This is the second set of steel seat belts and harnesses for the Martin-Baker MK. H-7 ejection seat as installed in the F-4 Phantom II. The set includes four complete sets of seatbelts and harnesses, allowing you to detail four seats, or two kits worth. The other set #73050 provides 4 sets of green belts and harnesses, while this set provides 4 sets of light grey belts and harnesses. As many of the older F-4 kits have a very generic ejection seat that does not even resemble the actual seat, these sets are intended for new kits. I used a seat from a Hasegawa F-4S kit as it has the correct configuration with the upper parachute container that is missing on many earlier kits. I assume that the new Academy kit seats are the correct shape as well, but I have not actually seen them yet. Before you decide which set to purchase, be sure to look at the aircraft that you will be installing the seats in, and check your references to determine which set is appropriate for your model.
As the Hasegawa seats have no molded on harness detail, the first step is to assemble the three part seat. I painted the seat gloss black based on photographs in my F-4 reference books. The seat pan, back cushion and parachute pack were then painted Tamiya Olive Green. As I noted in my review of the green seat belt set, the steel etched parts are very flexible. This allows them to be shaped or bent much easier than brass parts would be; however, this also means that care needs to be taken as they can be bent in advertently very easily.
Like regular brass etch, they are attached with superglue. I used a gel superglue with a medium setting time to allow me to get the parts where I wanted them before it set up. I found it easiest to first tack down one end of the belt or harness then let it dry and harden before attempting to shape it. I knew from my prior experience with the green belt set that the straps that attach to the side of the headrest and then are bent down into the hole in the center of the parachute pack are tricky to get in the right place, so right off the bat I bent the strap 90 degrees just beyond the attachment point which allowed me to get the attachment point where it belonged. After it had set it was easy to then twist and bend the strap into the proper shape. The paint on the belts and harnesses held up well despite bending and I did not need to do any touchups.
I really enjoyed using this set and as shown in the photographs, it really dresses up the kit seat so that it looks like a real seat. I wish Eduard had included the lower ejection handle located at the front of the seat between the crewmember’s legs and the upper face-curtain ejection handles in the set as these are so prominent on this seat.
I hope Eduard continues to release more sets like this one as it is a much appreciated improvement to the kit seats. Highly recommended!
Thank you to Eduard for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.