Eduard Set# 49 324 consists of 3 frets of etched steel parts and a small sheet of printed clear film. The set adds detail principally to the cockpit and underwing cannons, but there are a number of other details included too. The sheer number of parts is almost mind-boggling - a quick count shows 210 separate items, a few of which are spares - which is very thoughtful as the carpet monster will be licking its lips at the prospect of some of the smaller parts!
One fret is partly pre-painted and contains seat harnesses for the pilot and gunner, plus main and secondary instrument panels and faces for the radio sets. The painting on these parts is exceptional - I was initially dubious at the whole idea of pre-painted panels (call it misplaced pride) but, seeing the items in the flesh, so to speak, I think even the most skilled painter will be hard-pressed to achieve comparable results - the painting really is that
detailed. Of course, with some of the parts pre-painted, you'll have to be careful to get a good match for the colours used (Eduard's RLM 66 looks pretty good), but I guess any variations could be argued away as replicating differences between paint batches used on the full-sized aircraft and will actually add life to the cockpit.
The instructions are very clearly illustrated over 5 sides of A-4. They are printed in colour, which is a real plus for highlighting areas which need trimming or sanding smooth. The only criticism I can make is that Eduard don't give any colour-notes. Presumably, one is intended to go by the Hasegawa instructions but, seeing as Eduard supply so much more detail, this is a slightly missed opportunity.
Working through the instructions roughly in order, I'll try to give an idea of the scope of the detail that this set will add. Starting with the interior, obviously there are the previously-mentioned instrument panels etc., plus the usual items like rudder pedals with foot-straps, but Eduard's set will virtually transform the cockpit into a "kit-within-a-kit", because the Hasegawa parts are almost all replaced. There is a fair amount of surgery involved from square-one; you must remove basically all the details from the floor to make way for new etched parts. The sidewalls require some quite detailed work removing some of the rib detail - this is probably the most awkward part of the preparation, as you may have to replace some of the stringers to avoid blank areas (only full assemble will tell). There are 14 items to add to the right sidewall and 18 to left. A number of these require folding to shape, but this is only a small taste of what's to come; the pilot's and gunner's seats are all-new, with the seats themselves and their bases constructed from folded multi-part assemblies. The radio rack and gunner's ammunition containers all require some quite complex folding; the results should look incredible, but extreme care is going to be needed to ensure accurate folds. I've never bothered with any of the custom folding tools but, looking at the sheer number of miniature boxes which need to be constructed here, I'm very tempted to invest in an Etch-Mate or Hold & Fold.
Attention then turns to the nose, where the radiator is treated to delicate vanes and etched faces and, then, to the wings and armament. The non-slip walkways are replaced with individual strips and the underwing cannons are transformed with an astonishing 18 extra parts each. Again, some delicate folding will be needed and this time tubes and cones will need to be rolled too. External wiring is included for the firing mechanisms is included, but purists may want to substitute wire or HSP for a more "3-D" appearance. Continuing with the exterior, Eduard supply actuators for the control surfaces and new hubs for the wheels. Finally, the canopy is treated to a crash-bar and other details. The aerial mast is replaced, but I'd want to check references before deciding whether the etched part is too thin for scale.
The very last item in the instructions seems to be a "bonus" not directly associated with this conversion; the edge of the etched fret is perforated with teardrop-shaped holes which can be used to mould streamlined lugs from heat-softened plastic sprue. An additional use (not shown) would be as a scribing template - either way, it's a neat addition to the tool box.
If you manage to use all the parts Eduard supply, you have the chance to transform the Hasegawa kit into a real show-stopper. I think it's fair to say that some of the more complex items will need a fair amount of experience to use effectively and a folding-tool could be a worthwhile investment, particularly if you intend using sets like this regularly. I expect many modellers will "mix and match" to some extent, using the etched parts according to their ability and suitability. However you look at it, Eduard's Ju 87G detail set is a stunner - somewhat daunting, but thoroughly recommended.
Thank you to Eduard for kindly supplying the review sample.