Zoukei-Mura have released a spectacular 1:32 scale model kit of the Focke-Wulf Ta 152 H-1 last year (see review here
). While the kit is already very detailed in its original form, featuring a complete engine and interior, there is always room for more, especially if one wants to leave some panels open. If you want to go the aftermarket route for the kit, no need to search elsewhere because the Japanese manufacturer has some nice sets in his catalogue, which have been prepared by Eduard for the photo etched sets and Aber for the turned brass machine gun barrels and pitot tube. These sets are available only from the brand's own distribution system (Volks Japan or Volks USA
Ta 152 H-1 Interior (SWS02-M01)
This set is destined to the cockpit and mostly replaces plastic parts with much finer etched metal pieces which are almost all pre-painted. Included are a new instrument panel, new side consoles, levers and handles, new rudder pedals, new seat belts, etc...
Of course, the metal parts are much finer and crisper than the plastic ones of the kit. But they will also save you some time since most of the detail painting won't be necessary anymore, especially on the side consoles and the seat belts which are moulded with the seat in its original form.
Ta 152 H-1 Exterior (SWS02-M02)
This set provides mostly parts to enhance the level of detail of the exterior of the model. Included are new panels which feature hinges to bend to shape which could make the parts movable. I wrote "could" because the assembly would be very fragile in this case and I think it may be wiser to choose between open or closed position and glue the parts definitely in place. Parts are provided for the right fuselage side panel (located under the cockpit opening), the radio compartment access panel, the access panel on the rudder's left side, the wing root machine gun access panels and two hatches on the aircraft's belly. To do the hinges, one will have to use 0.5 mm metal or plastic rods which are not included. However internal details and latches are present.
New parts for the landing gear doors are provided but they don't replace all the plastic parts. However, when assembled, the result will look much more to scale. The engine covers will benefit from new metal hinges and latches and the radiator cowling will get new flaps which are all separate. Fitting the latter won't be a piece of cake for sure but the reward will be a more realistic appearance. Finally, a new compressor air intake grill as well as a new d/f antenna is included as well.
Ta 152 H-1 Landing Flaps (SWS02-M03)
This set is destined to replace the plastic flaps of the kit with photo etched ones. One will have to remove the ribs present on the original model in order to make room for the replacement pieces. Other than that construction should be straightforward if you have the proper bending tools and some experience with such products. One shouldn't be put off by the rather complex appearance of the metal parts. Having assembled quite some Eduard PE flaps in the past, I can say that they are usually very effectively designed and much easier to work with than one would imagine. Once finished, they will look much more realistic than plastic and even resin ones.
Ta 152 H-1 Gun Barrels and Pitot Tube (SWS02-M04)
The last item destined for the Ta 152 H-1 kit is this turned brass Gun Barrels and Pitot Tube set. It is composed of 8 metal parts which replace the original plastic parts of the kit. No additional work is required.
The metal parts are much finer than plastic ones and the muzzles of the barrels are of course hollowed. Included in a small box are two MG151 gun barrels made from 3 parts each, one pitot tube and one antenna mast. The quality of the Aber made parts is excellent.
Each set comes with it's instructions (3 A4 pages for set SWS02-M01, 4 A4 pages for set SWS02-M02, 2 A4 pages for set SWS02-M03 and 1 A5 page for set SWS02-M04). All the instructions are printed in colour and have clear drawings to work with but they are only in Japanese language (at least in my samples). However, if you are used to work with Eduard PE sets, you won't have any problem since the instructions use the same colour codes and symbols.
Zoukei-Mura's additional sets for the Ta 152 H-1 have been designed to enhance the already very good level of detail of the original kit. The PE parts don't add much more, but the model will look much finer in some places and will definitely be more realistic in the end. The pre-painted cockpit parts will also save you a lot of time since detail painting won't be necessary anymore.
Admittedly, if one purchases all four sets, the price of the kit will be much higher, But not everyone will want to display the model with the flaps in the lowered position or open all the access panels. So in the end, the choice will remain for the modeller: leave the kit as it is, only focus on some aspects of it or go for an "all inclusive" project. Quality-wise, all the sets can be highly recommended.
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