Peter Castle's Airscale has built an enviable reputation for his excellent decal instrument faces and cockpit placards, really useful for anyone looking to improve a kit's "office" or construct one from scratch. Now Peter has taken the next logical step and expanded his range to include a selection of etched parts that I predict will equally essential parts of detailers' accessories.
Two sets are currently available, featuring highly detailed relief etchings :
PE48 BEZ - Cockpit Instrument Bezels
This set includes a selection of bezels in a variety of styles and sizes suitable for aircraft from WW1, through WW2 and C20th jets.
A single brass fret is packed with nearly 250 individual bezels, and a rather neat layout guide on the back of the card inlay breaks them down into 9 basic groups (numbered down the side of the fret), with precise matches for each item - so, for instance, row 5, group B are Luftwaffe fuel gauges. Pretty much whatever your field of interest, you'll find many relevant bezels, be they Allied or German from the two world wars or beyond. There are plain circular bezels, dials on squared backing, and a selection of double- and triple-mounted types. The rich variety should allow you to match most types of instruments from photos - and, of course, indulge in some healthy "gizmology" to busy up cockpits where you lack any references.
PE48 DET - Cockpit Details
This set provides equipment fascias and panels, this time concentrating on WW2-era subjects. Once again the fret is jam-packed with items - nearly 240 switch panels, knobs, switches and levers, fascias and covers. Some are fairly generic to the era, others precisely matched to equipment such as Luftwaffe FuG 10 and RAF R1155 transmitters and receivers. Again, there's a clear guide to what's where on the fret, so you can pinpoint the item you need.
Each set is accompanied by useful hints and tips on how to work with small etched parts safely, but the stroke of genius on Peter's part for me is the layout guides - while I've had plenty of generic detailing sets over the years, knowing what each of these bezels and panels represents will save a lot guesswork and give you the confidence that you've got a suitable match for a given subject.
At just £7.95 each, both sets are excellent value, providing sufficient items for several complex scratchbuilt cockpits, and enough for probably dozens of standard builds where you are adding to existing kit details. Over the years, I've found generic sets of basic bezels etc. to be hugely useful, so I fully expect Airscale's precisely matched items to be little short of indispensable. Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent value. Highly detailed and matched to real-life items.Lows: None that I can see, beyond the usual caution that the very small parts will be unsuitable for beginners.Verdict: Both sets will be a veritable treasure trove for cockpit detailers, offering sufficient items to last through multiple projects.
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...