I'd never tackled any of Eduard's etched flaps before, but reading Saul Garcia's excellent review of the set designed for the P-40E Warhawk
was both very encouraging and helpful in preparing me for what to expect. The new set for the '190 follows along similar lines and I encountered no particular difficulties.
The single steel fret contains just 14 parts to build both a pair of flaps and the corresponding liners for the insides of the wings. The instructions are well drawn on both sides of an A-4 sheet and are colour-coded to indicate where plastic parts must be removed or modified and where the etched details fit. Construction begins with the necessary modifications to the kit wings and fuselage but, seeing as I'd never tackled such a conversion before, I deemed it much more sensible to reverse the order and ensure that I could make the flaps correctly before risking ruining the kit!
So, starting on page 2 of the instructions, the first things I tackled were the liners for the flap-bays. Each consists of a single piece which comes complete with all the ribs attached. What looks initially a little daunting is actually a very simple task. I had the benefit of a Hold 'n Fold which made light work of the long folds, but careful use of a straight edge should work perfectly well too.
First of all, fold up the rear spar and the box-ends to form an open tray. Next, fold the rear lip, complete with the ribs, up to the vertical position. Then twist each rib 'round 90° and gently continue to fold the rear lip over into the tray. The ribs should line up with the grooves in the tray and on the spar. I actually found that the slight pressure from the spar was enough to keep the ribs in place without any glue but, if you think adhesive is needed, it might be an idea to apply a tiny amount of varnish along each rib and tuck them into position when it's tacky, thereby avoiding the risk of leaving dabs of cyano acrylate visible. The only other parts to add are a pair of embossed plates inside the bay. The diagram showing them being embossed is a bit unclear, but a quick check with references showed the appearance of the full-sized originals.
The flaps themselves are built up of 4 parts each. The first (and fiddliest) task is to double-fold 12 small flanges that form the ribs of the flaps. Once this is done, folding each flap is very simple - but do make sure you fold the "spar" of the flap along the correct line. Unfortunately, there are two equally tempting candidates - pick the wrong one and resulting flap is a little over deep. With the flap folded, slide in a facing strip for the spar and attach a pair of brackets to complete the assembly.
Having successfully made the flaps, I was happy to go back to the start of the instructions and start hacking at the kit! Most of the changes simply entail thinning the inside of the wings and wing roots - the only irreversible change obviously being removing the flaps themselves. The instructions are very clear in showing where areas need to be thinned and a step scraped into the inside of the lower wing surface. With the modifications made, the metal parts are a good fit and the finished impression should be great, giving a much more realistic look than merely applying strips of plastic inside the wing in the time-honoured fashion.
I wouldn't recommend this conversion to beginners, but anyone with a little experience with folding etched parts shouldn't have any trouble tackling Eduard's metal flaps. They look far more complex than they really are and actually make a rather good way to expand your skill-set before tackling some of the more complicated etched sets available.
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