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Vickers Valiant Bk.Mk.1 Update Sets (for Airfix) - 1:72 Eduard


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Vickers Valiant Bk.Mk.1 Update Sets (for Airfix)



1:72 Eduard

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The highly anticipated Valiant kit has been knocking about the shelves now for some time, and so have a couple of these Photo-Etch (PE) sets. The rest are brand new, fresh from the Eduard stables, and will give your Airfix kit a boost, correcting some of the inaccuracies and less detailed parts that are found within the kit.

Cockpit Set (73428)

You can't see a massive amount of the interior of the Valiant when the canopy is applied and painted, but if you're planning on lighting it, or leaving the canopy loose to show off your work, or you have a "well I know it's there" moment, like we're all prone to, then this is a good set for you. The self-adhesive pre-painted sheet measures 7cm x 5.3cm, while the unpainted brass set is 8.3cm x 7cm. The painted sheet contains a full set of laminated PE instrument panels for the pilots, a set of side consoles and even a small console that resides in the roof area. You'll need to remove the existing detail before proceeding, as well as all of the seat location tabs that are present on the cockpit floor. The pilots get a set of rudder pedals each, and the steering yokes receive slim PE replacement wheels There is also a detailed set of instrument "boxes" for the rear-seat crew, which will be visible if you plan on leaving the crew access door open. Some additional panels are also placed within the fuselage sides to busy up the area, also the massive cable-run and busy boxes on the starboard wall aren't fully represented. A pair of painted Emergency Exit signs are placed above the porthole, just to finish off the area.

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The crew seats are all a little bit simplified as supplied with the kit, and although the front seats could do with a major overhaul, they receive a set of details for their rears, presumably because that is what will most likely be seen. The rear-seater get a completely new trio of seats, made entirely of PE parts, including the missing tube-work legs and thin back supports. I'm not 100% convinced of the back of the chairs being totally accurate, but they are certainly a much better option than the kit parts. Some nicely done steps up to the forward cabin are included, as well as a small table with "something" cylindrical sat on it. That has a few further lumps and bumps on it, so if you're feeling adventurous you could add them using your references. The final section that is decked out is the rear periscope that resides in the tapering part of the cockpit roof. It replaces all the moulded in solid protection bars with PE parts, although it doesn't provide you with the periscope itself.

Interestingly, the instructions tell you to cut the rear floor from the front, using the large skin with an L-shaped spur on the bottom to set the rear cockpit area back 1mm. I seem to recall somewhere that the rear cockpit was a little too close to the door, and this is perhaps Eduard's attempt to fix that issue. Some strengthening styrene sheet might be a good idea to stop the two halves flapping about once installed however.

As you might have guessed from this review, I have been scouting the Valiant's cockpit for quite a while, which was in preparation for my (now stalled) build that you can find here, which was done before Eduard came along and helped save us all some time.

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Cockpit Zoom Set (SS428)

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.

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Seatbelt Set (73450)

If you're going to spend some time on the cockpit, you might as well add all of the seatbelts to go with it. The instructions show the parts being applied to the vanilla kit parts, but if you're adding the cockpit set, they can just as easily be used with the replacements mentioned above. The 5cm x 3.5cm fret is pre-painted, and is very detailed, although necessarily tiny.

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Undercarriage Set (72541)

The kit landing gear bays are somewhat fictional in places, and to address this, you can use this set which goes a long way toward correcting the major issues on a fret that is 14cm x 9cm. The Main gear wells receive a roof skin that has the correct rivets rather than those ribs seen on the kit, and adds some wall skins to do the same for those. A complex tangle of parts sits at one end of the bay's large rib, which is the only detail within the bay that is retained. Scraping of the kit detail away will be tricky because of the sidewalls, but a small curved knife blade should do the job well enough. The gear bay doors also have fictional detail included, which is to be removed before installing the new skins to the insides, improving detail no end.

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The nose bay suffers from being too wide, and a little shallow (IMHO), and although Eduard haven't addressed that aspect of the kit, they have provided some nice detail to improve the look. A tricky part needs removing in the roof of the bay, which will again require some careful scraping unless you have a Dremel. The sidewalls also receive new skins, and detail parts that aren't present on the kit offering, and the gear bay covers are skinned with more realistic riveted doors. The towel-rail antennas on the starboard door is replaced by three stand-off parts, and you will need a fine piece of 0.15mm wire to finish off the job. The final parts improve the look of the mounting for the nose gear leg, and add an etched oleo-leg scissor to make it look a little more accurate.

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Surface Panel Set (72539)

This self-adhesive set measures 14cm x 9.3cm, and is an improvement set to give the outer skin of this Cold-War V-bomber a more realistic look. It includes a set of PE vortex generators for the tail and upper wing, which come with their own templates to ensure they are placed correctly. There are a myriad of other panels dotted around the airframe, and some rather large sections attach to the underside of the ailerons, which have tiny dots etched into them. Some new airbrakes on the underside of the wing are also included, which begs the question "should I show them deployed?", although I'm unsure whether they were used at this time.

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A myriad of smaller parts are applied around the blended engine nacelles, depicting the maintenance access-ports used for dropping out the Avon engines out of the wings. Similarly, on the fuselage spine there are a number of parts applied there that are involved in the loading and unloading of munitions in the bomb bay.

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Mask Set (CX299)

The Valiant had little glazing due to their initial nuclear weapons delivery role, but it does have some interesting shaped windows that are tricky to mask, especially the triple paned section on the quarter panel with its curved top and bottom sections. To fill the sheet, a set of masks for the nose-wheel pair are included, as these have moulded in mudguard detail that will make them tricky to paint.

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Well worth a look if masking drives you potty!

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Conclusion

The additional detail provided by these sets will make your Valiant stand out from the crowd, and will doubtless set some of us thinking about how best to display all that lovely cockpit detail.

Highly recommended.

Review sample courtesy of

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