B-17 Cockpit Set

Published on
Published on
Published on
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/32
MSRP
$40.00
Product / Stock #
32 774
Base Kit
HK Models 1/32 B-17G Flying Fortress
Company: Eduard - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Eduard - Website: Visit Site
Detail Product

We at IPMS USA are truly blessed to have the passionate detail experts at Eduard providing us their latest releases. We appreciate your support, and thanks also to the IPMS reviewer corps leadership, (Steve, Dick, and Dave) for having confidence in my abilities to deliver the goods on this most daunting task!

Over the next few weeks, I will be reviewing some of the primary Eduard sets for HK (Hong Kong) Models’ 1/32 B-17G. I refer to this effort as a “metal storm” because there are at least a thousand little bits and pieces in these sets that I will attempt to do justice to without making a “dog’s breakfast” of the parts. I think I’m up to it, so let’s move on.

With the release of the HK Models B-17G kit, Eduard has once again stepped up to fill the detail niche for what is an excellent basic kit which can use a bit of upgrade. First off, be aware the HK Models B-17 is a mixed bag – extremely detailed exterior, impressive size, and it’s a 1/32 B-17, something the internet crowd has been clamoring for year after year. However, many simplifications have been incurred in designing and delivering the beast. This is where Eduard shines… bringing Adequate detail up to Excellent levels!

Three frets of PE are included in this set; two are unpainted sheets with structural details like flooring and walls, and the third comprises the now-famous instrument panels, side control panels, placards, etc. I recommend thick superglue, as it grabs and fills voids without wicking down the parts and attaching the whole thing to your hand (personal experience there).

Beginning with the flooring, you remove any kit details which might interfere with the new pilot/co-pilot subfloor. This is a fairly easy part to install, and it’s clear it will fit when attached. Next are side panels for the control quadrant; again, side panels, upper pre-painted, pre-glued detail parts, and done. There are the usual miniscule control levers in PE, along with the switches for the magnetos on the upper front panel. One option is to construct a set of throttles unique to the B-17, where there is a central set of arms which are mated to the outboard and inboard engines; on the real thing, this setup is very useful when dealing with more than two throttles. I opted to use the kit parts, as I did not care for how my efforts came out. (sadness…) I also thinned down the kit mixture controls (below the throttles) as the PE items appeared to be too thin.

The instrument panel is the usual sandwich affair, which is applied to the forward bulkhead. It’s night and day between the Eduard and HK item; on the HK panel, just remove the bezels (most of which are inaccurate), then attach the new panel. Some detail placards are also added; it must be remembered this item will be trapped between the fuselage halves during assembly, and while doing a dry fit I plinked the instrument glare shield panel switch boxes (which are glued to the top of the shield) to carpet never-never land in the work area. Word of advice – hold off on these until later.

Next up were the sidewalls; both have the requirement to clean off some of the details before installing the PE details. Many boxes, panels, and two nights later, I was finished. Oxygen regulator dials, radio, and electrical alternator indicators are all there.

Included in this effort were the oxygen (O2) bottles. I opted not to use the Eduard spring steel attachment brackets and straps, but instead used strips of internal furnace tape to simulate the hold-down straps. Forming the PE for these bottles would have been too time consuming for me, and I know from past experience I prefer not to fabricate wire bolts and nuts to simulate the hold-down feature, particularly with parts that will be barely visible through the cockpit windows.

Also included in the set are racks for various bottles and bits in the area; the fire bottle bracket (attached to the starboard O2 bottle rack) adds quite a bit of detail with little effort – one punched disc, a color etch dial, and careful painting before installation in the rack with its belt and buckles…superb.

Things that stand out: there are earphone headsets included! I have rarely seen them on the actual aircraft, but the detail is there. The usual comments about the pre-painted items apply; these add a high fidelity level to the cockpit which cannot be replicated by even a 0000 paint brush and time. For example; the “horn button” on the control wheels…you can’t read Boeing, but it comes close. This upgrade is worth it just for the instrument, side, and overhead panels alone!

So begins the journey…only 8 more sets to review…high marks for Eduard for this series of PE upgrades, a 10 of 10. Thanks again for the review items!

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