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Photo Etched Parts Bender DSPIAE Catalogue # AT-PB Available from Breveco Modelling for €69.50 There are some really good photo-etch bending tools on the market, with my personal preference thus far being the 5.5 inch Hold and Fold from The Small Shop. I’ve used numerous different folders over the last year, some being good and some being a little iffy, in my personal opinion. I suppose it was only a matter of time before Chinese tool manufacturer, DSPIAE, released their own into their high-quality tools range, and here is that very tool. We’ve looked at quite a few of their tools over the last year or so, such as the Glue Bottle Holder, CA Glue Applicator, Aluminium Alloy Scale, Hand Drill Set, Craft Tools Rack, Stepless Adjustment Circle Cutter, and the Single Blade Nipper 2.0, so now it’s time to delve into their very latest. DSPIAE tools are packed into robust and attractive boxes of MDF construction, with rather random Aztec-style imagery that really doesn’t bear any relation to the product within. Still, there’s no faulting the presentation, along with the excellent packing that can be used to safely store the tools for many years to come. The box states that the contents within, or at least some of them, are a result of high-pressure forging. The box sides show the parts included within the tool set, plus the ID Code used to identify this as a genuine DSPIAE tool and not a pirated copy, with this latter being something that even the respectable Chinese companies have had to do to separate themselves from their more unscrupulous countryfolk. Taking a look at the back of the box, we see some general product information and rationale for specific product design choices. Got to love the inclusion of the Ghostbusters logo! Lift that heavy lid and you’re already getting a thank you from the company for your tool purchase decision. Another product authenticity check is included in the form of a Q-Code that can be scanned with an appropriate app on a smartphone. This red packaging is actually a sleeve that contains one of the tools working tables, as named by the manufacturer. Yes, this PE bender has a choice of two working tables, and the one in this sleeve is manufactured from a shot-blasted piece of anodized aluminium that has a sort of graphite colour to it. This is also protected by a foam cut-out within the sleeve. On the rear of the sleeve is a little more of the same product information we saw on the rear of the box, alongside line drawings of the product. One thing that can never be criticised with DSPIAE is their packaging. The tool and parts within the box are sat in foam cut-outs with another insert being used to span the area between the bending plate release knobs. A silica gel sachet is included to prevent any moisture damage. With other PE benders, I’ve been used to a metal blade to assist folding any of the longer bent edges. Unusually, with this tool, the folding tool (or bending plate as described by DSPIAE), is constructed from clear acrylic sheet which has been neatly and evenly ground down to a wedge end, and with a black plastic cap strip along the other edge. In fact, they actually supply two folding tools here, with one of them being quite short in relation to the main folder. It remains to be seen how these bear up to continued use as opposed to a metal item but remember that it’s not much effort is generally needed to make these bends, and you aren’t pushing and grinding these parts together. More rationale for product design is also given on a foam insert, and also some information on how the tool is used. Time to get our hands dirty and take a closer look at this. No doubt, this tool must surely win a prize for the most beautifully finished and aesthetically pleasing tool that will end up on your workbench. The main bed of the PE bender is machined from high-grade aluminium which has been finished in black anodising and has a recess into which the switchable working tables will fit. Four hex-key screws hold the default working table in place. Unlike the shot-blasted, anodised aluminium plate that was packed into the sleeve, this plate is constructed of stainless steel and has a high mirror finish that was a little difficult to capture clearly in my photography. The bending face is constructed from more high-grade aluminium, this time anodised in the companies trademark red colour. This has more bending options than my default 5.5inch Hold and Fold, with the various shaped being precisely machines, as with the US-equivalent tool. Two knurled knobs hold down this pate onto the working table, with the plate itself being sprung-loaded. The being plate can also be lifted off and turned around 180 degrees so that the long straight edge is the principle bending face. This unit is also larger (and heavier) than my usually tool. The larger size does account for that generally, but the stainless working table adds to this, unlike my usual tool which is simply a two-part item which is also sprung-loaded. DSPIAE’s tool has a length of 177mm and a width of 91mm. Note here the smaller machined bending locations that can be used in conjunction with dowel or metal rods/drill shanks. A hex key is also supplied for you to tighten the threaded knob screws, should they ever come loose. Here you can see the difference in the working tables. There is some notation about the mirror finish being easier to scratch (obviously) but that won’t impair the quality of the tool and how it works. I think the choice between these two items is more one of personal choice than how the tool actually works. If you ever inadvertently damage one of these, then at least you’ll have a backup. To help maintain that mirror finish and keep things clean, a neat polishing cloth is also included, as are a set of sticky feet made by 3M. In the same wallet are the two hex-keys that we’ve seen in use in this review. Aluminium or mirror-finished working plate, the choice is up to you! Here you can also see the bending face turned around 180 degrees. Conclusion An extremely robust and high-quality tool with unusually high levels of beauty for a functional item. The two choices of working table are a nice touch, and the large overall size of the tool lends itself to some of those longer folds that we something see in our photo-etch parts sets. It’ll be interesting to see how the acrylic folding tools hold up under use, but these can be swapped for something else, should the need arise. The folding tool I got in my 5.5inch Hold and Fold eventually started to rust, so that wasn’t perfect, and I really didn’t want to look at introducing oil to things, especially when I have to paint the folded parts later! Perhaps acrylic is an inspired choice in that respect. Overall, a stunning new release from DSPIAE and one which, cost-wise, is about on par with other contemporary releases from other companies, but with those little extras thrown in for good measure. Very highly recommended. My sincere thanks to Breveco Modelling for the sample seen in this review. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
Eduard Update Set 32835 F-86D Interior Self Adhesive for 1/32 Kittyhawk kit Available from many online-stores or Direct from Eduard for around £13 Ive already reviewed the two Seat sets (Seat itself and Interior here: http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/3884-eduard-f-86d-ejection-seat-for-kittyhawk-kit/ http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/3885-eduard-f-86d-seatbelts-fabric-for-kittyhawk-kit/ Ive also built this and started a Build log of the whole kit here: http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/3905-132-kitty-hawk-f-86d-build/ My intention is to review as I build to make it more interesting for you, the reader, and for me. I really enjoy doing the reviews of these updates and doing build logs but doing a lot of one or the other can get a bit dull I think so trying the reviews as I build idea just for fun. This update is for the Eduard interior, which basically covers the cockpit and canopy other than the Ejector Seat and its belts. I remember (sounding old now) when Eduard Interior sets were all of the interior and covered the whole cockpit. Im not sure if I miss that or give Eduard kudos for allowing the modeller exactly how much they way to update (and spend). I will leave that to you to decide. The update set itself consists of two etched frets, the Coloured Etch and the standard brass etch. As usual the coloured etch covers the cockpit elements of the instrument panel and the various side consoles in the aircraft. The brass more deals with areas you will more than likely paint anyway, the cockpit rails, some small details and the canopy details too. Its a really nice mix and whilst some dont really get the coloured frets I like them. The multipart nature means you get depth to the etch itself and also still allows the modeller to add those little extras like gloss coat on instrument faces and washes that should make the detail pop. Enough of my words, time for some pictures of what you get for your hard earned cash: As you can see there is some really nice detail here. One thing worth of mention is the 'Self Adhesive' side of things. The coloured etch is on a self adhesive backing that should make it easier for the modeller to attach to the kit parts. I say should as I often do some remedial work in adding a little CA glue here and there to ensure that it not only sticks, but will stay there more permanently in the long term. This isn't necessarily required, I just do it for piece of mind, that may say more about me than the etch itself. Where I can say it helps immeasurably is that there are less cases of what I call 'Etch Ping' when one removes the etch from the fret. So many times have I made that last cut on that smallest of pieces that the action of cutting pings the part into the ether, never to be seen after its eaten by the carpet monster. This happens a lot less with this adhesive backing, to the point that I even now fold masking tape behind small parts when I cut them off normal etch to try and make sure the 'ping' doesn't occur. Sometimes I look at the really small parts and wonder if its worth the bother. In most cases I say it is, and once you've done a whole cockpit with Eduard it really shows, its just that some of the smaller parts really do make one wonder now and then. This isn't an attack on Eduard as they have done a really great job across all of their releases, I just wonder if we sometimes expect too much of such small parts in the search for accuracy. Something maybe for a greater debate not a review. The instructions are up to Eduard's usual impeccable standard and make sense to the viewer as soon as you see them. Conclusion As in all things Eduard I think they are to be congratulated here on these sets. They really help the modeller create a more realistic and pleasing to the eye model. Some will always want to paint the detail, me I have a foot in both camps. That said when I see a set like this I really just want to get on with the building of the kit and enjoying that rather than all the small intricacies of cockpit interiors. I really look forward now to getting on with the build of the Interior/Cockpit phase. Keep an eye on the build log for an update. So, as you may guess this set is Highly Recommended and I must thank Eduard (and Jim for sending them on from Eduard) for the review samples.