Since their first photo-etched detail sets Eduard
have consistently developed new modelling technologies, including pre-coloured photo-etched and self-adhesive photo-etched detail sets. Some years ago, they broadened their horizons with the introduction of their Brassin range of top quality resin parts (often accompanied by photo-etched frets).
When it came to instrument panels, this left modellers facing something of a dilemma, because the pre-coloured etched sets boasted painted (or is that printed?) details that most of us would find impossible to match with a brush, while the resin sets featured moulded details that photo-etching simply can’t produce.
have taken the next logical step and developed LööK
- a new range of pre-coloured resin
instrument panels in an attempt to give modellers the best of all worlds.
This is my first opportunity to examine a LööK
panel, so I was intrigued to see one for real after reading Andy Brazier’s review of the Fw 190A-5 set
The set Mustang set comprises a single casting of three resin parts and a fret of photo-etched seatbelts, and arrives with the parts very firmly glued to a cardboard backer (be particularly careful when removing the etched fret, because it's very thin and easily distorted). The resin parts are attached to a casting block by numerous small "runners" that will be quick and easy to remove. Casting is flawless in the sample set.
The instrument panel parts are cast in semi-matte black resin, with very fine colour detailing superimposed. With a magnifier you can see a speckled effect, but to the naked eye the effect is remarkably good. To be honest, photos don't really do it justice, tending to coarsen the look (see the shot at right), but under extreme magnification some of the minuscule text is semi-legible - I'm sure I can make out the word "WARNING"
As a final touch, each bezel is ready-glazed with a drop of varnish. So, if you like to build your models “factory fresh”, it’s just a question of popping in the replacement panel and you’re done.
Of course, being an awkward cur, I seldom build aircraft kits “factory fresh”, so I immediately started thinking of ways I could mess with the panel! In daylight, my immediate impression was that the white details are a very stark and I started planning ways to knock them back.
But something I've noted in the course of writing this review is how the appearance of the panel has changed when viewed in daylight or lamplight. The yellow light of my desk lamp has mellowed the white details and they look great. So, there's a conundrum - do you try to compensate for daylight, or leave well alone?
The other thing is (as Andy noted), some subtle dry-brushing will work wonders to pop out the moulded detail of the plain black resin and bring things to life . (Note: If you do dry-brush the panel, remember to mask off the glazed bezels to be on the safe side.)
Accompanying the instrument panel is a nice set of pre-coloured photo-etched seatbelts. I've got to say, if Eduard
are intending this to be a "best of the best" set in terms of technology, I'd have loved to see them include some of their fabric belts, but those included are excellent in their own right. The pre-coloured belts do need to be treated with care, because bending them harshly can cause the colour coating to flake off (you can reattach it if you're careful). The inclusion of belts is a nice touch that will obviously make a huge difference to the look of Revell's cockpit which comes without any harness (despite them showing one in photos of a completed model).
The set includes a very simple page of instructions showing how to assemble the 3-part panel and install the seat harness. The completed panel is intended as a direct drop-in replacement for the Revell version, but it does beg the question as to whether it will also fit other 1:32 P-51Ds and 'Ks. It will look just as nice in, say, Tamiya's Mustang - but don't take it for granted that you'll be able to fit it without a little modification.
Set #634001 is available now, price: 9.95 Euros. That represents remarkably good value for money when you consider that a set of pre-painted seatbelts alone costs 7.45 Euros. That means it's just 2.50 Euros for the instrument panel, which puts it into the impulse buy bracket. If you consider the hours of work it will save - plus looking umpteen times better than most of us could hope to paint, it's definitely worth a LööK
. (Ouch! Sorry - I couldn't resist it!)
(I wonder whether Eduard
will also release the panels alone for modellers who want so sort out their own seat harnesses, because at 2.50 Euros I think they would almost sell themselves.)
I’m really looking forward to using the LööK
panel with my Revell Mustang, and it will be fascinating to see how well it works with my style of modelling. It’s eye-poppingly detailed - but that’s also true of Eduard
’s photo-etched instrument panels - so it will be interesting to see whether modellers adopt LööK
technology as the new norm, or whether it will be just one of several equally useful alternative approaches that Eduard
market to suit all tastes and styles.
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