Eduard is known for their longtime commitment to bringing modelers photo-etched brass upgrades for a vast number of plastic kits in many scales. With their newly launched “Brassin” (brass resin) line, Eduard is venturing into new (for them) territory by providing fine quality resin details augmented with their high quality etched brass, which in some cases includes their unique color enhanced photo-etch. While this is not an entirely new concept (Aires, for example, does provide photo-etch with some of their resin products), it does seem to be a different kind of marketing in so far as the Brassin sets are limited to specific parts (such as seats and wheels) in a manner similar to Quick Boost parts, instead of outfitting an entire cockpit or other large area. Thus, the Brassin line seems to set on making a niche of providing very specific highly detailed upgrade parts that have the advantages of both resin and pre-colored photo-etch.
Eduard has clearly aimed their early Brassin sets at 1/48 scale F-16 buffs, providing a compressive early style ACES II ejection designed for the Tamiya F-16 kit, as well as late and early wheels for the F-16 C/D as well as wheels for the F-16 A/B ((3 sets in all), also designed for the Tamiya line of F-16 kits. At this time, Brassin also offers the seat and wheels for the F-22 Raptor (designed for the 1/48 scale Academy kit).
This review covers the F-16 late wheels accessory set provided in Eduard’s new range of Brassin detail parts. Three resin wheels cast in high quality light gray resin, a small photo-etch fret, and a set of painting masks make up this accessory set. As a “free bonus”, 6 wheel chocks cast in yellow resin are also included. The photo-etch included is limited and does not feature color printing, but is typical of Eduard’s high standards with this material.
Bolt, spoke, rim, and brake details really pop out nice and sharp on the resin moldings. The casting stubs are thin and easily removed without damaging the wheels. Eduard is to be commended for resisting the temptation to make the wheels ‘bulged’, as the wheels on F-16s are the high pressure type and do not deform to any great extent (bulged wheels are generally inaccurate anyway). The ‘Goodyear’ molding on the sides of the wheel are done so finely that any excess of paint will cover this detail up. The tread pattern is accurate and very sharp, just like it is on the real article. Removing the pour stub does create a lack of one line of the tread pattern across a small arc of the wheel, but this can easily be scribed into the resin after the remnants of the stub are cleaned up.
The photo-etch includes brake lines and what must be the caliper for the brakes, both for the main wheels. The brake lines are handed left and right, though actually merely flipping the piece over makes it identical to the opposite part. While the brake lines capture the double-line nature of the real article, the photo-etch parts are only long enough to bridge the gap to the landing gear struts. The modeler will have to take it from there up. Four calipers are provided though only two are needed (one per main wheel), presumably in case you lose one or two of these small parts (as I inevitability would). No photo-etch is provided for the nose wheel, but none is needed.
The wheel masks are cut out of a sheet of high quality masking tape that is very similar to the type marketed to modelers by Tamiya. The cuts are precise and complete. Six circular masks are the total provided – two each for each of the three wheels, with no spares.
It is unclear if the wheel chocks that are included as a “free bonus” will always be distributed with the wheel sets, but they are appreciated in this release regardless. Cast in bright yellow resin, they can presumably be used as is (once the casting stubs are removed) without painting since the wheel chocks tend to come in black, red, and yellow plastic in the real world. Some weathering and a flat coat will be desirable though. The modeler is expected to provide their own string for tying the chocks together, which is sure to be a task that requires good eyesight and steady hands.
One wheel was built up to test assembly. The photo-etch parts found their home fairly easily. After painting the entire wheel black, the masks were tested. I found the circular masks distorted very easily upon removal from their backing, and took some effort to apply to the wheel in a symmetric fashion. After adding more tape to finish the job the supplied masks started (they only cover the tire faces around the hub), I painted the hubs white. Removing the masks revealed that they did an ok, but not brilliant job of masking the tires. Touch up by hand was required. In the future I will probably not use these masks, but I am sure someone with smaller, more agile fingers could make better use of them.
The wheel set is advertized for use with the Tamiya F-16 kits, but after a quick assessment, I determined that only a little work would be required to modify the Hasegawa main gear struts to use these wheels as well. There is no color guide provided, though it would be useful for painting these little gems.
Brassin is a new direction for Eduard, and combines their excellent color photo-etch technology with first rate resin castings to provide what are essentially mini-kits as upgrades for specific kit parts that are often under-detailed. This wheel set is accurate and easy to assemble, while providing a generous increase in detail over the kit parts and should provide no real challenge to anyone familiar with photo-etch or resin.
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Highs: Highly detailed, nicely molded, accurate resin detail parts. Wheel chocks are a nice addition.Lows: Photo-etch brake lines could be longer. Wheel hub masks difficult to use.Verdict: Very little negative can be said about this wheel set. High quality resin, excellent detail, and simple design makes this a winner.
I have been modeling off and on for 35+ years, probably about 20 of that actively as an 'adult'. I stick primarily to 1/48 scale aircraft (golden age thru modern) and some 1/35 scale armor (WWII and pre-WWII mostly).