Eduard BIG ED Set for the Kitty Hawk F-35B Lightning II
Kit — 1:48 Scale

While it has a reputation for some tricky and problematic fits, Kitty Hawk’s F-35B Lightning II is still the best 1:48 scale F-35B kit that is on the market today.  Eduard has produced a series of aftermarket detail sets for Kitty Hawk’s kit of the VSTOL Joint Strike Fighter variant.  Here, we take a look at the Eduard BIG ED set that bundles these sets together at a savings for the scale modeler.         

This is a substantial and comprehensive combination of photoetched details for the F-352.  It contains five items: (1) # FE993 F-35B seatbelts STEEL; (2) # 49993 F-35B Interior;(3) # 48972 F-35B Exterior;  (4) # EX377 F-35B Masking Set, and; (5)# 49103 Remove Before Flight STEEL. 

First, # FE993 F-35B seatbelts STEEL.  The ejection seat in the Kitty Hawk F-35B kit suffers from a total lack of harnesses and restraints.  Here, this pre-painted set consisting of 12 parts provides the shoulder harnesses/parachute risers, lap belts, ejection handle, buckles, the seat cushion pad.  These are beautifully made (right down to ultra-fine stitching details on the belts), the PE details, at least in this builder’s opinion, are the best way to do belts in scale modeling.

Second, # 49993 F-35B Interior set is a rather comprehensive cockpit detail upgrade containing two frets.  The first fret features 19 photoeteched metal parts, all of which are pre-painted.  It contains a complete replacement for the instrument panel and central LCD display (depicted as though the jet is powered up), side consoles, data placards for the ejection seat, ejection seat frame, and drogue lid cover.  The second fret is unpainted and contains an additional 31 parts.  It has parts for the cockpit sill surfaces, canopy locking lugs and hooks, the interior canopy frame, rudder pedals, cockpit side wall elements, and other details.  This comprehensive is set clearly intended for a canopy-up build, and it does a top-notch job with the F-35B’s cockpit. 

Third, # 48972 F-35B Exterior set comes on one fret with 87 unpainted parts.  Major detail upgrades for the kit can be found here, from the face of the lift fan and lift fan louvre assembly, to the engine nozzle details.  There are also a wide range of features to enhance the detail of the weapons bays, the bay doors, launcher rail details, and the prominent main gear hydraulic and electric lines.  There are also a variety of small external airframe features (e.g., conformal antennas).  

Fourth, quick and easy masking of clear parts and wheel hubs will be accomplished by the use of # EX337 F-35B Masking Set.  This is a pre-cut self-adhesive set.  Just follow the directions.  I used to swear by making my own masks, but over the last few years, I have transitioned to using Eduard masks whenever feasible.  They fit great, save time, and produce a great-looking final product at the end of the day.

Last, Eduard threw in some pre-painted remove before flight tags in #49103 Remove Before Flight STEEL.  It’s always a nice touch to pin things “safe” and, I really like the added touch that remove before flight tags can bring.  There are 38 tags on this fret spanning four different styles.

In summary, this BIG ED combination provides these sets together at a lower price than if they were bought individually.  It also elevates the level of detail of the Kitty Hawk F-35B.

Sincere thanks are owed to Eduard for the review sample.  You can visit them on the web at and on Facebook at     

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale