Eduard have released a beautifully detailed pair of resin barrels to upgrade the nose guns on Tamiya's 1:48 Bf 109G-6.
At first glance you might question the value of the replacement parts, but comparing the resin barrels with the kit's styrene parts under a magnifying glass reveals just how much better the Eduard versions are, boasting perforated cooling jackets where the Tamiya originals are completely bare.
The casting is, essentially, perfect in the sample set, with not a blemish to be found. Preparation will include nipping off a tiny bit of excess resin on the tip of each barrel (there to ensure the parts are fully formed) and drilling out the opening. I guess some might bemoan the barrels not arriving ready-opened, but it's hardly the biggest chore in the world.
Where I will be a little bit critical is over the instructions. Normally, Eduard do a great job, but here they show they simply show the guns being inserted through the opening in closed cowling panels. Half the attraction of the Tamiya kit is its innovative way of displaying the cowl panels open or closed, so it's bizarre that there's no mention of modifying the Tamiya guns to accept the new barrels.
Of course, any modeller with a little experience will simply figure out what to do themselves, but it's hardly helpful for Eduard not to illustrate what's required.
You also can't help wondering if Eduard were having a slight dig at Tamiya by illustrating the cowling with a full rivetting pattern where the kit itself has a rivet-free exterior finish. Perhaps it's a subtle way of saying "If you want rivets, you need the Eduard kit..."
I fully appreciate the irony of highlighting on a plastic modelling site the increasing environmental concerns over the amount of waste plastic we produce, but it's unavoidable with this release . If I don't say it, somebody else surely should.
I know there must be economies of scale in using standard packaging, but the resin casting here is totally dwarfed by the clear blister pack and two layers of soft foam. To be fair, the sample arrived totally intact - but so it should with probably 4x more packaging than strictly needed for a single tiny item.
I foresee this becoming an ever greater issue as the industry adjusts to reflect the need to conserve resources and protect Earth's ecosystem.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent castings with great detail that totally outstrips the kit parts.Lows: The instructions aren't really any help at all. They don't show how to modify the kit parts and fit the replacements. You also have to wonder at the over-packaging.Verdict: Great parts let down by inadequate instructions and ridiculously over-packaged. But don't get me wrong, these replacement barrels are beauties!
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...