When Eduard released their excellent 1:48 SE.5a a little while back, it came complete with an etched seat harness that included shoulder straps. As was soon noted in the Forum, this wasn't wrong per se, but only partially applicable, because early machines were fitted with just lap belts.
For my build I simply left out the shoulder straps, but now Eduard have released a proper set of early-style lap belts and it's clear that compromise solution wasn't really the answer. The new belts are much broader and do look completely different.
Arriving on a smalled etched fret, the set contains belts for two models. They are neatly pre-coloured with a slightly shaded appearance that you could accentuate with careful use of a wash and highlighting. There's a simple sheet of instructions showing the new belts as straight replacements for the originals. The drawing leaves the slots for the shoulder straps open, but I'd fill them (I may be wrong, but I'd imagine they were only added once the later shoulder harness was fitted).
Where I have a concern is that the new belts look huge. You'll need to cut them down in length considerably to install them and, even then, they certainly won't fit on the seat as shown in the instructions. In fact, the more I look at them, the more I wonder if they are really 1:48 at all. Out of interest, I compared them with the belts included in Wingnut Wings' 1:32 Hisso, and they are an almost exact match for size. So, are these actually 1:32 belts? I'll leave it to the experts to decide that, but I think I'll save them for when I tackle Wingnut's Hisso one day.
Like all their etched sets, Eduard's new early SE.5a seatbelts are beautifully produced, but there's that nagging doubt that they are overscale. If you go with them, be prepared for a bit of work convincing them to fit in the confines of the 1:48 kit's cockpit.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Beautifully detailed and pre-coloured.Lows: The do seem very large for this scale and will need a lot of trimming down to fit.Verdict: In view of their size, I think Eduard's new SE.5a seatbelts might be more suitable for 1:32 kits.
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...