The standard cockpit in Eduard's
new 1:48 Hawker Tempest, reviewed HERE
, is already very impressive, with a classic "ProfiPACK" mix of plastic and photo-etched parts, but there's inevitably scope to go one better and Eduard
have also released a Brassin alternative which takes things to a new level of detail altogether and can be considered a mini-kit in its own right.
The set arrives in a neat flip-top cardboard box. The box itself is quite sturdy, but it doesn't need to be bullet-proof, because it's really well padded with soft foam - and that’s what provides the real protection for the delicate items inside. These are further sealed in small zip-lock bags and the sample reviewed here survived two trips through the post perfectly. The set comprises:
56 x grey resin parts
18 x photo-etched parts
A sheet of clear printed film for the gunsight reflector
Decals for instrument faces.
The casting is essentially perfect in the review set and is really pretty amazing. Eduard
have developed a very clever way of casting delicate items like the side-frames, which sees them perched on a series of thin feeds. This makes removing the parts from their casting blocks much easier and quicker. I'm presuming 3-D printing is involved in creating the master patterns, because it would be a devil to do by conventional means.
The resin parts are beautifully crisp. Eduard
have already tackled the Tempest's instrument panel in multiple different ways (moulded plastic, plain with decals, photo-etched and LööK), but the combination here of a detailed resin panel with pin-sharp decals for the instrument faces could well be the most effective of the lot. The panel itself is virtually identical to the LööK version (it should be, really, shouldn’t it) but with some additional details to tie in with the rest of the Brassin cockpit.
have designed the decals with the instruments grouped to cover the panel in three sections - and that may work, because Eduard
decals do snuggle down over raised detail exceptionally well with the help of setting solution - but I expect many modellers will prefer to separate the faces with a punch and die and apply them individually.
The seat is a big improvement over the one provided in the kit, generally finer all ‘round and with a much more convincing rendition of the diamond-pattern back padding.
The seat harness appears identical to that included with the ProfiPACK kit - i.e. a pre-coloured etched set of straps that should look fine when fitted. It’s perhaps a shame that Eduard
didn’t go for a fabric harness here, which probably would be best of all options.
Overall, the level of detail is outstanding - so much so that you could build the Brassin cockpit and display as a stand-alone item. But, of course, the whole point is to install it in the kit (and this has sometimes proved to be the Achilles heel of upgrades, where they simply won’t fit), so perhaps the most remarkable thing is that there doesn’t appear to be any modification required to the kit in order to install the Brassin cockpit.
The set comes with comprehensive instructions, which are clearly illustrated across 8 sides of A4, folded together into an A5 booklet. I presume this is simply to fit everything into the box, because it actually muddles the construction sequence (or, at least it did in the sample), so it's actually best to unfold everything and go by the numbering at the bottom left on each page to ensure you have everything in the correct order. With that done, the sequence is quite logical, with a mix of numerical and alphabetical stages and sub-assemblies.
Colour call-outs are included along the way for Gunze Sangyo paints.
Brassin cockpit for the Tempest has the makings of a real gem. On paper it doesn’t look crazily complex (and the fact that it’s designed to fit the standard kit without surgery is a real bonus), but I’d still only recommend it to modellers with a bit of experience working with resin upgrades. At around £18.50 it’s good value for money considering the quality and detail offered (to put it in perspective, I’ve just purchased a much simpler resin cockpit set for a different subject from another manufacturer for just over £10).
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