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Messerschmitt Me 263 V1 “German Rocket Fighter”

Special Hobby, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Special Hobby No SH72118 Me 263 V1 ( Ju 248)
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 27 mid-grey plastic parts on one sprue, 2 clear plastic parts in a bag, 5 resin parts on two casting blocks, 18 PE parts on one fret, decals for one aircraft plus a 6 page instruction booklet with History, parts plan, 5 build diagrams and 1 page of paint/decal drawings.
Price: GBP£11.25 available online from Hannants and specialist model retailers worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Another highly interesting and detailed kit.
Disadvantages: Very minor flash; not for beginners
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Glen Porter

 Special Hobby's 1/72 scale Fokker D.XXI will be available online from Squadron.com



I must admit, I haven't reviewed a Special Hobby kit for quite some time that I haven't Highly Recommended.

Is this because I like the Special Hobby range so much, I review so many of them, or is it because their quality is so high? Certainly, there is some variation in quality in the MPM/Special Hobby range and they definitely don't always meet the standards of the major manufacturers. So, what is it?

Well, I think it's more to do with the type of model they seem to specialize in. Let's face it, you won't get much in the way of 109Gs, Spitfire Mk. Vs or P51-Ds from them and I admit I'm not hanging out for everything they do but there's always something coming out that will have me saying “thank goodness, at last”. Apparently, I'm not alone in this as the MPM Group seem to be the most prolific of all the manufacturers. Also, their quality has improved over the last ten or so years to the point where they are almost as good as the majors.

Take the subject of this review as an example. The majority of aircraft modellers would not know what an Me 263 was if they were asked, let alone a Ju 248. Sure, some poor misfits will know the answer but not us common folk. I have some references on the aircraft which I will have to pull out and check before I finish this review but not till after I saw the box artwork did I realize it was the second generation follow-up to the Me 163 Rocket Fighter.

Messerschmitt handed the project over to Junkers and they added a pressurized cockpit, more armour plate, tricycle undercarriage, 30mm cannons and a rocket motor with two combustion chambers, main and cruising and called it a Ju 248. There is some contention over whether the V1 flew as a glider only or under its own power. The RLM reclassified it as a Me 263.

Sorry, the model. Yes. It's a little bit bigger than the 163, as you would expect with all the extra gear in it, about the fuselage length and wing span of a 109 but like the 163, still has no tail surfaces other than a fin. Consequently, the only detail, as the fuselage/wing halves are split horizontally, is in the cockpit and wheel wells.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The only resin parts, five in total, are two main wheels, auxiliary prop spinner, optional DF loop and tail pipe. Similarly, there isn't much in the way of PE either, just seat belts, instrument panels, rudder pedals, the other optional DF loop and an aerial post. The rest is plastic and of a standard we've come to expect from Special Hobby, fine detail and very little flash. This, like many other recent Special Hobby kits, has a very clear injection moulded canopy plus a clear armoured windscreen.

The Aviprint decals have markings for only one aircraft, V1, being the only one that flew. There's only black and white on the sheet, no fuel markings or any stencils, however the two colours are out of sync with each other but this only affects the two under wing crosses and with a bit of trimming, they could be used anyway.

Like many late war Luftwaffe aircraft, the Luft ‘46 people could have a ball with this kit, literally painting it in any colours with any markings. I might even have a go at it myself.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to MPM/Special Hobby for the review sample.

Review Text Copyright © 2006 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2006 by Brett Green
Page Created 13 July, 2006
Last updated 13 July, 2006

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