F-35A Exterior Set

Published: October 8th, 2017     
Product Image
Packaging
Reviewed by: 
Mark Costello, IPMS# 31795
Scale: 1:32
Company: Eduard
Price: $32.95
Product / Stock #: 32404

This set is designed for the Italeri 1/32 scale F-35A Lightning II kit. This set contains 1 sheet of etched brass details for the exterior of the aircraft as well as details for the weapons and weapon pylons. There is an afterburner ring for the engine exhaust, ladder and ladder door details, refueling bay details, screens for the exterior and details for the weapons. The instructions are the normal Eduard instructions with clear drawings showing where the PE parts go and what details need to be removed from the kit plastic parts.

The first step starts off with the afterburner. Part 15 is the main afterburner ring and is a single piece that has 16 pedals that need to be folded up to make the ring. I had a lot of trouble with this part. Each pedal needs to be folded twice, with just a thin piece that stays flat between the folds. These folds are fairly easy to accomplish, the problem is that the tab holding the pedals to the main ring are only approximately 1mm wide. As you are folding each pedal, the rest of the part is flapping around and that thin connection keeps bending up and down. I broke the first 3 pedals off the ring before I got the hang of it and was able to fold up the rest of the pedals. Once these are all folded, the whole part needs to be curved around to form a ring and then the pedals need to be folded back against this ring. It took a while, but I was able to get it all bent up (except for the 3 broken pedals) and placed into the rear of the engine. The cone, parts 14 and 8 go together with no issues, but I found it fit over kit part 2E without trimming the tip off like the instructions show.

Next up are some screens for the exterior of the aircraft and details for the refueling bay. The screens are extremely delicate and bend very easily. I formed them over various sizes of tubing and even my knife handle. Once shaped, they fall right into place with no issues. The screen for over the APU needs to be cupped and I used a marble and a mousepad to accomplish this. The part fits right in place after being formed. Italeri supplies some of these screens, but the mesh is much finer on the Eduard parts. The refueling bay parts add detail to areas that are just molded flat in the kit.

The ladder bay, ladder door and ladder are next up for getting added details. The ladder door gets the lock connectors in tow strips, parts 6 and 7. These get added over the raised support moldings. The ladder door bay gets a detail piece added around the outer surface on the bay. There is no detail molded into the kit in this area and the Eduard piece adds visual interest. The ladder itself gets new rungs and top step in PE. Italeri includes PE for the top step supports, but the top self itself and rungs are molded in plastic. Eduard includes replacements for the top step supports and a really nice top step. The PE rungs are easy to fold and install after removing the molded on plastic rungs.

The last steps cover the missiles, JDAMs and pylons. The AIM-9X missiles get rings for the rear ends. I also drilled out the exhaust after installing the ring to add a little more detail. The JDAMs get retaining strap details added. It would probably be easier to add these before adding the Italeri supplied PE pieces 4PE. The retaining straps go under these parts and while there is a gap there, it is difficult to slide them through the opening and apply glue to hold them in place without making a mess (don't ask me how I know this). The AMRAAMs get front fin support pieces as well as a ring for the rear end of the missile. The fin supports fit well, but there are 8 of them per missile instead of the 4 the instructions call out for. I had to trim 2 of the supports a little to fit around the conduit that runs down the missile. The pylons get new bottom pieces that add detail to an area that is molded with no detail.

This set adds a lot of detail to the kit. Although I had some issues with the afterburner, I was able to get into a rhythm and fold the last part of it with no issues. I didn't need any special tools to work with this PE set and just used tweezers and smooth-jawed pliers to make all the folds. I would like to thank Eduard and IPMS for giving me the opportunity to build and review this photo etch set.

  • PE Fret
    PE Fret
  • Afterburner (before)
    Afterburner (before)
  • Afterburner Pieces
    Afterburner Pieces
  • Afterburner (after)
    Afterburner (after)
  • Exterior top details before
    Exterior top details before
  • Exterior top details after
    Exterior top details after
  • Exterior bottom details before
    Exterior bottom details before
  • Exterior bottom details after
    Exterior bottom details after
  •  Ladder door before
    Ladder door before
  • ladder before
    ladder before
  • Ladder and bay after
    Ladder and bay after
  • Missiles & JDAMS before & after
    Missiles & JDAMS before & after
  • Pylons 1 before & after
    Pylons 1 before & after
  • Pylons 2 before & after
    Pylons 2 before & after