In a market grown used to entirely photo-etched harnesses, Radu Brinzan's approach is quite distinctive and the resulting straps are simply superb. Put simply, he combines the precision of photo-etching for the buckles with the realistic flexibility of die-cut paper for the straps.
The WW1 harnesses are reasonably simple compared with some of his other sets:
18 x etched buckles
6 x coloured paper straps
I made up a set of RB Productions Luftwaffe harnesses
and found them quite straightforward to do, working with a magnifier and tweezers. That said, constructing the harnesses is still quite a delicate task that's not to be rushed; if you're clumsy or impatient, you'll only end up frustrated. However, take your time and you'll be rewarded with incredibly realistic seatbelts.
The set includes a clearly illustrated set of instructions. You must follow these precisely, as the parts assemble just like real harnesses; there's only one way they'll go together - they simply won't work if you try to thread the buckles on incorrectly. The cross-section diagrams are particularly useful in getting this right. (Note: there is one typo in the text - the triangular loops are Part #4 (this is shown correctly in the diagram.))
The straps are made of coloured paper, so there's no need to paint anything, although you could add stitching with a very sharp pencil. As for weathering, simply handling the paper during assembly softens it, giving a slightly used look. For a more dirty appearance, Radu recommends using pastels, because washes risk creating unrealistic stains in the porous material.
RB Productions' seat harnesses are absolute little gems! They are also very good value for money and if you are intending to show off the cockpit in a largescale kit it's hard not to justify including them if there's an appropriate set. I really hope Radu continues to expand the range to include even more types of harnesses. Highly recommended.
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