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A-6 Intruder Exhaust Set & MB GRU5 Ejection Seats 1:48


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A-6 Intruder Exhaust Set & MB GRU5 Ejection Seats
1:48 Hypersonic Models



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These sets from our friends at Hypersonic are aimed squarely at the new(ish) EA-6 Intruders from Hobby Boss, which are pretty well detailed out of the box, but not up to Jeffrey's high standards, which has resulted in a couple of sets to both increase the detail and ease the build process of the exhausts a little. Both sets arrive in ziplok bags, with the comprehensive instructions on glossy paper stapled to the rear. Any delicate parts such as Photo-Etch (PE) is protected by a small slip of thick cards to prevent damage during transit/storage.

A-6 Intruder Exhaust Set (HMR48017)
The kit exhausts are split along their length around the curved section, and replicated by cylinder-shaped sections on the straight, with a separate engine rear face that is… well, shockingly poor compared to the rest of the kit. This resin replacement throws all those parts out, opting for a series of five cylindrical sections that remove the need for any sanding of seams, but also allows the parts to be moulded at a more scale thickness to improve realism. The difference between the resin and kit is akin to chalk and cheese, with lovely engine face detail with stator-blades, central bullet fairing and a delicate PE insert that fits between the two parts that make up this area. The two curved sections are added next, kinking outboard to the straight section that is the highly detailed tip of the exhaust. Each part is keyed with small blocks and cut-outs, so getting things lined up should be easy enough, and each part has a small raise number preceded by L or R so that you don't get the parts mixed up once the casting blocks are removed. When you have glued all the parts together, the casting numbers can be sanded off before painting the outside. Painting of the interior is probably best done before construction, and take care to remove any mould release residue in warm soapy water (or isopropanol) before you start painting.

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To install these corrected nozzles in the kit, you will need to thin the area of the fuselage into which they are fitted, which has been pointed out in two diagrams showing the inside and outside views, with shading where the work needs to be done. Another diagram highlights a tooling mistake on one of the kit parts, and how to remedy it by reducing the corner to a curve.

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Martin Baker Mk.GRU5 Ejection Seats (HMR48022)
These seats were used in the Intruder until the mid-seventies when they were replaced by more modern GRU.7s that are supplied in the Hobby Boss kit, correcting your seat if you are modelling the early version. The package includes two seat bodies with plenty of moulded-in detail, plus a separate casting block containing a number of small detail parts. One tiny part was missing from my set, but was probably loose in the bag before I carelessly tipped them out. The moral of the story – check the bottom of the bag, and tip the contents out onto a clean desk.

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The seat just needs a wash and prime before painting, and this is probably best done before adding the smaller parts. Two diagrams show you which colours to use where on the seat, using generic colour names rather than paint codes for one particular manufacturer. There is a fine resin pull-handle that activates the seat and face curtain at the top of the headbox, and this has a web of resin in the middle that needs removal with a new blade before it is fitted to the headbox. The little part at the top of the seat's firing tube is easily installed (if you haven't lost it), and a pair of tie-rods are then added to the rear of the seat on either side, with the other end attached to the bulkhead behind.

The extra detail of the seat, the realistic moulded-in seat belts that are subtly different between the two seats (everyone else, take note!) and the quality of casting makes these hard to resist.

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Conclusion
The kit seats (GRU.7s) are incorrect for the early A-6, and these resin replacements will lift the detail nicely with very little effort, while the improvement to the exhausts is massive, giving a much better scale appearance and detail to the area once fitted.

Jeffrey's attention to detail is legendary, and it shows in every set he makes.

Highly recommended.

Review sample courtesy of

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