It's often deceptively simple ideas that catch the eye. So it was when I browsed through the extensive range of accessories offered by a new manufacturer to me, PK Tinyland from Hungary, run by Peter Kormos. For there, lurking among some more conventional sets, was an idea so simple and innovative, it stopped me in my tracks - photo-etched stringers.
Since my earliest efforts at super-detailing, I've basically used either plastic strip or tape to add rib and stringer detail inside structures. That's fine, as far as it goes, but replicating the cross-section of full-sized ribs and stringers often involves multiple strips which is very time consuming, and as for rivets... well, I usually pass on that!
PK Tinyland offer a really elegant solution with a whole series of etched frets in all the main modelling scales that depict a wide variety of different styles of stringers, So, for instance, you can add flat, u-section, box- or hat-shaped stringers to your model - and each is accompanied by a row of tiny rivets to complete the effect.
In 1:48, the frets measure approximately 7cm x 3.5 cm. The number of ribs included obviously varies depending on their width - so there are 20 x u-section ribs, as against 13 each of the flat and hat-shaped types.
Separating each rib is a fine strip of metal, which I originally assumed was there to separate and protect the stringers. In fact, Peter explains that it is to add extra depth to the stringers if you wish. A further neat point that Peter has revealed is that the dimensions of the stringers are matched to Evergreen or Plastruct square styrene rods, so you can cross-match the different media.
The sets will provide a very straightforward way of detailing the walls of cockpits and wheel wells, and the range of types provided means you can accurately replicate the correct type used on a full-sized subject. The effect in 1:48 is very convincing, but I would imagine that the hat-section profile might be a little shallow in 1:32.
Of course, by cross-matching the sets in different scales, you can increase the potential uses still further to produce brackets, and even using the "rivets" to depict the rows of buttons on a breaker panel.
The sets are priced as follows:
PKT32015 - Hat type - 8.00 Euros
PKT32016 - Flat type - 8.20 Euros
PKT48021 Stringers #1 - Hat type - 7.10 Euros
PKT48022 Stringers #2 - Flat type - 7.10 Euros
PKT48026 Stringers #3 - U type - 7.10 Euros (Note: It is listed as 2.10 Euros, but I think this must be an error)
PKT48033 Stringers #4 - L type - 7.10 Euros
PKT48037 Stringers #5 - I type - 7.10 Euros
PKT72007 Stringers #1 - Hat type - 3.80 Euros
PKT72008 Stringers #2 - Flat type - 3.80 Euros
PKT72010 Stringers #3 - L type - 3.00 Euros
These sets will be a real boon to scratch-builders and anyone wanting to super-detail a standard kit. Peter's range of detailing accessories has really impressed me - they are very much designed "by a modeller, for modellers", and this is apparent in the unusual and innovative nature of some of the items, which are quite distinct to the detail sets from other manufacturers. Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Simple to use and saves laboriously fabricating stringers from multiple strips of styrene.Lows: Some cross-sections may be a little shallow in larger scales.Verdict: A really innovative idea that offers a simple solution to scratch-builders and super-detailers.
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...