BIG ED Set for ICM HE-111H-3

Published: January 15th, 2019     
Product Image
Package
Reviewed by: 
Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard
Price: $97.95
Product / Stock #: 49195

IPMS/USA again thanks the Eduard team for sending us more of their prolific output targeted toward improving already great kits. Thanks to Phil and John for obtaining the sets for the team.

Eduard is a company that has truly come of age. They seem to go from one success to another, and there is not a part of their range I have not used or tried. In this case, I have the "BIG ED" set for the new ICM HE-111H3, and it fills a major niche.

Thanks to Eduard and the IPMS USA team for joining forces to make sure I have this set on my workbench!

In the "Big Ed" format, Eduard provides one each of the following photoetch frets:

  • nose interior
  • radio compartment
  • bomb bay
  • undercarriage
  • seatbeltsSTEEL
  • Eduards' standard pre-cut Kabuki Tape painting masking for all the windows, canopy, and upper and lower gun gondolas. On a kit like this, these are a God-send! Even If you don't like PE, at least purchase the window masks!

I started the build by using the undercarriage set first. The main wing spar has an interesting arrangement including bulkheads for the main cabin, the carry-through spar, and two engine firewalls. Various braces, angles, wires, and pulleys are added to the undercarriage bulkheads and gear wells. This included detail for the main gear wells, the gear themselves in the form of PE brake lines, and myriad nacelle and other details. As these required little to no modification to the kit parts, such as shaving off detail; they went on rapidly with thick superglue, and in little time I had the nacelle interiors completed. Included In the set are replacement grilles and framing for the liquid cooling equipment. These are drop fit.

One little detail here. YOU CAN INADVERTENTLY INSTALL THE MAIN SPAR BACKWARDS. The detail on the forward center (main) bulkhead on this spar is for the cockpit, not the bomb bay, so if you are as time-focused as "I is", you can actually carefully pry apart the cement surface bearing area before the cement hardens the bond. Or use superglue, whichis totally unforgiving and will leave a crusty mess.

Instead I turned the bulkhead back towards the front and re-cemented the parts. Phew.

Next up was a three-evening build of the radio compartment components. I did not know how much was back there! This area is a morass of boxes and colored radio box facing parts, and adds interest to an otherwise bare area. The gun magazine storage is also provided to include a towel-rack for about eight MG magazines, and several individual magazine hangars (which I found EXTREMELY difficult to make due to fatty fingers). You are also invited to an Origami party with all the radio boxes. I have decided in the future I'll just use sheet styrene to make the boxes, as at least I can make a clean, solid bond with welding liquid cement and plastic, verses using uncontrollable superglue and sheet metal. Don't get me wrong, the metal works fine, but is pretty fragile and easy to knock off due to the mounting plan. That's my intent for future use of Eduard sets, the metal will make a good template.

The nose interior was started, and included the mandatory instrument panel, along with the throttle, mixture, cooling flap and propeller pitch levers. Busy side panel!

The seats used the steel seatbelt sets, and I have to confess these beat the individual part sets by a large margin for a closed yet visible canopy. Latches, buckles, tightening rollers, stitching, are all there, and visually capture the required parts. And they truly are flexible and durable, with the paint adhering to the surface as it should. EVERY set should be steel! As it is, I only required two hours to remove all the belt assemblies and install them on the seats and panels.

After the seats were detailed I finished up all the rest of the nose interior; the bomb sight was a simple but effective simulation. All the control arms are in place! I had a time figuring out where the nose guns were to be mounted; in the end I opted for the cannon as it seems I've seen this on the aircraft I planned to model. Plenty of magazine racks etc.

Next up is the Bomb bay, which is a marked improvement over the kit plastic, generating a more "finessed" look. Racks and latches are the tricky (but easy enough) part, and the "chapel" rack boxes, as I call them, make a distinctive difference in the bomb bay area. Framing facets are added to the centerline spar, and other little details for the bay are simple add-ons. The kit bombs fit into place, and latches, etc. are in attendance. Included, BTW, are improved, thinner bomb fins.

I had mentioned the self-adhesive masks for all the clear bits. These are a time and effort saver on a kit like this which is (1) covered with itty-bitty windows and (2) has an all-glass cockpit. Trust me on this, it's worth every penny... take the time to carefully install them and you can do a lot of work before final paint. They first protect the clear portion, and secondly serve as a paint mask. I like to apply the masks, spray the frames and tape all primer black or gray depending on the interior (Because you will see this through the windows) then you can putty the clear and opaque plastic seams, then carefully sand them down, using more spray primer to make sure the seam is filled before final painting. The real beauty of Kabuki tape is you can usually leave it on for a while and it will still stay on, yet usually peels off without difficulty when required to do so. Clear tape works, but frequently is too rigid, lifts up at inopportune times, and when left for more than a couple of weeks bonds with the clear plastic. Not good.

Once again my final judgement is Eduard's efforts make a final good product GREAT. We sincerely appreciate their sending the sets, and in the case of a BIG ED set the amortized packaging and cost savings are well worth the asking price on a kit like this. I still do my own masking on many older stash projects, but have been purchasing and stashing the ones that can make a difference on the final model such as this, the B-29, etc.

Thanks to Eduard and the reviewer leadership once again for providing me this grand opportunity to showcase Eduard's products. Eduard is unbeatable in this arena, and I am eagerly waiting to do my next kit begging just a bit of Eduard Improvement!

  • Ammo storage
    Ammo storage
  • Ammo storage rack
    Ammo storage rack
  • Bomb Bay set
    Bomb Bay set
  • Mask Set
    Mask Set
  • Seatbelts Set
    Seatbelts Set
  • Bomb bay installed
    Bomb bay installed
  • Cockpit left
    Cockpit left
  • Cockpit right
    Cockpit right
  • Forward wheel well
    Forward wheel well
  • Interior radio
    Interior radio
  • Canopy mask
    Canopy mask
  • Radio set
    Radio set
  • Wheel bay
    Wheel bay

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