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Tempest Mk.II Cockpit (648639 for Eduard/Special Hobby) 1:48


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Tempest Mk.II Cockpit (648639 for Eduard/Special Hobby)

1:48 Eduard Brassin

 

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Eduard’s new Hawker Tempest Mk.II in 1:48 has been received with great excitement and more than a little bit of drool by many modellers, as it represents the pinnacle of injection moulded kit design at the moment, and a well-loved aircraft to boot.  You can always improve on perfection though, and using resin to produce parts of excellent fidelity by creating masters using 3D CAD software and 3D printing is the perfect medium to create even more detailed parts for your model.  A great many modellers will be perfectly happy with the detail in the base kit, but if you’re a stickler for detail, fancy the challenge of increasing the fidelity of your cockpit, or just felt like getting one, this set is just what you’re looking for.

 

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Arriving in the deep rectangular cardboard box that larger Brassin sets use, inside are three Ziploc bags containing fifty-five resin parts, a fret of nickel-plated pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small decal sheet with instrument dials, and a slip of clear acetate with shapes printed in black ready for cutting out.  It is cushioned by a thick sheet of grey foam, and a thick instruction booklet printed in colour on both sides of A4 sheet, folded in half.  It’s easy to get confused with these individual leaves fluttering about the desk, but Eduard have numbered the steps, and if you put a couple of staples in the left margin (landscape format), you’ll be able to keep them in sequence.  The detail is orders of magnitude better than the already excellent kit cockpit, and the sensible breakdown of parts and their attachment to casting blocks will make the task much easier than it otherwise may have been.  Finally, the method of casting that Eduard have developed means that bubbles are almost unheard of in their sets, which is another area of concern removed.

 

If you’re familiar with the cockpit of the Tempest, you will know that it is a framework with the floor suspended in the lower fuselage, so construction begins with the side frames, which have many detail parts added to the frames, plus the side console on the left and right, both of which are substantially different in terms of form and function from each other.  The colour call-outs are made in Gunze codes throughout, which makes the task much more pleasant too.  The side frames are then linked by the addition of a section of the wing spar and a number of cross-braces, including a scrap diagram to assist with placement of the parts.  Two instrument boxes are placed low down on the side frames, then the floor is begun, starting on the central section with control linkages and brackets for the floor “foot trays”, and a slot for the control column, which has two choices of grip.  The rudder pedals glue atop the cross-beam and have an adjustment wheel added to the centre, and is then glued in the front of the floor arrangement, which is itself inserted into the framework and integrated with more scrap diagrams holding your hand.

 

The seat is next, with adjustment lever and lower mounts added first, then the PE lap belts in full colour.  It gets inserted into the rear of the framework, then is boxed-in by a cross-brace that has the top seat mounts, another cross-brace with fabric cover, then a fuselage structural frame at the rear.  The fuel tank is placed straddling the frame in front of the pilot, with the instrument panel sitting right up against it, and festooned with decals and some PE controls, adding a compass with another decal in the bottom centre.  The pilot’s back armour panel is glued to the cockpit sill insert along with a Y-shaped section of the shoulder belts that sits behind a rail that the straps drape over later on.  The gunsight has two clear acetate parts attached, one of which can be fitted flat down or angled, with a PE cover over the top, and a piece of 0.3mm wire from your own stores leading away from the unit.  It is inserted above and in front of the instrument panel on a two-legged bracket that slots into slots in the top of the panel.

 

Before the fuselage can be closed up, the sidewalls, which already have moulded-in ribbing from the box, are detailed with more resin and PE, including an additional decal. Finally, the fuselage can be closed up around the new highly detailed cockpit, with the addition of the kit’s styrene front bulkhead, then the cockpit sill insert and the two shoulder belts are added into the top of the newly minted fuselage.

 

 

Conclusion

When you break it down, it seems a much easier process, and the improvement in detail is excellent.  It’s probably not suitable for novices, but anyone with some experience of resin construction should manage perfectly well, and the results will be well worth the effort.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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