When I reviewed Eduard's latest addition to their range of new-tool Bf 109Gs (https://aeroscale.net/news/messerschmitt-bf-109g-6-as), I was very impressed by how well the kit stands up compared with a ProfiPack edition - for most part, at least. But, obviously, there are some compromises, so Eduard have released a neat set of colour photo-etched accessories to accompany the kit.
The set arrives on a single fret packed with a cardboard backing to prevent damage in transit and comprises 49 parts (including a couple of spares and a scribing template). The parts are beautifully produced, and the pre-colouring is far finer than anything I could hope to achieve with even the smallest paint brush and a magnifier.
There are over 30 parts devoted to the cockpit and canopy, and the stars of the show for me are the instrument panel and the seat harness. The panel is constructed from 5 parts and is multi-layered like the original to give a realistic 3-D look. The faces of the instruments are minutely detailed and even have a drop of varnish ready-applied for the glass. While the Weekend Edition's decal for the instruments is good, this really is in a different league.
Arguably even more of a game-changer is the photo-etched seat harness. There really is no comparison between these straps and the decals included in the kit, and I'd almost rate them (or something similar) as an essential upgrade.
Looking elsewhere in the cockpit, you get the "bicycle chain" for the trim wheels, replacement rudder pedals (which are a definite improvement over the styrene items), and a number of fascias for the floor and side consoles. The latter are beautifully pre-painted, but you do sacrifice the raised detail on the kit parts if you use them.
Inside the canopy, you get grab handles and a lock, along with the restraining wire to stop the canopy opening too far on the ground.
Turning to the rest of the model, the fret includes exhaust shields. These score in two ways - firstly, they look more delicate than the integrally moulded ones in the kit and, secondly, they allow you to use the alternative slide-moulded exhausts with hollowed-out stacks.
The set provides new faces for the radiators which are nicely done. Honestly, though, they're not a vast improvement over the kit parts and (based on my previous builds of the kit) they're so tucked out of sight on the finished model, I think it's debateable whether it's really worth the faff of fitting them.
The final exterior details are a D/F loop and antennae, plus a replacement panel for the bottom of the fuselage. I'm not totally convinced by this, because it sits proud of the surface. If you can, I think it's better to try not to obscure the original embossed panel during construction.
Lastly, there a scribing template for the two small panels immediately in front of the windscreen which are placed just where there are attachment points to the runners. So, the template is very welcome but, oddly, it's not shown in the otherwise comprehensive instructions.
These are very clearly illustrated using diagrams based on the ProfiPACK boxing, and break everything down into manageable steps.
This is certainly a worthwhile addition the Weekend Edition Bf 109G-6/AS if you can't resist adding some extra detail. The set isn't overly complex, so it will make a good starter for anyone wanting to try their hand at using photo-etched parts, and the kit will undoubtedly look better for the upgrade. This is particularly true if you intend to display the cockpit open - and the beauty of the original kit is that it's so affordable, you won't risk breaking the bank by splashing out on a little "eye candy".
Item #FE1142 is available now from Eduard - Price: 243.80 CKZ (9.42 EUR)
Many thanks to Eduard for providing the sample for review.
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