Previously, we've looked at Eduard's photo-etched cockpit, which certainly piles a phenomenal amount of detail into the Bf 109K's "office" but, by its very nature, is a very complex set (128 parts) that's really only suitable for very experienced modellers. Eagle Editions have taken a very different approach with their EagleParts "museum quality" cockpit - the set contains relatively few parts (mostly resin), but wow! what parts they are! The detail is simply eye-popping - truly a credit to the designers and the people that cast this kit.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The set arrives in a handy little flip-top clear plastic box. Inside are two zip-lock bags - one containing the resin parts and the other a small etched brass fret. Accompanying the set are two pages of detailed instructions.
The set comprises:
14 x pale grey resin parts
23 x brass parts
The casting of the resin parts is almost faultless; I've managed to find just one tiny bubble mark - and even this is in a place that will be invisible after the parts are assembled. Almost all the original plastic cockpit parts are replaced (the only parts retained are the trim wheels) and in each case, the resin versions far surpass the originals both in detail and accuracy. The level of detail on the parts is simply astonishing, with some of the finest representations of cables and controls I've ever seen on the sidewalls. The real surprise is just how different some of the resin versions are from the Hasegawa/Revell kit parts. This isn't simply down to the level of detail, but the actual shape of quite obvious components. For instance the floor, seat-back/bulkhead and the cannon breech-cover are all completely different from their plastic counterparts - and checking my references shows Eagle Editions have them right for the 'K.
Along with this level of detail comes a need for care in assembly; the seat, in particular, is cast with true-to-scale thickness - which means it's delicate in the extreme. In fact, removing it from its casting plinth is probably going to be the scariest part of the preparation.
The instrument panel is always bound to be a focus in any cockpit and it's probably no surprise that the resin version here is excellent. The detail on the bezels is very crisp and matches photos of a preserved original panel precisely. Perhaps the only way Eagle Editions could improve their set would be to include decals for the instrument faces - a small point, and in their absence I'll probably use items from Mike Grant's excellent generic decals
or some Waldron German instruments.
Completing the set is a small brass fret with rudder pedals and a set of buckles for the seat harness, for which a template is provided to cut the straps from paper or metal foil.
The instructions are very well produced, printed on 4 sides of A-4 with the construction broken down into 8 stages. Each section is very clearly described and backed up by detailed photographs which should leave little room for error in preparing and assembling the parts.
This is a superb set! I've grown accustomed to the excellence of individual EagleParts such as their replacement Bf 109 spinners and drop-tanks, but this is the first chance I've had to see how they tackle an entire cockpit. While this obviously isn't suitable for beginners, the basic construction should be relatively straightforward (especially when compared with Eduard's all-etched alternative). Unreservedly recommended for modellers with some experience of working with resin and etched parts.
Contact detailsEagle Editions Ltd.
P.O. Box 580
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