I don’t think I’m alone in the feeling that when building an airplane kit, the most challenging aspect (at least in terms of painting) is inevitably the cockpit. And within the cockpit, the most challenging aspect is almost always the instrument panels. Over the years I’ve developed a pretty steady hand at this kind of work, but that doesn’t mean I actually enjoy it. It’s usually with a sigh of relief when I can set down an instrument panel with a full paint job on it.
Red Fox Studios, a company out of Hungary, has come up with a product line that I am now head over heels in love with. They are releasing a series of detail sets which include not only full-color instrument sets for various aircraft, but fully three-dimensional instrument panels at that, with every instrument and button fully realized. I have literally never seen anything like them before, and I am mesmerized.
The detail set I have for review is for the 1/32nd scale Hasegawa P-40E, but I have looked at their website, and all of the sets are of the same superb quality. The P-40 set not only includes the main instrument panel but all of the side panels as well as individual gauges – everything you need to make your model snap to attention.
Every piece is separate – no need to cut anything out or fold or spindle. All you have to do is sand off the surface on the kit panels and apply these directly with a spot of glue. The parts themselves have a certain flex, so if the control panel isn’t completely flat, it’s a relatively easy process to simply bend the pieces into position. The level of detail is truly astounding, and I don’t think I have enough superlatives to describe them effectively. They really do raise the cockpit detail to another level altogether.
It's clear that I will be haunting Red Fox Studio’s site for some time to come. I’m not sure of the delivery time associated with these, but any wait is worth the while, in my book. I find myself wondering how I can do without them from now on, having seen what they can do. I just can’t recommend them enough.
My thanks to Red Fox Studios for making a product that I feel I’ve been waiting my whole life for, and to IPMS/USA for a chance to examine what will surely be only the first of many Red Fox products to come in my own work studio. Be well, everyone, and safe modeling!