The Trumpeter kit comes in a large tray type top open box with the top made from a heavy cardboard and the bottom from thin corrugated cardboard making for a sturdy box. Inside the box are two large bags, one with one sprue, the other with two, three smaller bags, two with two sprues and one with one sprue. At one end there is a small rectangular box of light weight cardboard that contains three bags, one with two sprues of clear parts, one with the cast metal landing gear struts and one with the rubber tires.
The parts are molded in a light gray color. The surface detail consists of fine recessed panel lines and recessed rivets and fasteners. In some of the larger fasteners one can even see slotted heads. Raised detail is used where applicable. The surface is glossy. Unlike some of Trumpeter's other kits the rivets though in abundance are not a bunch of over done divots, but quite fine and petite. The parts are all but flash free, I only found a couple hints of it. Ejector pin marks appear to have been kept out of sight. Looking over the main airframe parts there is a seam line along the lower edge of the fuselage, most likely from the slide mold process. This should be fairly easy to remove with light sanding. I did not find any obvious surface defects on any of the other parts. Mold alignment is good and the mold separation lines are fairly light.
Detail wise the cockpit is pretty well detail, enough to satisfy most. The instrument panel is a clear part which requires you to paint it then has a film that goes behind it to provide the instrument dials. However the panel is thick and the resulting faces appear to be set too far in, a good idea that just doesn't look that great. Photo etch is supplied for the seat belts and harness, unpainted. The gun bay ahead of the cockpit is also very well detailed, lacking only some wiring to make it look complete but unless you leave the compartment doors open none of this will be visible. The landing gear struts are supplied both in plastic and cast metal. I'm not sure that the finished kit will be too heavy for the plastic gear or that the metal gear is any better detail so it's up to you what you want to use. Nose weight will be required to keep the kit from being a tail sitter and no weight is supplied. The tires themselves are rubber or vinyl. These tend to have a bad reputation with modelers due to them either drying out and splitting or having a bad effect on any plastic they were in contact with. All this happened years ago and while I have found no evidence that any of the newer kits have this issue the reputation lives on. The other issue with these is that they have a seam down the middle that is difficult to remove. There are inner and outer hubs that you assemble then flex the tire over them. There are however after market resin wheels available if these are an issue to you. The kit comes with two well detailed engines again only lacking some wiring and piping to make them better. Again unless you use the supplied clear nacelles (more on these later) you will not see them. The control surfaces are all separate including the leading edge slats. Besides the cockpit tub there are a number of other parts that go into the fuselage, radio equipment, oxygen bottles, direction finding antenna and again none of these will be seen unless you leave the side access door open. The canopy can be displayed open or closed. All in all a very nice package. Lets look at the parts.
There are two of the next sprue which are mostly the engine assemblies.
There are also two of this sprue, the engine nacelle assemblies, one in gray, the other in clear.
Since it is the same as the above sprue I only photographed part of it to illustrate the nature of them. Unfortunately the plastic isn't all that clear as shown in the photo below.
And it has numerous ejector pin marks which would be most difficult to correct without ruining the clear parts.
The cast metal landing gear struts, there are two nose wheel struts, they appear nearly identical to me but I think one is meant for a larger tire that was used on the fighter/bomber version. Check your references.
The rubber tires. Both a wide and narrow tire are supplied, again check your references.
A small fret of photo etch is supplied for the seat belts and harness.
The clear parts are thin and clear and the area ahead of the windscreen is included which is nice if it requires any filler or sanding at the joint.
The decals appear thin and have a glossy finish and the registration is good. Excess film is minimal on most and some stencillings is supplied. The sheet provides markings for two aircraft; 10/JG7, Pilot Franz Schall, April 1945; Kommando Nowotny, Pilot Major Walter Nowotny, 1944.
The instructions are a 20 page booklet, A4 sized in landscape format and stapled at the spine. It has a page of general instructions and icon chart, two pages of parts map and 17 pages of assembly diagrams divided into 36 assembly steps. The diagrams are large and easy to follow. A large folded sheet printed in color on glossy paper has the painting and marking diagrams. Colors are called out with Gunze numbers.
After Market Goodies
I have not as yet acquired any for this kit but there are numerous items available, the usual photo etch and masks from Eduard, gun barrels from Master, Barracuda Cast has some nice resin wheels if you don't wish to deal with the rubber tires. Check your favorite online retailer or Scalemates for what is available.
In 2005 when this kit was first released it was the general consensus that the kit was probably the best model of a Me 262 ever released. It may be getting some competition from the newly released kit from Revell but regardless this kit is very nice. Trumpeter has gotten a bad rap over the years as their kits have been all over the map in regards to accuracy too the point that many thought there were two different groups designing them, an 'A' team and 'B' team and many of their kits were plagued with over sized rivet divots. This kit is definitely an 'A' team production. I have built a number of their kits and found most to be enjoyable builds. This kit while busy should be that difficult to build and is still one of the best models of this aircraft ever produced. Recommended !
Probably one of the most written about German aircraft there are literally dozens of books available as well as volumes of material on the Internet.