Ever heard of an Eduard Overtree kit? You would not be alone. Eduard offers overtree kits occasionally, for a very limited time and ONLY through the Eduard website. They contain only the plastic parts. No box art, no instructions, no decals, no masks and no photo etch. No nothing, just plastic. Why do this? To keep the costs down. Eduard also offers the modeler the parts that you may want to add separately. If you have aftermarket decals then you aren’t paying extra for the decals. I personally like to use the Zoom sets to spruce up the instrument panel and some other odds and ends, like seatbelts. This is what I consider an essential set. Everything else is nice. The instructions are available for download online in the Profipac or the Weekend Edition releases. Maybe you own the Dual Combo pack and want to build more than one of the marking options, this is an inexpensive way to do that.
One thing to be careful of when you order an Overtree kit is to be sure of the one that you want. When this kit was offered there were four options, Highback with early wings, Highback with late wings, Bubbletop with early wings, or Bubbletop with late wings. You need to know what you are ordering as there is no ‘extra’ parts. You get the single sprue for the fuselage and a single sprue for the wings. So order what you are going to build.
I pulled my instructions from my dual combo kit. I also ordered the Zoom set (set 8286-LEPT1) as I think it looks great and adds a lot to the model. I elected to do the aircraft of S/Ldr Otto Smik of No.127 Squadron. This would go nicely with my Mk.IX that I built from the same unit. You can also add any aftermarket that you might have. I had a Barracuda Cockpit Upgrade set for the Mk.IX (set# BR48194) and many of the components would work for the Mk.XVI. I also had the Barracuda upper cowling (set# BR48192) so why not use them? While I was at it, I had a set of Master gun barrels with the conical fairings (set# AM-48-102) that I wanted to try. So with all that set it was time to start.
Since I built the Mk.IX and Mk.VIII kits already I had a good idea what to expect. This interior was no different in that the fit was perfect. There were some new photo etch parts on the Zoom set that are different to the Mk.XVI and then of course there were the new resin pieces from Barracuda to add. The Barracuda pieces were quite impressive. The Barracuda decals added another dimension of reality to the interior.
Don’t forget to add the tail wheel mount and to drill the hole for the vent on the right side forward fairing. The fuselage goes together flawlessly.
The wings go together perfectly. Don’t forget to open the holes for the bomb racks if your aircraft had them like mine. Some have discussed that the wheel well is complicated. I haven’t found that to be true and the fit is perfect. Just an FYI, this E Wing is not the same as the Mk.IX so you can’t use that wing on this kit. Sure it would fit and would fit perfectly but the wing has different panels and no outer guns.
The exhausts must be assembled now before adding the upper cowling. IF you take your time and understand the instructions they are not an issue. I recommend that you only build one side at a time. These were added now and the Barracuda Studios upper cowling was glued in place. The fit was perfect. The bulge is perfect with no seam to join or fill.
Adding the wings to the fuselage proved to be perfect as expected. I ran a bead of Mr. Surfacer to check the seam and it was flawless. I cleaned it off with Mr. Thinner and didn’t lose any detail. The wingtips and ailerons were added at this time along with the tail surfaces. I can tell you how they fit but you’d have guessed it by now.
The underwing coolers built up beautifully. Now that the wings were attached I added the Master gun covers. They fit just like everything else on this kit, perfectly. They are superior to the plastic parts with impressive detail and they are strong. And just like that before I knew it, it was time to prime and paint this beauty. It is amazing how fast this kit builds up, even with the aftermarket parts.
I added my landing gear at this time to support the model while painting.
OK call me lazy but I used the paint masks from the Profipack since I had it to make the canopy masking go faster. The masks fit perfectly. The rest of the cockpit area was masked off.
A coat of Polly-S British Interior Green was added to the canopy area. Then a coat of Alclad Grey Primer was sprayed over the entire model. Not amazingly there was nothing to clean up. I painted the white portions of the under fuselage ID stripes and the yellow wing portions. This was allowed to dry overnight before being taped over with Tamiya tape. The black was sprayed on the stripes. I added the sky band next on top of the aft white stripe. When everything was dried the stripes were completely masked off and Tamiya NATO Black was used to pre-shade the entire model. I pre-shade the panel lines and then some random black was added around the model. Tamiya Medium Sea Grey was sprayed over the entire belly. This was lightened up a few times with white to break up the monotone look. This with the pre-shading gives you a nice random pattern.
This was masked off and then the Tamiya Dark Sea Grey was added to the entire top surface. Again the DSG was lightened with white. Then it was time to do the actual camouflage. Eduard makes camouflage masks for the Airfix Mk.I so I just used them and modified them as I needed to. The Dark Green was sprayed at a right angle to the masks and again was slightly lightened.
A coat of Mr Surfacer Super Gloss was sprayed over the entire model. It dried perfectly glossy, however, there were places where the super gloss caused the camouflage colors to ‘run’ and ‘sag’. I’ve never had that happen before but it happened on this model. So there was nothing to do but let it dry, sand it and then repaint it. What really was a pain in the butt was that the worst sagging happened over the white and black recognition stripes so I literally had to repaint all the colors. This was time consuming but the results were quite nice. A coat of Future was oversprayed on the entire model and the model was ready for decals.
Since the overtree kit doesn’t have decals, the decals came from the Mk.XVI dual boxing. I liked the No. 127 Squadron aircraft to go with my Mk.IX model. All the decals worked perfectly. Because there are no instructions I had downloaded the instructions from the internet. The stencils are the same as the ones for the Mk.IX. The Bubbletop has a new sheet of decals with different fonts.
Once dry the model was sprayed with Alclad Flat. A panel line wash of Burnt Umber artist oils began the weathering. Some buff and white artist oils with a wide brush damp with turpenoid was used to fade the paint and markings. This was followed up with some chipping using a sponge dipped in Model Master Steel and a silver pencil. This was followed up with some mud applied to the wing root and the wheels. Mig mud splash was used to add some splashes. Then the exhausts were replicated with Tamiya modeling powder. This was streaked from top to bottom with a wide brush dampened with Turpenoid. And finally a very thinned Tamiya Buff was added to the upper surface in the direction of airflow and top to bottom on the fuselage.
With that the masks were removed and small items were added, including the bombs. The canopy was added and the model was finished.
This kit is awesome. It is everything that the Mk.IX kits was but with a new fuselage and wing. Eduard has really raised the bar on these kits. These are some of the most enjoyable builds I’ve done. I can’t say enough good things about them. Buy one, build it and you will remember what it was to enjoy a build that didn’t fight you in any way. Simply superb.
Aftermarket stuff I used was all perfect. The Barracudacast Upper Cowling was a very nice time saving addition. The fit of it was perfect. The Barracudacast Snapshot upgrade was a nice addition. The decals plus the upgraded resin added to the look of the interior with the minimal amount of work. The Master barrels was another nice addition that was easy to use.
Thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review model. You can only obtain yours at https://www.eduard.com . Remember these kits are a limited time only. It is the same for the special photo etch set. By the time you read this I’m sure the Overtrees will be sold out, but Eduard offers new Overtree kits as they feel the need, so watch the website and sign up for the newsletter to get yours. These kits are inexpensive and just a super kit.
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