The Model Kit
Roden’s T-28 has a very respectable cockpit included in their kit. Their biggest weakness is in the seats and instrument panels. The Roden cockpit is composed of 17 parts, where the Aires tops out at 45, which include the individual components for each seat belt. Aires has developed a complete replacement that not only addresses these weaknesses, but also improves the side consoles without a lot of scratchbuilding.
The Resin Kit
The set comes packaged in a two-compartment blister pack, one for the seven resin castings holding 22 parts and the second for the single fret photo etched and printed plastic film parts. The single-page double-sided assembly instructions were very helpful for the resin parts, but somewhat lacking for the photo etch. A map of the PE fret would have been helpful, even though each piece is numbered. The control sticks and cockpit bracing are true to scale, which means they are very thin. They look great in the build but are extremely delicate, and my samples came through broken and had to be repaired.
I cleaned the resin parts in Wesley’s Bleach White, rinsed with water, and primed with Alclad II Gray Primer. Even with the cleaning, I had paint adhesion problems with my Vallejo Model Paints on small unprimed parts. I soaked the PE parts in nail polish remover for about a half-hour to clean them, then also primed with Alclad II Gray Primer. The ten-piece – I stress, ten-piece – seatbelts are very nice, but with such small parts I will inevitably launch one into oblivion. As usual, I had to rebuild one of the errant pieces with lead foil. I attached the resin and photo etch parts with medium thickness cyanoacrylate and accelerator.
Aires’ excellent detail and clean, well-defined castings did not disappoint. Many of the parts are very small and fragile and will require sharp tweezers and good magnification. However, the end result is well worth the time and eye strain. With so much clear canopy surrounding the cockpit, this Aires kit makes what’s inside worth looking at.
Thank you Aires and IPMS/USA for making this kit available for review.
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