Published on
January 23, 2023
Review Author(s)
MSRP
$13.25
Product / Stock #
RFSQS-48057
Base Kit
Hasegawa
Company: AMMO by Mig Jimenez - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: AMMO by Mig Jimenez - Website: Visit Site

My modeling experience detailing aircraft cockpits includes:

  • Laboring over kit-supplied embossed instrument panels that need to be painted by hand and/or dry brushed;
  • Giving in to using instrument decals, either the kit-supplied panels or individual gauge decals; or
  • Using photo-etched panels backed by film pieces with gauge faces that need to be back painted white and sandwiched behind the metal fronts.

While the latter is the most realistic of the aforementioned methods, none provide the realism of the 3D printed panels that are now coming to market.

Being unfamiliar with these aftermarket products, I was anxious to get a close look at one. The one I was fortunate enough to evaluate is produced by Red Fox Studios, a company in Hungary, for the new Hasegawa 1/48-scale F-22 Raptor kit. (See Photo 1).

The panels are composed of acrylic plastic with both raised and recessed details and are printed in color.

They come with complete installation instructions, in this case for the Hasegawa F-22 kit panels. Note that the side panels of this set do not fit the Italeri F-22A kit. I would not try to fit these panels into any but the Hasegawa kit.

Instructions are provided on a fold out card that lists the kit part number(s) that need to be sanded smooth prior to the 3D pieces being glued in place. (See Photo 2).

In this particular set they even provide two main panels to enable the modeler to select either a panel depicting a turned-on screen or one that is turned off. The panels can be attached with CA or PVA glues, although the Red Fox “Quick Tips” instruction sheet, which can be found on their website, shows the pieces being fixed with A.MIG-2031 Ultra Glue, a clear slow-drying acrylic glue used to attach photo-etched and transparent parts. This glue allows some movement into position after placement, a welcome feature, and reportedly leaves no residue.

The details and dimensionality of these instrument panels is unachievable using previous assembly and painting methods. (See Photo 3). They look phenomenal. I placed the pieces under a stereo microscope to see how uniform and fine the printed instrument faces actually are. At 25x, even the gauge pointers, graduations and scale divisions are discernable. No wonder they look so good to the naked eye in the scales of aircraft kits.

Use of this product makes short work of detailing instrument panel gauges and switches. They appear much more realistic in the scales of model aircraft than can be achieved by brush painting or the use of two-dimensional decals. Without question, the next aircraft kit I buy will be one that has a Red Fox Studio instrument panel set available.

I would like to thank AMMO by MiG for providing this product for review and IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.

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