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1:32 Laser-cut seatbelt sets and mask set.


James H
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1:32 Laser-cut seatbelt sets and mask set.
HGW
Catalogue # see article for code and price
Available from HGW

 

 

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We like to keep you up to date with the very latest releases from HGW. We are big fans of these guys, here at LSM, and if you’ve ever used their products, then you’ll know why. Today, we have their latest releases which focus on seatbelt sets for those newly released kit, and also a very welcome canopy masking set.

 

  • 132564, Arado Ar 196A-3 seatbelts, 299 Kč
  • 132565, SE.5a seatbelts,
  • 132566, Felixstowe F.2a/Hansa Brandenburg W.29 (The Duellists) seatbelts, 499 Kč
  • 632029, Felixstowe F.2a masks, 119 Kč

I generally do a recap as to general usage for HGW’s seatbelt sets, and I’ll do that again here. Each set is packaged into an attractive, narrow sleeve, with a card stiffener. The Duellists set is obviously packed in a larger sleeve in order to accommodate belts for both the Felixstowe and W.29. Where we have a little difference here is that the Arado set comes with a number of resin items which are bagged and placed within a blister pack. This is slid over the regular narrow sleeve, but the stiffening card within the pack is narrower to allow for the blister. Please be careful so as not to damage this pack, as it is generally easier to bend.

HGW’s seatbelt sets are a two component solution. They both comprise a printed, laser-cut microfiber sheet with all of the parts ready to assemble. All you need to do is to first peel off the paper backing sheet and then each part in turn, from the textile sheet, as you use them. Printing quality is excellent, with serials, data labels etc. (where appropriate), and then there is the generally unseen laser-etched stitching which will become visible when a wash is applied. Before any assembly, you should take each textile piece in turn and repeatedly scrunch it up into a ball and open it out. This breaks down any rigidity in the material and allows you to pose the parts in a natural looking way.

Assembly should typically be with CA. As these parts are laser-cut, the heat of the laser has an unexpected but surprisingly neat effect on some parts, with the edges of them being ever-so-slightly darkened. Almost like in-built shading! These belts can also be weathered with oil paints etc, and then flat varnished and dry-brushed.

A metal fret contains all of the relevant fasteners and buckles, with this part being produced by Eduard. Always go for there only being enough parts to make once belt set, although I have worked with these where there were actually as many as two whole sets of parts included, despite only one set of belts being packed. Etch quality is always high, as you would expect from Eduard.

Each set also contains an instruction sheet. The use of red and blue colour on the instructions denotes the difference between the textile and PE parts. Drawings are also typically ‘Eduard’ in their approach, with excellent clarity, although no further annotation other than parts numbers, is supplied. Each sheet also explains the weathering process to you.

Arado Ar 196A-3 seatbelts

 

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This set is supplied with resin parts. There are three in total, designed to replace the plastic parts within your Revell Ar 196A-3 kit. Whilst I’m unsure who makes these, they look similar to the style of part that HPH uses in their releases, and cast from the same colour of resin. One part replaces the pilot’s seat, and is beautifully mastered and cast, with just a little clean-up needed on the reverse. A large casting block will need to be carefully removed, and you will need to carefully profile the curvature of the seat underside, where the block is removed. Another part, not shown in the instructions, appears to be a padded cushion for this seat. The last resin part is for the observer/gunner seat and incorporates the mounting brackets. As with HPH resin parts, this is cast onto a thin, flat sheet which will need to be carefully ground away.

 

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All else looks pretty normal for an HGW set, except for a large metal part on the fret. This isn’t shown on the instructions, but was originally intended as a template for cutting the back rest for the original Arado Ar 196 kit. For this release, it won't be used.

 

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SE.5a seatbelts

 

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A simple yet effective set which replaces the photo-etch lap belts of the WNW kit. Confusingly, this it titled as having two sets included, yet first glimpses of the parts seems to show two kits in that there aren’t two identical sets. This is correct. What this set provides are two OPTIONS for the SE.5a, and indeed, if you have two kits in your stash, then there WILL be enough parts for both (as long as you use different types of course). One part, printed in brown, does appear to be out of register on my sample. No problem to fix it though.

 

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Felixstowe F.2a/Hansa Brandenburg W.29 (The Duellists) seatbelts

 

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Both of the sets in this dual release are available separately, but this is of course a nice set to acquire if you are lucky enough to own the impressive WNW ‘Duellists’ release, containing both the Felixstowe F.2a (Early), and Hansa-Brandenburg W.29. A single piece of textile and a PE fret is included for each of these aircraft, and the instruction sheet is simple to follow for both assembling the belts and installing them to your model.

 

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Felixstowe F.2a masks

 

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Whilst this set doesn’t actually stipulate this, it appears that that the ‘Early’ release of the WNW Felixstowe is the kit this is designed for. The ‘Late’ version has only small windscreens due to the cut down rear deck and absence of a forward canopy enclosure. The intended kit does have a LOT of panels to mask, so this release is most welcome.

 

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It’s not just canopy masks included here either. You will also find masks for the propeller tip sheathing. This is another very welcome addition due to the complex curvature of these items. Now you may airbrush the sheathing first, mask it off and apply your wood grain finish to the rest of the blades. Another nice feature are the masks for the prop hubs, allowing you to mask the timber areas and finally blow some metallic paint over the hub.

As is normal, these masks are made from kabuki tape, and are sharply cut. The instructions are very clear about the location of each item.

Conclusion
I’m beginning to find HGW’s seatbelt sets almost a staple of my regular modelling diet. They look great when assembled, and are nice and easy to assemble, and in a reasonably quick time frame. I know of no other seatbelt solution which looks as authentic and is resistant to the rigours of weathering. They are also reasonably priced, and provide a great focal point for your detailed cockpit. Oh, did I tell you that I really like them?

VERY highly recommended

My sincere thanks to HGW for sending these samples for review. To purchase directly, click the links in the article.

James H

 

 

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