- Published on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 00:00 Matt McDougall
Now that I've come through the other side of building HK Models' massive 1/32 B-25J Mitchell, I feel qualified to say that it's a great kit, but not without a few shortcomings. Chief among these is the rather spartan interior. For a kit the size and cost of HK's bomber - the sort of thing likely to be the flagship of a modeler's collection - I would have expected more.
Fortunately, we have the aftermarket to come in and supply the detail that kits themselves often lack, and Eduard has done a bang-up job enhancing many facets of the B-25. We've already looked at the bomb bay, the front interior, and the rather extensive seatbelt set. Today, it's on to the cockpit.
What's in the Sleeve
The B-25 Cockpit Interior set comes spread across two photo etch frets - the first your standard brass photo etc, and the second in nifty color.
Recently, I took advantage of a sale to pick up Eduard detail sets for several kits in my stash, and it was interesting shuffling through them to see the evolution in quality and detail that's taken place, particularly with Eduard's color photo etch. Earlier sets can look somewhat flat and not entirely convincing, but most of the stuff that's come available since, oh, 2010 has been stupendously good. And this cockpit set is no exception.
The detailing on the color fret is exceptional and somewhat difficult to fully capture with a camera. This is especially true of the black instrument panel. In person, though, it's stunning. The stenciling and raised detail on the panel face and gauge surrounds is simply excellent, and the gauge faces, provided on a backing piece in typical Eduard fashion, seem to be of particularly high resolution.
The rest of the color fret is similarly detailed, and by itself will do a lot to enhance the main office. In fact, if all you're looking for is a more detailed instrument panel and some splashes of detail and color, you can save a bit of money and get the Cockpit Interior Zoom set, which is basically this color fret.
With other subjects - those with particularly good cockpits or very small cockpit openings - I'll often go for the Zoom set. But with the B-25, I feel you'd be doing yourself a disservice to skip out on the full Cockpit Interior set, as it really takes the detail and texture of the cockpit to a new level.
The biggest additions the uncolored fret brings to the party are the appliques for the seats and the floor. These are festooned with raised rivets that absolutely blow away the flat expanses provided by the kit.
This fret also includes several foldable boxes to give depth to the various sidewall gear.
And my personal favorite, photo etch to create the canopy escape hatch.
One nice thing about this Eduard set is that there's very little grinding or cutting involved, and most of the photo etch is "bolt on", as it were.
So What Do We Think?
HK Models' glass-nosed B-25J Mitchell is a staggering kit in many regards, but it would be entirely fair to say that its interior detail doesn't do justice to its size and ambitions. The spartan cockpit stands out, even sealed up beneath the canopy.
Eduard's cockpit interior detail set goes a long way toward correcting this shortcoming, and I would recommend it to anybody who plans to tackle the big Mitchell.
Review sample courtesy of Eduard. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
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