Eduard 1/32 F-15E Strike Eagle Interior Detail Set
|Date of Review||October 2007|
|Subject||F-15E Strike Eagle Interior Detail Set|
|Pros||Fine details to update the cockpits of the Tamiya F-15E|
Eduard from the Czech Republic is easily the most prolific producer of aftermarket details. Period. Their series of photo-etched detail sets have brought additional fidelity to otherwise bland subjects, and have taken even the best-produced models and kicked them up a notch or two with details that cannot be produced with injection-molded plastic.
When Eduard first introduced the acetate-printed instrument faces that go behind their photo-etched instrument panels, this raised the bar on model cockpit reality as you could almost read the time on the aircraft clock. How could they top that?
It took a number of years, but the answer is color photo-etch. Somehow Eduard has developed a process for printing color directly on their photo-etched parts such that now you not only can read the instrument faces, you can now see the color warning arcs around airspeed indicators and color reference circles around Luftwaffe flight and engine instruments. So could they top that? Yes indeed.
Eduard recognized that one of the bigger pains of using their photo-etch was trying to adhere very visible parts like instrument panels and side consoles without having some problem with cyano adhesives in the process. For example, using cyano to glue the multiple layers of instrument panel parts to recreate a detailed look might instead result in a bit of cyano oozing out onto an instrument face. The answer was simple enough - self-adhesive photo-etch. Simply cut the part from the fret, remove the backing paper, and gently set into position. You can adjust the position and then simply press down on the part to permanently adhere the part into that position.
This set consists of two frets of photo-etch parts, one of which has color printing on the surface to replicate the instrument panel and side console details. This one color-printed part is also the one with the adhesive. The second fret is unpainted and has no self-adhesive.
This set starts with the front and rear instrument panels, providing detailed color-printed panels and sub-panels. Likewise the front and rear side consoles. One interesting challenge they've addressed is the three-dimensional detail visible on the side consoles in this scale. There are lots of knobs that might look okay as photo-etched relief in 1/48 scale, but would simply look flat in this scale. Instead, Eduard has you add knobs from cut styrene and then apply the knob caps that care color printed and self-adhesive to finish the job.
The circuit breaker panels also get dressed up in both cockpits with color-printed panels and structural detail as well. Among the non-colorized parts are the canopy bow, rear view mirrors, canopy frame structure and hold-down hooks.
While this set will really set off the detail in Tamiya's F-15E kit, this detail set is not for the beginning modeler. You will need to be able to remove the photo-etch parts from their frets (simple once you know how) and then be able to apply these details using cyano adhesives without gluing yourself to the kit parts. It isn't difficult, or else these sets wouldn't be so popular.
You should be able to find this detail set at your local hobby retailer or one of the many online hobby shops. Trust me, this is worth looking for! With a little work, this set may be adaptable to the Revell F-15E as well, but no guarantees!
Recommended for experienced modelers!
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!