S.B.S Model have released a comprehensive resin and etched interior upgrade set for the Eduard and HobbyBoss Mirage IIIC kits. I haven't had a chance to examine the Eduard version, but comparing S.B.S's parts with the HobbyBoss kit in my stash, the resin set is really in a different league - it's quite superb!
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The set arrives in an attractive box, with the resin parts and etched fret individually bagged, and further protected with bubble-wrap. The box calls this a "Cockpit Set" but that hardly does it justice, because it also includes new nose- and main-wheel wells. The set comprises:
11 x grey resin parts
10 x etched brass parts
Printed film for the instrument faces and gunsight
The casting is basically perfect in the review sample, with no bubbles or other blemishes and no signs of "flash". The detail throughout is quite eye-popping, with complex wiring and pipework moulded beautifully in place. The parts are cast on quite substantial plinths, so a bit of preparation will be needed before assembly, but that's a small price to pay for the beautiful detail.
The cockpit completely replaces the kit parts with the exception of the rudder pedals. The tub is cast as a single piece onto which fit a throttle, control column and etched handles and centre display. The side consoles are delicately detailed, but it's the rear bulkhead that really catches the eye - the integral detail is fantastic.
Likewise the ejector seat. The one-piece casting is packed with details, with a moulded on harness draped realistically over nicely creased padding. The firing handles are etched add-ons.
Completing the cockpit is a mixed resin / etched instrument panel. The resin base has great details that will be visible under the windscreen, while the etched panel has subtly raised bezels. Sandwiched in between is a printed film for the instruments and, lastly, there's an etched frame to fold to shape for a gunsight film. Rounding off the cockpit are a pair of sidewalls.
According to the instructions, the completed tub will fit equally the Eduard or HobbyBoss fuselages - the only modifications required being the removal of some locating tabs in the latter kit.
The nosewheel well is a 2-part affair, again with some quite amazingly intricate cast-on pipework and wiring. The mainwheel inserts are simpler, but still a huge improvement over the kit parts.
The instructions are clearly drawn and the whole assembly looks surprising simple considering the amount of detail it adds to the basic kit. The only minor disappointment is that no painting instructions are given, so you'll need to find your own references - the French language site Cocardes Models has a very good Walkaround
which is a great starting place.
Eduard's Mirage IIIC seems to be one of those models that seldom gets built theses days, so I imagine S.B.S Model's set will be used predominantly with the cheap and readily available HobbyBoss kit. The set should be quite simple to use, so would make an ideal introduction to working with resin and etched upgrades, and will pile masses of extra detail into the standard kit. Highly recommended.
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