Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lindberg 1/48 Me-262 With All the Bells and Whistles!

Lindberg's large-scale action model kits were very popular in the late 1950s, and early sixties. By the time I was building models in the mid-70s, Lindberg was still cranking out their most popular kits including this Messerschmitt Me-262 twin-jet WWII fighter-bomber. It has lots of working features such as opening canopy, engine access covers, machine-gun bay access covers, working flight surfaces, and retractable landing gear. The first time I built this kit I loved it! The working parts really made this a fun model to play with, plus, it was very educational. With a model like this, a young kid could have an intimate working knowledge of the major systems of this airplane. Unfortunately, action model kits didn't endure much into the 1970s. By then, the kids who built the first plastic kits in the 50s were highly experienced builders, and demanded better accuracy and detail from model companies. Working parts tended to impede on external accuracy, so things like dropping bombs, retractable gear, moving flaps and such became a thing of the past. Lindberg's Me-262 can still be bought today, but it's nowhere near as accurate or realistic looking as say, Tamiya's or even Monogram's.
But if one wants to build something just for the fun of putting hinged airplane parts together and playing with them afterwards, this is the one!
The Me-262 pictured here is the fourth one I've built in my lifetime. All four I've done are the Lindberg 1974 reissue (box pictured above.)I love the sound of a sealed Lindberg model kit. Almost always the parts are all loose off the trees, and rattle around in the box. Oh, what a sweet sound!
Typical of Lindberg, they don't give much painting guidance, so I left this rebuild in the original green plastic with only minimal painting such as the wheels and tires. All the parts work, but they aren't very durable. The hinge pins tend to break off after repeated operation, so I've left the gear down and panels closed for display.
The decal sheet for this model has always had six German crosses, which of course is total nonsense. But Lindberg, like many other U.S. and European model companies were sensitive to anxiety brought upon by the sight of swastikas; so they substituted the tail swastikas with crosses. I went ahead and put them on in keeping with the original look and design of this kit.
While not a major good-looker, the Lindberg Me-262 still remains a favorite of mine because of its cool action features and assembly fun.


  1. I started building model airplanes in 1972 when I was about 8. My earliest kits were a mix of 1/72 scale offerings, usually from Revell or Lindberg. In hindsight, I realize it was because my father could buy them for pocket change.

    Within a year or two of enjoying this hobby, I became very dissatisfied with Lindberg models. That loose rattling sound of an unopened box, as described in this blog, was a symptom of another problem. Too many times, my newly-purchased model kit had broken or missing parts. On at least three occasions, I wrote to Skokie, Illinois for replacement parts. By the fourth time, I gave up and did not finish the model.

    A few weeks ago, as my 12-year-old son and I perused a discount outlet store, I discovered a sale on model kits. They were mostly Lindberg with the newer logo. I spied a promising 1/24 Ford Crown Vic police cruiser, and bought it for my son. I was pleasantly surprised at just how nicely-engineered this model really was. And, of course, all of the parts were there!

  2. Thanks for writing in Jimmy! I was lucky I guess with Lindberg models - don't remember any missing pieces, but I did have a heck of a time with one of their motorized models. You had to assemble the motor, and I didn't have the skills yet to wind that thin copper wire around the magnets. What a pain!