This was my first time modeling an Eduard kit, first time modeling a bi-plane, first time attempting rigging and first time using EZ-Line to do the rigging. I have to say that I wasn't disappointed with this kit; the quality of the molded product is very clean and crisp with no flash, warp, stress marks or blemishes, and, all ejector pins are outside of the molded parts pushing on the cold slug wells at each gate entry location. This is great, because you don't have to fill any ejector pin recess marks and smooth them down- other manufacturers could take a lesson from Eduard. All three sprues come in one bag and the assembly / paint instructions booklet and decals are loose beneath the bag of sprues. There are no clear parts, because bi-planes didn't have canopies and light lenses, but...the box art shows a clear gun-sight on the forward mounted machine gun...I made my own from clear plastic. The instruction booklet/paint guide is all black and white, unlike the color versions that come with the more expensive Profi-Pak versions offered by Eduard. It also only has the one option of markings that of the plane flown by Ace Fighter Pilot Sir Robert Saundby of the RFC No 24 Squadron based in France, July 1916. The decals are top notch; nice and thin, matte finish and went on like a dream using Walther's decal setting solution, conforming to the surface contours, recesses and raised details. The cockpit is nicely detailed and offers four versions of instrument panel with accompanying decals, a seat, joy-stick, foot pedals, aileron actuator pedal and forward mounted machine gun. The radial engine mounted behind the pilot, along with the propeller is nicely detailed too. These were known as Pusher's because similarly to an Air-Boat, the propeller is at the rear pushing the craft instead of at the front pulling. The ailerons, flaps and rudder are indicated by recessed lines; I cut the ends through then scribed the rest of the recessed lines top and bottom to thin the material down, which then made it flexible similar to the hinge on a Tic-Tac breath mint container lid. This allowed me to flex these and pose them in the down and/or up positions. The fit of the parts is excellent, the engineering tolerances are perfection and the parts went together like a dream without any filler requirements. The kit also comes complete with all the flap, rudder, aileron actuator hinges so that if you do add rigging, you have all the contact points necessary to glue your rigging to, which creates a realistic representation of the actual craft. If you do choose to rig, make sure that you super glue all the wing spars into their locations and let them set solid before attempting rigging, otherwise they will flex out of position. I temporarily located the upper wing onto the top of the wing spars to align them until the super glue had set solid. I then took the top wings off so that I had easy access for fitting the rigging. A word of caution, if using EZ-Line, it will stretch out if wetted by your final coat of varnish....I had to replace some because it got saggy and didn't retain the tautness that it initially had prior to the final clear coat. I'd advise hand brushing the final clear coat so that the EZ-Line remains dry and unaffected.
Overall....this is a highly recommended kit, even for the less experienced modeler that might not want to attempt any rigging, but for a more seasoned modeler...you'll enjoy the challenge that the rigging has to offer, and once done, it has a decorative antiquity about its appearance begging for display!
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