The set is very well protected for transit, with the delicate resin parts placed in shaped pockets in a foam bed, all sealed inside a clear blister-pack.
The upgrade comprises 24 parts and the casting is flawless in my set. The master patterns appear to be 3D-printed and the level of detail is superb. Rather than traditional casting blocks, the items are supported on a latticework of delicate feeds. One casting is particularly impressive, with no less than 6 parts grouped together in what is virtually a cat's cradle of tiny feeds.
The set adds a new seat to replace the multi-part kit item and features a crisply defined integral harness. On the right of the cockpit the oxygen system is entirely replaced, with extra pipework added, and the radio pack comes complete with wiring, while a flaps selector is provided for the left of the tub.
There's a new rocket nozzle which looks much better than the original kit item.
The cannons are also replaced and the new parts look really crisp, with the breeches shown open in the instructions.
There's a new mechanism for the landing skid and it really shows the advantage of using resin, with just one beautifully cast piece replacing the kit's original fiddly seven-part plastic assembly.
Similarly, the set provides new castings for the uncovered tailwheel leg in its retracted and lowered states, one part replacing the original four in each case.
Last but not least, there's a neatly detailed standing figure dressed in the distinctive protective flight suit that Komet pilots wore. The figure has separate hands, one clutching his gloves. The stance is arguably a bit static, but the pilot will certainly add a sense of scale to the finished model.
The assembly guide is beautifully illustrated with full-colour views and painting call-outs for the details.
Gas Patch describe the set as "Easy Peasy", but I'm not sure it's really suitable for beginners because some of the parts look phenomenally delicate and it would be so easy to make a mistake preparing and using them. At around £20, there's no denying the set is a bit pricey, but quality is really excellent.
Is it an essential upgrade for the kit? I'd have to say "No", simply because Gas Patch's Me 163 will look so good straight from the box. But, for anyone looking to add some icing to an already superb kit, this is an extra treat you may like to go for.
The Easy Peasy Detail Set for the ME 163B is available from Gas Patch now.
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