by: Peter Allen [ ]
Basically these are two versions of the same Me 262 kit sharing a majority of common parts for the main aircraft assembly, including fuselage, cockpit, tail assembly, wings, undercarriage and wheels. The main difference lies in the method of propulsion with individual parts for each variant. The standard Jumo turbojets commonly used on the Me 262 being replaced by 4 Argus pulse jets (as used for the V1 flying bomb) in the case of the W3, and two Walter HWK 509 rocket engines (as used in the Me 163) for the Interzepter version.
The Me 262 is well known and needs no introduction here. However the Me 262 had quite a number of development plans and progressive concepts at least planned, these two variants being but a sample of what might have been produced. Both were thought to be of some use in providing a fast alternatives to the standard version, employing engines and relevant technologies already in use in other aircraft.
THE KITSType: Resin
The kits contents are:
Resin Parts: 47
Clear Parts: 1
Metal Parts: 5
Resin Parts: 36
Clear Parts: 1
Metal Parts: 5
Etched Parts: 16
MAIN PARTSAll larger parts are very crisply moulded with excellent detailing and panel lines. There is a small amount of flash and a few rough edges to deal with, notably the leading and trailing edges of the wings for example. However a careful and thorough clean up with a fine file or fine sanding stick /wet and dry should see satisfactory results. There is a good deal of additional detailing on various parts. There is subtle detailing on the cockpit walls for instance.
As the wings come in one piece, there will be no need for reinforcing joints (as is normal for many resin kits, since they rely on butt joints where the wings meet the fuselage).
Also it may be good point to mention all parts both big and small would benefit from a wash in tepid soapy water and a clean rinse to remove any chemical release agents used in the casting process, just in case.
SMALL PARTSAs with the larger parts, the small ones are again crisply cast and many are packed with extra detailing than is normal for a kit of this type. There is some detailing on the inside of the wheel well doors for example. The small parts come in groups attached to larger thin resin flakes for transit protection. Careful removal is necessary, but the flakes are thin and its a pretty straightforward exercise to remove them.
CLEAR PARTSOne vacuformed canopy is provided for each kit. The parts are clear with good frame marking, but would benefit a little Future/Klear bathing.
METAL PARTSThese look pretty good, and will need only a modicum of clean up to get them into shape. The metal parts consist of all three undercarriage legs, the joystick and a pitot tube.
ETCHED PARTSA small fret is provided and the quality is well up to standard. Parts supplied include seatbelts, pedals, suspension knee joints and antennae.
INSTRUCTIONS & DECALSThese are the two areas that are not as good as they might be. While the quality of the decals is not in question, as they are quite good, they are very basic. A&V seem to have a "standard set" of basic decals that they include with all their German WW2 aircraft kits, irrespective of what it is, with additional decals as and when necessary. In these kits the extra decals are a pair of numbers for each kit. The "standard set" includes all national insignia and swastikas. It's a pity they don't add more extensive and individually designed sets.
The instructions for both these kits have some nice black & white detail profiles on one side with the assembly guide on the reverse. The assembly guides are crudely drawn but are clear enough to understand. There are no historical background, camo/painting guides or decal guides provided. So, unfortunately, a raid on the spares box might be necessary to add more decals or after market sets with camo schemes might prove very useful. However as these variants were not built as far as I can gather, any normal Me 262 scheme may well suffice.
CONCLUSION.Overall these kits will make for very nice and interesting additions to any collection and should prove pretty straightforward to build once a suitable scheme has been sourced. The kits should prove not too difficult for newcomers to resin kits and the more experienced alike.
Although not cheap, they are good value for kits of this type especially as they include both metal and etched parts, and the resin parts are of a high quality. When you add together the detailing on the resin parts and the metal and etched parts, very highly detailed models will result straight out of the boxes. The kits are definitely a must for those who love the Me 262 and its development concepts.