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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Eduard Detail and Masking Sets for the
Trumpeter L-39ZA Albatros Kit-- 1:48 Scale

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The L-39 Albatros was first built by Aero Vodochody in the former Czechoslovakia as a Warsaw Pact and Soviet jet trainer that has since gone on to train pilots of a diverse array of nations.  It is also extremely popular among private owners – the L-39 is something of a hot rod.  There have not been many injection-molded kits of the L-39 in 1:48 scale aside from the now older (but still generally venerable) MpM/Special Hobby tooling.  Beginning in 2017, Trumpeter released a series of L-39s in 1:48 scale including the L-39ZA.  The Trumpeter L-39s are really quite good overall, especially considering the fidelity of the aircraft exterior details.  Yet, I would argue that Trumpeter’s L-39s are inconsistent.  They dropped the ball regarding the kit’s cockpit detail, and I consider their cockpit to be so sparse and simplified as to be inaccurate.  In such situations, Eduard often comes to the rescue, and here, we look at their seatbelt and interior detail sets along with a masking set for the Trumpeter 1:48 scale L-39ZA.

Eduard FE291 – L-39ZA Seatbelts STEEL:  the kit ejection seats have these “seatbelt-like” details molded onto the seat cushions – but if we were giving out such a prize, they would have been the winner of the “Most Inaccurate Ejection Seat Harness Details of 2017” award.  In a word, the kit detail is terrible!  The 16 parts in Eduard’s ZOOM set solves this problem with some really accurate and gorgeously pre-painted shoulder harnesses and lap belts.  The colors are great and the detail is very well defined, including clamps, buckles, and wiring.  There’s even stitching detail and shading/shadow effects on the belts that are quite impressive.  Replacement ejection handles and seat pans are provided that are far better than the kit’s approximation of these items.

Eduard 499290- L-39ZA:  this set covers the interior and exterior of the Trumpeter L-39ZA and it is a winner from start to finish.  There are 171 parts in this set, with 66 parts on a (mostly) pre-painted fret and 125 on an unpainted fret.  Here, you get a near-total cockpit replacement.  You get a new HUD, impressively detailed instrument panels, new cockpit side consoles, the cockpit floor panels, all the right handles and levers, and cockpit and cockpit tub sidewalls, rudder pedals, and bulkhead details.  Ejection seat headrest details are also included.  Clear acetate parts also provide for the clear HUD glass with two spares should you need them. 

The set has a wealth of exterior details, too.  These include the interior of the exhaust pipe (amounting to a MAJOR improvement here), landing gear and gear well details, gear well surfaces, speed brake details, drop tank and missile rail details, the rudder actuating arm, and antennas, among other features.  My two favorite elements here are the replacement vortex generators on the underside of the horizontal stabilizers and the inclusion of the boarding ladder steps and wells.  Nice!
 
Eduard EX612:  this is a self-adhesive pre-cut masking set covering up the L-39’s canopy, nose gear wheel hubs, and main gear wheel hubs.  As always, I am a huge fan of Eduard’s masks since the are so precisely made to provide the builder very successful and exact masking work that saves a ton of time.

Both of these photoetched metal sets will bring a great deal of detail to your 1:48 scale Trumpeter L-30ZA and take care of those issues surrounding the kit cockpit’s underwhelming and inaccurate details.  The masking set saves time and will make masking your clear parts and wheels a breeze.

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/

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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