Eduard have turned their sights on the impressive Hobby Boss F-105G and released a highly detailed etched cockpit upgrade set. The kit's styrene "office" is already quite nicely appointed, but Eduard's extras and replacements will take it to a new level.
The parts arrive on two etched frets:
Fret #1 (also available on its own as Zoom FE439) is pre-painted and self-adhesive, with 52 new parts aimed at the main instrument panels and side consoles. Importantly, whereas Hobby Boss used identical consoles for the front and rear cockpits, Eduard's are subtly different, reflecting the changed equipment fit-out.
The pre-painting is beautifully detailed, to a level that evn the most skilled painters among us would find nigh on impossible to match. The main panels are multi-layered to add depth to the instruments, and they should really pop out with a drop of varnish in each bezel to glaze them.
The layout generally matches the photos I've found of the Thud, with the few small differences I spotted being in the rear cockpit. I do wonder though, whether there actually was a single definitive layout applicable to every F-105G, as the aircraft was updated with new sensors etc. over the course of its long career.
Using the parts will mean sanding off most of the raised detail on the Hobby Boss originals, so superdetailers might want to go one step further and add knobs and switches from coloured stretched sprue to restore the 3-D look.
Fret #2 is plain metal, with 100 additional parts to detail the cockpit tub and sills, and add a host of smaller extras.
The cockpit sides come in for a major re-work and, as with the instrument panels, the parts are built up in layers for depth.
There are new fascias for the bulkheads, rudder pedals (something Hobby Boss missed), rear view mirrors, plus brackets and handles to dot around the "offices". Despite the high number of parts, construction actually doesn't look too complicated; there are a couple of small boxes to fold but, overall, everything looks quite straightforward.
So far, so good, but the one disappointment is what the set doesn't include; namely, any details for the ejector seats. Of course, it could be that Eduard have another upgrade planned just for the seats as they did with the Revell-Monogram kit in Set #49407 - which is fair enough, although it will obviously add further to the cost of detailing the model. As it is, the Hobby Boss seats, with their basic moulded-on harnesses, will look distinctly out of place inside the newly detailed cockpit and there's no guarantee that the etched parts designed for the other kit will fit.
As usual, the instructions are clearly illustrated in black and white as an A-5 pamphlet, and a colour version (part of which is shown here) is downloadable from Eduard's website. To be honest though, the monochrome version highlights the modifications needed perfectly adequately in this instance.
Eduard's F-105G cockpit upgrade should look great with its excellent pre-painting and level of detail, and is definitely worth considering if you're going to tackle the Hobby Boss kit. It's obviously not suitable for beginners, but modellers with a couple of etched sets under their belts should have few problems. Hopefully it won't be long to wait for a comparable set of details for the ejector seats. recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent detail and precise pre-painting.Lows: Ejector seat details aren't included.Verdict: Eduard's highly detailed set isn't overly complicated for anyone with a bit of experience working with etched parts and will enhance the Hobby Boss kit greatly.
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...