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  1. Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 Super Riveting Set HGW Catalogue # 321016 Available from HGW for 996Kč Now, this release is maybe a little spuriously named, and what is contained within this pack is mostly not entirely new, perhaps except for HGW’s new ‘Wet Transfer’ inclusion, but that alone is reason enough to look at this new, comprehensive Riveting Set upgrade for the Hasegawa/Revell Fw 190D-9 kit. This is probably the most comprehensive non-scheme decal set for this release, also containing a set of laser-cut microfiber seatbelts. This release is packaged into a clear, re-sealable sleeve that is just a little smaller than A4 in size, and also contains a thick card insert to prevent damage to the set whilst in your postman’s hands. HGW’s attractive presentation is carried over onto these super-releases, and all contents are clear to see over both the front and back of packet. A summary of what’s included is: 321001, Riveting Set 262004, Wet Transfer decal set 132501, Standard Luftwaffe seatbelts Riveting Set This is essentially split into two parts, and forms the main component of this product. The rivets themselves are described by HGW as ‘positive rivets’. That of course means that they stand slightly proud of the surface, but no so much as to look wrong. Each rivet is an individual dot of glue, and every single area of the external airframe will be covered with these. To make things far easier for you, the exterior is broken down into sections, which are easily identifiable on the two rivet sheets that are supplied here. A separate sheet of illustrations shows where the specific panels fit to the model. Before you can apply these, you must prime your model and ensure the surface is smooth. Each panel must now, in turn, have its backing film removed and then applied to the model as a regular decal, using decal setting solution. The latter is highly advised. After buffing down the panel onto the model, you leave this, and the carrier film in situ for 3 to 4 hours. After that time, you carefully remove the film, leaving ONLY the rivets on the surface…..nothing else! Any adhesive residue can be wiped away with water and a cotton bud. It’s that simple. I’ve used these before with excellent results. When you paint your model, you will see slight variations in the finish, where the rivets lie, and if you softly micromesh them, removing a little paint in places, this will look like some rivets do when the paint partially chips away from them. As a sort of bonus, extra decals are also supplied for the control surfaces, specifically tailored in shape and size, to fit perfectly. When applied, these give the rib structures a better definition than is already moulded. Wet Transfer decal set This is HGW’s new technology which provides decals that are very much akin to how they would be if you were to apply masks and paint them. Of course, you can’t really mask for stencils due to the limitations of the cutter. Weeding out stencils, if they could be produced as masks, would also be tedious and cause raised blood pressure. HGW’s new system is to apply stencils exactly as with their rivet sets, meaning that all that’s left on your model is the link, and NO carrier film. Sound good? Along with masks for markings, this must be the ultimate finish. Stencil printing is excellent, with all text perfectly readable, even to my poor eyes. As well as stencils, there are dashed walkway lines and also options for stencils where records show they could vary. Absolutely top marks! Now, along with the stencils, HGW have extended their decal technology to actual national markings, and a set are provided here too. These include Balkenkreuz and Hakenkreuz, with both size and style options available. Again, these are applied as per the stencils and rivet decals, and will leave no carrier film behind. Printing is first rate, with solid colour and perfect registration. Standard Luftwaffe Seatbelts These will be no stranger to you. We’ve seen these many times before here on LSM. This packet contains one full set of laser cut, colour printed seatbelts on a paper backing (which must first be removed), and a single Eduard-produced PE fret. If you’ve never used HGW seatbelts, then you really are missing out on an opportunity to add more realism to your projects. The new generation of their seatbelts are now all laser-cut, meaning you only need to snip them from their micro-fibre ‘fret’ The first thing you need to do (and some forget!) is to peel the thick paper backing from the textile sheet, and as you snip the various parts from the fret, scrunch them up in your fingers and then open them out again. This breaks any tension in the material, and allows them to be more realistically posed. You can now assemble the belts using small drops of CA, best applied on the end of a toothpick, or similar. Assembly is always very easy, with both textile and PE parts being identified by different colour markers on the assembly drawings. Unlike the RB Productions belts which are adjustable when complete, you will need to get a measure of your own specific model before setting any buckles and clasps into position, and then gluing them permanently. Now, you can apply your belts to your model, using a little CA, and draping them in a realistic fashion. Once set, apply a coat of gloss varnish to them and weather them with oils. Apart from the extra realism, you will notice another little quirk. A whole range of laser-engraved stitching will now be easily seen! It’s quite difficult to see these unless you apply a wash. Conclusion In the near future, I plan to build a Hasegawa Fw 190D-9, in Russian colours, incorporating obliterated German markings. As these wet transfers seem to be thinner, I’m sort of hoping that they will be perfect for lying the Russian stars over. Anyway, they’ll certainly be tested, as will the entire set. So please watch out for that build here at LSM, and Military Illustrated Modeller magazine. HGW are a pretty innovative company, and I quite like to use their products where I can, so this will be an interesting build, and hopefully I can show you these products to good effect. VERY highly recommended My sincere thanks to HGW for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. James H
  2. 1:32 Laser-cut seatbelt sets and mask set. HGW Catalogue # see article for code and price Available from HGW We like to keep you up to date with the very latest releases from HGW. We are big fans of these guys, here at LSM, and if you’ve ever used their products, then you’ll know why. Today, we have their latest releases which focus on seatbelt sets for those newly released kit, and also a very welcome canopy masking set. 132564, Arado Ar 196A-3 seatbelts, 299 Kč 132565, SE.5a seatbelts, 132566, Felixstowe F.2a/Hansa Brandenburg W.29 (The Duellists) seatbelts, 499 Kč 632029, Felixstowe F.2a masks, 119 Kč I generally do a recap as to general usage for HGW’s seatbelt sets, and I’ll do that again here. Each set is packaged into an attractive, narrow sleeve, with a card stiffener. The Duellists set is obviously packed in a larger sleeve in order to accommodate belts for both the Felixstowe and W.29. Where we have a little difference here is that the Arado set comes with a number of resin items which are bagged and placed within a blister pack. This is slid over the regular narrow sleeve, but the stiffening card within the pack is narrower to allow for the blister. Please be careful so as not to damage this pack, as it is generally easier to bend. HGW’s seatbelt sets are a two component solution. They both comprise a printed, laser-cut microfiber sheet with all of the parts ready to assemble. All you need to do is to first peel off the paper backing sheet and then each part in turn, from the textile sheet, as you use them. Printing quality is excellent, with serials, data labels etc. (where appropriate), and then there is the generally unseen laser-etched stitching which will become visible when a wash is applied. Before any assembly, you should take each textile piece in turn and repeatedly scrunch it up into a ball and open it out. This breaks down any rigidity in the material and allows you to pose the parts in a natural looking way. Assembly should typically be with CA. As these parts are laser-cut, the heat of the laser has an unexpected but surprisingly neat effect on some parts, with the edges of them being ever-so-slightly darkened. Almost like in-built shading! These belts can also be weathered with oil paints etc, and then flat varnished and dry-brushed. A metal fret contains all of the relevant fasteners and buckles, with this part being produced by Eduard. Always go for there only being enough parts to make once belt set, although I have worked with these where there were actually as many as two whole sets of parts included, despite only one set of belts being packed. Etch quality is always high, as you would expect from Eduard. Each set also contains an instruction sheet. The use of red and blue colour on the instructions denotes the difference between the textile and PE parts. Drawings are also typically ‘Eduard’ in their approach, with excellent clarity, although no further annotation other than parts numbers, is supplied. Each sheet also explains the weathering process to you. Arado Ar 196A-3 seatbelts This set is supplied with resin parts. There are three in total, designed to replace the plastic parts within your Revell Ar 196A-3 kit. Whilst I’m unsure who makes these, they look similar to the style of part that HPH uses in their releases, and cast from the same colour of resin. One part replaces the pilot’s seat, and is beautifully mastered and cast, with just a little clean-up needed on the reverse. A large casting block will need to be carefully removed, and you will need to carefully profile the curvature of the seat underside, where the block is removed. Another part, not shown in the instructions, appears to be a padded cushion for this seat. The last resin part is for the observer/gunner seat and incorporates the mounting brackets. As with HPH resin parts, this is cast onto a thin, flat sheet which will need to be carefully ground away. All else looks pretty normal for an HGW set, except for a large metal part on the fret. This isn’t shown on the instructions, but was originally intended as a template for cutting the back rest for the original Arado Ar 196 kit. For this release, it won't be used. SE.5a seatbelts A simple yet effective set which replaces the photo-etch lap belts of the WNW kit. Confusingly, this it titled as having two sets included, yet first glimpses of the parts seems to show two kits in that there aren’t two identical sets. This is correct. What this set provides are two OPTIONS for the SE.5a, and indeed, if you have two kits in your stash, then there WILL be enough parts for both (as long as you use different types of course). One part, printed in brown, does appear to be out of register on my sample. No problem to fix it though. Felixstowe F.2a/Hansa Brandenburg W.29 (The Duellists) seatbelts Both of the sets in this dual release are available separately, but this is of course a nice set to acquire if you are lucky enough to own the impressive WNW ‘Duellists’ release, containing both the Felixstowe F.2a (Early), and Hansa-Brandenburg W.29. A single piece of textile and a PE fret is included for each of these aircraft, and the instruction sheet is simple to follow for both assembling the belts and installing them to your model. Felixstowe F.2a masks Whilst this set doesn’t actually stipulate this, it appears that that the ‘Early’ release of the WNW Felixstowe is the kit this is designed for. The ‘Late’ version has only small windscreens due to the cut down rear deck and absence of a forward canopy enclosure. The intended kit does have a LOT of panels to mask, so this release is most welcome. It’s not just canopy masks included here either. You will also find masks for the propeller tip sheathing. This is another very welcome addition due to the complex curvature of these items. Now you may airbrush the sheathing first, mask it off and apply your wood grain finish to the rest of the blades. Another nice feature are the masks for the prop hubs, allowing you to mask the timber areas and finally blow some metallic paint over the hub. As is normal, these masks are made from kabuki tape, and are sharply cut. The instructions are very clear about the location of each item. Conclusion I’m beginning to find HGW’s seatbelt sets almost a staple of my regular modelling diet. They look great when assembled, and are nice and easy to assemble, and in a reasonably quick time frame. I know of no other seatbelt solution which looks as authentic and is resistant to the rigours of weathering. They are also reasonably priced, and provide a great focal point for your detailed cockpit. Oh, did I tell you that I really like them? VERY highly recommended My sincere thanks to HGW for sending these samples for review. To purchase directly, click the links in the article. James H
  3. 1:32 German seatbelt sets (various) HGW Catalogue # see article for code and price Available from HGW The latest flurry of new seatbelt releases from HGW are aimed at the recent flurry of German model aircraft kit to hit the market, from both major conflicts. Recently on LSM, we’ve seen reviews of the Fly Model Arado Ar 234B-2, as well as the Horten Ho 229, and also the beautiful Hansa-Brandenburg W.12 from Wingnut Wings. Jan Bobek, forever with his finger on the trigger, has catered for those who are now looking to build these latest releases, and of course, he has sent us these to look at today. The sets we have, all in 1:32, are: 132542, Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 (Orlon, Ersatz), for Revell kit, 240 Kč 132556, Arado Ar 234B/B-2/N, for Fly Model kit, 272 Kč 132557, Horten Ho 229 (Orlon, Ersatz), for Zoukei-mura kit, 240 Kč 132558, Hansa-Brandenburg W.12, for Wingnut Wings kit, 240 Kč 132560, Messerschmitt Me 262 (Orlon, Ersatz), for Hasegawa/Trumpeter etc, 240 Kč Overview If you’ve never used HGW seatbelts, then you really are missing out on an opportunity to add more realism to your projects. The new generation of their seatbelts are now all laser-cut, meaning you only need to snip them from their micro-fibre ‘fret’ The first thing you need to do (and some forget!) is to peel the thick paper backing from the textile sheet, and as you snip the various parts from the fret, scrunch them up in your fingers and then open them out again. This breaks any tension in the material, and allows them to be more realistically posed. You can now assemble the belts using small drops of CA, best applied on the end of a toothpick, or similar. Assembly is always very easy, with both textile and PE parts being identified by different colour markers on the assembly drawings. Unlike the RB Productions belts which are adjustable when complete, you will need to get a measure of your own specific model before setting any buckles and clasps into position, and then gluing them permanently. Now, you can apply your belts to your model, using a little CA, and draping them in a realistic fashion. Once set, apply a coat of gloss varnish to them and weather them with oils. Apart from the extra realism, you will notice another little quirk. A whole range of laser-engraved stitching will now be easily seen! It’s quite difficult to see these unless you apply a wash. Of course, there is no need to paint these belts, as they are all pre-printed, and contain excellent detail, such as serial numbers and data patches etc. Laser cutting has also provided another nifty effect too, and that is that the edges of the parts have an extremely subtle scorched effect which darkens the ink. This is perfect as it looks just like shading, and helps to add some weathering, albeit unintentional. Now, you will notice that some sets are very similar, and in some cases, they may be identical. The reason that HGW release sets such as these, and not generic ones is that some belts, their fasteners, and securing, may have been slightly different. When you buy a set for a specific model, you can be assured that it will be perfectly compatible. However, if your specific, named set is out of stock, you may be able to substitute it for a different named set. Just check that the components are the same, and all will be well. Each set is packed into a re-sealable letterbox sleeve that has a stiff piece of card to protect the contents. In the front, a rather attractive packing slip denotes the contents, and onto this, both the textile sheet, and the Eduard-manufactured PE parts are tacked into place with easily peel-able glue. To the rear, a slip is included which shows construction. Everything appears to be easy to follow, and indeed, I have made many of these without any problem. 132542, Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10 (Orlon, Ersatz) Please note here that these are the late-war green Orlon material, and may not necessarily be good for your model. The caveat here is to check your references. If you can’t find information to the contrary, showing beige belts, then these green belts look rather good. 132556, Arado Ar 234B/B-2/N This set caters to both single and two-seat Ar 234 kits that Fly Model recently released. If you are only building the single seat machine, it’s still worth buying this dual set, as having a spare set of belts will prove to be a cheaper option than purchasing a second set for a different, compatible model. This set of course represents the lighter, beige belts which were pretty universal during the war. 132557, Horten Ho 229 (Orlon, Ersatz) The beauty of the Ho 229 is that its ZM kit incarnation never actually flew. As it never existed beyond prototype stage, it’s entirely likely that it would have had the newer, green Orlon belts, unless there was a supply chain shortage. Who knows?! As a result, HGW have printed these to represent those later style belts, and they sure look good to me. 132558, Hansa-Brandenburg W.12 A departure from WW2 as we look at belts for a Great War aircraft. This time, we see a set designed for this attractive sea-borne biplane, consisting of two lap-belts for both the pilot and rear gunner/observer. For this specific release, I would look at perhaps burnishing the PE parts, or washing it heavily in black/dark grey enamel. 132560, Messerschmitt Me 262 (Orlon, Ersatz) If you buy an Me 262 kit, the chances are it will state that the seatbelts are beige. Again, it’s not inconceivable that these late war fighters may have been fitted with the green Orlon belts, and this set helps to cater to that possibility. I can’t see any difference between this and the Ho 229 set, so if this specific is out of stack at your LHS, you can use the Horten, and vice-versa. Conclusion I’m a big fan of these sets, and really don’t like to build a project without a set of compatible belts from HGW. I’m pleased to see this range expand and cater to new releases almost as soon as they are announced, and HGW’s reference means that you know your set will indeed work specifically for your project. Superbly produced and at a more than reasonable price. Give them a try! Very highly recommended My sincere thanks to HGW for the samples seen here. To purchase directly, click the links in the review. James H
  4. Eduard 1/32 detail sets for the Italeri F-104G After Italeri launched their 1/32 F-104G/S Starfighter kit –reviewed here: http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/2124-italeri-132-f-104gs-starfighter/?hl=starfighter – Eduard has issued several Photo-Etch detailing sets to add detail to this kit. We received the following sets: 32348 F-104G exterior set, 32803 Self-adhesive F-104G interior full set, 32805 F-104G Martin-Baker seatbelts, 32808 F-104 Lockheed C-2 seatbelts, 32811 F-104 undercarriage set, 32817 F-104 Lockheed C-2 seatbelts, 33131 Self-adhesive F-104G interior Zoom-set, JX163 F-104G/S Eduard Mask. Let’s start by examining the interior sets 33131 and 32803. As usual the Zoom set is made up of one coloured PE-fret which contains the most important cockpit parts. Instrument panels, side consoles, rudder pedals with the Lockheed-logo, circuit-breakers, canopy locks and an assortment of switches for both the instrument panel and side consoles and T pull-handles. The instrumentation and ECM-fit is quite correct for a fighter-bomber Starfighter of the Bundesluftwaffe. The switchology of the side consoles is also correct for a German F-104G. To give you an idea, extra parts are present for: instrument panel; fire warning lights, landing gear lever, external stores jettison switch, drag chute handle, emergency landing gear handle, master arm switch, rudder pedal adjustment handle, special weapons emergency jettison switch, special weapons arming switch, canopy jettison pull-handle, ram air turbine handle, emergency nozzle closure handle, generator 1 on/off/reset switch and generator 2 on/off/reset switch. The left side console has to be adorned with: the radar mode select switch, two range counters, stick trim/auxiliary trim selector switch, fuel shutoff-valve switch, automatic power control output on/off switch, two of the three stability control on/off switches (roll, pitch, yaw – one of the three is missing!), emergency UHF channel selector and the circuit-breaker panel with azimuth cursor switch, rocket select switch and UHF antenna select switch. For those building a German Starfighter again; there are also parts for the small box on the left sidewall that the Germans presumably used for some key safety-pins. The right side console needs dressing up with: TACAN on/off switch, TACAN channel selector, IFF-selectors, bomb run dual timers, windshield rain remover on/off switch, C-2G compass control switches, gun camera control and the pylon jettison switch. On or next to the glare shield we finally find the tailhook control / anti-collision light switch (Bundesluftwaffe pattern), the standby-compass and the German EL-70/EL-73 indicator lights. What is missing are the indicator lights on the left and right of the centre windshield frame; the radar lock-on light and the bomb-release light. Just to show how elaborate and basically accurate the set is. Of course, I would be nowhere without Danny Coremans’ and Peter Gorts’ super book: “Uncovering the Lockheed (T)F-104G Starfighter. The photography of that book is just so good that you can read all of the texts at the panels. Well, the full interior set also includes the above mentioned fret although it does carry the different product number! Apart from that there is a second fret with extra details for the canopy sills, inside framing of the windshield centre panel (because that pane of glass is much thicker than the rest in reality), some inside detail and mirrors for the canopy, inside detail of the lower fuselage hatch and sidewalls for the side consoles. The latter show the German connection again as the left sidewall features the mounting clip for the Martin-Baker quick-release buckle. Belgian and Dutch F-104G’s didn’t feature that detail, logically because they were fitted with the Lockheed C-2 ejection seats throughout their service lives. The hatch detail is nice but also somewhat puzzling; I doubt if it will be seen with the ejection seat in the cockpit. If you would remove the seat you would see parts of the kit cockpit floor where there isn’t one in the real thing…. Set 32805 is simply called F-104G seatbelts, but they are actually for the Martin-Baker equipped F-104G’s. The set provides some padding, seatbelts and buckles as well as data placards and safety-pin streamers. The PE is printed on both sides so you aren’t suddenly faced with shiny metal when you drape the seatbelt a bit different. I don’t know too much about these ejection seats but I have been told that the German and the Italian version do differ…. *Sigh…*. Italeri’s effort seems to be the love-child of a German seat fraternizing with an Italian one, it being a mix of both. I don’t know how Eduard’s belts relate to either version, the set does look awfully nice however! The next two sets are for the Lockheed C-2 equipped Starfighters; set 32808 and 32817. Both provide belts, buckles and some extra etched detail for the C-2 seats but both do it in a different manner. Set 32808 provides etched belts with separate buckles while 32817 makes use of the SUPER FABRIC product-line that Eduard launched not too long ago. The fabric is a bit of a rubbery material that is printed on a paper backing sheet. The builder needs to use a pair of pointed tweezers to get hold of the edge of one of the straps and then gently pull it off the backing paper. After that the strap can be threaded through the buckles. I haven’t attempted it yet, but if the strap-through-the-buckle-process goes smooth than you have some straps that are much easier to pose lifelike than with PE-straps. The extra PE-details are a new back-rest in place of the silly cushion-like part Italeri provides, foot-plates with detail that depicts the attachment points for the pilot’s “spurs” and the ejection handle. At this point I’m slightly critical about the webbing for the sides. This webbing deployed forward during the ejection sequence to keep the pilot’s arms from getting caught in the airstream and getting blasted out and aft, disjoining or breaking in the process. I doubt it’s effect in the PE version, chances are that the Super Fabric version will look better. But since I haven’t tried it yet I’m open to reversing my viewpoint! Set 32348 is the exterior set. It consists of one fret and basically contains parts for new airbrakes and details for the airbrake wells. The airbrakes are pretty involved assemblies, requiring the builder to add a rib-pattern with a ball-point or similar and the build up the brake from an outer part, inner part and several ribs. It has the potential to look stunning, but be sure to use a quality folding tool to get nice straight lines. Remember also that when parked, the F-104’s airbrakes were usually closed, they were only opened for inspection, maintenance and during the start-up procedure. The rest of this set provides some details for the tailhook, the underside of the centerline pylon, parts for the flameholder of the afterburner, a small part for the gun aperture that doesn’t add much in my opinion and some panels that you are supposed to glue on top of the aircraft “skin”. Although these panels can be seen on photos of the Starfighter, they don’t stand proud of the rest of the skin. I wouldn’t bother unless you’ll try try to fit the spine panels 25 and 11 in the spine. In that case you’ll heve better defined details than the soft kit panellines. What is indeed a useful detail is part 34, on the real aircraft that is a reinforcement panel on the dragchute housing. During every landing that housing opens downward and “scrapes” the tailhook! The next set to look at here is 32811, the undercarriage set. This one contains two PE frets, one larger with the structural details and a small coloured one with placards for inside the wheel wells and –doors. There are a lot of small refinements in this set. I would advise to use the PE “wires & hoses” as a pattern to fabricate your own from copper wire or the like. PE is much too flat to simulate that in 1/32 scale. But the strengthening ribs, cable trolley and the nosegear retracting arm make the nosegear to look finer. The tow eyes, placards and the details in the main gear doors like the landing light brackets do the same for the main gear. It’s up to you if you decide to use the details for the inside of the large main gear doors as these were normally only open a crack on the ground. Just enough to let the main gear retraction arms clear them. If they were completely open, it would again be because of inspection and maintenance. Lastly, we have the Eduard Mask for the F-104. Well, I’m afraid I don’t have very much to say about that. See for yourself if it is useful for your modelling! Sooooo, what do I think of these sets? I’m quite impressed by the cockpit sets, both the Zoom and the full set add significant value to your model. The same goes for the seatbelt sets. Both the Martin-Baker and the C-2 sets will make your ejection seat look much better than the standard kit treatment. I have very high hopes for the SUPER FABRIC variant for the C-2 seat as I expect to be able to pose the straps more naturally than with PE. The exterior set is very nice but I would only invest in that if you plan on opening the airbrakes. The undercarriage set does add to the completed model in that several details in the bays and on the wheeldoors are refined. Highly Recommended. My sincere thanks to Eduard for the review samples. Erik Bosch.
  5. 1:32 Micro-Fibre Textile Seatbelt Sets HGW Catalogue # see article for prices and code. Available from HGW HGW have sent us some of their latest seatbelt sets for recent kit releases, produced from their now famous micro-fibre textile. All of these sets pertain to 1:32 scale releases. These latest releases are: 132534, B-17 Flying Fortress, 499 Kč 132530, Junkers Ju 88A-4, 279 Kč 132527, F4U-1 Corsair (for Tamiya kit), 229 Kč B-17 Flying Fortress: A BIG kit of a BIG bomber is going to require some serious detail sets if you want to do something other than an OOB build. And let's face it, if you're going to put money into a kit which is that big, then it makes sense to sprinkle a little extra love into some of those interior areas. HGW know that too, and as a result, have released this rather spiffy set designed to cater to the comfort of your bomber crew. As with other HGW seatbelt sets, this is packages into a stiff, narrow wallet with some attractive artwork. The belt parts sit in the front of the wallet, whilst the resin parts and instructions are to the rear. This particular HGW set is certainly an epic in itself, as it contains not only seatbelts, but also seat and backrest cushions, and decals to suit also. First though, let's look at the belts themselves. As with all new releases of HGW sets, this one has the various micro-fibre textile parts laser cut into the main sheet. Provided are belts for the pilot and co-pilot alone, but are certainly not going to be short of parts to assemble. The full colour-printed textile sheet contains no less than FIFTY-TWO precisely printed and detailed seatbelt parts. This textile sheet has a paper backing, and you'll remove this as you snip the individual parts from the sheet. Printed onto the sheet are various stitching patterns and also some text. While it's quite hard to make it out to the naked eye, it is unmistakably writing! Most parts are olive drab, whilst the lap belts have a leather colour material. An added bonus to the inking process is the very mild way the laser heat has affected the edges, giving a very unique, natural shading which looks superb. As this is not there by design, it certainly can't be faulted. Before you assemble these parts with CA, you must remove the backing paper and scrunch the parts into a small ball until you feel it become very pliable. At this point, you open them out and you should find they are easy to manipulate into a natural looking drape. When everything has been assembled, you can gloss varnish the parts before applying your favourite wash, followed by matting them and then dry-brushing. If you like a good parts count to your project, then the PE fret will now disappoint. Beautifully produced by Eduard, and with THIRTY-NINE parts, this fret has excellent detail and small connecting tags meaning easy parts removal. Two pale grey resin blocks are packaged into the back of this set, and each contains a padded seat and back cushion parts. HGW have made these look highly realistic with both the material creases and texture. The photo of these parts on the card insert show them painted in yellow, with what is probably an oil wash. In the front of the package is also a small decal set which needs to be applied to the cushions; one per back cushion and one for each seat. The latter can't even be seen on the photo, but at least you know it's there. A single instruction sheet is included, with a colour code being used to identify the different PE and textile parts. Construction is shown via a number of clear, line drawings, and assembly should prove to be no problem, even for the relatively inexperienced modeller. Junkers Ju 88A-4 We don't have any resin parts with this release, but what we do have are belts for ALL FOUR crew positions. These are the pilot, rear gunner, engineer and gondola gunner. A single, large piece of micro-fibre textile is superbly colour printed, and contains FORTY-ONE individual laser-cut parts. Printing detail is excellent, with a combination of both printed and laser etched stitching, and some rather neat data/manufacturer plates and serial numbers. The photo etch fret containts FORTY-EIGHT neatly produced and detailed parts which have small attachment gates, meaning easy and clean part removal. Constructional images are broken down into easy to follow diagrams, with it being easy to locate which style of belt needs to be fitted to the various crew locations. F4U-1 Corsair Obviously, a smaller set this time, comprising THIRTEEN textile parts which are superbly printed and laser cut, with that distinctive and attractive heat affected edge which produces warm, rich shading. All stitching is laser engraved and will only really show up when you give the belts a wash treatment. The photo etch fret contains THIRTEEN more parts, again professionally produced by those wonderful guys at Eduard. Assembly again looks a breeze, with a card insert breaking the various assemblies down into easy to follow drawings. All parts, textile and PE, are colour coded for easy reference. Conclusion. For the B-17, One of the criticisms of the HK Models kit has been the seatbelts, and this set goes 100% of the way to rodressing that issue. Even if the kit belts had been high standard, you would have had to go a long way to beat the appearance of the parts included in this set. If cockpits are one area that you like to lavish attention on, then please consider this release. Put it together properly and weather it, and it should be eye-wateringly superb. Both the Junkers Ju 88A-4 and Corsair sets are also up to HGW's impeccable high standards, and can't fail to impress once assembled and installed. I also find all of these sets to be very reasonably priced, and as with the B-17, the latter sets should also be able to be tackled by someone new to this aspect ogf upgrading their model. Very highly recommended James H Our sincere thanks to HGW Models for the review sample shown here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
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