Eduard have released a super-detailed cockpit for Tamiya’s recent 1:48 Bf 109G-6 as part of their Brassin range. The upgrade completely replaces the kit’s original parts and takes the level of detail into a different league.
Eduard have packed the set in a classy cardboard box, with the various parts bagged in groups and protected by soft foam. I should warn at the outset that the upgrade is aimed at reasonably advanced modellers, and it contains some very small parts and requires you to do a fair amount of surgery on the Tamiya kit before you can install it. If you’re not confident modifying the kit parts in this way, Eduard also offer a simpler upgrade set which I’ll cover separately.
The Brassin cockpit comprises:
19 x grey resin parts
4 x clear resin part
26 x pre-coloured photo-etched parts
32 x brass photo-etched parts
A sheet of printed clear film
A sheet of instrument decals
The casting of the resin parts is simply superb, with crisp detail and no flaws that I can see in the sample set.
Considering the amount of extra detail offered here, the basic construction looks reasonably straightforward, with the floor and sidewalls including a mass of integrally cast detail. A pair of cannon breech covers are included, but only one is used, suggesting a further option won’t be far off.
Eduard offer a choice of styles for the main instrument panel: either a resin panel with a pair of decals for the instrument faces, or a pre-coloured etched “sandwich”. So, you have a classic conundrum as to which to use. The resin part is obviously more 3-dimensional, but you may want to apply each instrument face separately for the best effect, using a punch and die to remove them from the decal sheet. Meanwhile, the alternative photo-etched option boasts pin-sharp colouring, but can’t match the crisply defined bezels of the resin panel. Either option will look excellent, however - and be a major improvement over the Tamiya panel that is simplified and has peculiar non-German-style bezels.
The set offers a choice of gunsights, with either a Revi 12c or 16b, each a multi-part mini-kit in itself that combines resin and etched parts with film reflectors.
Eduard’s colour detailing on etched parts is far finer than most of us could hope to paint with a brush, and the seat harness is shaded convincingly for a “used” look. Perhaps it’s my imagination, but the shading seems more subtle than in earlier releases and I think it’s fair to say this represents the current state of the art in what it’s possible to achieve with photo-etched parts.
As usual, you’ll need to take extra care bending the pre-coloured harness to shape, because the film can lift and flake off if you’re rough with it. (If it does start lifting, you can usually coax it back into position and glue it down - but it’s obviously best to try to avoid trouble in the first place.)
Inside the canopy there’s a choice of headrests - plain armoured or plexiglass - plus hand-grabs. And behind the headrest there’s the option of early- or late-style stowage locker covers.
The instructions are well up to Eduard’s usual standard, with clear illustrations across 5 pages breaking the work down into manageable stages. The diagrams are coloured to highlight where surgery is needed and Eduard include links to .PDF versions on their website, which I’d recommend less experienced check out before deciding to invest in an extensive upgrade like this.
To fit the new parts, you’ll need to remove essentially all the existing interior detail from the Tamiya kit. This won’t worry experienced modellers, but the Tamiya kit isn’t exactly cheap, so you’ll need to be confident in your ability before starting work. With that proviso noted, the Eduard set is beautifully detailed and offers a dramatic improvement over the kit parts. The resulting “office” promises to look superb.
Perhaps the best way I can describe the set is to say that, until I received it, I was intending make smaller changes to the Tamiya cockpit. Once I'd seen the level of improvements it offers, however, it was inevitable I'd go the whole hog and use it!
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Superbly detailed, with a combination of resin and photo-etched parts, plus decals and printed film. Excellent instructions.Lows: None found - but it's worth a reminder that this isn't suitable for inexperienced modellers.Verdict: Tamiya's Gustav isn't cheap, but some of the cockpit details are definitely rather simplified. If you've got the confidence (and experience) to get stuck in and strip out all the existing details, this upgrade offers a superb replacement.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...