The 1/48 Eduard photo etch interior kit for the ICM DO 217N-1 contains one full-color photo etched tree containing 50 numbered parts. An additional unpainted tree containing around 45 individual parts is included. The double-sided instruction sheet is generally easy to follow, but there are several points of confusion discussed below. Several kit parts will require cutting; these are indicated in red as is standard fashion for Eduard instructions.
Assembly begins with the pedals. The builder is required to cut off the kit pedals and replace them with PE versions. The builder will be well-served to have a PE bending tool, fine needle nose tweezers and other tools of the trade to assemble these PE parts well. Forming the pedals is tricky. There are some 90-degree folds as well as curves to be formed, and they are quite delicate. Although the PE pedals look very authentic, they are not entirely necessary. When completed, they are recessed under the cockpit far enough that once the plane is completed and the canopy put on, they are virtually out of sight.
The details for the cockpit dash and rear bulkhead are very nice. These are comprised mostly of full-color parts. The dials are very well detailed. Using PE for the console is a MUST to avoid having to apply all of the individual kit decals for the instrument dials.
Assembling the left-sided flight controls is quite challenging and requires a degree of patience. The builder will insert approximately 20 very tiny levers into very thin slots. Once this is finished, you will adhere the assembly to kit part E41. There are two areas on this part which are indicated to be cut, however, this is confusing and Eduard could make some clarifications in their instructions. It would be improper for the builder to but this piece into thirds. This would be an imaginable outcome for novice builders. Rather, the builder must cut away the surface detail. The confusion around this continues as it is a bit unclear as to the exact placement of the PE assembly onto the part. Therefore, before adhering the PE assembly to part E41, I highly recommend that a test fit is performed. Even with test fitting on the kit sample, this PE assembly did not fit perfectly and required trimming.
Forming the many boxes (radio, storage, etc.) is not easily achieved without having a photo etch bending tool. If they are formed well, they look very nice and are a compliment to the cockpit. The full-color additions to the right-sided control surfaces are impressive.
For both the left and right sides of the cockpit, the builder is required to cut away surface detail from the kit parts. None of this was difficult (excepting the confusion of part E41) and is easily done with a hobby knife and sanding sticks.
There is a certain amount of over-engineering going on with the cockpit PE. For example, two parts (72 and 73) and two boxes (75) were completely invisible once the cockpit was completed. Additionally, some of the PE components for the canopies are very hard to see unless you are holding your plane upside down and looking into the cockpit.
Generally, this is an excellent PE kit. This kit contains just the right components for those builders who like that little bit extra (the full-color instrument dials, full-color instrument panels, radios, etc.), and it also contains the kind of detail that PE fans love (control levers, pedals, switches and knobs).
Considering all of the canopy glass of the ICM DO 217N-1 kit and considering the visibility of the cockpit, I believe this to be a very nice addition to the kit.
Thank you to Eduard for the honor of reviewing and using this PE set with ICM Kit Nr. 46271, and thank you to IPMS for the opportunity.