damper (to counter the 2400 kg recoil of the thing) slowed the 262 to speeds slower than older piston-engined fighters still in service at the end of WW2, so defeating the main advantage of a turbojet. Wartime photos invariably show the one prototype, Werke Nr 170083, recognisable by the large white code “V083” just forward of the cockpit.
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 Closeup of Cannon.jpg
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 Being Serviced.jpg
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 Overview.jpg
After capture by US troops, noseart bearing the name “Wilma Jeanne” was added ...
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 After Capture.jpg
… only to be rebranded as “Happy Hunter II” a short time later …
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 Renamed Happy Hunter II.jpg
Several profiles of this aircraft can be found online, some showing the aircraft prior to capture, others featuring “Wilma Jeanne” before and after the balkenkreuz were overpainted with US insignia. There’s also a number of lovely builds in various scales, including an SIG144 entry at Telford in 2018 (thanks teddybeer for taking the photo). I wouldn’t mind betting that the RetroWings’ conversion has been used here, along with the same company’s Jumo 004 modification. My only criticism of this example is what appears to be the use of a single green in the fuselage camo. Close inspection of photos of V083 before and after capture by US forces does seem to bear out the contention that there were two colours involved. Being late in the war, these would most likely be RLM81 Braunviolett and RLM82 Hellgrün. Given the number of references which go with the “single green” theory, I can certainly forgive the modeller in this case. Indeed, if my build ends up anywhere near the quality of his (or hers, of course), then I’ll be a happy camper.

Of course, this is one of those aircraft you could do some fancy Luft 46 stuff with, but the Lager-Lechfeld trials suggest that the type would not have progressed any further even if the war in Europe had extended well beyond May 1945. The RetroWings’ Lorin ramjets? That’s another story for another day.
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GB14 - CAC CA-19 Boomerang (KdK), PZL.37 B II Łoś (Amercom)
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smeg1959
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Re: Smeg’s Me262A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer" (Eduard/RetroWings)

#2

Post by smeg1959 »

As I'm sure someone here will review the Eduard 262A-1a kit in all its glory, I will cut to the chase and briefly describe the RetroWings U4 conversion. Simple … two parts, a replacement nose and the MK214 cannon, crisply cast in that easily workable resin common to most things RetrokiT. The nose is a light buff colour, whilst the cannon is grey – different grades of resin for different purposes, I suspect. Both are attached to gates, so a little knife and sandpaper work is needed before starting the build. The tiny instruction sheet sums up where you need to cut the Eduard fuselage in order to accommodate the new nose. The only item you don’t get is a decal sheet which, even ignoring “Wilma Jeanne” and “Happy Hunter II”, means you have to find appropriate white lettering to create the “V083” code. It is odd that RetroWings do this, given that the company does decals in its product range. Case in point, the Blue Öyster Cult example being built by nils.

The engineering of the Eduard kit lends itself well to the RetroWings’ conversion. As the cockpit comes as a pod that can be inserted through the cavity in the bottom of the fuselage, you can glue the two halves of the latter together from the get go, then go to work with the razor saw without the fear of damaging anything else in the process. Providing you take the appropriate level of care slicing off the Eduard snout, the fit of the resin replacement is excellent.
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 (01).jpg
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 (02).jpg
A tiny bit of filling and sanding, then a quick test spray of Tamiya grey primer and we’re away.
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 (03).jpg
You’ll note that it’s an absolute cinch to fill the nose with plenty of lead shot so the little dear won’t be a tailsitter. If it was only that easy on all kits of aircraft with tricycle undercarriages. The cockpit pod is fairly basic, so needs a little sprucing up with the usual seat belts and home-printed instrument panels.
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 (04).jpg
Others will take a more exacting approach (if Toms participates in this GB, I predict a fully functioning joystick and illuminated gauges), possibly using third party enhancements. However, the cockpit area was largely enclosed on the 262 (as evident in the Eduard kit) so quite a bit of detail disappears once you glue the pod in place. Typical of Luftwaffe aircraft post-1940, the main cockpit colour should be RLM66 Schwarzgrau, for which Tamiya’s XF63 German Grey is a good approximation. Someone online suggested XF69 NATO Black. Might be a good match for the RAF “Night” on a Bomber Command Lancaster, Halifax or Wimpy, but it’s way too dark inside a 1/144-scale cockpit.
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 (06).jpg
Next step will be to attach the control surfaces, do a little sanding, prime the lot then start on the underside.
OTB ...
GB14 - CAC CA-19 Boomerang (KdK), PZL.37 B II Łoś (Amercom)
GB16 - War of the Worlds Diorama (Pegasus)

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Re: Smeg’s Me262A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer" (Eduard/RetroWings)

#3

Post by cowleyi »

Excellent work, NATO black as a substitute for RLM 66 is in this scale far too dark for my liking - I have used on my cockpit model colour by vallejo RLM 66 as a touch up to Tamiya AS4 basecoat

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Re: Smeg’s Me262A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer" (Eduard/RetroWings)

#4

Post by b.l.stryker »

Nice project. I will follow you.

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Re: Smeg’s Me262A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer" (Eduard/RetroWings)

#5

Post by ajmm »

Looking great.

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Re: Smeg’s Me262A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer" (Eduard/RetroWings)

#6

Post by BigReg »

It's a blessing building a tricycle undercarriage......no tailwheel to lose. :D

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Re: Smeg’s Me262A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer" (Eduard/RetroWings)

#7

Post by smeg1959 »

Here at Smeg’s Model Emporium, I am not moving along at the pace of 2018. Or any previous year, for that matter. In fact, I was probably more productive when I lay in ICU in 2014. Work commitments have dramatically increased with changes to government reporting, compounded by the loss of a full-time colleague for the rest of 2019. The upshot is that I’m forestalling plans for the multihued P-36C, safe in the knowledge that GB10 has a couple of months to go. However, time is marching on for GB11 so the 262 build must go on or I risk even more Shelf of Shame embarrassment. And, as one member who did vote for the Swallow, I can see Merlin pulling out the Smeg voodoo doll and preparing to insert several large pins in it. :oops:

As anyone who has read my sometimes tortuously long build threads will know, I have an uncanny ability to knock bits and pieces off my models at the least opportune time – anything from aerials and gun barrels to entire undercarriages. So having added wings and tailplanes, I sweated over whether I should attach the MK214 prior to priming and painting. In the end, thoughts of how I mask the beast decided the issue for me … cannon to stay safely in Ferrero Rocher container until closer to the end of the build.
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 (07).jpg
Messerschmitt Me262A-1a-U4 - Luftwaffe V083 (08).jpg
As I painted the insides of the Jumo 004 nacelles before priming, the strange projections from the engines are simply pieces of waste plastic tube to stop ingress of the primer. As you can see from the underside pic, I’ve painted the wheel well interiors Natural Metal (Lifecolor LC24). From what I can gather, early 262s had the standard RLM02 finish, whilst this protective layer was absent on later production aircraft (of which I am assuming V083 was). Oddly it seems that the insides of the doors themselves were coated in RLM02, so I’ll keep that in mind when they’re added later in the build.

Planning ahead, close inspection of the wartime photos suggests the camo was redone at various junctures, both before and after capture. Look at the three photos in Luftwaffe service in the first post here. Pic 1 shows the aircraft in primed bare metal finish. Pic 2 shows the aircraft after its first application of camouflage. Pic 3 shows it just after capture. Note the difference in the finish on the nose between Pics 2 and 3. Then look at the differences between “Wilma Jean” and “Happy Hunter II”. My personal belief is that the US troops would have overpainted balkenkreuz and swastikas with something like Olive Drab 41, yet most third party profiles I’ve seen obviously concluded that the US Army had stocks of RLM81 and RLM82! As mentioned earlier in the thread, I was sorely tempted to do decal artwork for “Wilma Jean” but printing white was going to be the Achilles’ heel so it’s V083 just after capture but still in Luftwaffe finish (Pic 3). The truth regarding post-capture colours becomes, to quote a literary creation from the late Douglas Adams, an "SEP". Someone Else’s Problem. :P
OTB ...
GB14 - CAC CA-19 Boomerang (KdK), PZL.37 B II Łoś (Amercom)
GB16 - War of the Worlds Diorama (Pegasus)

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Re: Smeg’s Me262A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer" (Eduard/RetroWings)

#8

Post by ajmm »

Looking good Smeg ! And I’m definitely not an advocate of invisible cockpit overkill. Yours is much more than acceptable given what will be seen. Looking forward to a lick of paint!

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Re: Smeg’s Me262A-1a/U4 "Pulkzerstörer" (Eduard/RetroWings)

#9

Post by cowleyi »

That is indeed looking nice. Can't wait for the next bit.

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