Set #49338 comes spread over three frets, with two of them containing pre-painted parts. There are 170 parts which are spread into 3 main areas:
- 1. The interior
- 2. The engines
- 3. The undercarriage
The set also includes a few extras such as trim tab actuators and antennae.
By far the greater portion of the set is devoted to the cockpit section. Both the pilot's and radio operator/gunner's areas get a thorough make-over. Starting with the pilot's cockpit, you must remove all the moulded-on detail from the consoles on the kit's tub. This is then replaced with beautifully pre-painted etched items. The effect is excellent, with red, white. blue and black details picked out precisely on the new parts. The instrument panels come in for similar treatment, but this time the panels are two-part sandwiches with the dials on the rear part - all it'll need is some varnish to "glaze" the bezels to really bring these to life. In common with a lot of Eduard's sets, the plastic panels do require some careful modification before fitting the metal details.
The pilot and gunner both get detailed seat-harnesses which are, again, pre-painted. The sides of the cockpits are lined with new details but, for me at least, the pièce de résistance
is the radio rack. This receives a new face for each element, with separate tuning-dials and the detail in the printing/painting almost beggars belief. When Eduard first announced their pre-painted parts, I must admit I was rather sceptical - but seeing items like these just proves how wrong I was - they are simply stunning!
Lastly, as regards the interior, the canopy gets grab handles, locking levers and a rear-view mirror to adorn the inside.
Well, not so much the engines themselves, as the radiators and exhaust shrouds. The radiators get new multi-part grills to line the faces of the cores and the wing baths receive a number of new items to detail the interior. The oil coolers also get new outlet flaps and details for the cores. The kit's exhaust shrouds are scrapped and new metal replacements give a more true-to-scale appearance.
The first area to come in for attention is the tail wheel well. The kit has a kind of "see through" effect, whereby you can look right up into the tail, so Eduard put this right with a new lining and fuselage frames. The lining must be rolled carefully to the correct shape, so it might best heated and cooled before use, to give it more flexibility. The tail wheel itself gets a new towing ring and the doors are modified with delicate actuating arms. The main gears legs get new oleo-scissors and some new details for the support struts.
The instructions are very clearly illustrated in colour to highlight the position of the new parts and where the original kit must be modified. Overall, the assembly shouldn't prove too complex for anyone with some experience of working with etched items. Not surprisingly, the set really focuses on the cockpits and, with the kit's extensive clear parts and open crew-hatches, this show be a real show-stopper when finished. Recommended.
Thank you to Eduard for kindly supplying the review sample.
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