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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Eduard Photoetched Metal Detail Sets for the Modelcollect B-2A Spirit Stealth Bomber Kit
1:72 Scale

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The late 2017 release of Modelcollect’s 1:72 scale B-2A Spirit model kit is a welcome addition to the very small world of B-2 kits.  In this scale, it is far better than the classic but problematic 1991 Testors kit.  However, Modelcollect’s B-2 isn’t perfect, and there are a lot of internal areas that are simplified in the kit – such as the cockpit, gear wells, and bomb bay (see our review HERE).  As is often the case, Eduard has come to the rescue with photoetched metal improvements, and here, we take a look at four of their sets designed to get the most out of the Modelcollect stealth bomber.       

Eduard SS 624 B-2A ZOOM:  the kit cockpit is not all that bad and it even comes with a very nicely set of pre-painted photoetched metal parts for the instrument panel and cockpit side consoles.  Eduard’s pre-painted ZOOM set has attempted to outdo the kit’s PE parts, and I think it is safe to say that Eduard succeeded. T he 43 etched and painted details found here are more finely produced, better detailed, and more accurate, right down to the individual push buttons on the MFD screens.  The instrument panel represents the current P6 Mod configuration, and in comparing it to my one reference photo of the P6 cockpit, Eduard is dead-to-rights-accurate.  This is especially impressive in 1:72 scale.  They missed absolutely nothing. 
           
The set also contains ejection handles, rudder pedals, the throttles, ejection seat armrests, and great shoulder harnesses and lap belts for the kit’s ACES II ejection seats.  Modelcollect’s seats are absolutely deficient when it comes to belts, and these pre-painted PE parts are a real help.  This set is really geared towards the scale modelers only interested in adding accurate detail in the areas of the kit that you can see through the kit’s windscreen.

Eduard 73624 B-2A Interior:  For an even more complete interior, Eduard’s B-2A Interior set contains the SS 624 ZOOM set that was just described for the front office along with a second, unpainted fret consisting of an additional 34 parts.  These are the parts to superdetail the B-2’s “back office” which is the space behind the ejection seats.  Here, you’ll find the parts for the rear bulkhead wall, avionics boxes, wiring, and other details.  There are also photoetched parts to replace the kit’s plastic crew access ladder.  While the rear bulkhead section is really great looking, the boarding ladder really blows me away in its detail, accuracy, and fidelity.  It is light-years better than the kit part.  There’s also a replacement PE part to better represent the RAM panel in front of the lower intake lip which seems to be overdone and just too elevated in the kit.       

Eduard 73663 B-2A Bomb Bay:  Our review of the kit noted that the wheel wells and bomb bay were pretty anemic in terms of detail and just simplified overall.  The Eduard B-2 Bomb Bay represents a rather large PE fret – it’s “heavy metal” owing to the large size of the fret and sheer number of parts.  The 206 parts here represent, in essence, an entirely new new bomb bay.  Comparing them to my reference photos, the accuracy here is really outstanding.  You’ll sand down most of the detail on the kit’s injection-molded plastic parts and basically use them as canvas to lay down all the gorgeous metal details here.

This is a very complex and involved set (not for beginners!) but the detail is knock-out exceptional.  It includes the roof, forward and aft bomb bay bulkheads, the center and lateral spars and structural members, bomb bay sidewalls, wind defectors, door actuators, and correct bomb bay door hinges (and correct locations for them, too, along with a template to make your own doors from 0.6 mm plastic sheet – which actually looks easier than modifying the kit part).  The only details that are missing are wiring and plumbing, including some of the big ECS piping in the roof and sides of the bomb bay.  Obviously, those round shapes don’t translate into two-dimensional metal parts, so you’re on your own your own here.  Overall, it’s not fair to compare what this PE set provides compared to the simplistic detail in the kit parts.  Eduard’s put together a real jaw-dropper.  This is photoetched parts manufacturing and quality at its best.  It inspires just sitting on the fret.         

Eduard 73664 B-2A Undercarriage:  as with the kit’s bomb bay, the nose and main gear wells are rather simplified and inaccurate.  As with the Eduard bomb bay set, their undercarriage set provides near-total replacement gear wells and gear bay doors in another large, “heavy metal fret” that contains 59 parts.

Again, you’ll sand off all the raised details in the kit’s gear well parts and use PE parts as an overlay, placed within the gear well frame.  There’s also some wiring bundles represented (e.g., the wiring on the inside of the nose gear door), and replacement nose gear and main gear doors are also provided.  There are also parts for the door hinge mechanisms.  Again, larger wiring bundles and piping are absent.  Still, the detail here can’t even begin to compare with the kit part – Eduard provides an immense improvement.    

Any one of these photoetched metal detail sets will add some great features and depth of detail to your 1:72 Modelcollect B-2A Spirit.  In combination, they will really elevate your build in immensely noticeable ways.  When I build this kit, all of these sets will be incorporated into the project.  It will be a lot of work, but it will be worth every minute.

Also note that in addition to these sets, Eduard produces a bomb bay door PE set and a masking set for the windscreen and wheels.  Eduard also has bundled these PE and masking sets into a Big Ed set most recently at a substantial discount to the consumer.  Also of interest is a set of Brassin GBU-38s that can be used with the Modelcollect B-2A.  The JDAMs of course would replace the rather atrocious and unusable “bombs” that are in the kit, but to my knowledge, the GBU-38 is not carried by the rotary launcher in the kit, but the Boeing-built smart bomb racks, which are not in the kit or in the Eduard bomb bay set.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and that is how we learn to scratchbuild…!   

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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