Along with the steady rise in popularity of largescale WW1 aircraft kits comes the chance to portray rigging in a much more true-to-scale manner than the traditional stretched sprue, thread or wire methods. In particular, etched metal makes it feasible to add turnbuckles and consistent streamlined-section flying wires.
RB Productions have just released their first WW1 accessories - a 3-part system for modelling British rigging in 1:32, comprising:
Each set of wires comes tightly packed with a very sturdy cardboard backing to keep the fret from being damaged in transit. The wires are very delicate, so it's definitely a good idea to keep the backing for permanent storage too.
RB-P32011 contains 25 wires, while RB-P32012 has 28. In both cases the wires are 20 cm long. Looking at full-sized "RAF" wires, such as on Hendon's Bristol F.2B shown here, it's clear that the ends of the wires taper to a round section where they pass through the terminals. So, once you've measured the length of the wire, a few passes with a file will add extra authenticity.
RB-P32013 provides two different styles of rigging attachments - 50 x "flexible" and 56 x "straight". Each type is a multi-piece affair, comprising the terminals themselves which must be folded to shape, plus a separate nut through which the rigging wire passes. While all the parts are small, the nuts are absolutely tiny, so it's a relief to see plenty of spares are provided, so you needn't worry if the occasional one decides to go into orbit!
The set is accompanied by clearly written instruction with diagrams showing each style, along with a small reference photo of the full-sized items.
It's probably worth trying out a couple of test assemblies on scrap plastic or an old kit to find a technique that suits you before risking your latest masterpiece. You'll need to add an attachment for each terminal (e.g. from a loop of fine wire), ideally leaving the terminal free to pivot. It looks as though the terminals should then be "self-aligning" to some degree if you keep the rigging wire loose to start with, only fixing it with a tiny drop of glue once you're happy.
These sets are obviously aimed at experienced modellers, but the results in skilled and patient hands should look quite stunning. I hope healthy sales encourage Radu to consider adding rigging sets for other nations - and maybe I'm glutton for punishment, but I wonder if 1:48 versions are feasible too... Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Highly detailed and much more realistic than many traditional model rigging methods.Lows: Fairly complex, with some very small parts.Verdict: Certainly not for beginners, but in skilled hands RB Productions' British rigging system should give excellent resuts.
Our Thanks to RB Productions! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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...