There can’t be a modeler on the planet who doesn’t know the brand name Eduard, from the Czech Republic. They launched into the business of providing Photo Etched brass detail parts decades ago, and have expanded into injection molded plastic kits, resin detail parts, cloth seat belt sets, and canopy masks, and I am sure a couple of other lines, and seem to cover every scale, and every model subject out there. This review covers two products designed to be used with the Airfix English Electric Lightning F.2A in 1/72nd scale, an extremely nice kit that has recently been released.
The photo etched set, 73500, comes in two frets, one of which is colored and mainly covers parts to detail the kit cockpit tub, and ejection seat. The parts are a vast improvement over what is supplied with the kit, which is either decals, or nothing at all. Airfix supplies plain black and white decals for the cockpit front instrument and side consoles. The Eduard replacement PE parts are multi colored, and have raised relief as well. The Airfix ejection seat is fine in terms of shape, but lacks any of the multitudes of harness belt details which are so prominent on Lightning ejection seats. Also included in the Eduard set is pilot foot rests, ejection pull handles etc. All these Eduard parts dramatically improves the look of the plain jane Airfix parts.
Also included with the PE set is a second fret, this time minus any color, the parts being rendered in plain brass. These parts include engine piping detail, undercarriage wheel well detail, speed brake detail etc. Also included are a number of exterior fuselage lumps and bumps, and some tricky interior canopy details.
Having never used an Eduard colored photo etched set before, I was curious to see how it would work out. The parts are easily cut from the fret with a standard curved hobby knife blade and a block of clear Perspex I utilize for cutting my PE. I thought initially the color was provided via a paint process of some sort, but I noticed that the “burs” where the parts joined the main fret had a raggedy plastic/nylon like appearance, so I am not exactly sure now what the color material is! I did have a problem with one part where the color “chipped” off the Photo etched metal base material, which was unfortunate, but easily touched up with the appropriate color of model paint. It happened only once.
I utilized my favorite “glue” for PE parts, Gator’s Grip Acrylic Hobby Glue. This is water soluble white glue, but seems to be “stickier” than Elmer’s type white glue, and holds better than many other white glues i have used. This said, the parts can’t have any tension working against them, as it does not stick like super glue. That said, I find that super glue doesn’t give me the positioning time that Gator’s Grip gives me.
This review also covers the canopy mask for the EE Lightning F.2A
- Stock # CX383
- MSRP: $7.95
The canopy mask is made from yellow masking tape, Kabuki type, such as Tamiya’s yellow Kabuki tape. If you are familiar with the Tamiya product, you will know exactly how the Eduard canopy mask performs. The mask is die cut, and utilizing a sharp knife point to get a corner of each piece lifted off the backing paper, you peel off the tape with a pair of pointed tweezers, and then place in the correct position on the canopy. You can peel the mask back up if you mis-position a piece, and “scrunch” it into position with a toothpick as well. The instructions advise the modeler to fill in any missed sections needing masking with liquid masking solution. Once happy, burnish the edges down with the toothpick, and spray paint the part. The mask set also covers the undercarriage wheels.
All in all then, these two Eduard products can definitely be recommended to dress up the Airfix EE Lightning kit, especially in the area of the cockpit ejection seat and consoles, and the mask will help the modeler get crisp demarcation lines on the canopy. See these and the many other Eduard aftermarket modeling products by visiting their excellent web site. My sincere thanks to Eduard for providing these products to IPMS USA for review.