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P-47D-30 Thunderbolt Update Sets (for MiniArt) 1:48


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P-47D-30 Thunderbolt Update Sets (for MiniArt)

1:48 Eduard Brassin

 

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MiniArt knocked the still good but ageing 1:48 Tamiya kit off the top spot as de facto standard kit in this scale recently, and as they do with many of their kits, they have released a number of variants in so-called ‘Basic’ (which is hardly basic), and ‘Advanced’ flavours.  Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner.  Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point.  As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between.

 

 

 

Upgrade Set (491432)

Two frets are included, one nickel-plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass.  In the cockpit, a complete set of new layered instrument panels, copious sidewall details in full colour, and rudder pedal improvements, with a couple of dials for the floor also supplied.

 

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For the exterior, a set of grilles for the three chin-intakes within the engine cowling are added, replacement cooling doors on the sides of the fuselage with extra bracketry are mounted in the bays on the sides, a full wiring loom for the R2800 engine is fitted after removing the wiring harness tubing from the rear of the bell-housing, new PE bay doors for the tail wheel, replacement oleo scissor-links for the main gear, a pair of dive-brake spoilers that fit into the alternative kit inserts (found on the sprues) under the wings, replacement upper gear bay covers with hinges and stand-off links, plus the vestigial door at the base of the main leg, with a scrap diagram showing its orientation.

 

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SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Decals (3DL48170)

The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet.  They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin, and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print.  In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals.

 

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This set has a full set of four-point belts that should either be used with the kit’s alternate seat parts that has no belts moulded-in, or you could cut the belts off the other seat if you feel like making work for yourself!  The belt buckle also has a comfort pad added underneath.  The instrument panel consists of two main decals for the majority of the panel, plus a hanging centre console that is applied to a new PE part and attaches under the main panel.  Two more decals are used on the starboard diagonal section of the panel, after removing all the moulded-in detail that is indicated on the instructions in red.  The sidewalls are similarly upgraded, the starboard side also using PE parts to create supports for two of the instruments, and shaving the front off an equipment box to apply a new face.  The starboard side has a stunning fourteen decals applied over moulded-in detail that is first removed, leaving an extremely well-appointed cockpit.

 

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Seatbelts STEEL (FE1433)

These belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting.  Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE.  As well as the crew belts, you also get a pad that sits under the buckles to prevent them from digging into the pilot’s lap.

 

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Masks (EX1025)

Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape.  In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for all three wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort.

 

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Masks Tface (EX1026)

Supplied on a larger sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with everything above, but also give you another set of canopy masks tailored to fit the inside of the glazing so that you can paint the model canopy’s interior and give your kit that extra bit of realism.  Having used these sets on my own models now, I can confirm that they are extremely accurate, and it's good practice to place the outer masks first to act as a guide for alignment of the inner masks.

 

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Conclusion

Use some or all of these to make a good kit better, whilst reducing the amount of detailed painting and scratch-building you’ll need to do in order to even partially represent the same level of detail as is seen here.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of

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