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  1. B-25J Update Sets (for HK Models) 1:32 Eduard The large scale B-25J from new company HK Models has been very well received, including by this reviewer (review here). Of course it was always going to be improved on (isn't every kit?) and Eduard have stepped up to the plate with a myriad of Photo-Etch (PE) sets for you to pick and choose from to do just that. Cockpit Interior Set (32748) The first set deals with the cockpit, and comes on two sheets of PE. The smaller sheet, at 7cm x 8cm is pre-painted and self-adhesive. It contains the parts for improving the detail and providing a set of new instrument panels made up from layered PE that gives dials, bezels, buttons and switch details, plus sub-panels and rudder pedals, all of which attach to the original kit part M10 after some of the detail is removed. The cockpit floor gets a number of raised panels with additional detail etched into them, and the centre floor panel between the pilot seats receives a significant number of extra parts to busy it up and improve the look. The throttle quadrant is overhauled with a new set of detail parts for the throttle body, and a more detailed top with the slots for the levers, as well as the levers themselves, all pre-painted the appropriate colours. The seats receive extra detail in the form of skins to the sides, a strengthener at the back where the two angles meet, and optional head and back armour for the pilot's seat only. The cockpit sidewalls are detailed with plenty of small instrument boxes, as well as brackets and sill details that require some of the moulded-in detail to be shaved off first. All of the instruments have pre-painted faces, so the detail should look stunning for the intrepid viewer. A set of parts is also included for the overhead controls in the canopy area, detailing what is otherwise quite a blank canvas. There are possible seat shape issues with the HK kit that have been identified around the internet, and there is an additional set that replaces the kit seats completely if accuracy is paramount. These will be reviewed later in this article. Zoom Cockpit Set (33112) This "cut down" set includes the self-adhesive pre-painted set detailed in the review above, and is perfect for either the budget conscious modeller or someone making their first forays into working with PE. Why is says for "Hobby Boss" on the label and website is a bit confusing though. Perhaps a typo? Seatbelt Set (32746) This descriptive set contains sufficient parts to create two sets of seatbelts for the pilot and co-pilot, with full belt and buckle detail, on a pre-painted fret that measures 9.3cm x 7cm. The painting/printing includes the stitching work, as well as the stencilling that is often seen on these items. The buckles and fasteners are left bare to give the ultimate in real metal look, and don't forget to give them a coat of clear gloss varnish if you want them to remain untarnished over the years. The building of these belts involves threading the various parts through the buckles to result in a very realistic looking buckle. Take care in bending the painted parts however, bending them slowly to avoid cracking the paint, exposing the bare metal where it won't look good. Similarly, the rear of the belts aren't painted, so if you plan on posing any twisted around, you will need to find a matching sandy shade to paint the rears. Corrected Pilot Seats (32750) Shape issues have been noted with the seats supplied with the kit, and looking at the cut-down nature of the co-pilot's seat, it would appear that symmetrically paired seats might not be appropriate for all airframes, although finding pictures of the cut-down co-pilot's seat online is proving tricky. Perhaps more research on my part is needed. The set measures 14cm x 7cm, and includes a full-height pilot seat, plus a cut-down second-seater, with highly detailed mounting frames and rails, improving on the original kit parts. You will need a length of 1.2mm rod to complete the task, so make sure you have stock before commencing assembly, as the seats have these running up the rear in each corner, attached by PE brackets and flanges. Detail parts are added to the rear of the seats, and a diagonal section is inserted in the inside of the seat and has two lightening holes etched in. Some complex folds and shaping is required with this set, so it isn't for the novice. Whether you want to show your B-25 having dissimilar seats is also another question you need to ask before purchase too. The extra detail is definitely worth it if you decide to go ahead though. Front Interior (32747) A more appropriate description would be "Nose area Interior", as that is what the set deals with. It comes on two frets, with one self-adhesive and pre-painted with instrument dials etc. It measures 7cm x 6cm, and is supplied on a waxy paper to prevent accidental adhesion. The larger bare brass fret measures 14.5cm x 7cm, and contains all of the constructional parts of the set. It starts with detail parts for the rear bulkhead and crawl space, adding a full skin to the floor, with lots of rivet and panel line details. A raised section of the floor is also included, together with the controls that it contains, and a jump-seat to sit on top of a couple of ammo-boxes. The sidewalls are similarly detailed with boxes containing instruments, stowage areas and various brackets, while the bomb-sight receives lots of detail parts to improve its look. The two nose mounted .50cal Brownings receive PE cooling jackets, which will need careful rolling on a soft surface to render them cylindrical. Their mounts are changed to the more accurate suspension mount, with the A-frame removed from the handles of part I10, and their hand-grips are augmented with more scale attachment points, with a ring-sight added to the upper breech area. If you are going to be entirely faithful, you will need to put wires running to the breeches from the pulleys that you install in the glazing parts. This would be a little tricky, but the finished effect would be something special. Fuselage Interior (32756) From inside the bag, this set is deception, appearing to have only two frets, but in fact it has three – one is hidden amongst the card backing. It is a large set, and contains a pair of large brass frets sized 14.5cm x 10cm and 14cm x 9cm, with a small pre-painted fret 7cm x 3.5cm. It covers the main body of the fuselage from the dorsal turret to the rear of the aircraft, and clears up a lot of the blank space that will be seen through the side windows. Initially, the dorsal turret receives a number of detail parts to improve the look of the mounting mechanism, including the foot-pegs that sit on a ratchet track for the gunner's comfort when sat on the bicycle style seat attached to the main unit. The small box of "tricks" at the foot of the turret mechanism gets a new instrument face that is sourced from the pre-painted fret. The floor on which the dorsal turret sits receives a complete skin, and the crew access door is detailed up with some additional parts, including some runners/stays for the opening mechanism, and a set of detail parts for the tunnel that pops out at the bottom of the dorsal turret itself. The door itself is completely replaced by s laminated PE assembly, which is quite fold-intensive, and has a framework panel that sits vertically next to the hatch. I'm not entirely sure what the function of this part is, but it is replicated on the inside of the mid-fuselage, so could be an inner floor panel that is inserted in the access doors during flight. The rear gunner's position is a little bare aft of the armour panel, and this is rectified by the set. As well as more scale-thickness "wings" on the top of the panel, there are a pair of skins for that section of the fuselage, plus separate raised ribs, various boxes and some additional details for the gun-sight. Moving forward, there is the aforementioned panel/rack attached to the inside of the inner fuselage just over the rear crew access door, and the door is replaced by a new PE lamination, with a detailed tunnel insert added for good measure. The final aspect of the set is a set of those tricky cooling jackets for the many guns installed on the B-25's various versions. There are 9 short jackets for the cheek guns (if installed) and nose guns, three medium ones for the dorsal turret guns, and six long shrouds for the rear guns, side guns. It seems that a few spares are present, which is handy, as rolling barrel shrouds can be tricky if you're new to the task. A piece of brass rod on a thin bed of kitchen roll will start you off, but make sure you anneal the parts in a lighter flame before you proceed to make them softer. Bomb Bay Set (32321) Another large set, this time containing two frets of 14.5cm x 9c m and 12.3cm x 7cm in bare brass. The first and most prominent section is the detailing of the bay roof, which receives several raised detail panels, plus some additional lumps and bumps, including details to the circular crew access door on both sides. The largest parts are the inner bay door skin, which attach to the kit parts to give more depth to the lightening holes, and add details to the edges of the doors themselves. The door retraction mechanism is augmented with some additional parts, and finally the sidewalls receive a comprehensive set of ribbing and panel enhancements that apply over the moulded in kit details. The bomb racks are also improved with some more realistic bomb shackles, the bombs get a pair of arming spinners fore and aft, and the bay sills receive some additional skins to finish the area off. A lot of PE, but quite a short instruction sheet due to the large size of some of the parts. Exterior Set (32319) Yet another large set, which I suppose I should stop commenting on because it's a large kit! This time it contains two frets of bare brass14cm x 7cm and 14cm x 10.3cm that are covered in densely packs parts. While the title is "exterior", almost the whole set is dedicated to the engine nacelles, providing extra bulkheads within the main body of the nacelle, small details for the engine, as well as ignition wiring. The cowling receives a full set of mounting lips for the access panels, inner skins for the access panels, and inner skins for the 14 cowling flaps, which will improve their look if you are posing them open. The final parts are actually a pair of nose-gear door skins that fix to the inside of the kit parts. Ammunition Belts (32320) A simple set on a smallish 10.3cm x 4.3cm fret, it contains strips of ammunition belt guides that glue to the sides of the kit parts, and the "fingers" are then folded over to provide a more accurate detail to the assembly. Simple and effective, and not too tricky to install. Mask Set (JX143) There are a lot of glazing panels on a B-25J, and masking them all accurately can be daunting for a great many modellers, which is where Eduard's mask range come in very handy. This is quite a large set, consisting of two sheets of their yellow kabuki-style tape, containing masks for the cockpit canopy, the nose glazing, rear turret, dorsal turret, side windows and of course the landing light covers. You will need a little liquid mask or tape to cover some of the more convex parts, which Eduard's masks usually provide just the all-important edges for, so don't forget to have some to hand when you start the job. The sheets are so full that there isn't space for any wheel masks, which are often present in these sets, but it's better than sacrificing glazing panels to fit them in. Conclusion As usual, you can pick and choose the sets that you want/can afford, and Eduard have really worked hard to provide us with the best selection here, with so much detail to add to an already great kit, you can really go to town. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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