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A-26B Invader Cockpit (4416 for ICM)

1:48 CMK by Special Hobby

 

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ICM’s new range of A-26 Invader kits has hit a sweet-spot with a lot of modellers of 1:48 scale, and there has been a flurry of aftermarket arriving to cater for the super-detailers amongst us.  This set from CMK provides a replacement cockpit, and arrives in one of their standard yellow card boxes, with the parts inside Ziploc bags and buffered by the folded instructions.  Inside the main bag are twenty-four parts in grey resin, although one part (the spare instrument panel backing) isn’t used.  There is also a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) and a slip of clear acetate film with the instrument dials printed on it in a separate bag.  The instruction sheet is double-sided A4 with spot colour.

 

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The first step is to remove the moulded-in ribbing within the fuselage sides, which has the cockpit area shaded in red for your guidance.  Similarly, on the angled aft bulkhead with wing spar moulded-in, there is equipment to be removed, and a hole to be closed over with filler or scrap styrene.  The latter is shown in green for your ease.  The instrument panel is made up from a lamination of PE, acetate and resin, taking care to paint the rear of the acetate white to “illuminate” the dials, and line them up with their openings.  There is additional switch gear moulded into the back plate, which would benefit from painting according to your references.  It also has a coaming part fitted to the top, a side panel, which supports a small shelf that holds an instrument box, then the rudder pedals are assembled on a double-T frame and glued to the rear of the instrument panel.  The centre console is a large part, and is detailed with eleven PE engine control stalks across the top surface.  The kit bulkhead is next skinned with a new resin part, and is mated with the new floor, which also has details on the underside that will be seen through the nose gear bay aperture.  The centre console is glued to both these parts and will assist in obtaining the correct angle between them, then the instrument panel is glued to the front of the centre console.  There are a number of cylinders placed around the cockpit with a fire extinguisher amongst them, then a stack of shelves is made up to hold all the radio gear in three layers.  The crew seats are fitted with PE supports with a set of lap belts for the radio operator, and four-point harness for the pilot in his slightly sexier seat behind his control column, topped with a bomber-style yoke.  Before the cockpit is inserted into the fuselage, the two interior skins are fitted to replace the moulded-in detail that was removed earlier, and during fuselage closure, a bulkhead is installed in the front to blank off the footwell area.  There is no painting information included, but if you check the ICM instructions and your references, that shouldn’t pose much of an impediment to completing the task.

 

 

Conclusion

This set offers a substantial upgrade to detail for this kit, which is quite visible thanks to the generous glazing of the canopy.  With careful construction and painting it should stand out as a focal point to your model.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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