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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Eduard Big Sin SE.5a w/2-Blade Propeller Detail Set
1:48 Scale

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Eduard’s SE.5a Hispano Suiza kit, first released in 2017, was one of the best kits of the year and the best kit of the Hisso ever produced in 1:48 scale (see our review HERE).  The kit appears to very accurate and it’s well-detailed.  However, if there’s one constant in this hobby, it’s that you can probably add more detail.  If that’s your wish, look no further than the Eduard Big Sin offering for their SE.5a.

The SE.5a Hispano Suiza w/2-Blade Propeller Big Sin offering contains four Brassin sets and one photoetched metal set:  Brassin sets #648296 (SE.5a Propeller Two-Blade (Left)), #648299 (SE.5a Guns), #648320 (SE.5a Radiator – Hispano Suiza for 2-Blade Prop), #648333 (SE.5a Wheels), and FE843 (SE.5a Seatbelts Early STEEL).

First, the SE.5a Propeller Two-Blade (Left) set contains two resin parts and four photoetched parts on one fret.  To me, the unique-looking four-bladed prop is an iconic feature when I think of the Hisso, but some of the early SE.5a aircraft used a 200 hp geared Hispano-Suiza engine with engine:gear ratio of 2000:1500 rpms using a two-bladed, left-turning prop.  This set provides that prop and the prop boss enabling the scale modeler to build this alternative and lesser known variant of the SE.5a

Second, let’s look at the gun set.  This is a most impressive offering on its own, consisting of 16 cast resin parts and 14 photoetched parts on one fret.  The S.E.5 was armed with two guns.  One was a synchronized .303-inch Vickers machine gun mounted on the left side of the fuselage with the breech inside the cockpit.  The other was a Lewis gun fitted to a Foster mounting atop the upper wing.  This configuration allowed the pilot to fire at an enemy aircraft from behind and below.  This set features beautifully cast guns, from their breeches to cooling jackets and barrels, and two magazines for the Lewis gun.  The Foster Mount looks awesome as a single resin part.  The photoetched parts also bring a lot to this set and include the aiming sight for the Vickers machine gun and many other important hardware details.  The set also includes one magazine to be attached to the Lewis gun and another one that is stored in the cockpit atop the instrument panel.  Eduard also thoughtfully provided a few extra magazines, as SE.5a pilots were known to stash as many magazines for the gun in as many nooks and crevices inside the cockpit as they could find.

Third, the SE.5a Radiator – Hispano Suiza for 2-Blade Prop is pretty important if you’re building your kit with the two-bladed prop.  Those Hissos had a different engine face and radiator configuration, and here, three resin parts and three photoetched parts provide the correct configuration.  The PE metal grill itself is really effective in its appearance.

Fourth, the kit wheels are good, but most things are better in resin.  Here, replacement SE.5a wheels are provided and they look great.  There is, in fact, a good deal of rather subtle detail that you can find if you take more than a cursory glance, such as the recessed port containing the tire stem and the radial hub configuration just under the surface of the hub covering (if I recall, it was stretched canvas, and this casting captures that taut look).

Fifth and finally, the pre-painted seatbelt set is very impressive.  It captures the look and the details of the early SE.5a seatbelts quite nicely and better than most scale modelers could represent them.  The pre-painting manufacturing technique Eduard uses often really blows me away, and here is no exception as they nail details such as stitching and the fine metal grommets in the lap belt. 

As is expected, the resin and PE parts found across the these various sets for the SE.5a are elegantly designed and manufactured with great precision.  I could find no flaws. They represent among the best standards in the business.

I do however have two observations.  First, there just might be a few missing items that should be in this Big Sin offering.  There’s a small PE fret for the propeller pictured on the box and in the instructions, but it was nowhere to be found.  Similarly, the wheel set instructions depict a small self-adhesive masking set and a small decal sheet.  The latter provides the imprimatur “Palmer Cord Aero Tyre 700x70” on the tire sidewalls. Both were also AWOL in my sample.  While I praised the resin part for the Foster mount, do take your time using the finest razor saw you’ve got when separating that part from the five pour gates.  It looks pretty delicate.

Overall, the Big Sin set for the Eduard 1:48 scale SE.5a will make a great model even better, adding some rich detail and the option to build the two-bladed variant of the Hispano Suiza-powered SE.5a.

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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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
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