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TA-4J Skyhawk Detail

Eduard 1/48 TA-4J Skyhawk Detail Set First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2010 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject TA-4J Skyhawk Detail Set Scale 1/48
Kit Number 49458 Media Photo-Etch
Pros Provides nice detail updates for the Hasegawa kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $29.95

First Look

TA-4J Skyhawk Detail
TA-4J Skyhawk Detail

Eduard from the Czech Republic is easily the most prolific producer of aftermarket details. Period. Their series of photo-etched detail sets have brought additional fidelity to otherwise bland subjects, and have taken even the best-produced models and kicked them up a notch or two with details that cannot be produced with injection-molded plastic.

When Eduard first introduced the acetate-printed instrument faces that go behind their photo-etched instrument panels, this raised the bar on model cockpit reality as you could almost read the time on the aircraft clock. How could they top that?

It took a number of years, but the answer is color photo-etch. Somehow Eduard has developed a process for printing color directly on their photo-etched parts such that now you not only can read the instrument faces, you can now see the color warning arcs around airspeed indicators and color reference circles around Luftwaffe flight and engine instruments.

In this release, Eduard has produced a set of photo-etched details for Hasegawa's nice 1/48 scale TA-4J Skyhawk kit ( reviewed here). This set is a combination interior and exterior detail set with much of the emphasis inside the cockpit.

This set consists of two frets of photo-etched details, one of which is printed in color. You can browse through the high resolution images to the right (click on one to see the large image) to see how fine the color printing has become. In fact, the color-printed fret is also self-adhesive. Simply cut the part free of the fret and drop into place. The self-adhesive allows for fine adjustments in position before you press the part in place for the best adhesion.

The set comes with two-layer instrument panels that are color printed and has visible warning placards, just like the full-scale example. This nice instrument panels are complimented with color-printed side consoles, and sub-panels with the various switches and gauges nicely defined.

Also present on the color fret are the shoulder harness and seat belt for the kit ejection seats. This will definitely enhance the appearance of the kit cockpit! The parts remaining on the first fret are the ejection seat handles and placards.

The second set contains various details to dress up the rest of the aircraft. This starts with replacement tracks for the spring-loaded leading edge slats, hinges and interior detailing for the landing gear doors, tie-down rings for the gear struts, and wheel well details. The really nice eye-catching details are for the inside of the speed brakes which profide some details that can't be molded in styrene easily. The detailing rounds out with the canopy frame detailng and nice caps for the storage pylons.

While this set will really set off the detail in the Hasegawa kit, this detail set is not for the beginning modeler. You will need to be able to remove the photo-etch parts from their frets (simple once you know how) and then be able to apply these details using cyano adhesives without gluing yourself to the kit parts. It isn't difficult, or else these sets wouldn't be so popular.

You should be able to find this detail set at your local hobby retailer or one of the many online hobby shops. Trust me, this is worth looking for!

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!