In-Box Review
“Big Ed” Spitfire Mk V P/E and Mask Set

by: Mal Mayfield [ HOLDFAST ]

If you buy a kit then buy all the add-ons such as photo etch details and masking sets, or you would like to but the price is prohibitive, then Eduard’s “Big Ed” sets are for you. Even if, like me, you wouldn’t normally buy the masking set, but would like all the etch sets then this is like getting a discount on all of the etch, plus the masks thrown in. Definitely a win win situation.

Whats in the packet
This set, BIG4851 is designed for the Tamiya kit (BIG4844 is designed for the Hasegawa kit, and is similar) and comes in a stout cardboard envelope, with each separate piece packed in Eduard’s usual bottom opening, re-sealable packs and includes the following sets:

  • 1. EX052 Canopy and wheel mask set.
  • 2. 48483 Spitfire Mk Vb landing flaps.
  • 3. 49256 Spitfire Mk Vb internal and external details.

EX052 Canopy and wheel mask set.
The masking set is die cut in a material that seems similar to Tamiya masking tape, but is thinner. I have only ever tried to use vinyl masks once and they lifted. I have used Tamiya masking tape to mask canopies and it is excellent. If this material acts in a similar manner then it will be a big step forward in masking canopies and I might be converted.

48483 Spitfire Mk Vb landing flaps.
I have in my possession an earlier incarnation of Eduard’s Spitfire landing flaps and this has all the ribs (48) as separate items, more of an etch test than a detail set. The flap set contained in this Big Ed package is much better, in that the ribs are integral with the flaps and simply require bending and twisting into position. Avery much better and easier solution. Cutting open and thinning of the flap operating mechanism door, on both upper wings, is required (this also gave the pilot a positive visual indication that the flaps where down). You will have to be wary of the “carpet monster” as only one each of the small doors and linkage for each side is included.
See Saúl García’s build review of Eduards P-40E Warhawk Landing Flaps (1:48)

49256 Spitfire Mk Vb internal and external details.
There are 2 frets in this set, FE256 which is the “Zoom set”, this has 41 parts, including; the instrument panel, seat belts, compass face and radio remote switches in colour (the instrument dials are painted on). Rudder pedals, landing gear selection box, head armour, compass mount and other detail, which require painting. There is also the gun sight glass mount and acetate “glass”. The other fret, 49 256, contains 68 parts including duplicate and, in some cases, triplicate parts, so the “carpet monster” can be kept happy while you finish your project. This fret includes the pilots seat, seat supports and back armour, radiator and oil cooler matrix faces and radiator flap. There are plenty of other small details including the door and canopy hood locking mechanisms, oxygen bottle support bracket and brake lines. All of the etched items are in some sort of white metal, which seems quite malleable.

The instructions are printed, in colour, on A4 sheets, they are clear and are of the “exploded view” type. You are required to cut away some items of the kit parts and, in some cases add plastic rod, or wire to etched parts. This all, again, is quite clear, although, like all photo etch sets, you will have to decide whether or not the etched item is a better replacement for the moulded, or otherwise scratch built item. For example, I would definitely replace the instrument panel and rudder pedals, but probably not the gun button and brake lever on the control column. There are a couple of oddities for a Spitfire Mk V. There is a replacement for the fin post antenna wire attachment and an addition for the antenna. Neither of which was present on the Mk V. Not a major deal at all and the parts can be used on your next Mk 1 (you will of course be building another Mk 1?). Something that I’m not sure about is the method of producing the lozenge shaped indent on the seat pan. The instructions show a sphere and an arrow, outlining the shape. I guess that the idea is to press a hard sphere around this area, indenting it. I’m not sure that this can be achieved without distorting the material. It might work but I think it would have more chance of success if the area were half etched, it might not, then be necessary. In any case some sort of firm but giving surface (mouse mat?) will probably be required to have any chance of achieving this. Maybe an old ballpoint pen would do the trick, I’ll have to give it a go.


Big Ed Items:
48483 Spitfire Mk.Vb landing flaps $ 12.95
EX052 Spitfire Mk.I/V 1/48 $ 5.95
49256 Spitfire Mk.Vb $ 22.95

Total Price: $ 41.85
Big Ed Price: $ 29.95
You save: $ 11.90

Thes Big Ed sets offer a nice saving in modelling tokens while supplying practically everything you need to detail your project. Another nice idea from one of the best aftermarket manufacturers out there, recommended.

Thank you to Eduard for kindly supplying the review sample.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on ARMORAMA
If you like photo etch details sets or think that they are a bit expensive or simply like the idea of saving some of those modelling tokens, to by the latest kit. Then Eduard's Big ED sets are for you, combining all the sets, plus masks, for a particular kit.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: BIG4851
  Suggested Retail: $ 29.95
  Related Link: More Big ED sets
  PUBLISHED: Mar 23, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Mal Mayfield (Holdfast)

Hi, my name is Mal Mayfield and I have been modelling seriously for about 25 years. My main interest is 1/48 scale second world war. I build all types and all combatants. I have built 1/35 scale "targets" and 1/72 scale modern aircraft, plus a couple of cars. I have also dabbled with figure painting...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mal Mayfield [ HOLDFAST ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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