by: Sam Berry [ ]
After spending a few moments trying to remove the lid only to realise its now an end opening box the contents were eagerly emptied onto the bench to be stared at and prodded. I quite like the new box design and the rear of the box has a nice display of the aircraft in the markings supplied with this kit. The instructions are to Eduardís usual standard a nice booklet and easy to understand.
Parts wise there are four sprues, three khaki sprues and a clear sprue. I do like the idea of the clear sprue being a circle with the clear pieces on the inner of the circle it appears to offer slightly more protection to the pieces. Also included is Eduardís coloured photoetch for the cockpit details and some etched pieces for the engine wiring and the exterior along with the express mask for the canopy.
The decals are again a typical Eduard offering, with a good choice of aircraft and the decals are in good register. There are four decal options for this kit:
1. Minsi III (USS ESSEX 1944),
2. White 115(USS ESSEX 1945)
3. White 7 (USS PRINCETON 1944)
4. White 71 (USS ENTERPRISE 1944).
All the parts on this kit are cleanly cast, the few injector pin marks are in areas that will not be seen once the kit is together so minimal clean up of these will be needed. There are three different cowls included on the sprues. It appears from the two instrument panels one a blank template for the photoetch to go on the other with all the details in plastic that a weekend kit release might be in the pipeline for this kit as well. Also good if you are not keen on working with etch or have an accident with it there is a back up.
The wheel bays on the model are full of detail compared with some other offerings and there is also a choice of two different tyres for the kit the wheel hub is a solid cast piece that needs to be fitted to the centre of the tyre picked for the build. I think it would have been nice for maybe some bulged/ weighted wheels could have been included. Thatís just my person preference as I fine I sometimes go overboard trying to bulge the tyres myself. The engine is again well detailed for something in this scale and the etch addition will really add to it. There was some dry fitting carried out and it appears to be a nice little kit with no fit issues and should require very little work when building. With the detailing on the model I think even without the profipack additions it will build into a very stunning model however I think the etch for the engine and cockpit will help to add that little bit more to this lovely model.
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