Thank you to the Eduard Company for sending this detail set for review, it is always a pleasure to see what your new products bring to the scale modeling world. Thank you also to the IPMS Reviewer Corps staff members who do the hard work in getting us modeling products to review, the reviews posted, and the news spread to the world.
The photoetch frets arrived in excellent shape in a sealed (and reseal-able!) plastic package with the distinctive Eduard knight logo. A color instruction sheet is included in the package, and Eduard also has the same instruction sheet available for download on the product page. I really appreciate having the electronic PDF format to mark up on my computer, not to mention the ability to easily enlarge for my aging eyeballs. The required kit modifications are clearly indicated. I had no difficulties at all building up the larger PE parts and attaching them to the kit. Eduard has well-placed and designed fold lines to assist with the build-up. The etched fold lines helped very much with precise folding.
The few issues in assembly are as follows. The cylinder caps and wiring do not correlate with the instructions directly. The instructions show part 7a on both tops of the rear cylinders. There is one part 7a and one part 7b on the PE fret. This is not a problem. Part 7b is on the right side (facing forward) and part 7a is on the left side. Part 7 (10 of them with 2 spares!) fit over the remaining cylinder heads. These parts are not labeled on the PE fret, but they are easy located. The cylinder head needs to be flattened a bit for the PE caps to fit well, and this is not indicated on the instructions. The head parts may be added after the entire engine is assembled and before it is mounted in the fuselage. This is very helpful for my fumble finger skills.
Folding instruction are not always clear, so do spend a minute or too looking carefully at the parts to make sure the sequence is understood. The parts are very fine-etched (a good thing) and you will on get one chance to fold. I sometimes found it more effective to separate folded parts and glue them together.
The PE is beautifully etched. A few more views of part assemblies on the instructions would help. For example, a drawing showing the final assembly and positions would be very helpful for the panel latches (part 11, multiple pieces). I could not easily determine the final configuration. Kit parts C42, 43 need to have material removed before the PE 12, 13 are attached, specifically the interior ridge along the short edge of the panel on the “perforated” end. The forward edge of kit part C34 needs to be smoothed off before PE parts 6, 4, and 8 are assembled.
My biggest challenge was part size. The PE metal folds well, but many smaller parts such as levers and handle were difficult for me to shape and attach properly. I sharpened my fine-point tweezers and that seemed to help. Of course this is not a criticism of Eduard, but a caution for someone of my skillset! I am still very much an amateur in the art of brass origami. High-power magnification certainly helped, as did a very sharp #12 curved blade for trimming parts from the fret. I am very pleased with the visual effect. I particularly appreciate Eduard’s research in accurately replicating the engine details, based on instrumentation.
I highly recommend this set, for ease-of-use, accuracy, and value. Thank you again Eduard and the IPMS Reviewer Corps!