Eduard has once again raised the bar for the detail industry with the addition of their steel photoetched parts. This particular set is to add or replace grills on the Tamiya F-14A kit, but the items should work on other 1/48 scale Tomcats as well. I would highly recommend this set to folks wanting to add additional grill detail to their Tomcat.
Along with some other recent Eduard releases for the 1/48 scale Tamiya F-14A Tomcat comes a set to dress up the various grills found on the plane. I found the ones located on the underside of the aircraft, inboard of the engine intakes, truly unique as they include what appears to be a fan under the grill. While most of the grills are simply installed over the existing kit grills, which make installation a snap, the aforementioned grills require filing off the existing detail, and the outer doors for the forward landing gear also requires the drilling and filing of the kit detail. The grills for the cockpit ventilation behind the pilot and Radar Intercept Officer add missing detail to the Tamiya kit, which is a great touch.
As far as my hits are concerned, I like the appearance of the installed Eduard items as they make the grills more prominent. The slightly pebbled front surface should aid in paint adhesion.
I did not have a single miss for this PE set. I will recommend caution when handling the parts as the steel is malleable, so it is very easy to bend an item; and when removing the existing detail from kit part C 1, be cautious with how much material you file away.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend this set to anyone wanting to add some improved grills to the Tamiya F-14A Tomcat. Aside from filing kit detail for two of the detail parts and making an oval opening for two other parts, the remaining items are easily added over existing kit details, making this set a good choice for those less experienced with PE details.
I would like to thank the folks at Eduard for graciously providing these F-14A steel grills to the IPMS-USA for review and to Dave Morrissette for allowing me to receive this set. I would also send kudos out to the assistants in the Review Corps for the great job they do in keeping the Corps running strong and as always, my appreciation to anyone who takes the time to read my comments.