- Published on Monday, 22 November 2010 16:09 James Hatch
1/48 TBM-3 Avenger ‘BIG ED’ set, for Hobby Boss kit
Catalogue # BIG4935
Available from Eduard, or good hobby shops
The superb Hobby Boss TBM-3 Avenger kit now gets the full ‘BIG ED’ treatment from Eduard, with all of the various sets packaged individually into one card envelope, and for a cash saving over them being purchased separately. The contents of this package are as follows, including their own item part numbers:
- TBM-3 Exterior #48624
- TBM-1/TBF-3 Landing Flaps #48626
- TBF-1/TBM-3 Bomb Bay #48628
- TBM-3 Interior S.A. #49520
- TBM-3 Masks #EX264
Let’s take a look at the individual sets within the BIG ED.
I always find Eduards concept of what ‘exterior’ means, to be a little confusing. This two fret set contains parts for not only the engine, such as ignition harness, but also other interior areas such as the fuel tank, and wiring looms. Only the most minimal of remedial surgery will be required to add these items, and the detail they will add is immense. Other areas covered by this set concern the wing folding area, the engine cowl radiator flaps, undercarriage detail, plus numerous other small detail which you can actually consider to be ‘external’. All eight rockets also receive attention too, with their fins, outlets and firing lines being created in metal. Both frets are superbly detailed and very crisply produced with no defects. Instructions are clear and concise, meaning this will be a simple set to add to your Avenger, and will create some very good visusals.
TBM-1/TBF-3 Landing Flaps
The first thing you will need to know is that you really will need a professional etch-metal folding tool, such as the Hold ‘n Fold from The Small Shop, or the Flip-R from RB Productions. There are a lot of folds to be carried out here, and you will need to be precise with every single one. Again, two frets are supplied for this set, with each being an opposite of the other. This is useful as at least you’ll know that one fret is designed for one specific landing flap. Some surgery to the model will be required, as well as the thinning of each training edge. This set produces a highly detailed and superbly engineered set of flaps which will make the Avenger look quite special. When you see the original kit parts, there really is no comparison.
TBF-1/TBM-3 Bomb Bay
This set comes on a single fret, BUT, it is a very LARGE fret, and much larger than the usual Eduard offering. The basic kit bomb bay roof and walls are the areas which receives the largest number of individual parts comprising various support and structural struts. A lot of these parts are quite fiddly and have various folds in close proximity. Again, you will need a very good folding tool for this set. Care and patience will be required to get everything right in this area. The bomb bay doors are quite literally armoured with some great looking etch that replicates the structure of the original complete with the lightening holes liberally dotted around. The torpedo also gets its fair share of etch metal, as do the bombs.
TBM-3 Interior S.A.
With this set, I can perhaps understand what Eduard do mean by ‘interior’. Their definition is ‘cockpit’. Everything else, more or less is classed as ‘exterior’. With the Avenger though, the interior spreads to the rear fuselage also. The set is supplied as two frets, with one of them being both coloured and self-adhesive, hence the ‘S.A.’ suffix to the sets name. The colour fret contains all of the cockpit components that carry instrument dials etc, including a 3-part instrument panel, with many smaller metal attachments. Seatbelts are provided for all crew locations, as well as the pilots seat being replaced by an etch item. This set also covers the ball turret and includes many parts for which you’ll need to remove moulded detail in order to fit. The guns are also transformed by having rolled etch barrels. Only basic surgery is required to make this set fit, but the transformation is very total. The quality of the colour printing is above average and the clarity is very good, although I can’t help but feel some parts are a little dark in colour. I would need to check my references.
The level of glazing on the Avenger is vast. I really am so pleased that Eduard made a mask set for this. One sheet of sharply die-cut masks provides coverage for every glazed area of the TBM-3, plus also for the wheel hubs. Instructions are very clear as to where each section is to be placed.
So what do we think?
If you have the Hobby Boss kit, then you really must add this set. Yes, the BIG ED set does cost more than twice the price of the original kit, and yes, you will need a proper etch folding tool, but this set will turn the TBM-3 into an entirely different model, visually. I received this set first, and THEN bought the kit to suit. I shall build this in the not-too-distant future, so watch this space. Very highly recommended.
Our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample used here. To buy this item and others from the Eduard range, click THIS link, or the banner below.