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1/32 Heinkel He111 Cockpit


nmayhew
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1/32 Heinkel He111 Cockpit


Master Details
Catalogue # 32031
$49.95 direct from Master Details

 

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Today I look at a cockpit detail set from Master Details. The original release was made a while back but this is a new tool version; I did not see the former, and the Master Details website does not say what changes have been made. This set is designed for the Revell He111 kits - it should be appropriate for either of their kits, the P-1 and H-6, as the cockpits of these aircraft were very similar.

 

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If you want a comprehensive review of what the Revell kits are like, take a look at my review here. Suffice to say, the Revell offering is broadly accurate and excellent value. It is, however, weak in detail in some areas; and so offers aftermarket companies the opportunity to fill the gap - enter Master Details, stage right. A comparable set is also available from another manufacturer, and I will be reviewing this CMK offering in the near future.

 

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Flimsy packaging

 

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Lots of resin and white metal parts

 

This is a multimedia set in resin and white metal, and strictly speaking is designed as a complete replacement for the entire kit cockpit, rather than just adding detail to kit sub-assemblies.

What is included:

  • replacement resin parts for cockpit floor and cockpit bulkhead with bomb bay; the blurb says 97 resin parts, and I reckon there must be at least half that in white metal
  • pilot and navigator / bomb aimer's seats in resin
  • cockpit instrumentation and equipment in resin
  • pilots food pedals and other details in white metal
  • instructions: one colour photo of the set assembled, plus two very detailed line drawings / scans from plans

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The smaller resin parts

 

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Above and below: the two bags of white metal parts

 

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What is not included:

  • seatbelts
  • photo-etch and/or acetate film combination instrument panel
  • push rods for pilot's pedals and connections to control column
  • detailed, step by step, instructions with parts numbered on their casting blocks
  • adequate packaging

First of the quality of parts - much of the resin seems very good; the detail is sharp on many (though not all) parts. There was some warping on the rear bulkhead - I will look at the fit of this part later. The white metal is, well, white metal, and in some cases you can only get what the medium will give you. I am not a fan of cast parts like this, because detail is often softer than with resin, and it doesn't have the strength of brass or bronze (or whatever G-Factor now use to make their landing gear - that stuff is awesome). Overall I think the quality here is good for the medium, but detail would have been much crisper in resin, and I am not convinced of the need to use white metal in this set, period.

Before we go further, I have to mention the packaging: my sample was supplied in the clear bag you see in the pictures, sent in a padded envelope. This is not good enough. No catastrophes in my set, but some parts have clearly been damaged (white metal bends, but can be bent back at least), whilst a couple of small resin bits do seem to have snapped. This is something I'm only going to find out properly once I go to build the thing, and another reason why having numbered parts either on sprues, or at least on a diagram would be useful (CMK and / or Aires do this for instance in their larger resin sets). This is an expensive set, and for this I would expect appropriate packaging - a box is an essential here.

 

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Cockpit bulkhead

 

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The main parts of the set are the cockpit bulkhead, and cockpit floor pieces. The kit parts here do not offer much competition in terms of fine details, so pretty much anything the Master Details set can add will be a welcome bonus. At first glance the resin parts look impressive, primarily I think because of their size. But, as mentioned above, the bulkhead has some warping (which can be fixed with a dip in hot water everyone always says). Slightly more disappointing is that frame shapes and edges are neither sharp enough nor straight enough; some of the curves can be picked out as irregular too. The fit of this main bulkhead is actually pretty good, but I am still toying with using the kit part to ensure 100% fit, and detail that bit myself.

 

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Cockpit floor

 

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Sidewalls, Much more detail than the kit parts

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Pilot's seat

 

The main cockpit floor is a much more sturdy affair - it is more a block than anything else, and again it is a big improvement on the kit part. There is another floor piece for the bomb aimer / gunner, which has the floor panels pulled back. It would be positioned thus during bombing - the separate resin bomb sight sits underneath; when the nose cone gun was in use, the floor was pulled forward and the crewman lay on top. The resin part which depicts the floor partially pulled back actually shows some quilt / cushion type detail. I suggest you check your references here, as I understood this to be a set of wooden slats which where pulled back to reveal the bomb sight, rather than a solid piece with cushioning on top.

 

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Navigator's platform pulled back – not sure if cushioning is correct?

 

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Instrument panel

 

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A quick shot (through the packaging) of Eduard's IP for comparison

 

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Nicely detailed bombsight

 

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The other parts that stand out when you empty the bags are the cockpit side walls. One large-ish part for each side, these probably offer the greatest contrast between kit part detail - or lack of - and the resin upgrades. Fitting these will require sanding away the paltry detail on the kit fuselage insides first, and then some test fitting to work out whether the resin needs to 'take a hot bath' or not. As you can see from the pictures, one side looks as though it will go in without issue, whilst the other does not seem to have the necessary curves to fit as snugly. I would persevere with these though, as they will be very visible through the canopy, and even more so if you chose to position the pilot's 'sunroof' window open / slid back.

 

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Will need to take a hot bath!

 

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Better fit here

 

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Kit parts are very snug

 

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The Master Details bulkhead actually fits pretty well, considering detail still needs to be removed from the kit part roof

 

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Now let's consider the rest of the 90+ resin parts, and the numerous white metal pieces. Some of the resin has quite a bit of flash on it. No real dramas here, but the general quality is not up there with the best in the industry - which at the moment I think is Roy Sutherland's Barracuda resin line. Your biggest task will be trying to work out what one earth is what once you have cleaned up all these parts. If only these parts were presented as sometimes CMK or Aires do, with either numbered parts on a resin sprue or casting block, or at least a diagram labelling everything.

 

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Control column

 

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The white metal parts at first look a bit of a mess - this is because many of them are cast not only onto their main block, but also with long slithers of metal attached (there is probably a name for these). These can be easily snipped off, and the part freed from the block without any problems. Perhaps these superfluous bits are cast on purpose in order to protect the part?

 

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Warped metal part – at least should be easy to bend back into shape

 

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Damaged parts

 

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Either way, I did notice some of my metal parts had been dented or bashed because of the poor quality of packaging. Master Details thinking behind the metal parts is that they are more robust than resin, but personally I can see nothing load-bearing that truly warrants metal over resin. The level of detail on the metal parts is actually good once you look past all the curly shards that will be removed, but I still have to think that sharpness and detail would be superior in resin.

 

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Warp factor...?

 

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The MG drum is weak compared to resin alternatives out there

 

The instructions comprise three A4 sheets, two of which are instructions, along with a third which comprises some fairly detailed line drawings of what a finished cockpit should look like. The instructions are pretty weak in my view. Yes, you can struggle through and work it all out eventually, but allied to the lack of part numbering / identification, a complicated task is made even more so. Once again benchmarked against the likes of Barracuda, Master Details have a way to go if they want to be up there with the best.

 

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We can do better than this

 

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Useful line drawing – this will be very helpful for the superdetailers

 

Conclusion
An impressive looking set at first glance, but one which will take a lot of work to put together because of many tiny parts requiring identification as well as clean up. Poor packaging and instructions which could be so much better are things which could have been improved. When I received my sample, the original cost of this set was something like $90 (I forget the exact amount), and at that price I thought value for money was poor when compared against what the best in the industry offer. However, I now read that this has come down dramatically to just under $50, and at that level I am inclined to be far more lenient when considering the whole value proposition. It is still marginally more expensive than the equivalent CMK set though.

 

Whilst the CMK set has less parts, its breakdown is basically the same; it has clear instructions (viewable online if you want to check) and will come in a sturdy box; moreover, it has a small set of coloured photo-etch parts, which include the main instrument panel and seatbelts. As such, the CMK set could be a 'one stop shop' for the He111 office, whereas the Master Details set is not: chance are if you spend $50 on a resin cockpit, you will want a decent PE instrument panel. I cannot hand on heart give this set a "recommended" before I have seen the CMK set reviewed first - if that turns out to be a dog, then fair enough, but I would rather wait and see...watch this space for my

review!

 

With thanks to Master Details for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

Nicholas Mayhew

 

 

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cheers Mike

 

the saving grace for this set is that it is 50% cheaper than when originally released

 

the blurb from Master Details says this is because they brought production in house / back to USA or something - whatever the reason, at $100 I would be expecting significantly more, and better; at $50 it's maybe par for the course

 

I guess we'll see once we have a comparison...

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