If aircraft modellers are cut from the same cloth as armour modellers, be it a different colour, then we all share something in common. That something is the desire to improve upon models via the addition of aftermarket products. Many modellers adorn their models with photo etch and resin parts, and even purchase aftermarket decals for their builds. Armour modellers are very keen on turned metal barrels for their builds and it is brass barrels for aircraft models that this review looks at.
Master Reality in Miniature
have a very good selection of brass barrels in five scales, 1/24th, 1/32nd, 1/35th, 1/48th and 1/72nd scale. In addition to metal barrels they also have a fair selection of pitot tubes and radar aerial assemblies. In this review I take a look at a set of two turned metal barrels designed to specifically replace the barrels of the machine guns on the 1/32nd scale Arado Ar 196 by Revell of Germany.
The product is packaged in a Ziploc bag with a card sleeve and card hanger. Inside the Ziploc bag is a sealed compartmental plastic bag with the barrel parts inside. In the back of this packaging there is also an instruction sheet. The photo etched fret, barrels and sleeves are all packaged in their own areas for their protection.
This product from Master Reality in Miniature
has enough parts for the assembly of a 7.92mm MG-15 for the navigator and a7.92mm MG-17 in the fixed firing position . The photo etched fret contains mounts for the aiming points at the front and rear of the barrel, a big plus here is that Master Reality in Miniature
have supplied a spare mounting bracket for both ends of the MG15 barrel and which due to their small size could be a god send. The rear aiming point is a turned brass affair which looks very good, its small size will mean taking care when placing it as no spares of this small part are included. The aiming point for the front of the weapon has 2 options and 2 of each of those options which is a great help if you lose or damage one.
The turned brass barrel and preformed sleeve are very well replicated, the detail being particularly good on the sleeve. The barrel is easily assembled, requiring only that the barrel is slid into the sleeve; however it is then that things will be more difficult due to the addition of the photo etched parts which will be challenging due to the small size. It is because of the small size that I do not recommend this product for anyone who is not comfortable with the use of photo etch.
The MG-17 barrel is another great addition to this product with a particularly nicely rendered sleeve for the barrel. Assembly of this barrel only requires the turned barrel be inserted into the its sleeve, you then need to remove the plastic barrel from the kit part and a hole be drilled into the body of the machine gun and the barrel pin inserted into it.
I am really pleased to see Master Reality in Miniature
release a product designed specifically for a model as it takes away the guess work when replacing barrels on a model; this product means that anybody with the Revell of Germany Arado Ar 196 in 1/32nd scale has no need to know exactly what weapons were on the aircraft and so makes replacing this detail easy and pain free. The only thing that I wish Master Reality in Miniature
had also supplied is the size of the hole that needs to be drilled for insertion of the barrels as that information is provided with a number of their other products.
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