Eduard have just released a plethora of aftermarket sets for Tamiya's recent 1:48 Bf 109G-6. Along with resin and etched parts to either enhance or completely replace the kit's existing detail in areas such as the cockpit and guns, the series also includes a very neat Brassin set that allows modellers to add a radio compartment in the rear fuselage.
The set boasts pin-sharp detailing, yet is encouragingly simple in terms of the number of parts it contains:
6 x grey resin parts
5 x etched metal parts
The resin casting in the sample set is essentially perfect, and the parts should be quite straightforward to prepare. There are chunky casting blocks to remove on some items, but the cutting points are clearly defined so, as long as you work carefully, there don't appear to be any obvious pitfalls.
The resin parts include liners for each half of the fuselage, a forward equipment rack that acts as a bulkhead and a smaller horizontal rack and individual pieces of equipment. Meanwhile, the etched fret holds the access panel and its frame, plus a couple of dials and a pair of wires. Purists might want to replace the flat etched wires with fusewire for a true 3D effect but, to be honest, tucked away in the fuselage, the etched parts will probably be fine.
Fitting the set involves inevitably involved a little surgery. Before doing any of that, though, I think I'll use the intact fuselage as a former to make sure I've matched the contours for the access panel and its frame. Heating the etched parts over a candle should soften them a little and make them easier to work with.
Once you're happy with the replacement panel, you'll need to open up a hole in the fuselage and remove the moulded ribs on the inside. With those tasks out of the way, fitting the resin components should be quite easy.
Strictly speaking, seeing as no thinning is needed on the fuselage halves, the resin inserts must be down-scaled slightly in order to fit. I'd say that's an acceptable compromise for the sake of easy installation.
Eduard provide a handy set of instructions that break things down into 7 clearly illustrated stages. Painting instructions are included with matches for Gunze Sangyo RLM colours.
You couldn't call it an essential upgrade, but Eduard's Bf 109G-6 radio compartment is beautifully produced and will certainly add interest to Tamiya's kit, especially if you're building a vignette of a servicing scene. It's not too complex, so it would make a good candidate for anyone looking to delve into the "dark art" of doing some surgery on a stock kit and adding an upgrade for the first time. (I will qualify that by noting that modifying any kit involves a degree of risk - and Tamiya's "Gustav" is obviously not the cheapest kit on the market to practise surgery on.)
Above all, this is a classic example of one of those aftermarket sets that niggles at you the more you look at it. I will be building Tamiya's kit as part of an ongoing project this year and hadn't even considered opening up the radio compartment - but the kind of detail Eduard offer makes it just too tempting not to include!
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Finely detailed and should be quite straightforward to install. Clear instructions.Lows: Logically, the inserts must be down-scaled a little to fit inside the Tamiya fuselage, but this probably won't worry anyone except the most determined rivet counters.Verdict: This is very well produced set that encourages you to open up the fuselage to reveal its innards. It's not too complicated for modellers who are new to modifying kits, but will more than satisfy die-hard superdetailers.
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...