SE.5a Radiator – Wolsely Viper

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Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
648 298
Base Kit
Company: Eduard - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Eduard - Website: Visit Site

This set provides a highly detailed resin and photoetch radiator to replace the standard kit part in Eduard's newly released SE.5a Wolsey Viper aircraft kit. The radiator is a beautiful little assembly that looks fantastic on the aircraft model!

The Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a was an improved version of the SE.5 and was one of the fastest fighters of WWI. The SE.5a aircraft was originally produced with a 200 HP Hispano-Suiza 8B engine that proved unreliable, and was quickly replaced with the 200 HP Wolsely Viper engine.

This Eduard Brassin set includes resin and photoetch parts to replace the kit supplied radiator in the Eduard Wolsey Viper version of the SE.5a.

The kit supplied radiator has very nice detail, but the assembly provided with the Brassin set has exquisite detail that will produce a highly accurate radiator assembly. Packaged in a blister pack that is not welded all the way around so it can easily be opened, the blister pack can be used as a tray to keep track of the parts on the workbench. The parts are all held firmly in place with foam and thin card stock. The set includes five resin pieces: the radiator shell, the top valve connection, the bottom piping interconnection between the radiator cores, and the two radiator core sections. The photoetch fret provides the front and back grilles for each side of the radiator.

The first step in assembly is to clean all the parts thoroughly to remove any oils or fingerprints from the parts. All of the resin pieces are attached to casting blocks. The casting blocks should be studied and compared to the instructions to make sure they are cut off at the proper location. The top edge of the photoetch grilles have a tiny tab that looks like an attachment nib but should not be removed. These are shown clearly on the instructions. The top valve piece of resin is the only part that has any significant flash.

I first painted the parts with Alclad brass and Mr. Metal Color Alminum, which revealed and highlighted the fantastic detail on the parts even more. The radiator shell is painted brass, but will be painted the fuselage color after assembly.

The radiator shell and top piping, parts R15 & R16 should be assembled first so they can be fit to the kit engine cowling, part B60. There is a fair amount of modification to Brassin valve part R16 and kit cowling part B60 to allow the cowling to fit over the radiator shell and valve assembly. I used a 3/32 drill bit for a hole for the radiator valve through the cowling. The radiator shell fits very nicely to the front of the SE.5a fuselage.

I placed the photoetch grilles on the front and back of the radiator shell and fastened them with a touch of superglue. Placing them first before using the glue allowed wiggling them into the correct position. The radiator core pieces, R17 and R18, were installed to the front of the radiator grilles with liquid cement and superglue. Last piece to assemble was the pipe connection between of the bottoms of the radiator cores. Neither the kit or the radiator set provide any other piping between the engine and the radiator.

The radiator is an excellent add-on to Eduard’s already superb SE.5a. All of the parts fit together exceptionally well and add much finer detail to the visible front and sides of the radiator. Eduard even adds a bracket for a diagonal strut that can be added to brace the top of the radiator. The SE.5a will look nice with the base kit radiator, but this radiator set is a big step up in detail.

Building this simple add-on was a rewarding experience. The parts fit so well, and the finish product is so nice, it encourages me to build the rest of the kit at the same high level of quality. Special thanks to Eduard/Brassin for continuing to produce these fantastic add-ons. They really raise the quality of modeling!


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