Re. 20002 S.A.
Destined to the 1:48 scale Italeri kit (see review here
), Eduard's Re.2002 S.A. set comes in the usual plastic pouch of the Czech Manufacturer. The set is composed of two PE frets (one is pre-painted and self adhesive) which are protected by two cardboard sheets to prevent them from damage. A small A5 size construction notice is included.
The pre-painted fret is composed of parts which are mostly destined to the cockpit area (instrument panels, control boxes, machine gun covers, rudder pedals, levers, seatbelts, etc...). Most of the parts will replace the original relief details of the plastic parts, which will have to be removed. This is clearly explained in the instructions and won't represent a too difficult task. The instrument panel is made of several parts and layers of photo etch and will look really nice once assembled, but also more accurate than the plastic one. Indeed, while designing the kit, Italeri have obviously made the mistake of depicting the interior of a Re.2000 which is different than the one of the Re.2002. To make the according changes, you can use the reference book included in the kit's box. The two cockpit sidewalls will also benefit from the extra details of the Eduard photo etched fret and will look much more busy. In total, more than 40 parts are present on this fret, some being very small like the levers.
The second fret is composed of 33 parts which will enhance the level of detail of the engine and the exterior. I must be honest and say that the engine parts are pretty much useless as they won't be visible at all on the finished model unless you open the cowling in some way. The covers for the landing gears are more interesting in that they will have a notable impact on the final look of the model, having a more realistic scale thickness.
The instructions are printed in black & white on an A4 sheet folded so to make a small 4 pages booklet. While the drawings are small, they are easy to follow.
Incorporating the PE parts to the build isn't very complicated. Some pieces are self adhesive and I found that they worked well on a clean and flat surface. Overall, the cockpit looks much better with the addition of the Eduard parts. The levers are small and you will need good tweezers and a good eyesight to glue them in their appropriate position. I recommend you to add some white glue to make them look more three-dimensional. The typical Italian seatbelt is very nice but a real pain to put in place because of it's complex design. Be prepared for a real fight here!
As I've said before, some of the parts on the second (non-painted) fret are not very useful. The landing gear covers are fine though, but you will have to thin the gear legs of the kit so to allow the round ones to fit. The canopy hinge is a nice touch if you want to display the cockpit hood in the opened position. However, the PE cable provided on the fret to hold it is too short and I had to replace a part of it with fine fishing thread.
Eduard's set will not transform Italeri's Re.2002 into a masterpiece, the plastic base being simply not good enough for that, but it will enhance the overall level of detail of the model, especially in the cockpit area. Some additional work will be needed in any case if you want to obtain a reasonably realistic looking model. So, while the Eduard set isn't a solution to eliminate all the shortcomings of the kit, it will help you to shorten the list quite a lot.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AeroScale