Eduard never ceases to amaze me with their innovations when it comes to adding details to our projects. Just three short years ago, I reviewed fabric seat belts for an F-14A ejection seat, and now the company has released a new line of steel PE parts. I would highly recommend this set to folks wanting to dress up the “bang seats” of their Tamiya F-14A, but this offering should also work on other kits in 1/48 scale.
This new detail recommends the 1/48 scale F-14A kit from Tamiya, so I put that kit to use and built up the GRU-7A ejection seats in order to conduct this review. The set consists of a single photoetch fret that is pre-painted. If you take your time and follow the instructions, a very nice set of seatbelts will result and will improve the appearance of your ejection seats. This is my first experience with the new line of steel items from Eduard, and I was duly impressed. The steel is soft, which makes it easy to place the lap and leg belts in realistic positions, and I did not experience any issues with paint attempting to “pop off” of the steel.
As far as my hits are concerned, I have never seen a product quite like this, as the steel is malleable, and as I mentioned, unlike some previous experiences with pre-painted PE items, the paint did not separate from the steel.
I did not have any real miss for this set. My one suggestion would be to add the straps for the sides of the ejection seat back included, but this would be a personal preference.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend this set to anyone wanting to add some realistic looking seatbelts to their 1/48 scale F-14A ejection seats. I would recommend this set to model builders who have experience with small photoetch items, otherwise, a set like this could be challenging.
I would like to thank the folks at Eduard for graciously providing these F-14A steel seatbelts 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.