by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Eduard have released a series of upgrades for Zvezda's very impressive 1:48 Bf 109G-6. The kit is already highly detailed, but there's always scope to add more or refine what's already there.
Item #49831- Bf 109G-6 Detail SetThis etched set breaks down into two parts. A pre-coloured fret with 49 parts (which is also available separately in Eduardís Zoom range), and a plain brass one with a further 69 parts. Some of the parts are quite tiny, so it's a relief to see that there are a few spares among them.
The set comes with a clearly illustrated sheet of instructions that's colour shaded to highlight where surgery is needed on the kit parts. There's not really any logical sequence that I can fathom, so construction does rather jump around the model in a haphazard fashion.
The areas covered by the upgrade are broadly:
The engine - This benefits from lifting rings, ignition harnesses, a filter for the supercharger intake, new exhaust shields, electrical attachments etc. These will certainly add to the kit's DB 605, although the etched part representing the pipe for the ignition leads will look rather 2-dimensional without a bit of help.
The cockpit - Eduard basically dominate the market with their pre-coloured etched details, and they are used to good effect in the Gustav's "office" with replacement instrument panels and equipment fascias. As always, the detail is superb - and the only hurdle is making sure the paint you use for RLM 66 broadly matches Eduard's colour. To some extent you could explain away any difference because of the way the Bf 109 was built with dispersed production and pre-painted sub-assemblies using different paint batches.
The set provides new rudder pedals, details for the gunsight and oxygen regular, linkages for the flaps and trim controls, plus a plethora of straps, knobs and switches to dot around the cockpit. Rounding things off are grab handles and a catch for the canopy.
The radiators - The kit's wing radiators are moulded in one set position, so Eduard replace them with new parts to fold to shape, complete with interior vanes and hinges. The actual radiator cores are left unchanged, as is the oil cooler under the nose, but Eduard do provide an etched plate to add detail to the inside of the housing which can be displayed open.
The undercarriage - The set adds brakelines and towing rings to the main gear legs, plus small details inside the wheel wells.
Overall, the set doesn't look overly complicated for anyone used to working with etched parts - you'll just need a steady hand and patience ppeparing and positioning the tiny parts.
Price: 17.25 Euros
Item #49832- Bf 109G-6 Seatbelts (Steel)Eduard's standard practice these days is to sell the seatbelts separately - and I must admit I'd have preferred to have these included in the set above at the expense of the engine and undercarriage details. That small gripe aside, the seatbelts are beautifully produced, pre-coloured with a shaded effect to make them look "worn in". The detail is excellent and, so long as you're careful bending them to shape, the pre-colouring is pretty robust (bend the parts sharply and there's a real risk of it flaking off). The belts are definitely worth adding to Zevzda's kit if you don't install the pilot figure.
Price: 5.25 Euros
Item #EX552- Bf 109G-6 Painting Masks Finally, there's a set of die-cut kabuki tape painting masks that caters for the exterior of both styles of canopy, along with the armoured headrest and mainwheels and tailwheel. If you're careful, you should be able to use the masks on more than one build to increase their cost effectiveness - and there's no denying they will be a major time-saver over cutting out your own masks.
Price: 8.25 Euros
ConclusionEduard have produced a good variety of upgrades for Zvezda's Gustav - a kit that's already excellent in its own right. Not everyone will want to build their model with the engine on display or open the radiators, but the new etched parts will add interest if you do, while the cockpit should definitely look a real gem with the added details.
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