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1:32 Arado Ar 234B-2 instrument panel

James H

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1:32 Arado Ar 234B-2 instrument panel

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.


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.




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