This Master Model set provides a quantum leap over the respective parts in the eighties era ESCI, Matchbox, Monogram, and even the nineties era Tamiya series of 1/48 kits. This set is specifically for 20mm cannon barrels without flash hiders. If you are looking for a set with flash hiders, Master, again, is to your rescue as they have released their set 48-128 that features the four 20mm cannon barrels with flash hiders. As it is, this set gives you two muzzle versions of the 20mm cannon barrels sported by the Douglas Skyraider. Kit list includes: ESCI AD-6 (4040) new tool released in 1979, ESCI A-1H (4045), ESCI A-1H (4075), Italeri A-1H (2628), Italeri AD-4 (2697), Matchbox AD-5 (PK-651) new tool released in 1980, Matchbox AD-5 (40651), Revell AD-5 (85-5327), Monogram A-1H (5419) new tool released in 1980, Monogram AD-6 (5429), Monogram A-1H (5454), Hasegawa A-1H (HM007), Monogram A-1H (74021), Revell A-1H (04584), Monogram AD-6 (15312), Hasegawa AD-6 (HM137), Monogram AD-6 (85-5312), and the Tamiya A-1H (61058) new tool released in 1998, Tamiya AD-4 (61058F), Tamiya A-1J (61073), and Tamiya A-1H (61505). This review compares against the Monogram kit although this set can be used on all four of the base kits.
Notable is the re-sealable packaging that Master Model uses that makes the parts easy to review and then stuff back into the package securely. You will want to be careful handling these metal parts as their small size makes them an easy sacrifice to the carpet monster. It won't take much to bend the end of the pitot tube, so be sure to handle with care, still, it is sturdier than that provided by the kit, just see the photo below.
This Master Model set provides you with a tail fin mounted pitot tube and the option to build one of two versions of the 20mm cannon barrels. Assembling the four brass 20mm cannon barrels is quite simple and only required a minute to do due to the excellent fit.
The Monogram A-1 series kits have the pitot tube molded completely to the port fuselage which you will need to cut off. I would suggest you drill the hole for the pitot tube after you have glued the fuselage together since the diameter of the Master Model pitot is less than the kit version. The directions call for a 0.7 mm bit (~#69) for the fin mounted pitot tube. You will want to be very careful to center your drill bit on both your x-axis and y-axis of the fin leading edge.
You will need to cut off the molded on 20mm cannons. The Monogram A-1 series kits have the 20mm cannons molded completely to the upper wing that is quite oversize, and again easily damaged as seen in the photo below. I would suggest you drill the holes for the 20mm cannons after you have glued the wings together since the diameter of the Master Model 20mm cannons is less than the kit version. The directions call for a 1.0 mm bit (~#60) for the wing mounted 20mm cannons. You also want to take care to measure the length of the 20mm cannon barrels. If you look at the photos below, the Monogram kit cannons stick out from the wing 15.15mm. The Master model directions show that the replacement 20mm cannons should only stick out 9.2mm from the wing leading edge. You will want to be very careful to center your drill bit on both your x-axis and y-axis of the wing leading edge.
Be sure to use your favorite CA (super glue) or epoxy, as the normal plastic glues or solvents will not react with the brass. You will also want to be careful painting the metal parts to retain their sleek nature.
Highly recommended! This set is a super upgrade over the injected kit parts. The pitot tube and these excellent 20mm cannon barrels with optional muzzles will make sure you aim in the right direction!
Thanks to Master Model and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this set.