Rodenís recent quarterscale He 51B was quite rightly very well received when it appeared last autumn. A sure sign of its overall quality is that has since been re-boxed by Eduard alongside their Bf 109E as a Spanish Civil War 2-in-1 set.
But even the best kits usually have room for improvement, and Sergey Kosachev has released a very neat resin upgrade set that functions as a straight drop-in replacement to correct and augment the kitís upper cowls and exhausts, along with a new pair of wheels.
VDS48-100 - Heinkel He 51B Exterior Set contains 8 beautifully cast resin parts packed in a zip-lock bag. The wheels had become detached from their casting plinth in transit in the sample set, but luckily no harm was done. However, using little generic protective packets might be something for Sergey to consider, because it would be a shame to see delicate resin parts damaged if it could be avoided.
The main component is a complete new upper cowling to replace kit part 3a. The resin version features a completely reworked carburettor-scoop on the top. Not only is it reshaped, but the opening is much larger, so the set includes an interior piece to prevent an empty void.
Hidden under the top wing and easy to miss in photos are a pair of streamlined bulges over the MG 17 breeches, so Sergey has provided them as separate items to attach.
Roden were always likely to struggle with the He 51ís distinctive ďorgan pipeĒ exhaust arrays, and so it proved. The new resin parts are a massive improvement over their styrene counterparts, and are neatly hollowed-out to save you a chore.
Finally, thereís a new pair of mainwheels - not spoked like the kit versions, but with domed hubs and delicate tyre inflation points.
Set VDS48-100 is available now, priced £9.00 at Neomega and $11.00 at Linden Hill.
As usual, Vectorís upgrade parts are beautifully produced, confirming their position among the best available. The set wonít be at all complicated to use, so it should be ideal for newcomers to working with resin and will offer a very worthwhile improvement to an already fine kit. Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Beautifully designed and detailed. Faultless casting.Lows: None that I've noted.Verdict: Vector's set will be simple to use and offers a definitely improvement over the original kit parts.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...