Set #648640 arrives well protected in a tough flip-top box that's lined top and bottom with soft foam. It's a mixed-media upgrade, with resin and photetched parts packed in resealable zip-lock bags, and comprises:
53 x resin parts
29 x brass parts
The casting quality and detail is simply outstanding in the sample set, and the engine and its accessories are quite exquisite. I have to admit the depth and finesse of the detail is beyond what I'd expected, and the completeness of the upgrade means it really counts as a kit in its own right. In terms of preparation, installing the engine will require a little surgery, removing the cowlings and thinning the inside of the wing under the fuselage, but you probably could also display it on a mount as a very eye-catching stand-alone model.
While Eduard include one small run of wiring as an etched part, the main ignition harness is cast integrally (you could always trim this off to replace with individual cables if you choose). All the rest of the plumbing needs to be added from scratch, and Eduard illustrate this very clearly in the excellent 10-page instructions. Once the main subassemblies are complete, there's a 19-stage sequence of adding the engine accessories and the myriad of cables and plumbing. Dimensions are provided for each piece of wire and, so long as you work carefully and steadily, it should be a really satisfying build. It's definitely not a kit to be rushed, but the end result should look superb.
For all the complexity of the engine itself, the one part which looks to me like it could be most tricky is the etched framework to go over the engine - the support in real life for the cowlings. This needs some subtle curves and will be very easy to distort. I can foresee it taking a while to get right.
Along with the engine, Eduard include new cowling panels which are detailed inside and out. One bonus of the new top panel is that it avoids the awkward seam on the kit parts which tends to reappear if you're unlucky, no matter how thoroughly you've tried to deal with it.
Eduard's Brassin engine for their Spitfire Mk. V is a real gem that should look outstanding if built and painted carefully. In view of the sheer quality of the parts and the level of detail, I think it's very fairly priced and will keep anyone out of mischief for some time. It's obviously not suitable for inexperienced modellers, but promises to be a really satisfying challenge for anyone up to the task.
Many thanks to Eduard for supplying the sample for review.
Set #648640 is available from Eduard now - Price: £17.77
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