The book includes about 200 pictures. Around a quarter are pictures of finished models while the others are in-progress ones. The pictures are in color and of good quality. There were no printing issues on my sample.
At the beginning of the book, on two pages, you have a brief history of the Me 262 and a table with all different variants. Unfortunately, no 3 view plans are included. These would have been useful for rescribing panel lines and various access doors for example. It would also have been easier to compare the variants of the German jet with drawings. Obviously, this modeling guide won't do the job of a good reference book.
Next, the authors made a list of Me 262 kits readily available today in all scales. Of course, making a list of ALL the kits of the "Schwalbe" would have been nearly impossible. But with Tamiya, A+V Models, Hasegawa, High Plane Models, MPM, Planet Models, Revell, Smer, Special Hobby, Dragon and Italeri, there's quite a list to choose from! Surprisingly, there's no mention of trumpeter's latest 1/32 kit!?
An even bigger list of accessories is also present with items from Czech Master Kit (CMK), Eduard, Extratech, Hawkeye Designs, Scale Model Accessories, Squadron, Wurmcastings (High Planes Models), Aires, Black Magic, Arba, Cutting Edge, Verlinden, Grand Phoenix and JRutman Productions. Basically everything a modeler affected with "Aftermarket Syndrome" needs is listed here!
At the end of the book is also a color reference chart with 8 samples of various paint schemes used on the Me 262. I think these samples are made to be cut out and used during the painting process. While the idea is not bad, I doubt a CMYK print can be fully trusted and personally I wouldn't use them without restriction.
Some kits are reviewed: Revell's 1/72 scale Me 262, Tamiya's various 1/48 scale Me 262 versions (plus the Kettenkraftrad), Dragon's family of 1/48 scale Me 262 kits and Hasegawa's 1/32 scale model.
The reviews present the Pros and Cons of the kits, thus allowing the modeler to make a choice between them. No kit sprues pictures are included though, so this can't be considered as a detailed critique. But it is still very useful.
The build articles
This is the "big part" of the book. Following models are featured in a build article:
- Revell's 1/72 Me 262B-1a kit built as an A-1a using various detailing sets from CMK and Wurmcastings
- Tamiya's 1/48 Me 262A-2a kit (in this article, an old kit has been stripped of his old decoration and painted over with a new paint scheme)
- Tamiya's 1/48 Me 262A-1a kit built with the addition of various Aires and Cutting Edges detailing sets.
- Tamiya's 1/48A1-a kit built as an A-1a/U3 reconnaissance plane using additional CMK and Cutting Edges sets
- Dragon's 1/48 Me 262B-1a/U1 night fighter kit improved with various CMK, Cutting Edges and Ultracast sets
- Hasegawa's 1/32 Me 262A-1a kit updated with Grand Phoenix and Contact Resin detail parts
Each article gives the reader a detailed report of the build. Various techniques are explained and it would be too long to list them all. Some are related to the building process (gluing, sanding, filling etc...) and some are related to the decoration process (priming, painting, masking, decaling, weathering etc...) Of course a lot of pictures are supporting the text. Sadly, quite often, the pictures that go with the text are on the next page, which is always a bit annoying. Basically you read the text, turn the page to see the related pictures and notice the text below them is the same as the one you've just read! A simple "Text-Picture-Text-Picture" layout would have been easier to follow in my opinion. But this must not hide the fact that each article's content is very informative and that the models featured are superb! As bonus, the authors included several build pictures of a 1/48 Opel Blitz fuel truck (FM - resin) and some diorama pictures with a Tamiya 1/48 Kübelwagen. Some nice ideas starters for sure!
Osprey's Title "Modeling the Me 262" is a nice book featuring some very eye-catching models of one of the most famous plane of the Luftwaffe. It is not really aimed at the beginners because each model, as presented, requires some modeling skills due to the intensive use of aftermarket detail sets. Maybe one "Out Of the Box" build would have been a good idea. Beginners can find in it a great source of basic and less basic techniques though. Especially if one wants to know more about resin aftermarket parts.
For an intermediate or more experienced modeler, this book will be the perfect resource to make a contest worthy model of the Messerschmitt Me 262!
Thank you to Osprey Publishing for kindly supplying the review sample.
The Me 262 is one of the most important and beautiful plane in aircraft history! So it's not a surprise if many kits of this pioneer jet have been produced since decades. Osprey has now produced a book for modelers who have a particular attraction for the Schwalbe, which features some stunning models!