One of the main disappointments of the Trumpeter kit is the cockpit, which is both lacking and detail and has a distinctly undersized seat. Eduard's set comprises two etched frets, one of which is pre-painted, with a total of 96 new parts and completely updates the kit interior. I was a little worried that Eduard might simply have tried to tailor their new parts to fit the kit cockpit, with the inevitable compromises that would have involved, so it's a relief to see they have included a complete new cockpit tub to fold into shape, which is much deeper than Trumpeter's. Into this fit new consoles, rudder pedals and throttles etc.and a larger seat . The pre-painted parts are excellent, with detailed instrument faces and a multi-part seat harness. Rounding everything off is a detailed gyro gunsight that completely eclipses the crude and inaccurate kit original.
Some of these small parts will require multiple folds, and going from an 8-part plastic "office" to a 90 part metal one is obviously going to require a degree of skill and plenty of patience, but the result looks set to be a real eye-popper. For anyone working on a tight budget or who doesn't fancy tackling the whole set, Eduard have released the coloured fret as Zoom #FE 423. Being something of a halfway-house, that will mean accepting some of the kit's original problems, in particular the seat, but it will still be a big improvement.
Set #48602 - $29.95
This set provides an equally detailed makeover to the exterior. Two frets contain a total of 159 new parts. This rather daunting number is explained by the fact that the set doesn't just add details to the kit's wheel wells, but completely replaces them - the only survivors from the original styrene parts are the main-gear locating sockets. There are also new detailed wing folds, along with radiators, undercarriage doors, cabling, plus smaller items for the rockets and tailwheel. New facing plates are provided for the exhaust areas which look like they could be tricky to bend to get the correct contours. A final touch are new centres for the mainwheel hubs. These will certainly improve the look of things, but I think it's fair to say they are only a partial answer because the entire wheels really need replacing.
The instructions are neatly drawn, but although designed to be colour-coded, follow Eduard's recent policy of being printed in b&w. Eduard really pioneered colour-coded instructions for aftermarket sets, showing where kit parts must be modified etc. and they really do help clarify things for complex upgrades. Luckily, anyone with an internet connection can access the full-colour versions on Eduard's website.
Eduard's etched sets will add hugely to Trumpeter's Sea Fury, adding masses of detail where it's needed. There's still room for improvement, notably with the wheels and the spinner that are beyond their scope, but the transformation to the basic kit will be dramatic. Needless to say, these sets aren't meant for beginners - and some aspects are really only suitable for quite experienced modellers - but anyone with the skill and patience to go the course should have a Sea Fury to be proud of.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Comprehensive and highly detailed. Excellent pre-coloured parts.Lows: The wheels really need totally replacing, rather than just receiving the new hub faces.Verdict: Eduard's etched sets go a long way to making Trumpeter's Sea Fury into a show-stopper. These are quite complex sets and not suitable for beginners.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...