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Eduard 1/32 detail sets for the Italeri F-104G; 32348, 32803, 32805, 32808, 32811, 32817, JX163


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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.

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