Part S72-074 1:72 Beaufighter Mk. VI Detail (For Hasegawa kits)
This is one of the few times when we can not only review a detail set but compare it to the competition at the same time. We reviewed Eduard's brass sheet for the excellent Hasegawa Beaufighter in our December issue now the part set may have upped the bar even from that beautiful piece of work.
The set has about the same number of parts as the Eduard set, but the level of detail in the parts is better than on Eduard's parts. In several cases, PART uses multiple brass pieces to simulate a three-dimensional quality for components like the control yoke, Sutton harness release, compass and trim wheels. The rear cockpit detail is simulated by an open latticework of stringers and formers, compared to Eduard's etched solid sheets; the PART option may be more realistic, but it certainly requires greater care and precision to apply than the Eduard parts.
The PART set provides a lovely pilot's seat, but unlike the Eduard seat requires the use of the kit seat for the radio operator's compartment. A small piece with the floor kickplates is meant to be glued to the kit cockpit floor. The instrument panel is made up of five brass parts, plus tranparencies. Six pieces go into making the rather prominent compass, six go into the throttle quadrant, and many more add levers, knobs, radio boxes and switching equipment to the cockpit interior. A brass floor section up forward includes the armored sliding doors as a separate piece and a second floor section stretches all the way back to the radio compartment's rear bulkhead. A seat mount for the radio compartment ads more detail back aft, along with other black boxes. A frame for opning the pilot's canopy, complete with grab handles and a brace, will help spectators see all this work. There are other details as well, including what looks like provisions for open crew boarding doors; unfortunately, the directions to this complex set are so difficult to follow that I can't make out what they all represent.
This is one point of comparison with the Eduard set, which has instructions that leave little room for doubt as to the placement of parts. Eduard's transparencies are nicer, except for the compass faces, which PART has captured to a tee. Eduard does away with the kit cockpit floor and provides one in brass, while PART has the modeler dress up the kit pieces. Eduard includes important external details like control horns, antenna, rocket fins and radar aerials; PARTdoes not. Eduard's control panel is simpler, but it includes the gunsight pedestal.
Throughout the Eduard and PART sets, there are differences in philosohphies, and it is impossible to call a winner between the two sets as a whole. That decision has to be made on a feature by feature basis. It's fair to say that PART's set is the choice of more experienced brass users; real maniacs (like your editor) may want to pick and choose the best details from each set to animate their Beaufighters.
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