Bf-109F-2/F-4 Cockpit Set

Published: January 18th, 2012     
Parts Packaging
Parts Packaging
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner Jr. - IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/32
Price: $32.00
Product / Stock #: 2151
Product provided by: Aires Hobby Models

For me, Aires has always been synonymous with quality aftermarket products. This latest release is designed for the 1/32nd Hasegawa Bf-109F-2. Like many of their cockpit sets, this set is based off of resin parts, accentuated with photo-etch metal parts and a pre-printed decal film. The instructions are on an 8.5x11 sheet of blue paper. They are a little vague with some parts, but present nothing that can't be determined with good references.

The resin is molded in light grey on 11 resin pour stubs. I did have a bubble on the base of the stick. This was easily fixed with some Apoxy Sculpt. The rest of the detail is exquisitely rendered. My floorboard was slightly warped but a little hot water took care of it. The seat is beautiful and looks great, especially with the addition of the PE seatbelts.

The photoetch parts are rendered in silver nickeled metal. I noticed there were some issues with the rudder pedals. There seems to be a part that didn't get removed when going through the etching process. Since it is visible on the printed copy I can only assume that this is a design flaw that Aires just missed. There is one other issue that I noticed when I started to build the pedals. The bottom support for the rudder pedals is molded incorrectly. When you fold it over, it doesn't form the trough. It isn't a big deal, more of an annoyance. The trough is really difficult to see when installed so, again, I didn't think it was anything worth worrying about.

The kit sidewalls have to be thinned out a bit but that's easily accomplished with a dremel tool and sanding bits. The sidewalls and the back wall fit well. I did have to use a little Apoxy Sculpt to blend in the back wall, but nothing dramatic. This was the case where dry fit, dry fit, and dry fit takes care of most of the fit issues. One part that I didn't want to include was the fuel filler port which will have to be added from the inside prior to adding the cockpit.

Assembly of the instrument panel was quite easy. Adding some correction fluid behind the film brings out the detail on these parts. The film was then added to the PE panel after it had been painted RLM 66 and the appropriate dials were painted in Apple Barrel Yellow, Red and Blue. It looks really convincing.

Painting the rest of the parts is easy enough, with most of the pieces being RLM 66. Some of the parts were picked out with Apple Barrel acrylic paints. The whole cockpit was given a wash of artist oils Lamp Black. When that was dried, the cockpit was dry brushed with RLM 02 and silver paint. A sponge with silver and a silver pencil were used to replicate some scrapes and wear patterns.

The most difficult part was folding the seatbelts, which have to be assembled from no less than seven parts each. I didn't have an issue with them, though. I thought that the fold of the seatbelts was quite realistic. Once they were draped where I liked them, I painted them a light buff.

Fitting everything into the assembled fuselage halves proved anti-climatic. The fit was very nice. Everything I've come to expect from Aires.

The Aires cockpit is a very nice addition to the new Hasegawa kit. While I was a little shocked by the mistakes on the PE fret, they proved to be no big deal, especially being buried inside the cockpit. The bubble on the stick was a fluke, I'm sure, and a very easy fix. When built, the cockpit looks every bit of the real thing.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Aires and IPMS/USA for the review copy.

  • Detail set parts
    Detail set parts
  • Beginning assembly
    Beginning assembly
  • Partially assembled
    Partially assembled
  • Opposite sidewall
    Opposite sidewall
  • Fuselage walls thinned
    Fuselage walls thinned
  • Completed seat
    Completed seat
  • Comparison to kit's instrument panel
    Comparison to kit's instrument panel
  • Comparison to kit's cockpit
    Comparison to kit's cockpit

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