When I reviewed the Karaś
, I was highly impressed by the amount of detail they've incorporated into the cockpit. With so much already provided in the original kit, what scope is there for Eduard to improve things?
Eduard's detail set includes 2 frets, one of them pre-painted, containing a total of 67 parts. The first area to get some attention is the pilot's cockpit. The solid seat mount is replaced by a delicate etched version and the only rather clunky piece in Mirages kit - the trim wheel assembly - gets a lovely pair of etched parts in its place. The rudder pedal mount goes too, with a new folded pedestal, and foot rests for the rudder bar itself. The sidewalls receive a number of new items, with some detailed consoles, throttle quadrants, plus smaller parts such as straps for the parachute packs and new flare holders.
Eduard dresses up the kit's resin radio sets with new faces which are very precisely pre-painted and should really stand out in their prominent position under the canopy. Superdetailers may want to add the various knobs and switches using the resin originals as a reference. All the seat harnesses are supplied in the set. This might seem odd as Mirage already provide perfectly good etched harnesses, but Eduard's are pre-painted and very nicely detailed - the choice is yours.
As you'd expect, Eduard include a replacement instrument panel. It's a pre-painted 2-part assembly and very nice indeed, with beautiful detail on the instrument faces, so it'll look great combined with the compass from the kit's existing panel.
Smaller additions include details for the bomb aimer's position and a new rear-view mirror for the gunner. Finally, and perhaps the only parts I'll chicken out of using, are absolutely tiny perforated gun barrels which must be rolled to form cylinders. These aren't like the cooling jackets on a WW1 "Spandau", but much, much, smaller diameter - I think even rolled around a pin they will be too large...
The only parts I missed by their absence were straps fro the ammunition drums. In the kit they're moulded solid, so a set of etched replacements would have been a nice touch.
The instructions are clearly illustrated and colour-coded to show where kit parts must be modified and the new etched pieces fitted. The assembly does require some minor surgery in places and a few boxes have to be folded but, apart from those gun barrels, this should be a pretty straight forward set to use.
EX160 Painting Masks- $7.95
Alongside the etched details, Eduard have released a set of die-cut Kabuki tape painting masks which will be a great help in tackling the multi-panelled Karaś canopy and bomb-aimers gondola. The canopy features a number of quite small panels, so these masks will save a great deal of time that would otherwise be spent on laborious masking. Along with the canopy, the set also provides masks for the mainwheels and landing lamps.
I've got Mirage's impressive Karaś on the workbench and, even though I've pretty much completed the cockpit, I'll backtrack slightly to incorporate these extras. Changing course mid-build is always a little disrupting, but the results should definitely be worth it. Recommended.
Thank you to Eduard for kindly supplying the review samples.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on ARMORAMA