Hs 126 S.A.
Made to enhance the level of detail of the already very nice 1:48 scale ICM kit (see review here: Hs 126 A-1
and Hs 126 B-1
), Eduard's Hs 126 S.A. set comes in the usual plastic pouch of the Czech Manufacturer. It is composed of two PE frets which are protected by two cardboard sheets to prevent them from damage. An A4 size construction notice is included as well. The set is destined to the semi-open cockpit, the engine and the exterior of the aircraft.
Fret 1 is composed of 67 parts and fret 2 of 95 parts. The quality of the product is very high as one would expect from the number one specialist of pre-painted photo etched parts.
The instructions are printed in black & white on an A4 and an A5 sheet and spread over 6 pages. The construction drawings are easy to follow.
The first fret, which is also available separately as a Zoom reference (FE 509), is self-adhesive and pre-painted for some parts. It has already been reviewed by Rowan Baylis (see HERE
). It is mainly destined to the cockpit interior: instrument panels, control boxes, seat harnesses, levers, handles etc…
While Rowan was quite convinced by the RLM 02 rendering, I must say that I found it to be to grayish. I have shot a couple of comparison photos of the parts with the paint chips present in the K. A. Merrick Luftwaffe Colors book and I found the shade closer to RLM 75 Grey Violet than RLM 02 or even RLM 66, though it could pass as a lighter shade of the latter. However, since most (all?) Hs 126s were painted RLM 02, this will inevitably end up in a mismatch of colors if you use the parts like they are.
The second fret isn't pre-painted and self adhesive. It's parts are meant to add even more details, even in the cockpit area (rudder pedals, gunsight, etc…) but also to the engine (ignition wires) and mostly to the exterior of the model (maintenance hatches, gun barrel, trim tabs with actuators, canopy rail covers, etc…). It seems that Eduard have scrutinized every photo and drawing about the subject since even the access steps located in the landing gear struts are present. However these are of the later style so not appropriate if you want to do the A-1 variant.
All in all, the second fret, while not essential, will nevertheless add some more "character" to the model.
The ICM Hs 126 is a very nice kit with a high level of detail. It should look nice built from the box but the addition of this photo etched set will make it look even better and the painting will be easier in the cockpit area. Too bad about the RLM 02 mismatch though...
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