The latest of SBS Model's full cockpit upgrades is a quite exquisite combined resin/etched set for the Ki 43-II.
Designed for the Hasegawa kit, SBS's set arrives in a tough little "cigarette carton" box, with the parts in a zip-lock bag and comprises:
14 x grey resin parts
20 x etched brass parts
A printed film for the instruments and gun-sight reflector
I believe this set is another of SBS's enhanced ex-FM sets (although I haven't seen the original to confirm this) in which the already excellent parts have been additionally detailed and corrected where necessary. The casting of the resin parts is basically perfect. There's no flash to clean off and not a bubble in sight. The level of detail on the sidewalls and floor is simply superb, with finely detailed switches, consoles and wiring. The seat is cast in two parts, with a perforated back and beautifully thin-walled seat-pan. There's a mounting for the main instrument panel, with a raised centre console ready for resin guns and etched panel and printed film backing. Lastly, there are new flying controls and a resin insert for the headrest and area behind the pilot's seat.
The small brass fret contains the aforementioned main instrument panel, which matches photos of the original very precisely, rudder pedals and a plethora of switches and levers. Finally, there's the seat harness - and herein lies my only concern, because there's just a pair of lap belts. I would have expected a shoulder harness too (although, frustratingly, it's not visible in any of the KI-43 cockpit shots I've consulted prior to writing the review...).
The instructions are beautifully drawn and most of the upgrade looks straightforward to install. Perhaps the trickiest aspect will preparing to fit the sdewalls, which will require some extensive thinning of the kit fuselage sides - work carefully and check your progress frequently will be the watchwords here!
All in all, this is the kind of detail set where my instant reaction was "Where did I put the kit in the Stash? - I want to built it NOW!" It's well priced, and a dream for anyone who likes superdetailed cockpits, but isn't into heavy scratchbuilding. Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Beautifully cast resin parts with great detail accompanied by excellent etched accessories.Lows: No shoulder harness?Verdict: This is another excellent upgrade from SBS Model. The combination of resin and etched parts makes the most of each medium.
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...