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  1. Pe-8 (TD-7) Interior 3D Decal & Vacform Canopy (QD72005 & QC72005 for Zvezda) 1:72 Quinta Studio When Quinta’s products first came to our attention a few months ago, there was a lot of noise and gibberish typed because of jaws hitting our keyboards. These things are mind-boggling to look at, because we’re used to simplified styrene instrument panels, or Photo-Etch brass panels with either two layers of etch, or laminated parts that can be tricky to glue together, even though they are pre-painted for your ease. But decals? These aren’t your run-of-the-mill decals though, they’re 3D printed in many layers on a carrier film, having as much in the way of elevation as is needed to complete a realistic panel that has also been printed in the correct colours, and even has glossy dial faces and metallic-looking hardware of the ancillaries such as seat belts. Each set arrives in a ziplok bag with a folded instruction booklet protecting the decals so they should reach you in good condition. The visual instructions are printed on glossy paper, and are shown in full colour as befits the awesomeness of the sets, showing exactly where each part should go on the actual model, so there’s no confusion due to the “pictures speak a thousand words” maxim. Additional hints and instructions are also included, marking out parts needing bases, kit part numbers and other useful tips. There are further instructions on another sheet using the printed word, giving additional tips to the novice or forgetful user about maximising adhesion and preventing lift at the edges by wicking in super glue. That section is definitely worth a good read. Application is much the same as your standard decal, but you will need to remove any raised detail that would be underneath the location depicted in the instructions, and some new parts will need small backing panels or bases on which to apply the decal. A slim piece of sheet styrene would perform that task, and painting the edges a matching colour should minimise its appearance or even turn it completely invisible. This set is for the Zvezda kit of this monster that first graced our shelves in 2009, but has been re-issued in a new box as recently as 2017. I’ve been eyeing it for a while, so used this review as an excuse to pick one up. The cockpit area from the box is relatively modern, but suffers from totally blank instrument panels that have standard 2D decals applied during construction. This set from Quinta includes a complete set of new 3D instrument panels, with additional details added over the main panels for extra relief. It also has a number of instrument packages that are sat next to the two crew, and yet more on the cockpit sidewalls under the port windows. Finally, you get a bonus package of two textured cushions for the crew, two complete sets of four-point seatbelts for the top crew, and two more sets of lap belts for the radio operator and bombardier buried away within the glazed areas of the fuselage. If you’re wondering if any of this beautiful looking detail under the slightly unimpressive and hazy (on my kit at least) kit canopies, then I have news for you. Quinta have also created a full set of clear vacformed canopies for this beast, which has a ton of greenhouse glass to contend with. Read on. Pe-8 (TD-7) Vacform Canopy (QC72005) 1:72 Quinta Studio Some aircraft have a few canopies, some have a seemingly endless greenhouse of glazing just waiting for your fingerprints or masking disasters. The Zvezda kit of the Pe-8 has a ton of canopy parts, and on my edition they’re not the best, having a patina and haze to the surface. If you’ve spent any time working on the detail inside the aircraft, you’ll want a clear view into the fuselage so that all your effort isn’t wasted. If you’ve used the 3D printed decals above, you’ll be highly motivated to show them off, which is just what this set is designed for. It arrives in a sub-miniature Tupperware style box, with the contents secured in a ziplok bag, and each part further protected within its own smaller bag. There are no instructions, as once you’ve cut the canopy parts from the backing sheet, they can be glued in much the same way as the kit parts, and masked as usual. The set includes the following glazing panels: Two rear gunner installations in the rear of the engine nacelles Combined nose glazing and front turret in one piece, rather than two halves and the front glazing Top turret dome Fuselage side windows in short runs to replace the thick kit parts Two complete sets of canopy glazing to allow cutting of the opener if you wish Rear gunner dome with clear central panel Under-chin glazing panel plus smaller hatch insert to the rear Two flush wing-light covers If you’re new to using vacform canopies, here are a few tips. Cut off any rigid edges with scissors before beginning the cut-out process. When cutting out the canopy, use a brand new #11 blade, and proceed slowly, using gentle, shallow cuts. Once the canopy has been removed, trim the edges in easy stages to refine fit with the model. To trim the canopy down, you can use fine scissors (taking care not to close the blades fully), or a sanding stick, being careful not to scratch the panes. When you’re happy with the shape, remove any remaining Blutak and clean the screen to remove any residue, then dip is in Klear/Future to give it a glossy finish that will allow you to strip it back if you make a mistake. If you make a mistake when painting or gluing, drop your canopy in a bath of Klear/Future, and the paint/superglue will just flake off into the liquid if it hasn’t crossed the Klear barrier. To glue the canopies in place, use GS-Hypo cement, one of the available PVA canopy glues, or very careful application of a non-fogging super glue. They’re really not as hard as people make out. If I can do it, you can too! Conclusion You have to see them to believe how good they are, and for a turn-key solution the 3D decals are without match in the hobby right now. Add to that the seatbelts, cushions and the incredibly competitive price, and they’re a must-have for anyone that isn’t a true cockpit painting master. A true innovation. Add the crystal clear canopies, and you’ll end up with a brilliant model. Extremely highly recommended. 3D Printed Instrument Decals (QD72005) Vacform Canopy (QC72005) Review sample courtesy of
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