EA-6B Prowler ICAP-2 (Early) Cockpit Set

Published: January 23rd, 2012     
Parts Packaging
Parts Packaging
Reviewed by: 
Steve Collins, IPMS# 33811
Scale: 1/72
Company: Aires Hobby Models
Price: $37.50
Product / Stock #: 7266

Aires has presented us with another beauty here.  I've wanted to build an EA-6B for quite some time (I have a bit of a background in electronic countermeasures).  The only kit in my chosen scale of 1/72 is the Hasegawa kit.  This kit is typical Hasegawa of its era, with finely engraved panel lines, minimal necessary external accessories for the version being done, and not much in the cockpit area.  This set takes care of the last part completely.

As usual, the set is flawlessly cast in a medium grey resin, with incredible detail just begging to be painted and highlighted.  Also included is a photoetch sheet with instrument panels, seatbelts, and other cockpit accoutrements, and a clear acetate sheet with the backing for the instrument panels.

When compared with the kit parts, you'll find a world of difference.  Hasegawa's cockpit is a shell into which you mount the seats and the instrument panels, along with decals for the consoles and those instrument panels.  The Aires parts have all the intricate detail of the Improved Capability version 2 cockpit, and appear to be correct for the Block 82 aircraft.  The seats are well-detailed and accurately reproduce the GRUEA-7 seats of the EA-6B.

As far as criticisms go, they are minor.  The instruction sheet is an exploded view diagram, with location of some small items being a little vague, but nothing one can't work out with a bit of study.  The other problem is that a couple of protrusions from the cockpit were broken off in transit.  I'm not sure there's really very much Aires can do to prevent this while still allowing the purchaser to see what they're buying.

By the way, if you are planning to build an EA-6B, the Detail and Scale book on the subject will be invaluable.  Now if I can only decide how I want mine to be marked.  Do I want to do the old standby VMAQ-2 Playboys, or VAQ-33 to go along with the others I want to do with the decals from Virginia Beach, or the big, full-color VMAQ-4 Seahawks logo?  Tough decisions in my life, huh?

My thanks go to Aires for doing a great job and for kindly supplying the sample and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.

  • Resin contents
    Resin contents
  • PE and acetate
    PE and acetate
  • Cockpit tub
    Cockpit tub
  • Glare shield
    Glare shield
  • Front office instrument panel
    Front office instrument panel
  • Back office IP, canopy bow, rear bulkhead
    Back office IP, canopy bow, rear bulkhead
  • Seats
    Seats
  • Hasegawa kit parts
    Hasegawa kit parts
  • Cockpit tub comparison
    Cockpit tub comparison
  • Canopy bow comparison
    Canopy bow comparison
  • Aires and Hasegawa parts comparison
    Aires and Hasegawa parts comparison
  • Seat comparison
    Seat comparison

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