by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Hasegawa's quarterscale Ki 84 Hayate is one of my favourite kits - well designed and finely detailed. But even the best injection moulding can't hope to match what's possible in resin, and while Hasegawa's cockpit is among the best I've seen in a mainstream kit in this scale, SBS Model's complete replacement "office" set takes things to an entirely new level.
The set features SBS's very successful combination of resin and etched brass, using each medium to its best advantage. 14 faultlessly cast grey resin pieces are accompanied by a further 30 brass items. The parts almost completely replace the kit originals - just a pair of levers, seat mounts and the rear bulkhead being retained. The resin parts provide a new floor, sidewalls, seat, control column, gunsight and various boxes. Onto this foundation the etched items add a seat harness, rudder pedals, reflector-glass mount, a plethora of tiny switches and levers and, last but not least, a new instrument panel with a film backing for the dials. The overall effect should be stunning as in each case, while the kit parts are already very good, the new versions add a mass of delicate details that defy moulding in styrene.
The instructions are also excellent, with very well drawn illustrations of the construction sequence and a comprehensive painting guide. Overall, the set doesn't look difficult to install because Hasegawa moulded separate sidewalls, doing away with the need for surgery before the resin parts can be fitted. That said, a bit of experience working with multi-media upgrades is still advisable, if only on account of the small size of some of the etched parts.
ConclusionSBS Model's Hayate cockpit is a real cracker! It's the kind of set that actually inspires you to buy the original kit or dig it out of the Stash just so you can use it - I speak from experience in the latter instance! Unreservedly recommended.
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