Starfighter Decals 1/72 Revell PT-13/17/N2S-3/5 Cockpit Detail Set
By Matt Bittner
I'm not sure when the Revell 1/72 PT-13 Kaydet was released, but it was quite some time ago. Even so, it's a very nice and accurate kit, and there has only been one other 1/72 injected kit that I know of, released by Pavla many years ago and no longer in production. It was also a little more expensive than the Revell kit but it did have a little more to it, especially in the cockpit area. That's where this set comes into play.
This release from Starfighter Decals consists of 10 pieces of gray resin for the Revell Kaydet. It consists of a pilot's seat; the forward seat; the forward instrument panel; the rear instrument panel; right and left sidewalls; floor; the left and right rudder rails; and the two control sticks connected by a single bar, just like the real thing. There is a little kit surgery needed before adding the resin to the injected kit, mainly in removing the seat mounts from the kit's fuselage halves. Once that has been accomplished then adding the cockpit to the Revell kit can commence.
It's important to study the instructions prior to adding parts and it's here is my only complaint with this set. There are photos on the instruction sheet to help with assembly but while they're decent on the small instruction sheet, it would be better to have larger, higher-resolution pictures to help. Maybe Starfighter could provide this as a higher-resolution download from their site. But be that as it may, this shouldn't stop you from picking up this set.
Once the minor kit prep is taken care of then you can follow the instructions and start adding resin parts to the injected plastic. Add the floor to one fuselage half and then add the sidewall for that side of the fuselage. Add the rudder pedals followed by the control stick. After this step the instrument panels are added once the other sidewall is glued to the floor. Or, as the instructions state you could also build the cockpit as a "tub" and glue it to the fuselage later but if you do, be sure it fits while assembling all parts together.
While Starfighter does include instrument panels they're blank, with no relief nor decals for instruments and Starfighter actually recommends the instrument panels put out by Yahu. All Yahu panels are superb so that is definitely the route I will take. In addition there are no seat belts either molded in-situ with the seats, or supplied separately, so you'll need to source these yourself as well.
While the Revell kit disappears at times from their catalog, there are plenty out there on the secondary market. Just scour that market whenever a contest is in your area plus I bet Rare-Plane Detective has a few in stock as well. You'll never be without a Revell 1/72 Kaydet. Also be aware Starfighter Decals has released a comprehesive set of decals for the Revell Kaydet as well.