Eduard's cockpit detail set set comprises four etched frets, two of which are partly pre-painted, plus a small sheet of clear film. This is definitely a set for experienced modellers, containing no less than 179 parts, many of which require quite complex folding. The set includes a well-drawn set of instructions, printed in colour over five sides of A5. They show clearly where parts of the original kit need to be modified or replaced by new etched items. Nevertheless, because of the number of sub-assemblies involved, I recommend reading each step several times before committing yourself, and then ticking items off the instructions as you fit them.
Working through the instructions in rough sequence, things kick off with perhaps the most daunting and impressive part of the set - a complex open-structure bulkhead for the rear of the cockpit. This takes the form of a "sandwich", with a one-piece front and rear face folded to form a box and trapping 8 x zig-zag elements which form the interior latticework structure. The result should look amazing and it's a classic example of etched metal being used to its strengths, because I can't see how any other medium could mimic the original structure with this degree of delicacy.
The wireless operator's station gets a thorough overhaul, with pre-painted faces and separate dials and knobs for the radios, plus other smaller details such as an emergency fire-axe mounted on the back of the bulkhead door.
Turning to the cockpit proper, the main instrument panel is built up from three layers of pre-painted parts and it matches the illustrations in the 4 Publications book on the Wimpy very precisely. The Trumpeter kit's cockpit floor needs a bit of surgery in preparation for new throttles and rudder pedals to replace the rather crude plastic efforts.
There are also new seats - each made of one piece which must be folded to shape, plus an intricate folded pedestal. They should look a big improvement over the kit's originals, although I think the armrests could be improved further with the addition of pads.
Dotted throughout the interior are delicate little thermos flask holders, each made of fine mesh that must be rolled into a tube.
The nose turret receives a new gunsight and a few extra details - but the turrets are one of the Trumpeter kits real strong points, so there's not an awful lot for Eduard to add.
The engineer's consoles all get new pre-painted faces and both sides of the cockpit are adorned with wiring, map cases, a fold-down seat and other details. The bomb-aimer's position is treated to a new structure and braces for the bomb-sight, and there's an open boarding hatch in the bottom of the fuselage beneath the cockpit floor.
The purpose of the clear sheet is revealed towards the end of the instructions - it's intended for new canopy panels. With all that new detail in the cockpit, Eduard give you the option to show it off by opening-up both the side and top sections of the canopy. This involves some delicate surgery and is obviously something you don't want to undertake lightly - a careless slip and you'll be left with a Wellington minus one canopy! Get it right though, and the cockpit will instantly be the focus of attention wherever you display the model.
This is another excellent set from Eduard. It's not suitable for beginners, but Eduard have been very clever in how they've broken down their Wellington detail sets. Not only are the seat harness sold separately for those modellers who want to add the bare minimum of extra detail to the Wimpy's office, but the pre-painted instrument panel and consoles from the set reviewed here are available separately as Zoom set FE369, so those who aren't comfortable tackling some of the more complex etched assemblies needn't feel left out. Recommended.
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Highs: Superb detail and excellent pre-painting. Some components would only be possible in etched metal.Lows: Complex assembly makes this a set for experienced modellers only.Verdict: If you're able to make the most of this set, it will transform Trumpeter's Wellington cockpit into a show-stopper.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...