32561 - Interior Details - $29.95
Probably the weakest part of Hasegawa's model, the cockpit looks very much like a scaled-up version of the 1/48 kit and cries out for more detail. Eduard's new set will totally transform it, with a total of 153 new parts spread over 3 frets.
Assembly progresses in a logical order, starting with the cockpit floor, which comes in for some major surgery. Much of the original moulded detail, including the seat mounts, must be removed to make way for the etched detail, which includes new skinning in places.
The clumsy pilot's seat is completely replaced by an etched version which must be folded to shape. The radios are all new too, with pre-painted cases and dials. The gunner's frame-seat is kept, but its mounting is scrapped in favour of a much more delicate item. The gunner's position gets a further overhaul with ammunition bins and belts for the MG81Z. There are perforated barrels for the guns themselves, which must be rolled to shape - probably the trickiest part of the construction, since the diameter is so small.
Turning to the sidewalls, Eduard provide a mass of extras to adorn the rather bare plastic parts. There are more pre-painted placards for the consoles and new throttle quadrants etc., along with many smaller items such as brackets and document holders.
Eduard's pre-painted instrument panels have really caught my imagination lately - and the Ju 87's is a real beauty. It's built up from 3 basic parts and the detail on the instrument faces is exceptional. In addition to the panel, there are new rudder pedals and their attachments to suspend from it.
There are a number of small details to go inside the nose, plus gunsights. The final extras are for the canopy, including a grab handle and mirror for the windscreen, plus internal framework and a locking lever.
It seems odd that the instructions show the seat harnesses, which are actually sold separately. Apart from that, the instructions are clearly illustrated in colour. The construction is broken down into sufficient stages to make it quite manageable for exoerienced modellers.
32564 - Seat Harness - $9.95
If I was somewhat surprised that the seatbelts weren't included in the main interior set, looking at the actual parts makes it clear why. To say the least, this is a very comprehensive set of belts - with no less than 45 items on the pre-painted fret! The lap-belts are constructed from 8 parts each, with separate buckles and straps. The shoulder harness is simpler - but still made from 5 parts each. The gunner gets a back support-strap.
The instructions do a good job illustrating the quite complex sub-assemblies. One part is included but not shown in the instructions - part #16, which I presume is a canvas base for the gunner's seat.
Together, Eduard's sets #32561 and #32564 are almost indispensable for anyone building Hasegawa's Tankbuster. Once you see them, you realise just how much detail is missing from the original kit's interior.
32155 - Exterior Details - $29.95
Eduard's exterior set contains 3 frets with 182 parts and concentrates on 2 main areas:
1. The radiators
2. The underwing cannons and their mountings.
Construction begins simply enough with the kit's nose area. New vanes and faces are provided for the oil cooler, along with additional details for each exhaust stub.
Then the complexity goes up a few notches, as the wing radiators come in for a lot of attention and require some major surgery. I'd recommend anyone to construct the etched parts before hacking at the kit - because you'll be in a lot of trouble if you mess up here. With that note of caution in mind, the etched parts, with their new radiator faces and open shutters should be a huge improvement over Hasegawa's basic originals.
The bulk of the instructions are devoted to the cannons, which are treated to a mass of extras. All the mounting brackets are scrapped and the shell feeds and chutes are replaced with folded items. To build the brackets, there are dozens (literally) of tiny etched parts to fold - this assembly will probably try anyone's patience, but the results should look incredible.
The flash suppressors in the kit aren't very convincing and Eduard provide perforated parts which must be rolled into a cone. These are the only parts I'm doubtful about tackling; folding boxes is one thing, but rolling seamless cones?... we'll see...
Again the instructions are clearly illustrated and colour coded to show where new and original kit parts are used. Construction is broken down into plenty of stages to make the complex assembly not too daunting.
JX053 - Painting Masks - $9.95
Completing the round-up of Eduard's Ju 87 sets is a neat sheet of die-cut painting masks produced in their excellent Kabuki tape. The set contains masks for the mainwheels, tailwheel, direction finder, landing lamp and, of course, the canopy. The latter is quite complex and the masking is applied over 3 stages. The instructions don't take into account that some of the frames were on the inside of the original canopy but, with a little lateral thinking, it might be possible to apply the masks on the inside by reversing them. Alternatively, you could simply apply them as shown and mask them off before applying the exterior colour. With a coat of gloss varnish, they might look as though they're on the inside - so long as you don't look too closely.
It's hardly surprising that these detail sets are really only suitable for modellers with a fair amount of experience - beginners should definitely beware some of the major modifications needed to the original kit parts. Buying all these sets represents a major investment on top of the cost of the original kit, but the level of detail here is quite phenomenal. For anyone building Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Ju 87G, the cockpit and the guns are inevitably going to be the centres of attention - and Eduard's etched details will transform the kit and elevate it to "museum model" heights.
Thank you to Eduard for kindly supplying the review samples.
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