by: Damian Rigby [ ]
Vector have consistently produced very high quality aftermarket upgrades for several years now and these sets for the Monogram 1/48 P-61 are certainly no exception. There are 2 sets reviewed here:
VDS48-044 – Engine and cowls set
In this set there are 2 complete engines with the cylinders cast in 2 blocks of 9. The engine blocks are cast individually. The magneto and distributor housings are supplied on their own respective blocks, and one spare of each item is kindly supplied (in case of operator error). The detail is very sharp and there are no signs of flash, bubbles or sink holes. The fit of the cylinders to the engine block is neat and positive, with the assembly of these items in the photos achieved without glue. CA adhesive was used on the other parts. The cowl detail is excellent, with fine recessed panel lines and rivets on the outside, and actuator attachment points on the inside. A photo is shown with the original kit part (black) for comparison. The firewall has superbly cast exhaust stubs and positive fitting for the engine block. The vent screen part has finely detailed panel lines and rivets, and the screen and protection plate are a huge improvement on the kit detail. Some surgery will be required on the kit to replace these parts, but it looks to be quite straightforward. The instruction sheet is simple but very clear and easy to follow, showing wiring detail as well as cutting locations for the removal of kit parts. You will need to source some wire to use as push-rod covers for the cylinders and cowl flap actuators, and for ignition wiring.
VDS48-045 – Propellers and Spinners
This set contains 2 spinners on separate cast blocks, and 8 blades contained on 2 blocks of 4 each. Once again the detail is very sharp and there are no signs of flash, bubbles or sink holes. No instruction sheet is required. The location pin for connecting the blades to the spinner is quite large, but the fit is loose and you will need to take your time in ensuring that the pitch is even on all 4 blades. In the accompanying photo you can see that one of the blades in my supplied set has a distinct bow in it. I cut this blade from the block and warmed it gently with a hairdryer, then let it cool with a small paint jar sitting on it, and it straightened up nicely. I suspect that this bowing occurred in transit as the other set was fine.
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