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1:32 F4U-1 cockpit


Jim H
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1:32 F4U-1 cockpit
Eduard 'Brassin'
Catalogue # 632039
Available from Eduard for €41,25
Bunny Fighter Club price: €35,06

 

 

 

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I'm actually quite surprised that it's taken Eduard so long to release a complete cockpit upgrade for the recent(ish) 1:32 Tamiys F4U-1 Corsair, especially with the bubble-canopy F4U-1A just around the corner. Still, it's probably true to say that the F4U-1 'Birdcage' will stay popular for a long time. Having seen the kit itself, and knowing the level of detail within the cockpit, it may seem surprising that a whole resin replacement is now available, but just wait until you see this! You really won't want to build that kit without first seeing the detail that this upgrade offers.

 

Eduard have used their satin black cardboard package for this release, and before you open it, you can feel that it's quite weighty. When opened, you'll see that part of that weight are the four, double sided and folded instruction sheets required for this project, followed by SIX bags of resin which is cast in a combination of light grey, mid grey and clear, plus a small wallet with two PE frets and an instrument panel decal. Two casting blocks are packaged within the main box, un-bagged due to their delicate nature.

 

The resin parts are protected within the box by pieces of soft grey foam, and the instructions are wrapped around these for extra security. This is going to be no quick project, and the FOURTY-NINE pieces of resin and around SIXTY photo-etch parts, are testimony to that. Strangely enough, I'm attracted to the bag with the two largest parts first, plus those loose parts:

 

Eduard appear to use the darker resin for the thinner components, and here, these are the deeply curved floor and the upper side walls which are attached at a late stage in construction. Light grey resin is used for the forward and rear bulkheads. The detail within these key areas is stunning, with plenty of subtle detail hiding around the key structures and avionics/pipework/cabling. I have to say that some carefully applied washes and dry brushing will bring levels of detail out that would normally be overshadowed by the larger cockpit components.

 

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Holding the various parts together, you can see that a lot of effort has been made in ensuring that detail areas, such as constructional elements, line up perfectly, as was seen in the 1:48 Spitfire Mk.IX cockpit replacement set. There are a number of minor webs on the cockpit floor, underneath cabling and pipes, and this will need careful trimming away. This goes for the main, central web in the floor too. These thinner, fragile parts are connected to their casting blocks via thin resin walls which look easy to remove and clean up. You will fine smoothly recessed areas on the sidewalls into which the side consoles will neatly fit, so there will be no guesswork here. A number of avionics boxes and cabling are included too.

 

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The main, light grey components for the bulkheads are a detail painters dream; especially the forward bulkhead with its mass of pipes, wiring, junction boxes etc. My only real criticism of these parts are the quite thick casting blocks which will need some elbow-grease to remove and clean up.

 

This is a very complex set and one which will bore the pants off you if I describe every single piece (many of which I couldn't' even put a name to), so from here, let's take a look at this bag by bag, with photos, using captions where appropriate. I will also highlight anything which I think you should be aware of.

 

Wallet 2

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Wallet 3

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Wallet 4

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Here we can see that Eduard have given the choice of two different instrument panels. A full resin part is supplied, including cast instrument detail. Those instruments also have dial detail, so unless you're into dry brushing and micro-detail painting, you might prefer the other option. That second option is a resin panel with only a minor amount of cast detail. A first layer of PE is then applied, and then the instrument decal. Finally, a PE fascia is overlaid to complete the panel. This will be painted, and onto this you will lay the instrument decal before then applying the fascia. In an unusual move, this fascia panel is supplied as base brass, and is not colour-printed.

 

Wallet 5

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Wallet 6

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All resin parts have been thoughtfully connected to their casting blocks in the least obtrusive manner possible. Many connecting areas fall along assembly joints, or will be hidden from view, despite them not really being a problem anyway. Eduard has mastered the easy to remove system for casting blocks, with only those two bulkhead parts having blocks which will require some substantial effort to remove. Many parts are also quit e fragile-looking, such as various pipes etc, and again we see these parts cast in the darker grey resin, which perhaps is a little different and more resilient to being handled. No flaw can be found anywhere, such as breakages, bubbles or short cast. This is as good as it can possibly get.

 

Photo Etch

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There are two PE frets in this set, with one being colour-printed, and the other in bare brass. The colour fret contains the seatbelt set which is composed of belts and separate buckles. I think I prefer the textile belts to these though, for a more realistic effect and weathering possibilities.

 

The second fret holds the various instrument panel layers, with neatly etched bezels. A series of levers are included too, as well as pedal adjustment ratchets and various brackets. Etch quality is excellent, and small connecting points mean parts will be easy to remove from the fret.

 

Instructions

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There is a LOT of work involved in assembling this, and an even bigger job in painting it, but that is fun, right? There's no doubt that Eduard have done an admirable job in presenting the various constructional sequences with relative clarity. Newly attached parts are shown in blue ink, whilst any surgery required to the host kit, is inked in red. There is indeed some surgery to perform, but this seems to be limited to the removal of the moulded structures (frames) within the cockpit, and no actual wall thinning is required. This should be a relatively easy project to install within the plastic. Colour reference codes are supplied for Mr Hobby paints, throughout construction. A useful parts map, with part numbers, is supplied on the rear page of the manual. To complete the cockpit assembly, you will need a little lead, tin or copper wire for various tasks.

 

Conclusion
In the UK, you can buy this set for £30 to £35, and whilst the Tamiya kit itself can be bought for around £90 to £95 (cheaper from Lucky Model etc), it seems like quite a high proportion of cost to spend on just the cockpit. Having said that, the sheer number of parts in this set, and how thorough it is, for me, is a perfect reason to do so. It seems incredulous that you could improve the Tamiya kit parts to such an extent that you'd scrap them completely, but this is exactly what this set provides, at the same time, offering a mammoth leap in detail over the original. For me, this set is a MUST!

 

Very highly recommended

 

My sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

James H

 

 

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