by: Darren Baker [ ]
There are large numbers of aircraft models being released which have either never been available previously or that better those offerings that have come before them. One area where injection moulded plastic struggles to provide detail and scale thicknesses are the Pitots found on most jets, in particular those pitots that have unusual elements present. Step forward Master, who have made it one of their tasks to provide these items in resin and metal.
Here I am looking at products from Master for the Mig 31 Foxhound in 1/48th and 1/72nd scale. Each set consists of two turned brass elements and (what I believe is) a resin part. The product are packed inside Ziploc plastic bags and then mounted on a card hanger.
The 1/48th scale offering from Master for the Mig 31 Foxhound would seem to be a direct replacement for the AMK and HobbyBoss offerings, both companies look to have made the joint in the same location on the nose cone. Both AMK and HobbyBoss provide the Pitot as a single piece moulding as gluing pieces this size would not be fun, it is the limitations when getting down to smaller parts that dictates how much detail a manufacturer can provide in injection moulded plastic.
I am unable to address the fit of parts in 1/72nd scale offerings of the Mig 31 Foxhound as I found 28 kits in this scale listed on Scale Mates and I do not have any of them. With that said the following section applies to the offerings in both scales from Master.
The brass elements of both sets are beautifully turned and have excellent profiles. However there is no protection other than the card sleeve to prevent bending damage to the brass parts and this does cause me a little concern, but the examples seen here look to be perfectly fine. The array is protected by a hollow foam square and that has done the job perfectly and gives me faith in its ability to protect this element during reasonable handling.
Master has provided an assembly guide for these products and I am glad to see what the drill size required is for adding the parts where drilling is required; that is if you need to make a hole to attach the pitot to the model. The tip portion of the pitot slides easily through a pre formed hole in the resin/plastic array and then inserts into the inner portion of the pitot, this results in very easy assembly of the part and its use on the model.
I must admit that I have been making more wingy thingies than ground targets of late, and I have noted that after market items for aircraft have become many and varied. Some are a must and others are luxuries, this products most likely fits into the luxury item list depending on the accuracy requirements of the modeller. I myself would happily purchase either of these products from Master for a few reasons:
The fact that these are not attached to a sprue means that they have a superior profile than injection moulded parts.
Being brass over its entire length and including where to goes through the resin/plastic array, means that it is stronger and less prone to damage on a finished model.
The cost of £5 to £6 is a reasonable fee for the quality of the product.