Eduard continues to expand its series of WWII-era pre-painted seatbelts in the “steel” series. Eduard Models call this product line “Steelbelts”.
This review covers the following items:
- 1/48 Seatbelts USN WWII fighters Steel, Catalog 49104, MSRP: $19.95, Link to Product
- 1/48 Seatbelts Italy WWII fighters Steel, Catalog 49105, MSRP: $19.95, Link to Product
- 1/48 Seatbelts France WWII Steel, Catalog 49106, MSRP: $19.95, Link to Product
- 1/48 Seatbelts IJAAF WWII Steel, Catalog 49109, MSRP: $19.95, Link to Product
The USN fret gives you 6 seatbelts sets, 3 in tan and 3 in dark green with their respective shoulder harnesses, lap belts, lap covers and even a very small latch. The Italian fret gives you a total of 5 seatbelts sets, all in a tan-ish/brown shade, plus lap belts and chains. The French fret gives you a total of 8 (eight!) seatbelt sets with two different kinds of lap belts (you can make 4 of each kind). Finally the Imperial Japanese Army (IJAAF) one gives you 21 sets of lap belts, 7 of 3 different kinds: Leather and cloth for Nakajima and 7 lap belts for Kawasaki. Apparently, the Japanese army did not provide shoulder harnesses for their pilots.
When working with this new line of seatbelts (steelbelts) the main thing that jumps is how thin they are. Reading in the Info Eduard (June 2016 issue) they say they are 0.04 mm thick. I should probably say they are 0.04 mm thin. They are pre-painted and also have some shading (weathering) on them.
You apply them as any other metal aftermarket accessory, using a dab of superglue. That is all that takes to use the steel seatbelts. About 1 minute per seat and it is very easy to do (if you have experience with small parts).
- They are very flexible and easy to pose in any position you would like.
- They are pre-painted and have nice stitching detail on them.
- They even have some weathering on them!
- You can bend and re-bend them a few times and they will keep their last shape.
- None was found
In this review I used a Tamiya F4F-4 Wildcat, a Hasegawa Mc.202, a Tamiya D.520 and a Hasegawa Ki-61 seat for the USN, Italy and France Japanese fret respectively. As you can see, different aircraft kits were used and in all cases, the seatbelt fit the seats looking very nice and in scale.
These items are highly recommended for modelers of all levels, except perhaps the most novices due to the small size of the lap belts.
Very highly recommended.
I would like to thank Eduard Models and IPMS/USA for the review sample.