The L-39 Albatros was a Czech-produced Warsaw Pact trainer that is today quite popular in the West among private owners and a few airshow demonstration teams. It also was been adapted as a light attack combat aircraft in several incarnations, such as the L-39ZA. The L-39MS first flew in 1989 as the second-generation L-39, and featured a stronger airframe, longer nose, modernized cockpit, and a more powerful engine. It was eventually re-designated as the Aero L-59, and in 2018, Trumpeter released a kit of the L-39MS/L-59 in 1:48 scale as part of their Albatros series of kits. Here, we take a look at Eduard’s BIG ED for this kit which bundles multiple Eduard detail sets at a savings for the customer.
This BIG ED set contains three items: (1) #FE977 L-39MS/L-59 Seatbelts STEEL; (2) #49975 L-39MS Detail Set, and; (3) #EX651 L-39MS/L-59 Masking Set.
Let’s start with #FE977 L-39MS/L-59 Seatbelts STEEL. The kit ejection seats in the Trumpeter Albatros kits all are pretty short on details. This includes very poor molded-on harnesses and restraints. Here, this pre-painted set consisting of 50 parts provides the shoulder harnesses/parachute risers, lap belts, and ejection handles. There are also parts for the seat pads and drogue chute packing atop the ejection seat headrests. These are beautifully done parts (right down to ultra-fine stitching and shading details on the belts), but PE details, at least in this builder’s opinion, are the best way to do belts in scale aircraft modeling. These parts will really do justice to the kit ejection seats.
The main attraction in this set is arguably #49975 L-39MS Detail Set. It contains two frets. The first is a rather comprehensive cockpit detail set containing two frets and one set of clear acetate parts. The first fret features 65 photoetched pre-painted metal parts. It features complete replacements for the instrument panels, new cockpit side consoles, all the right handles and levers, and ejection seat headrest details. The second fret is an unpainted photoetched metal fret containing an additional 107 parts. These include the cockpit floors, cockpit sidewalls, cockpit sills, the HUD, canopy frame details, new speed brakes, gear well doors, the interior of the exhaust pipe (amounting to a MAJOR improvement here), landing gear and gear well details, gear well surfaces, boarding ladders, missile rail and drop tank details, AoA vanes, antennas, and gun pack parts.
Clear acetate parts also are used for the clear HUD glass and the clear partition between the front and rear cockpits.
Wrapping up this BIG ED set is #EX651 L-39MS/L-59 Masking Set. Here, pre-cut self-adhesive set masks are provided for the windscreen, canopy, and wheel hubs. As a frequent user, I can say that Eduard masks are excellent, time-saving, and produce a great-looking final product at the end of the day.
In conclusion, this BIG ED combination provides these sets together at a lower price than if they were bought individually. It also significantly improves the level of detail of the Trumpeter L-39MS/L-59 kit where it really needs it.
Sincere thanks are owed to Eduard for the review sample. You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany