- Published on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 05:00 James Hatch
Catalogue # 648038
Available from Eduard for €25.95
When Eduard release their own brand kits, you know it won't be long before we see those amazingly clean CAD images of the new upgrade sets in BRASSIN. The MiG-21SMT is certainly no exception to this rule. We reviewed the MiG-21SMT ProfiPACK kit HERE back in October, with this being one of the two Eduard kits that can be built as the SMT variant. The ProfiPACK version already has coloured photo etch parts which can be used upon the standard modified plastic kit parts. This in itself will produce a very good representation of the MiG-21SMT interior, but what if you want a really authentic interior 'experience'?
Enter the MiG-21SMT Interior BRASSIN set.
This set comes in the now familiar satin black top-opening box with the product label and photographs applied to the generic appearance of the packaging. When opened up, and the instructions removed, SIX zip-lock bags containing TWENTY EIGHT resin components can be found nestling in between several pieces of protective foam. Remove all of these items and you'll see a set of masks and a small bag with two photo-etch frets; one of them being printed in full colour. A total of 72 metal parts are contained therein.
The resin parts are cast in a mixture of light and dark grey parts, with the gun-sight reflector cast in clear resin. The smallest casting block containing four parts is supplied twice, just in case the carpet monster or a small breeze decide to lose you the initial part. That's a nice touch from Eduard, and one not seen too often.
All parts are not only cleanly cast, but the detail is amongst some of the finest and most intricate I've seen for this scale. Only one small flaw can be seen across the set and that is on the base of the ejector tube at the rear of the seat. A little rubber was found here, and a slight seam can be found. I don't consider this to be any issue. When you are a modeller who uses sets such as this, this sort of thing, albeit thankfully rare, takes seconds to fix.
Casting blocks are easily removed by means of gentle sawing and cutting. The instrument panels will need a good sharp blade to remove them from the thinner surrounding material, and one of these set choices will also require the instrument positions opening up with s nice sharp drill bit. Again, the resin film in these apertures is thin.
Eduard has given the modeller a choice of THREE instrument panel assemblies here! These are:
• Resin base and 2 layer photo-etch instrument panel.
• Resin base with 1 layer photo-etch (instruments layer) and resin upper detail fascia
• Resin base with resin fascias (instrument detail pre-cast.
The cockpit itself it created around a resin tub for which you will just need to remove the original plastic floor section and butt the wheel well section up against. Once the pit is painted with the standard lurid blue-green interior colour, various pre-coloured photo-etch plates are installed onto the consoles and side walls, including a variety of handles and levers; again all pre-coloured! The cockpit rear wall is adorned with a mass of plumbing and wiring and looks excellent. A number of other small resin parts are added to the interior walls, as are colour etch metal placards. For such a small cockpit, this will make up into one of the busiest you are likely to see. The control stick is also a resin part, again nicely detailed, as is the resin instrument combing and gun-sight. There is a lot of detail in this area, just below the forward canopy. It almost seems a shame to cover it up.
The pilot seat is also a work of art. The main seat had a beautifully busy rear area, and some tiny side detail that will test your patience in handing such a fragile part. Side panels, arms and seat cushioning is separate parts, as if the head-rest. A number of photo etch parts are also used to detail this further. As an added bonus, Eduard has supplied a pilots helmet, complete with separate ear pads for the inside. Talk about detail! There is also another 'Bonus' part (R17), but I'm not sure what this is. I think it might be a map tablet for the pilot lap.
The seat also has a full colour set of etch seatbelts whose colour looks realistic in comparison to some of my reference material. The pilot can also rest his feet on a set of resin and etch rudder pedals.
The second bare metal etch fret has much to do with the canopy area, providing parts for the canopy seating frame, and also various panels and plates within the opening hood. Even the forward canopy doesn't escape the resin treatment either, with small instruments located within.
Both etch frets are beautifully made with sharp etching and excellent detail. The inking on the colour parts is also solid with no real pixilation to talk of.
A small set of masks is included to mask off the gun sight reflector. The clarity of the resin reflector is good, but could do with a little micromeshing and a dip in Klear to help. The gun-sight, despite its size, also includes a tiny photo-etch lever! Not bad at all for 1/48 scale.
Instructions are provided on 3 small double sided sheets which have black and white line drawings with some red and blue inking to highlight constructional areas. Some small etch part location can be a little ambiguous, but a quick look at the parts, plus the photos of the CAD on the Eduard site will clarify any uncertainty you may have.
So what do we think?
If you have the Weekend Edition kit, you might find this set a more worthwhile purchase than if you had bought the ProfiPACK kit, due to the coloured etch already included within. Despite this, this set will still add an amazing amount of detail to the latter also, and I will be using this set with my ProfiPACK kit anyway. The price of this set is reasonable too and pitched at roughly the right price, even with the cost of it relative to the actual kit. Detail is exceptional and installation fairly easy. You really do need to pose the canopy open after adding this set. This is a real winner!
Our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample used here. To purchase this directly, click THIS link.