PBY-5A Interior SA Detail Set
Revell’s PBY-5A Catalina has been around for 20 years now and I’ve seen quite a few built. It looks large and impressive when finished. The kit comes in two styles - the “-5” which has no wheel wells, and the “-5A” which does. Eduard has released sets for the PBY-5A which allow improvements to the entire airframe. This set (#49697) addresses the cockpit and interior.
The set comes with two beautiful photoetch frets. One is colorized and includes a multi-part instrument panel, a full set of seat belts, and various panels and boxes for the cockpit. The second is not colorized and includes replacement parts for the cockpit floors, the nose gunners floor, replacement rudder pedals and linkages, ammo storage racks for the waist gunners area, and again, various boxes and panels.
One of the first things I review with a photoetch set is what modifications need to be made for its use. In this case, the removals are minimal and include removing the poor molded-in seat belts, sanding the instrument panel, and removing a few boxes on the cockpit bulkhead. These are wonderfully red color-coded in the instructions so there is no doubt. Total prep time for this was maybe 30 minutes and I was ready to start adding parts.
I like to start adding the parts I know will be painted first so the seats in the cockpit were worked on first as they receive eight pieces each. The precolored seat belts were left off. The rudder pedals are very fine and require a light touch but look great. The cockpit bulkhead was next and its parts were added. The small sidewall boxes and brackets were added and since these are not replacements, but additions, there is no locating holes or spots. Eduard provides a layout. Check the fit with the rest of the cockpit when adding these to avoid interferences. I also added the parts to the control yoke. Again, leave off the colorized parts.
I moved to the waist position next, added the detail parts, and built the ammo racks. These are delicate so care is needed but they look great when added to the bulkhead. There is also a bench added to each side - test fit this also.
When all this was done, I primed the interior (I like to prime with PE parts) and then painted the interior its base interior green color. I also sprayed the instrument panel black.
Once dry, all the colorized parts except the seat belts were added. Due to their manufacture, I used a tiny brush to touch up the edges with black or the needed color. The instrument panel is a layered part and both parts were added making sure to carefully align the holes over the instruments. Once everything dried, I added a light wash in black to set off the parts and kit engraving. I then flat coated all the parts to get rid of any superglue marks and let it dry.
I drybrushed and used the silver pen to scratch up some of the parts and floors, and then added the seat belts with some spot washes. I flat coated the interior and called this part complete
Lastly, there are parts that need to be attached to the canopy bottom. This includes throttles and other levers, plus several boxes. These were handled differently due to the glass parts. The parts were built and bent and attached to tape and painted as needed and then flat coats. They were attached to the bottom of the canopy with white glue. This was dried overnight and looks great.
This set has been worth the wait. It added much needed seat belts, increases the fine detail, and fits and installs well. With the large canopy and waist gun blisters, much of the detail will be seen. Highly recommended for dressing up your Catalina.
My thanks to Eduard for the set and to IPMS/USA for the chance to review it!