Our 1:72 scale Messerschmitt Me262a-1a represents an aircraft which was part of the Kampfgeschwader 51 ( KG (J) 51) unit tasked alongside Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG3) with eliminating the Allied units at the Eindhoven base and Gilze-Rijen airfield. The field contained three Spitfire Squadrons and eight Typhoon units of the RAF and RCAF. KG51 contributed around 21 of their 30 Messerschmitt Me262 jet to the action. The damage done to Eindhoven was significant and although the operation achieved some surprise and tactical success, it was ultimately classed as a failure. The German assault did not achieve their required air superiority and also they lost too many of their pilots. A great many Allied aircraft were destroyed on the ground but as they were empty, there were very few Allied aircrew casualties. The aircraft were also replaced within a week of the attack, negating any temporary advantage for the enemy.
The Me262 is decorated in the dark green/dark brown/pale grey camouflage scheme with pale grey underside. The upper markings are printed white and on the underside, the decoration is printed in black and white. Markings on the fuselage appear in red and white whilst a black German Swastika is visible on the vertical tail fin. There is some fine detailing to the nose cone, engine front edges and the tail fin tip, all masked in red. The nose, engine and tail bands are painted white. The exhaust cones and cannon barrels are black and a final touch sees the engine face and Pitot tube finished in silver.
Operation Bodenplatte was the last large-scale strategic offensive operation mounted by the Luftwaffe during the war, so our little model is of particular significance to collectors of WWII aircraft.
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