Monogram's 1/48 scale B-26 Marauder is a nice kit (see the review of the Revell reboxing here
). However it was released in the late 70' and misses details in some places. Eduard have recently released a serie of photoetched references to improve the kit and the first in the line is the B-26 Marauder exterior set
Eduard's new B-26 Marauder exterior set comes in the standard packaging of the Czech manufacturer: a resealable plastic bag with cardboard sheets to prevent that the metal sheetings are damaged. The set is composed of three photoetched frets, one very small additional fret (more on that later), a very small acetate sheet and the A4 sized instructions.
Fret one is mainly composed of parts for the wheel bays, precisely several side walls, an access ladder, actuators, various cables and wires assemblies, oleo scissors, exhaust grills etc...
The side walls and internal structure details are in relief and will look good with a wash. Some parts must be folded to obtain more thickess but the wires and cables are flat. You may need to give them a rounder shape by painting them with white glue for more realism.
Fret two is mainly composed of parts for the engine nacelles and will greatly improve the level of detail in this area. The bulkheads (engine firewalls) are very nice and in relief. Several other structural details are present as well and, once assembled, will entirely close the gear bays and eliminate any "see through" effect on the Monogram kit.
The attention to detail by Eduard is such that even a windshield wiper for the bombardier's glazing is present on the fret!
Fret three is more eclectic. There are other structural details for the wheel wells but also some parts for the engines (ignition harnesses for example). With this set, the cowling flaps can be displayed open, provided that you are ready to use the microscopic parts which represent the actuator hinges. Various antennas, external panels, a gunsight etc... supplement the set. An acetate sheet is provided to go with part 49 and represents a small window for the navigator's station.
It is to note that two parts are missing on fret three (parts 59). These are added on an additional "mini" fret.
The instructions are printed on an A4 paper sheet and are very precise. The plastic parts which have to be removed on the original kit are clearly indentified with an orange color while the PE parts are represented in blue. In fact my only complaint is that the instructions don't show how some parts must be folded to obtain the final result that can be seen on the drawings.
In total, this set is composed of almost 200 parts which will considerably improve the look of the "old" Monogram kit. It will allow an experienced modeler to mainly detail the wheels bays and landing gear assemblies of the Marauder, but also to add those smaller parts that are not present in the kit. I recommend it to anyone wanting to build a detailled B-26 model in 1/48 scale.