- Manufacturer: Hobby Boss
- Scale: 1:48
- Aircraft: Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a/U4
- Markings: V083 in captured USAAF markings, May 1945
- Aftermarket: Eduard PE | Aires Wheels | Master 50mm Autocannon
- Paints: Gunze Sangyo Mr. Color, Tamiya
To date, my experiences with Hobby Boss (and Trumpeter) kits have all been decidedly mixed. Otherwise good kits hobbled by flat-out retarded engineering choices or poor fits in key areas.
Not so here. Hobby Boss’ Me 262A-1a/U4 is just a great kit. The only fault I can really throw its way is the way the upper and lower wing sections go together, which leaves a weird and hard-to-eradicate seam running right across the control surfaces. Apart from that one complaint, this kit can’t really be faulted.
- Eduard PE: Eduard’s photo-etch set for the U4 is pretty damn awesome, complete with color PE wiring looms for the gear bays. The RLM 66 on the cockpit PE pieces is a bit too light and too warm for my taste, but it’s better than the bluish tinge on the “supposed-to-be-black” PE for the big Trumpeter P-47.
- Aires wheels: Don’t even hesitate if you’re building this kit, or any 1/48 Me 262. Just buy these already.
- Master autocannon: The muzzle brake on the kit autocannon is laughably bad. I would go so far as to consider this cannon perhaps the one aftermarket upgrade you HAVE to cave for if you’re building this kit.
Detail – 4
Surface detail on this kit is all-around excellent, and the only things keeping me from giving it a full five are the lack of deployed leading edge slats and that I’d have liked to have seen an option to build it with one of the Jumo 004 jet engines exposed.
Engineering – 4
Damn near perfect. The use of the metal nose gear bay to keep this thing from tail-sitting is excellent. If only it weren’t for that seam along the trailing edge control surfaces.
Fit – 5
The fit is good all around with nothing worth complaining about.
Instructions – 3
As per usual with Trumpeter/Hobby Boss, the instructions are schizophrenic. Paint callouts are randomly missing, and the steps are laid out in ways that no real modeler would ever contemplate. Furthermore, the markings are incorrect, but more on that in the next section.
Markings – 1
The markings Hobby Boss provides are something of a mashup. Mostly, they represent VO83 in its prototype livery (albeit with a far cleaner and more cohesive paint scheme than seen in archival photos). But they also strangely include the “Wilma Jeanne” nose script added by the US forces that captured the Messerschmitt facilities at Augsburg in the spring of 1945. The real aircraft also received USAAF insignias, but those are strangely absent from the kit markings, so you will have to either build the U4 as a German prototype, or source USAAF stars and bars to represent its captured status. I found that P-38 insignias were about the right size.
THE BEST HOBBY BOSS KIT I’VE SEEN TO DATE
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