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  1. Colour Instrument Panels (Jan – Feb 2018) Yahu See article for catalogue numbers Price: Varies Those good folks at Yahu have sent us a sample of their photo-etch instrument panels in both 1/32 and 1/48 scales, and as usual, they don’t fail to deliver in standard, attention to detail and quality. These are very probably the very best on the market, and price-wise, are very reasonable. Each set is packaged into a small sleeve that has card reinforcement, and instructions printed on the rear of this, if applicable. All of these panels are direct drop replacements, and some of them have small parts included which will need to be fitted. Where appropriate, clear foil parts are also included. Please check the images below for pack contents. Unlike other manufacturer colour PE panels, whereby you layer various plates to create a 3D relief, these are supplied as pre-assembled layers, which are finished appropriately. By this, I mean the actual fascia will be either matt or satin etc. whilst the instruments themselves have a gloss finish and look suitably glass-like in appearance. The depth of detail on these is quite astonishing, with the dials and placards readable. These are NOT digitally printed but employ a rather modern and unique system of screen printing, hence the macro-detail that is achieved. Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words, so we’ll take a look at each one in turn. I just wish I had a macro lens for my Nikon! This gives a rough example... The sets we’ve been sent this month are: YMA3217, 1/32 Fw 190D-9 (for Hasegawa kit) YMA3221, 1/32 Spitfire Mk.IX Late (for Tamiya kit) YMA3223, 1/32 P-47D Late (for Hasegawa kit) YMA3226, 1/32 P-40N Early N-1 – N-5 (for Eduard/Hasegawa kits) YMA3230, 1/32 Ki-44 Tojo (for Hasegawa kit) YMA3231, 1/32 Lublin R XIII (for Lukgraph kit) YMA4819, 1/48 P-51D Early (for Meng kit) YMA4845, 1/48 Heinkel He 51 (for Roden/Eduard kit) YMA4860, 1/48 SH-2G Super Seasprite (for Kitty Hawk kit) YMA3217, 1/32 Fw 190D-9 (for Hasegawa kit) Sort of fortuitous that this has arrived as I plan to build a 190D-9 for Military Illustrated Modeller in the next months. This set contains upper and lower panels that are joined by a small fret that needs removing. The fret contains three small parts for the oxygen knob and the red pull switches. YMA3221, 1/32 Spitfire Mk.IX Late (for Tamiya kit) I swear you can actually see the weathering on this panel, it is that realistic. Two options are provided for the central flying instruments panel (squared and curved top) which suit this panel perfectly. Other components are provided on the separate fret, for the various switches. A replacement compass face is also included. YMA3223, 1/32 P-47D Late (for Hasegawa kit) An amazingly busy instrument panel, complete with a small fret that contains a further 6 colour PE pieces which are used alongside the main panel. Note that one piece of this is designed only for the P-47D-30. YMA3226, 1/32 P-40N Early N-1 – N-5 (for Eduard/Hasegawa kits) Yet another instrument panel that contains a second fret of parts. A small piece of clear printed acetate is also supplied as a backing for the switch unit, plus another for the radio unit. I can see no indication as to where some of the smaller parts fit, so it will be a case of checking reference photos. YMA3230, 1/32 Ki-44 Tojo (for Hasegawa kit) To me, Japanese instrument panels tend to look a little quirky, and this is no exception. What we have here is a main upper panel which really is quite narrow, and below this there is a separate, secondary console with more gauges and buttons. What this set also includes is a small fret that contains colour PE parts for sidewall instruments. YMA3231, 1/32 Lublin R XIII (for Lukgraph kit) This is an odd little panel! Unlike the other panels, this one has a metal finish, with several red instrument gauges. Lukgraph are a Polish company that produce resin kits, and the Lublin R-XIII was a Polish army cooperation airplane that was designed in the 30s. Certainly an esoteric machine. This neat little panel is single-piece and designed to simply replace the kit part. YMA4819, 1/48 P-51D Early (for Meng kit) Of course, the smaller scale you go, the more effort is required to make an instrument panel look good…unless you swap the part for a Yahu panel! This little gem is as detailed as the 1/32 counterparts and is again a simple swap for the kit part. I know there are numerous 1/48 P-51D kits available, but this is designed for the rather nice Meng release. I really have tried my best to photograph this, but I should invest in that macro lens. YMA4845, 1/48 Heinkel He 51 (for Roden/Eduard kit) Roden’s neat little He 51 kit (re-boxed by Eduard in the Legion Condor release) is certainly deserving of a nice cockpit upgrade, and this set provides the split instrument panel that defines the office of this biplane. The colour appears to be a grey/RLM02 shade, and the two panels will need to be separated from each other before installation. YMA4860, 1/48 SH-2G Super Seasprite (for Kitty Hawk kit) This kit is unfamiliar to me, but the Yahu pack provides a simple panel replacement for this neat-looking heli. My sincere thanks to Yahu for sending these samples out to us. I have linked Hannants in the UK for our local supplier but check Yahu website for your own local retailer. As we receive new samples, I’ll simply update this topic and keep everything together for reference.
  2. 1:32 Spitfire Mk.II instrument panel Yahu Cataloge # YMA3201 Available from StoryModels for £5.19 I remember having real fun when I built the test shot of the Revell 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IIa last year. The kit isn't perfect, by any means, but one quirk I had to deal with at the time was the rebuilding of the instrument panel which was reversed. Revell actually fixed this and made quite a nice job of it, but if painting and super-detailing instrument panels isn't one of your preferred tasks, then Yahu have come up with a solution. This, with some minor plastic surgery, will give you the very ultimate in cockpit focal points. Yahu's new instrument panel replacement is packed into a small zip-lock wallet, with a cardboard product holder stapled to it. My only gripe here is that the inserted card instructions are very thin, and don't provide much protection from the packet being bent. The front of the card is illustrated with a colour image of the parts contained, whilst the rear pf the wallet contains the loose instrument panel, and several small PE parts in another, smaller sleeve. I have to say that this product is nothing short of entirely amazing, and has to be seen to be believed. I don't know the process of how the parts are painted/inked, but the finish is remarkable, with totally solid, sharp colour, and details which are so fine that I have nothing like this before, except for perhaps in decal form from Airscale. The rear of the panel has a couple of small paint parts, showing the colour application doesn't appear to be digitally printed. The panel itself is finished in a colour which I would describe as about 95% black, for extra realism, and the finish is also matt, except for the recessed instrument faces which are glossy, to represent the glass faces. There is actually another glossy area here, and that is the central panel area. This is because a separate panel fits atop this, and of course, adhesive will stick better to a glossy finish. Smart thinking! Scuffs and scratches are entirely intentional! Again, instrument and panel detail is the very best I have seen, with various fasteners, placard etc. been so clearly replicated. Where instruments have a coloured bezel, these are sharply created, and of course, that bezel detail is beautifully raised and defined. There is also an extra part which is attached to the IP via a small tag, and that is to replace the kit's compass face. This is as superbly printed as the remainder of the parts in this release. The 'UP' and 'DOWN' text on the levers is readable, but only in macro view!! Note more intentional weathering on the panel. The small wallet inside this packet, apart from containing the central, raised basic instruments panel, complete with silver fasteners, also holds a tiny mini-fret, holding three further parts which form various toggle switches. Be careful with these, as no spares are included. For attaching the various parts, I would use Klear which of course won't give the fogging that many CA adhesives create. There are also no instructions which show that you need to actually remove the moulded plastic detail from the kit instrument panel, allowing this unit to sit flush to the bare plastic. I think that's so obvious that you really don't need to be told that you have to do this. Conclusion There are a number of upgrade sets for the new Revell Spitfire Mk.IIa, and this is probably one of the very best that you can buy. A good number of large scale guys probably like to make the most of the cockpit area, and this will go a long way to creating that level of attainment that you strive for. Assembly is so simple, and the result is a panel which is nigh on photo-realistic. For a single instrument pane, you might baulk at spending over £5, but please check this out, and you'll see that it's worth every penny. Very highly recommended (just stunning!) My sincere thanks to StoryModels for the review sample seen here. To purchase this directly, click THIS link. James H
  3. 1:32 Arado Ar 234B-2 instrument panel Yahu Catalogue # YML3201 Available from StoryModels for £5.19 This one came just too late for me to be able to use on my own Ar 234 model, which is slated for publication in issue #47 of Military Illustrated Modeller. For my build, I used the new Ar 234B-2/N kit from Fly Model (reviewed here), and this new release from Yahu is for that same kit. Had I been able to use it at the time, it would've been sure to add some real magic to that busy-looking cockpit which is already supplied with the kit. Even though this is classed as an 'instrument panel' set, unlike the Spitfire instrument panel we reviewed yesterday, there is no physical panel here, but instead we have the components to populate the plastic panel and consoles. 1:32 Arado Ar 234B-2/N, from next month's Military Illustrated Modeller, built by author. As with the Spitfire set, this is packaged into a small zip-lock wallet, with a card product label folded and stapled to the top. As the instructions in this one are a little more complex, the extra card in this provides a nice, robust package which won't be readily damaged. As this set contains separate instrument faces and bezels, it first appeared that you might need to eradicate all traces of the moulded plastic detail, but that simply isn't the case. There is one single photo-etch fret supplied in this set, containing SIXTY-TWO pre-painted parts, produced from what looks like a nickel-plated brass sheet. The fret itself is also very unusual in that it is split into three parts, connected at either end by tags. I'll come onto the reason why in a moment. Essentially, half of the parts, save for two, are broken down into instrument faces and their separate bezels. Colourisation is excellent, as it was with the Spitfire instrument panel, with a number of bezels which are split into different coloured quadrants etc. The edge of the bezels also have a very slightly worn appearance which is only really discernible in macro photography. Just take a look at the instrument faces themselves. Pretty much all of the text and graduations are clearly seen. Under normal circumstances, this is as much as you'd expect to see with a product such as this; neatly printed gauges etc. but if you flip the fret over, you'll see a small pip on the underside of each gauge. This is designed to be located into a small hole which you will need to drill into the dead-centre of each moulded instrument. Before you do this though, note that the bezels themselves are recessed. The idea is to orientate the gauge and sit it within the bezel underside recess. You then need to glue the assembly into the holes you drilled in the plastic parts. Drilling that hole is for a twofold reason. Firstly, if helps you to properly centralise the instrument, and secondly, after you finally remove the whole of the moulded plastic instrument, you know exactly where it used to be! Now, why is the fret split the way it is? That's simple. After cutting two of the tags, and bending the fret as shown on the instructions, you can handle the fret easier, or indeed stand it up for the next stage, and that is to airbrush matt or satin varnish over the bezels, lessening the risk of spraying the accompanying instrument gauges. Yahu's instructions are clear to follow, and concise, with a number of clear illustrations explaining what needs to be done to implement this set, and a clear cockpit layout plan which shows you where all the parts are to be fitted. Whilst is will take some time to prepare the plastic for these new parts, the task itself is relatively easy. Patience is the key here. Conclusion The more I see from Yahu, the more I like what they are doing. If this and the Spitfire instrument panel are anything to go by, we'll be in for some quite spectacular upgrade sets from them in the coming months. Production quality is excellent, and the colourisation is first rate. This is another quite inexpensive set, so if you're contemplating the wonderful new Fly Model Ar 234B-2, then you could do a whole lot worse than to try this rather splendid little set. Very highly recommended. My sincere thanks to Maciej Goralczyk and Yahu for these samples. This set is available from StoryModels by clicking THIS link. James H.
  4. 1:32 and 1:24 Luftwaffe cowl latches Yahu Catalogue # See article for code and price Available from StoryModels If you like to pose your model's cowlings open, or indeed wish to do so for a maintenance diorama, then the various aftermarket companies serve us well in respect of the resin and PE internal sets, such as engines, weapons bays etc. Where they do fall down in many respects are with supplying cowl latches for Luftwaffe machines. Cowls were very typically secured with an adjustable clip-latch which was packed full of tension in order to beat the airframe and vibration stresses placed upon them. To give you an idea of a latch, here is one I own, which came from a Focke-Wulf Fw 190. The majority of this latch was actually fastened within the fuselage skin, with the tab of course being the part which you would outwardly see. This would clip to the adjustable, cast part which would be fastened to the cowl itself. Even after all these years, it still operates. The part is made from a cast alloy, with a high tensile steel spring within, and a steel latch. Yahu might not be a name you've heard of before. They are a pretty new company, from Poland, producing small PE sets, and colour-printed instrument panels etc. Two of their very latest sets are dedicated to the modeller who has been looking for a photo-etch latch solution for their project. Well, look no longer, as I'm pretty sure that these will cater to your requirements. The two sets we have here are: YMS3201, Luftwaffe latch (10 pieces), £2.90 YMS2401, Luftwaffe latch (10 pieces), £2.90 I have to note here that these are ALSO available in 1:48 too, directly from StoryModels. Each set is packaged into a small zip-lock wallet, with a cardboard carrier stapled to it, with product code. Inside each wallet, you'll find a piece of folded card which depicts how you need to fold the etch parts, and of course, a sigle photo-etch fret containing 10 latches. In the 1:32 set, the fret is packed within another small sleeve. Now, these really are amazingly simple. There is NO assembly to perform at all, and all you need is a PE bending tool. Some folds can readily be performed with just tweezers, but the external latch has wings which need to be folded backwards. Each latch should take no more than a minute to prepare for your model. You will of course need to remove any resin/plastic from the model, representing the folded latches, and insert these as replacements. It goes without saying that you may need to adjust the size of the moulded slot to accommodate these parts. Each piece is connected to the fret via two tags. These are a little wider than I'm used to, but they are thin, so will be easy enough to cur through. There is a small amount of etched detail on each latch lever. Work starts with folding back the wings on the latch lever, and then simply concludes by bending the mechanism to the rear of the latch. Etch quality is excellent, and the small drawings are easy to follow. Conclusion Yes, this is only a small review. It really couldn't be anything else, but this is such a handy little set to have in your drawer for when it comes to building something German, and with opened cowls. A number of us must surely have forgotten to add these during our projects. I know I have, and this simple little set will now mean you have no more excuses. Sometimes, it's the small details which really enliven things, and I'm thinking that Yahu think the same. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to StoryModels for the review samples you see here. To purchase directly, click the links in the article. James H
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