by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Eduard have released a set of detailed gun bays for their impressive 1:48 P-51D Mustang.
Part of the Brassin range, the set comprises a mix of top quality resin castings combined with an etched fret and a small sheet of decals. The first thing that struck me was a new-style box compared with previous Brassin sets which I've seen. This flip-top packet is made of much tougher cardboard and it certainly protected everything in transit, because all the parts arrived in good shape. The set comprises:
34 x grey resin parts
47 x etched brass parts
Decals for the inside of the gun-bay covers
The casting is impeccable in the sample set, with some superbly crisp and fine details that will repay careful painting and highlighting. Casting points are very light for the most part - it's only the ammunition runs that come on conventional plinths - so clean-up and preparation should be pretty quick.
The etched fret contains a rather daunting number of parts to squeeze into the bays, but the tally does include a few spares for the smaller items in case they go astray during assembly. Some of the details are really tiny, so a magnifier and steady hands will likely be prerequisites.
You will need to make a few parts from wire (not included), such as the stays for the open panels and an electrical cable for each gun. Lead wire will be ideal for the latter as it's so easy to bend to shape and will drape realistically.
In terms of surgery, all that will be needed by way of modification to Eduard's Mustang is to remove the panels on the wings' upper surfaces. These are ready-thinned on the inside of the kit parts - but I'll still err on the safe side and work well inside the outlines, finishing the openings with a fine file.
The decals look excellent quality, with crisp printing and colour register. Four blocks of servicing instructions are provided to go with the four resin covers - which means you'll have two spare, because the covers offer optional early and late versions.
Eduard provide a comprehensive set of instructions spread over four sides and printed in colour. Construction is broken down into 9 stages, with very clear diagrams and Gunze Sangyo paint matches for every part.
ConclusionEduard's P-51D gun bays promise to add some eye-popping detail to an already superb kit - arguable the definitive model of this version of the Mustang in this scale. In terms of surgery, it should be straightforward for reasonably experienced modellers to install - but it does entail folding some very small etched parts to shape if you use everything provided. That said, anyone unsure about doing the latter could still achieve impressive results omitting the smallest etched pieces.
Considering the level of detail provided, the set offers very good value for money - and, of course, you could use it to open up one gun-bay each on a pair of Mustangs to spread the eye-candy further.
At the time of writing I'm getting set to embark on a multi-build of Eduard's Mustang, so I may well use the set across a couple of the models myself. Watch out for updates in the Forum to see how the set goes together - but, based on initial impressions, I'd recommend the set highly to modellers with experience of resin and etched parts.
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