This summer Eduard released an etched cockpit upgrade set to accompany Great Wall Hobby's excellent quarterscale MiG-29.
The set comes on two frets and a sheet of printed clear film. The first is pre-coloured and partly self-adhesive, and contains 42 items. The second fret is plain brass and adds a further 29 parts. As you'd expect with Eduard, the pre-coloured parts are simply superb, with a level of pin-sharp detail that would challenge even the best brush-painters.
The instructions break the upgrade work down into 9 main stages:
The largest is the ejector seat, with new padding, a detailed multi-part harness, leg restraints, handles and arm rests to add. The harness is particularly welcome in my opinion as although the kit includes an etched one of its own, it needs a lot of work to begin to match the photos I've found of the real thing. Eduard's is an easy "instant" improvement. Rounding off the seat items are neat little data plates.
Great Wall Hobby's instrument panel and side consoles are beautifully moulded, but Eduard's replacements feature some eye-popping detail, so which way to go rather depends on your painting skill. Importantly, if you do want to mix the pre-coloured etched parts with your own work, Eduard have chosen a background colour that matches my references well.
There are new rudder pedals and an intricate HUD which must be folded to shape before adding a small piece of film.
The set includes a new cockpit sill with a canopy seal, and detailed fascias for the electronics behind the ejector seat. There are locks and liners to ft inside the canopy, along with mirrors and more pressure seals. Attaching these will be a delicate task, best tackled with Gator's glue or PVA that won't risk harming the clear parts.
The instructions are printed in black and white, but a colour version is available online which does highlight the modifications needed more clearly.
Eduard's etched upgrade will make a very worthwhile improvement to GWH's already excellent Fulcrum. It doesn't look overly complicated, so experienced modellers shouldn't hit many problems, but items such as the HUD may prove too tricky for newcomers working with small etched parts, as they need folding and are quite small and fiddly.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Highly detailed. Superb pre-colouring.Lows: The usual warning that it won't be suitable for beginners applies, due to the small delicate parts that require folding to shape.Verdict: The icing on the cake, really, for an already excellent kit. The seat harness, in particular, is a big improvement over the kit-supplied version.
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...