Airfix's 1:48 TSR.2 has been one of the company's greatest successes of recent years. A fine kit out of the box, it is obviously also a fantastic subject for superdetailers and, not surprisingly, a number of aftermarket producers have released upgrades. Now those masters of the etched medium, Eduard, have stepped in with a trio of sets to upgrade or replace the standard Airfix details.
Set #48614 - TSR.2 Undercarriage - $ 26.95
80 new parts are provided on a single steel fret for a comprehensive makeover. Starting with new wheel hubs to replace the rather soft kit detail, the set moves on with a plethora of brackets and struts, along with obvious items like oleo scissors. Interior faces are provided for the wheel doors, plus delicate perforated retraction arms and locks, plus cable runs for the mainwheel bay. I've previously been rather unsure how well etched "cables" can work in 1:48, because I've felt they'd appear too 2-dimensional, but I've surprised just how effective they can look with a couple of coats of paint to bulk them up a bit and give a more circular cross-section. They certainly safe hours of work with soft wire.
Set #48616 - TSR.2 Exterior - $ 24.95
50 parts this time in a set aimed primarily at the engine exhausts and air-brakes. New multi-layer faces are provided for each brake, along with brackets. The exhaust modifications require new liners to be rolled from the flat sheets provided and then delicate afterburner rings to be slipped inside, creating a much better effect than the plain hollow kit tubes.
Set #49436 TSR.2 Interior - $ 29.95
The cockpit is usually the centre of attention for most modellers and it has to be admitted that the Airfix "office" is a bit oversimplified. Not so much of a problem if you close the canopies, but it cries out for help if you display them open. Eduard have come to the rescue with a comprehensive partly pre-painted self-adhesive set of three etched frets (also available in cut-down form as Zoom FE436 - $ 14.95).
87 new parts detail all the obvious points in the kit cockpit. The ejector seats are treated to pre-painted multi-part harnesses, firing handles and other details. The kit consoles and instrument panels are completely replaced with self-adhesive placards. Each panel is built up of a sandwich of multiple layers with petite pre-painted instrument dials and fascias. The effect should be excellent, although the switches and levers might look a bit shallow if you look too closely, so experienced modellers may choose to add some details from scratch to add extra depth. The grey used seems a bit pale compared with online walkaround photos of the TSR.2, so I'll darken things a little with a tinted wash that will also serve to pick out the bezel details
Eduard have included sidewall details for each cockpit, which are otherwise totally blank by Airfix, and indicate that the instrument shroud under the windscreen requires completely re-shaping before attaching a new set of controls to the rear edge.
Each set is accompanied by an A-5 set of B&W instructions. I've included the down-loadable colour versions here (available on Eduard's website), because they do make the required modifications clearer. The value of on-line instructions was further proved because the set for #48616 were incompletely printed - the first time I've found this.
Eduard's TSR.2 sets should make a major improvement over the standard Airfix parts, both in terms of detail and general finesse. I'm also excited to see how well they work with the Pavla resin upgrades
, because the combination of the resin sets as a starting point with the extra etched precision could offer the best of all worlds. Recommended.
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