SE.5a Guns

Published: May 28th, 2017     
Product Image
Product picture
Reviewed by: 
Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1:48
Company: Eduard
Price: $7.95
Product / Stock #: 648 299

This is a nice resin & photoetch set that replaces the Vickers and Lewis machine guns in Eduard's new SE.5a kit. The resin has better detail than the kit plastic parts and the Vickers gun is easier to install. Some of the resin and photoetch pieces are extremely small.

Background

The Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a was armed with a single synchronized .303-inch Vickers machine gun mounted in the fuselage in front of the cockpit. Many versions also had an upper wing-mounted Lewis gun fitted on a Foster Mounting to allow the pilot to fire at overhead aircraft. Eduard's newly released SE.5a kit includes both guns, which are replaced by the parts in this add-on package.

Kit

This set includes 16 resin parts, some that are extremely small. It also includes 14 brass photoetch parts, some of which are very small also. There are duplicates of some of the resin and photoetch parts. The resin parts have finer detail than the kit plastic parts, particularly in the cartridge magazines and gunstocks.

Vickers Machine Gun

The Vickers gun is installed in the fuselage in front of the cockpit. This presents a problem with the one-piece kit gun, as it must be installed before the fuselage panel over the cockpit is installed. When the panel is installed and patched, the gun needs to be masked before the fuselage is painted. The resin set solves this problem as the front barrel of the gun is a separate piece that can be installed after the cockpit panel is painted.

The kit gun has a stem that mounts to the aircraft frame. The resin set provides a more accurate support tripod that mounts to the frame in front of the instrument panel.

Lewis Machine Gun

The upper wing Lewis gun also has nicer detail in the gun's stock, plus some very tiny resin & photoetch pieces. Eduard provides two spares for the front sight and I needed all of them before I got it glued down. All of them disappeared, but I was lucky enough to find one of them. The instructions show installation of wire that is not provided with the kit for the remote trigger release.

Summary

Both guns in this set provide much more detail than the kit parts, but require working with some very small resin & photoetch parts. Experience with resin and photoetch will help with installation of these parts. With some care the reward will be some nice details for prominent features of the SE.5a.

Thanks to Eduard for producing these excellent additional kit parts, and for their continued support of the IPMS review program.

  • Upgrade kit contents
    Upgrade kit contents
  • Photoetch supplies, with hobby knife to provide scale
    Photoetch supplies, with hobby knife to provide scale
  • Lewis Instructions
    Lewis Instructions
  • Comparison of Lewis resin upgrade (top) to kit-supplied Lewis
    Comparison of Lewis resin upgrade (top) to kit-supplied Lewis
  • Assembled and painted Lewis gun
    Assembled and painted Lewis gun
  • Vickers instructions
    Vickers instructions
  • Comparison of kit-supplied Vickers gun (top) to resin upgrade Vickers gun
    Comparison of kit-supplied Vickers gun (top) to resin upgrade Vickers gun
  • Test-fit of kit-supplied parts
    Test-fit of kit-supplied parts
  • Test-fit of resin upgrade parts
    Test-fit of resin upgrade parts

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