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Messerschmitt Me 262 B-1/U1, Me 262 A-2a - Swallow's nest

Diorama & Models built by Christian Jakl (1:48)

 
 
Messerschmitt Me 262 B-1/U1
The Messerschmitt Me 262 was the best example of the incompetence and sheer bullheadedness of the leadership of the Third Reich. The outcome of the war could certainly not have been changed but the course of the air war could have been altered. The RLM is responsible for not recognizing the potential of this revolutionary aircraft. They were convinced that the air war could be won by the further development of the piston-engined fighter until it was too late.

During 1938, Messerschmitt was offered a contract to build an airframe for the new jet engines. In 1940, contracts were issued to build a few prototypes. These had teething problems and again the RLM stepped back. By 1942, the first Me 262 took to the air and showed great potential as the fighter of the future. Again there were delays and postponements and even Adolf Hitler was not particularly excited. Series production for the Me 262A-1a commenced in May of 1944. Hitler finally showed some interest after a demonstration of the aircrafts incredible performance and gave the order to convert most of the production run into a fighter bomber. The conversion into a bomber meant that the performance suffered. Speed and maneuverability were reduced and the advantage the aircraft had over Allied piston engined fighter was lost. The A-2a version "Sturmvogel" as the fighter bomber version was called could carry either two 500 kg bombs or a 1000 kg bomb. Even the convincing arguments of his top Luftwaffe advisors that the Me 262 was the ultimate fighter did not change Hitler's mind.

Only later when it became clear that the Third Reich could not defend against the Allied air armadas did Hitler give preference to the fighter variant. It was now too late and the months that had been lost could not be made up even by a miracle aircraft, the Me-262. In airspeed the Me 262 was superior to any other fighter reaching 870 km/h. American P-51 pilots could only hope to be successful in a dive. There was a weakness however. At slow take-off and landing speeds the aircraft was vulnerable and could attain superiority only at combat speed. The take-off and landing problems were handled by special flights of Fw 190D's and Me 109's protecting the jets as they used the airfields. Some Staffeln (Papagei Staffel) had their aircraft painted with special recognition markings to avoid being shot down by their own flak. Over 1400 Me-262 were produced but only 200-300 were used in combat. The grand results that were expected did not materialize since most pilots did not have the experience and had not been properly trained in the new technology. The aircraft was too fast for a pilot to take proper aim. On many occasions the pilot reduced the speed in order to take better aim. It was during these moments that most "Schwalben" were shot down.
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Quite a few variants of the Me 262 were developed. Among these were the A-1b with additional armament of 24 R4M rockets and the A-5a as an armed reconnaissance aircraft. Then there were the jets with dual controls and piggyback cockpits. In these versions the fuselage fuel tank was supplemented with 300 liter drop tanks under the nose. The B-1a was used as a trainer and the armed version then became the B-1a night fighter version designated as the B-1a/U1. The U1 received a Liechtenstein SN-2 radar with the proper "antler" antenna in the nose section. Four MK 108 cannons were mounted there as well. The purpose built night fighter version, the B-2a never saw combat and was built in very small numbers. The fuselage was extended to carry more fuel. Although the Me 262 did not meet all expectations it still remains as the first operational jet fighter in the world.


Models

Tamiya saved us from the terrible Me 262 kits of the past. The kit goes together like a dream. All that is needed is contained in the kit and the horrible rubber tires are replaced by good plastic ones. An intelligent solution to the weight distribution problem is solved by the inclusion of metal weights that fit properly into the nose. The fuselage halves are designed in such a way that conversions are easier to do. The high price of the kit is justified by the quality. I recommend it to beginners, good results are guaranteed. To top it all off Tamiya issued three versions. The fighter bomber version "Sturmvogel" Me 262 a-2a (it includes a Kettenkraftrad, armament and two figures),the Me-262A-1a or A-1b as the fighter version and for the geeks an A-1a clear edition.

Sadly the internal parts such as the fuselage tank and the gyrocompass are only contained in the clear edition. It is these parts that are not available from accessories manufacturers. Otherwise I know of no other model where so many accessories, decals and conversion kits are available. The weakness with the Tamiya kit is the lack of seat belts. Since only decal belts are in the kit, photo etch must come to the rescue.
 
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Messerschmitt Me 262 A-2a "Sturmvogel"

This was the first version of the "swallow" available from Tamiya. I saved the Kettenkrad for the diorama because there it makes more sense than for the single display model. The detail set from CMK contains the automatic leading edge slats, landing flaps, elevator and rudders s well as flattened tires and a lot of photo etch. The automatic leading edge installation is a problem. The resin is very thin and in my case it was a little damaged.

The mounting parts do not correspond to the original. The only way to solve the problem is to scratch build the parts in question. For the cockpit I used parts from Cutting Edge. I painted the aircraft according to Tamiya's instructions and it represents an aircraft of 1. /KG 51 during March of 1945. With two 503 A-1 bomb racks for two 250 kg bombs this aircraft flew low level missions at dusk. Two MK-108 30mm cannons were removed in order to carry the bombs.
 
 
 
 

Messerschmitt Me 262 A-2a "Sturmvogel" (1:48)

 
  Model built by Christian Jakl, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac  
     
 
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Me 262 A-2a Me 262 A-2a Me 262 A-2a Me 262 A-2a
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Me 262 A-2a   Me 262 A-2a   Me 262 A-2a   Me 262 A-2a
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Messerschmitt Me 262 B-1/U1 "Nachtjäger"

To convert the Me 262 A-1a from Tamiya into a night fighter requires the conversion kit issued by CMK #4113. The conversion set includes parts to build the trainer version B-1a, the night fighter B-1a/U1 and the Czech post-war version CS-92. Decals, seats, cockpit detail, radio equipment and a vacu-formed canopy are in the box. The conversion is easy since the parts fit well, perfectly matched to the kit. There is little to putty and sand. I was only unhappy with the "Liechtenstein" SN-2 radar. The "antlers" I replaced with brass antennas from Schatton. The antennas do not have to be parallel to each other. This can be seen on some original photographs. The two 300 liter drop tanks and attachments I received from Wolfram. They are not in the Tamiya kit. He still had the old Revell kit that had them included. The Sturmvogel version by Tamiya has them but cannot be used since this version has only two MK-108's and the night fighter version had four.
 
 
 
 

Messerschmitt Me 262 B-1/U1 "Nachtjäger" (1:48)

 
  Model built by Christian Jakl, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac  
     
 
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Me 262 B-1/U1 Me 262 B-1/U1 Me 262 B-1/U1 Me 262 B-1/U1
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Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1
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Diorama "The swallow's nest"

In 2004 I won a special prize at the contest in Brno for the best WWII model. (a gift certificate worth 1000 Czech crowns) This was donated by accessory manufacturer GRIFFON. In his varied 1/48 scale offerings he carries three different kind of fuel drums. When I wrote to him about my idea of using fuel drums as a splinter box wall, he sent me extras that had not been packaged yet. I received a whole lot of fuel drums. Thank you GRIFFON. The idea for the diorama came literally out of thin air. I did not plan it ahead of time and did not work from photographs. I could focus on the project without having to meet pre-ordained standards. The whole diorama developed around this wall.

Even the Messerschmitt was not a done deal until half way through the project. After all I could have placed anything there. 80% of the project was my own doing. I glued a few oil drums together and Eric Trauner (the German Shepard was also made by him) made a module for me consisting of twelve barrels which he duplicated for me. The wall grew as I used this plug-in -system and did not have to install each barrel separately. Tables, floors, stairs and fence were made of Balsawood. The vegetation was made from countless materials from nature and diorama accessories. The trees are cheap Bonsai trees from the local Home Depot. I let them dry out a bit. I clipped some of the branches and replaced them with lichen. I painted the lichen and sprinkled them with a mixture of dried marjoram and parsley.

I then airbrushed this from above and below with various shades of green. Volkswagen jeep and Kettenkrad are from Tamiya and are of unsurpassed quality. The figures are from a variety of manufacturers and the body parts were mixed as needed. I also used figures from ICM and find them to be the best injection molded figures that I have encountered. The open box I built painstakingly from Evergreen strips. The tools of the ground crew are from an Eduard figure set. With so much detail I could empty my spare parts box and bring some order to my desk drawers. The base of the diorama I owe to the carpentry skills of Wolfram. In conclusion I must say that this diorama became reality through the help and skills of many friends.
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Diorama "Swallow's nest" - Me 262 B-1/U1 "Nachtjäger" (1:48)

 
  Diorama built by Christian Jakl, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac  
     
 
Gallery with diashow function: the direct download of an image on display is not possible anymore!
Please follow these steps for downloading: move with the mouse over the preview image and do a right mouseclick, which opens a menu with following option: save target (or link) as: will save the image in large size …
 
     
     
 
Me 262 B-1/U1 Me 262 B-1/U1 Me 262 B-1/U1 Me 262 B-1/U1
Image 1   Image 2   Image 3   Image 4
             
Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1
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Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1
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Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1   Me 262 B-1/U1
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Conclusion

2005 seems to be the year when 1/48 diorama accessories seem to finally appear. We have vehicles, figures and other accessories as never before. Tamiya plays a major role and others follow suit if only to provide accessories for Tamiya products. We have been stepchildren until now and we jealously looked over our shoulder to see so much in 1/35 scale. We can now say: Watch out, here we come! We can only hope that the trend continues. I can only recommend to everyone to try a diorama. It does differ from normal plastic model building but one can really have a rave and one learns many new skills. There is only the space and storage problem and it helps to have a container that keeps the dust off.
 
 
 
 
 
  meet the modeler      
 

Christian Jakl

     
         
  I was born in Vienna in 1971 and now I live in the middle of the mountains in the Tyrol district. I am in marketing and my specialty is graphic design and layout. Ships, planes and automobiles is how it started and now I have taken up aircraft models only. I concentrate on the German and Soviet air force. My favorite mode of display are dioramas in 1/48 scale. Here I can let my imagination run wild and can produce many of parts. Experimentation and the use of new techniques are foremost on my mind. I also combine stock kits with other add onís and try out new tools. There is always a lot to learn.

It is not all that important to me if a detail is no exactly in the right spot; the final product has to look right. If somebody stands in front of my model and is enthused then I did my job right. The only problem I have is the time factor and in this I probably not alone. I wish everybody a lot of fun with this page and hope that critiques and comments are forthcoming.
  Christian Jakl  
         
  Email:      
         
 
 
 
 
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This page:  GALLERY: Swallow's nest - Messerschmitt Me 262 B-1/U1, Me 262 A-2a (1:48)
was last modified on: Aug 24, 2005
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