McCudden S.E.5a Conversion Set
3 resin parts, decal sheet and a decal / paint guide to convert the stock Wingnut Wings SE5a 'Hisso' kit to James McCudden's B4863. Included with the conversion are the shortened exhaust stacks and a replacement cockpit deck representative of McCudden's aircraft. As an added bonus you get 8 resin parts used to construct a 1/32 scale figure of McCudden.
The conversion kit arrives in sturdy plastic packaging and given the amount abuse the priority mail box received, I was impressed nothing was damaged. After opening the package I gave everything a good once over and was impressed with the detail of the conversion kit. All the resin parts were given a quick wash with my trusty toothbrush to remove the mold release residue. I started by razor sawing the cockpit deck piece from its pour stub and was pleased that with a little effort it came away pretty clean. The thin bit of resin that seals the cockpit opening was easily removed with a new #11 blade and quick work with the sanding stick. The two exhaust stubs were removed by scoring with a #11 blade and in hind sight I should have been a bit more careful as I ended up removing a tiny bit of the exhaust opening on one of the two resin pieces. The second exhaust stack came away very clean.
Since I have a Wingnut Wings SE5a in my stash it gave me a good opportunity to see how well the cockpit deck fit into the kit fuselage parts. I was pleased with the fit and with a small bit of filler I'm sure this will look as good as the original Wingnut Wings part. The exhaust stacks were then compared to the kit parts and manifold portion of the stacks appear to line up very well with regard to the spacing. Given this fact I would not expect any fit issues with the replacement exhaust stacks.
The decals were printed by AeroMaster(C) and appear to be of very good quality. The clear flash around the decals is minimal. The two roundels provided appear to be in good register.
The instructions are very basic but they get the job done. Since the Wingnut Wings kit provides alternate part options, the conversion instructions clearly call out what parts from the original kit are to be used in the McCudden conversion. It also includes a painting guide for both the airframe and the McCudden figure. Lastly it provides callouts for placement of the conversion decals.
Last but not least is the McCudden figure. I had no real issues removing the parts from the pour stubs. Fit of the parts wasn't too bad and with a bit more sanding minimal filler should be needed. I was impressed to see included with the figure a nice swagger stick. I left it for last but my worries were unnecessary since it came free of the pour stub very easily.
Prior to the release of this conversion your only option for the McCudden SE5a was the Encore kit. I'm sure many of you as I do, already have a Wingnut Wings SE5a in your stash and this conversion will make a nice addition to that very fine kit.
A very special thanks to Squadron and IPMS/USA for the review sample on this marking my first review.