3D printed cockpit detail parts are proliferating today throughout the market and are becoming more widely available from manufacturers such as Quinta Studios, Red Fox Studios, and most recently, Eduard. In 2021, Eduard launched their line of 3D printed detail sets under the new “SPACE” product line. We’ve received a number of samples from the Space line, so let’s start with their 1:48 scale F-14A set for the Tamiya kit.
As many scale aircraft modelers know, the 1:48 scale Tamiya Tomcats are among the very best of scale aircraft models ever made (and you can see our review of their F-14A kit HERE). Out-of-the-box, the cockpit is good, yet many details are simplified. This set rectifies any such shortcomings. It contains both 3D printed parts and photoetched metal parts.
In this set (Eduard # 3DL48015; MSRP $34.95), thirty-five 3D printed parts are provided, printed upon a section of decal sheet. They include all the elements for the pilot and RIO’s instrument panels, side consoles, and circuit breaker panels (including the pilot’s breaker panels). Ejection seat face curtain and lower ejection handles are also included.
The photoetched metal fret contains an additional 47 parts, and most of them are pre-painted. These items range from ejection seat shoulder harnesses and lap belts (with some great pre-painted details, such as shading and stitching effects), leg restraints, the pilot’s rudder pedals and the RIO’s ICS/MIC pedals, canopy jettison handles, ejection seat emergency release handles, lower ejection handle safety latches, the aft-facing windscreen frame, the forward-facing canopy frame with three rear-view mirrors, and the RIO’s mid-canopy frame with the centerline rear-view mirror.
Overall, this set appears to be outstanding. Not only is it a complete cockpit and ejection seat upgrade, but the quality of 3D printing is excellent. It is largely on par with Quinta Studio and Red Fox. All the buttons are represented as finely raised features, and various instrument dial faces contain very finely printed details. Each glass dial face or display screen is treated with Eduard “glass effect” to produce a perfectly smooth and glossy surface. The SPACE line also combines these 3D parts with Eduard’s signature photoetched metal parts, which cover those items or details best represented by that medium. It’s a winning combination that is hard to beat.
A note on working with 3D parts: these are polymerized vinyl parts, printed directly onto a piece of traditional decal paper. First, and just like using photoetched parts, one must often remove kit cockpit details and the sand panels and consoles smooth. Second, you dip these parts in water as a traditional water-slide decal. They soon slide off the decal paper and are ready to place. Since these are thick “decals” made out of vinyl, they are best affixed to the kit parts using a PVC-type glue, a little Future/Pledge floor wax, Tamiya X-22, Microscale’s Metal Foil adhesive, or superglue applied with a thin micro-loop. The smaller 3D decal parts are more amenable to being affixed using just a little superglue. DO NOT use standard decal setting or solvent solutions. They will dissolve the part and ruin your day.
For the value and detail that it brings, this SPACE set is also very well priced. We extend our sincere thanks 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/
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale