by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
SBS Model have released their latest 1:48 cockpit upgrades in the shape of two superdetailing sets aimed at the Zero - more specifically Hasegawa's A6M2 and 'M3.
As you'd expect, both are designed around the same core set of parts, with SBS's trademark combination of superbly detailed resin components and photoetched brass accessories. Both upgrades comprise:
23 x grey resin parts
33 x etched brass parts, plus a printed film for instrument faces.
The casting is flawless in both review samples, with some quite exquisite detailing such as wiring and pipework moulded in situ. The difference between the two sets lies in the sidewalls, the A6M2 featuring additional consoles on the starboard side. Interestingly, they fit into the kits in a slightly different manner, the A6M2 requiring some minor surgery to the Hasegawa kit before assembly.
Each set replaces the original Hasegawa cockpit completely, with a new floor, sidewalls, rear fuselage frame, flying controls, seat and mount, instrument panel, guns and gunsight. Onto the resin "foundations" are added a mass of etched parts for further consoles, levers and brackets, plus a 4-part seat harness. The instrument panel is built up from a sandwich of brass, clear film and resin components, while the gunsight features film reflectors.
The upgrades are supplied with very well illustrated instructions that break the construction down into manageable stages (14 for the A6M2, 13 for the 'M3). Very little modification is needed to the standard kits, but some of the parts are pretty small so a steady hand and a little experience working with resin and etched sets is probably to be recommended.
ConclusionThe sets will transform the interior of the two Hasegawa kits at a stroke, and it's also very tempting to see if the A6M3 upgrade can be adapted to fit Tamiya's highly rated new-tool kit because, as good as that "office" is, SBS's set is in a different league again. Unreservedly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.