Eduard 1/48 49464 F-15K Interior Photo Etch Set
I will begin this review with a disclaimer: you can’t build an F-15K cockpit with this set - #49464! The F-15K cockpit is black, and the color-etch for this set is gray. Please don’t let that stop you from reading on. This review will be applicable to the upcoming F-15E set, or to what I intend to build with this set - a Saudi Arabian F-15S. The set consists of three pieces - two sheets of photo-etched brass (one of these pre-painted), and a piece of acetate for the HUD. The set is intended for the Academy F-15 kit.
Construction starts with building a new cockpit floor that raises the floor about 3/16th of an inch. I was curious why Eduard chose to raise the floor because the tub seemed fine, and it is. The seats are the problem: they are short, especially around the headrests. Eduard raised the floor to restore the balance –nicely done.
The two p/e frets include parts to detail the tub, sidewalls, and canopy. I found that all the pieces fit very well, and I had no problem with most of them, but there were a few that were just too small. Once the tub was complete with all the metal in place I painted it with Poly-Scale Dark Ghost Gray.
While lighter than the Dark Gull Gray of US cockpits this paint is a good match for the color-etch, most of the time. I think the F-15K etch is just a shade lighter that most sets, but everything matched well in the end. I added a dark wash to pop out the pattern in the floor and rear bulkhead before adding the color pieces.
The color etch is self-adhesive. It’s the first self-adhesive set I’ve used and I was disappointed. On some of the parts the adhesive works well, but on most pieces the adhesive was weak and I had to use glue. The color-etch is used for the instrument panels, the consoles, and some sidewall detail. Once again everything fit well and I had little trouble. I found it tricky to bend and fold the etched throttle components, so next time I’ll punch out some round pieces to add form and strength.
Once all the color-etch was in place I gave the tub a coat of Polly Scale Flat, which took away the sheen of the color-etch and blended everything together nicely. A drop of Future on the MFDs and instruments and I was ready to put the tub in the fuselage.
The tub attaches to the nose wheel bay and the rear cockpit floats free. I found it difficult to figure out where to position the two color-etch circuit breakers on the sidewalls in the rear cockpit. I was tempted to do something about that and I am glad I didn’t.
The directions look like the parts fit flush with the deck, but the images from Eduard’s website indicate that these parts protrude into the tub. The photo also gives you a preview of all the etch details available for the seats. I have that set too and that’s next on my F-15S build.