Rowan takes a look at Eduard's SPACE 3D decals for their 1:48 Bf 109E-4.

3D decals are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to photo-etched and resin details, establishing a firm place in the crowded aftermarket upgrades market. I recently revisited Eduard's excellent 1:48 Bf 109E-4, and to accompany its re-release Eduard have produced a new SPACE set combining 3D decals with pre-coloured photo-etched parts.

The set arrives in a resealable bag with a cardboard backing and comprises:

6 x 3D decals (plus 3 spare)

12 x photoetched parts (plus 5 spare)

The parts are loose in the bag - something I actually welcome, because I felt they were rather too firmly fixed in place in some previous Eduard aftermarket sets.

It's interesting comparing the 3D decals vs. the pre-coloured etched instrument panel included in their ProfiPACK Emil. Both feature exceptionally fine detail in the way the instrument faces are represented, but the SPACE panel has a slightly more 3-dimensional quality. The photos don't really do justice to how good it looks; to the naked eye the detail is eye-poppingly fine. There's no way most modellers could hope to  paint anything like it, no matter how fine a brush they used.

As supplied, the 3D decals have a slightly glossy sheen overall, with full-gloss for the instrument faces. I'll apply a matt coat to tie them in with the rest of the cockpit parts - which, of course, will mean the instruments need picking out again with drops of gloss varnish unless you protect them with liquid mask, but that's no problem.

The photo-etched parts basically duplicate some of those already included in the ProfiPACK kit, providing a seat harness and various knobs and levers to dress up the instrument panel. I'll save them for another occasion, but where they'll really come into their own is if you have a Weekend Edition kit.   

Eduard include a clearly illustrated set of instructions, breaking construction down into four simple stages. The only surgery required to the kit is to remove the detail off the electrical panel on the starboard sidewall ready for the replacement SPACE part, so the upgrade should be suitable for any one with a bit of experience and who's already confident using photo-etched seatbelts etc.


I still haven't used 3D decals on a model, so I'm really looking forward to giving these a try. The results promise to be excellent. Regardless of whether you use their pre-coloured photoetched parts or these new 3D decals, Eduard offer everything you need to create a superbly detailed "office" for your Emil.

Set #3DL 48049 is available from Eduard now - Price: £4.93

Many thanks to Eduard for providing the sample kit for review.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE



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