The Nell was an important part of the Japanese air arsenal in the Far East and, later, in the Solomon Islands campaign. It achieved its greatest success in the sinking of the Repulse and Prince of Wales in 1941, but the arrival of American fighters in significant numbers saw its ability to perform its mission drop off precipitously. Until very recently, the Nell was available in 1:72 only in the old LS kit, but Hasegawas new Nell dramatically improves the situation for modelers. The Eduard set dramatically improves the Hasegawa kit inside and out.
The photoetched seats, with lightening holes and rivet detail, are a huge improvement over the kit parts. Rear seats, rudder pedals, control yokes, new faces for the radio sets, seat belts and a detailed floor plate help the interior, and other parts improve the mid-upper machine gun position. Provisions are made to open the cockpit and provide grab handles, overhead switch boxes and other subtle details. The engines get new cowling flaps, ignition harnesses and intake screens; control horns improve the wings; and the crew entry hatch is improved with structural details and a boarding ladder. The rear fuselage is left mostly as-is, but gets a bit of new flooring.
The most visible additions will be to the exterior bomb mounts. The brass sheet provides new fins for bombs and fins and propellers for the kit torpedo, along with the mounting mechanisms, complete with sway braces.
Since the Nell has a large greenhouse-style canopy, the improvements to the cockpit really come in handy, but this set shows that the "front office" isnt the only spot that can benefit from some detail help. Use this set, then start hunting for a 1:72 British battlecruiser.
This set replaces the entire interior of this venerable kit and provides a wealth of detail for the floats, engine and other prominent exterior components. The largest of the 88 pieces in the set comprises the floor, sidewalls and rear bulkhead of the cockpit and the rest of the set goes from there. A new seat and support equipment, seat belts, control panel, radio sets, throttle quadrant, control yoke, and rudder pedals dress up the pilots position. The rear-seater gets new radios, a map table, seat, machine gun sights and extra ammunition drums, which would benefit from some styrene to increase their cross-section.
While weve come to expect such cockpit details, the exterior enhancements really set this set apart! The engine gets a wiring harness and a new brass front end for the cowling. The elevators get a small control horn, the wings get sway braces for the hard points and new antennae. The floats and struts get a complete makeover, with new, detailed panels for the floats tops and new rudders, boarding steps and in-scale internal strut components, and mooring tie-downs.
The sheer number and tiny size of many of these parts keeps it from being the ideal kit for a newcomer to brass, but anyone looking to address the weaknesses of the old Revell kit will find this set a convenient and comprehensive shortcut.
This smaller sheet beefs up the beefy Japanese trainer based on the F-16. As is the case with many brass sets aimed at jet types, there are belts, leg restraints, handles and other details intended to dress up the kit ejection seats. Realistically, a resin replacement would be a more effective and less labor-intensive way to improve the bang seats, although the handle and, perhaps, the belts could be used to improve aftermarket seats. The sidewalls of the cockpit are provided with stringer detail, and the canopy gets a lovely set of internal rails. The traditional brass-and-transparency control panels are included, as are new side consoles, throttle assemblies and rudder pedals. A HUD unit dresses up the top of the forward instrument panel.
The landing gear gets the most attention here. The nose gear gets an anti-torque scissor and nose gear door connection strut, while the mains are improved by thin brass struts that add a lot of life to the plastic kit parts. The final detail is a two-piece boarding ladder.
This set is by no means indispensable for someone seeking to build a T-4, but it will add some visual interest to the cockpit and landing gear.
Eduard 72-267 (interior) and 72-268 (exterior)
The Tracker is one of the few warbirds this reviewer has first-hand experience with, and these two sets left him just about breathless when he first opened them up and spread them on the workbench. Set 267 includes one full-sized sheet and a second smaller sheet, plus the acetate instrument backings that set Eduards control panels apart; set 268 is two full-size sheets. Altogether, there are 240 parts between the two sets, and what these can do for the classic old Hasegawa Tracker is spectacular.
Lets start in the cockpit. The seats are little works of artseparate support frames anchor fold-together seats, which have forward kick plates and separate belts. Add the kit seats headrests and you have terrific replicas of the real items. The center console of the S-2 folded forward onto the control panel to allow crew access to the front seats, and this is provided for. The kits cockpit floor, cockpit bulkhead and controls are replaced with detailed brass items. The "Stoofs" front office was unique in that a number of levers and switches were shaped like what they didthe torpedo drop handle was shaped like a torpedo, the flaps like flaps, the tailhook like a tailhook, etc. While this may not have been the safest arrangement in the event of a crash, it did make it easy to remember what handles went with what systems. Alas, this is not replicated, but their unwieldy rooftop placement is captured.
All of this is a warm-up to what comes next. Eduard gives you the ASW stations as wellseats, stations and equipment, all in brass. If youre worried that this will be invisible, put your mind at easethe set gives you a replacement crew boarding door and an overhead escape hatch so that, with a sharp knife and some careful effort, you can open up your "Stoof" for all to see.
When the interiors done, set 268 lets you continue the madness. The set provides parts to open the bomb bay, dress up the nose gear and main gear wells and dramatically improve the gear struts and doors, improve the engines and dress up the pylons and sonobuoy ejection chutes. For the maniacs among use, the windshield wipers, light covers and rigging attachment points are also included. About the only things absent are wing-fold details.
Even though the kit already requires rescribing, the sheer number of parts in the Eduard sets add several orders of magnitude to the complexity of building Hasegawas S-2F. The addition of a Falcon vacuformed canopy would help show off these beautiful parts, but again adds to the complexity of the model. Because of this and the numerous modifications the modeler will need to make to the fuselage to add the bomb bay and open hatches, only advanced modelers need apply if they plan to open their airplane up. But, for the truly daring, this brass set will provide a major challenge that could yield a truly show-stopping Stoof.
While aircraft benefit from detail sets, the much more exposed interiors of helicopters are really helped by aftermarket parts. This set capitalizes on some of the Italeri kits best features and adds a host of new items to the interior. When the first step of the instructions tells you to add 32 tiny cargo tie-downs to the cabin floor, you know youre in for some heavy-duty brass work, and the rest of the set pays the same sort of attention to detail.
The set provides new seat belts, but it requires the modeler to remove the molded-in belts on the kits seats. The instrument panels are unique in providing the BACK of the panels as well as the fronts, with the backs of the instruments in raised relief. A bit of wire would further improve the back of the instrument panel. A new center console, instrument shroud, foot plates and door hinge pylons helps dress up the cockpit, and those who wish to open the doors will be pleased to find photo-etched, multi-layer doors for both the pilot and co-pilot. The rear jump seats are provided as a brass part that requires some tricky curling and bits of wire to replicate the internal structure.
Other brass additions help detail the rotor head, the rocket pods and cable cutters and add tie-downs and structural detail to the landing skids. A bit of styrene rod is needed to make a searchlight, and brass provides the mount and frontal details. Antennae, chaff dispenser facades and windshield wipers help busy up the exterior.
The only details I wonder about are the ten antenna mounts for the boom, and not because they may be inaccurate. A single aerial is strung between these mounts, connecting all five and extending to the tail skid. Since these mount at a 90-degree angle to the boom and have little surface area with which to mate to the plastic, rigging this antenna using these parts seems like a sure recipe for frustration.
Despite this, the set is ready made for fans of Bells modern military machines, and I imagine many of our Canadian readers will be making their 412s more "brassy" with this set in the near future.
Although its clear the Eduard gang pays a lot of attention to details, this one shows just how much. With alternate instrument panels, switches and other parts clearly marked on the instructions as specific to the trainer variant, this set wont let you get lost in differentiating between the two two-seat variants.
The set provides very nice seats, seat belts and seat mounting hardware. Some plastic strip will be needed to mount a few parts, and some cutting will need to be done to the Revell kit to allow the replacement parts to fit. The cockpit is outfitted with small detail panels on the sidewalls, lovely etched rudder pedals, and a small floor plate A new nose gear door is provided, as is a complete nose gear well. The main wheel doors are also given similar treatment, with hinges and structural details. The main gear bays themselves are enclosed with sharply detailed parts that blank off the three outboard sides of the bays and a single part that mounts flush against the keel in each bay, leaving room to adjust the parts to fit. Anti-torque scissors for the main gear, a DF loop, antennae and braces for the external fuel tanks are also included.
Of course, since this is a nightfighter, the radar aerials are provided; the instructions tell you to use a bit of plastic rod to project the "antlers" from the fuselage, but no measurement is provided, so references are necessary.
While there are resin sets on the market for the two-seat 262s, they could benefit from some of the finer parts in this set. As it is, this set is a major improvement on the already good Revell kit and could do great things to the model in the hands of an experience modeler.
Anyone whos never used photoetched parts and is an RAF buff might find this small set a good way to test the waters. The sheet includes two complete sets of three different types of British seat belts, included as single-piece components (i.e., buckles and belts are etched as one piece). The early-war style belts really show how good Eduard is at this processthe belts have raised grommets and minute holes on the adjustment points of the belts. The instructions show how to apply the belts to kit seats, using the Spitfires interior as a basis.
Although there are many good sets for British fighters that include belts, this set is ideal for modelers seeking to expand their abilities but unsure about making the jump to more complex brass sets or resin, and will come in handy for advanced modelers building more obscure British subjects.
Eduard is not run by dumb people, and this set shows that theyre aware of the very nice resin sets on the market for the Fw 190. This set is targeted at the Jabo fighter-bomber version of the Fw 190, and, although other, better sets in exist in resin for the Fw 190, this set focuses on the things brass does best. For example, Eduards trademark control panel and transparency combination is the very best way to depict instruments, and the rather complex German-style rudder pedals are replicated best in brass. Also, the brass split flaps and internal wing detail would be difficult to render in resin, and the armored head rest is nicely in scale in this medium.
The set also provides a plate for the area behind the seat under the sliding canopy, a new instrument shroud and other details that make it a nice stand-alone detail set. If youve ever built the Trimaster 1:48 Fw 190s, youll be happy to see the wing-root reinforcement strips included in those kits as tiny brass parts are present here as even tinier brass parts. The kit includes a DF loop, antenna, anti-torque scissors and boarding step to improve the outside of the plane, and photoetched fins are provided for three bombs.
This may not be the ultimate 1:72 Fw 190 detail set, but it does do the best job with certain parts of the airplane and could be combined with other sets for a truly outstanding superdetailing effort.
Now this is a lot of brass! The one big gripe I have with this set is that all the tubular structure is reproduced in two dimensions. While certainly more to scale than the kit parts, these parts really should be round. I suppose one could thicken the brass parts with paint, epoxy, white glue, or super glue - I'd personally use them as a pattern to build the "fuselage" and tail boom from thin plastic rod or wire.
Most of the rest of the parts are excellent, especially the interior details with the typical Eduard photofilm instruments and a choice of early or late versions. Only a few of the other parts are flat where they really need to be round but this is a common failing of many PE sets regardless of manufacturer - one of my personal pet peeves, BTW.
Still, this set is valuable for the interior and engine details alone. Recommended.
Billed for the Academy kit, this set would surely work just as well with the older Hasegawa model. The complete cockpit interior is replaced by brass parts which include a choice of instrument panels for the razorback or bubbletop Thunderbolt, each done in the typical Eduard style with photofilm instruments.
The set also includes complete main gear wells, strut details, and main & tail gear doors. Exhaust & intercooler doors, bomb fins, drop tank sway braces, and other miscellaneous details are a welcome bonus.
Adding a resin engine & gunsight and a slightly flattened set of main wheels will give you a potential contest winner. Highly recommended.
Even though the Toko kit of the Snipe contains a rudimentary cockpit, it could still be enhanced, and thats where the PART photoetch set comes in. This set contains a fold-up cockpit that looks very realistic - and very delicate. The instrument panel comes with "film" to represent the instruments resulting in a most realistic instrument panel. There are rigging tie downs that are supposed to be attached to all strut ends. Although the instructions are vague - the worst part of most PART photoetch sets - there appears to be a bomb rack included, but there is no location spelled out for it in the instructions. Also included are spokes for the wheels and control horns for the control surfaces. Unfortunately not included are seat belts, which can be obtained from the Toms Modelworks British Interior photoetch set.
As with the Snipe above, the Toko kit of the Siemens-Schuckert Werke (SSW) D.III/D.IV contains only a rudimentary cockpit. If you want to add a more detail cockpit to the SSW, then this photoetch set is for you. It contains everything: floor; sides; "wrap-around" instrument "panel"; seat; rudder pedals; and various items for the sides. Since the Toko kit builds into either the D.III or the D.IV, optional parts are supplied for the underside cooling louvres and tailskid. Also included is a spark plug "harness" for engine; Spandau cooling jackets; spokes for the wheels; rigging "tie downs"; and control horns for the control surfaces. As with the Snipe, there are no seat belts supplied. Seat belts can be obtained from the Toms Modelworks German Interior photoetch set.
The Toko Pfalz D.XII is like all the other Toko WW1s released to date: it contains a rudimentary cockpit that could be enhanced if the modeler so wishes. Again, PART comes to the "rescue" with this photoetch set. Of the three new sets reviewed here, this set for the D.XII is the most impressive, containing approximately 170 parts. The cockpit portion contains the circular bulkheads mounted fore and aft of the cockpit, as well as brass to represent the longerons. In addition this set contains the floor as well as the rudder pedals and various knobs, etc. For the exterior, PART provides the spark plug wires for the Mercedes engine, a complete radiator built up of brass, new nose side panels, spoked rims for the tires, control horns and rigging attachment points for each end of the struts. Unfortunately, again this set does not contain seat belts. Seat belts can be obtained from the Toms Modelworks German Interior photoetch set.
Aviation Resin Sets
Previous: New Releases