Spitfire Mk. IX seatbelts STEEL

Published: December 22nd, 2017     
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Packaging
Reviewed by: 
Paul Brown, IPMS# 24085
Scale: 1:72
Company: Eduard
Price: $7.95
Product / Stock #: SS597

This set is part of Eduard's growing line of Steel seat belts sets. The set consists of 2 complete shoulder harness sets and 4 sets of lap belts for Eduard's outstanding Spitfire Mk. IX kit. The set will particularly useful for those modelers who did not spring for the ProfilePack or Royal Class kits of the Mk. IX. I also suspect that with a little work or ingenuity, the set can be made to work with other manufacturer's Mk. IX kits such as Airfix or Hasegawa.

Each set of shoulder harnesses consists of two parts which are attached at the upper buckles. The lower part (# 1) is designed to be looped over the back of the seat and attached while the upper part (# 2) is intended to be threaded through the backrest/armor plate and attached aft of the fuselage rib that is just visible under the small rear part of the canopy. The first step in construction is to superglue part #2 to part #1. If you do not make a good solid join or let the superglue fully harden, it will be very difficult to re-glue it once the belts have been attached to the seat bucket. As shown on the instructions, part #1 is bent over the back of the seat just above the buckles, so I applied some glue to the backside of part #1 just below the buckles and attached it to the seat. Once this joint was completely set, I then bent the "y" end of part #1 down over the back of the seat bucket and attached it with superglue. Again, I let the glue harden, and then I bent the lower sections of part #1 to look like they were loosely hanging on the seat and then glued these ends down as well.

Next I attached the lap belts, parts 3 and 4 to the sides of the seat and let them set for an hour or so to be sure the superglue was fully cured. Then, using some pointed tweezers, I bent the lap belts down over the sides of the seat bucket and into the seatpan. The goal is to make them look a little rumpled as we all know seat belts do not always land in straight lines. Again the ends of the lap belts were attached to the seat pan with superglue.

In order to complete the installation of part #2, the upper portion of the shoulder harness, you must assemble several of the bulkheads behind the seat and attach either a photo etch armor plate or a plastic one to the back of the seat and then thread the "y" end of part #2 through the slot behind the seat. I have yet to figure out just how to accomplish this correctly as the "y" in the harness is wider than the slot it goes through. This time I used the tweezers to squeeze the sides of the "y" together slightly, but I still ended up popping one of the joins of parts 1 and 2, and I was never quite able to get them to align properly at the buckles after this.

The STEEL seat belts are much easier to bend and shape than the standard photoetch brass I used on another Eduard Spitfire cockpit and allow you, with care and patience, to depict a used or slack seat belt/harness. The paint on the belts and harnesses held up well despite bending and I did not need to do any touchups.

My only complaint with the set is that I think someone miscounted the two part shoulder harnesses as the set includes two full sets of shoulder harnesses and four sets of lap belts. Normally Eduard is very fastidious in providing complete sets of belts in each set, so the inclusion of two extra sets of lap belts is surprising. However, I am sure I will find another kit that will really appreciate the donation of the extra lap belts.

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 hope Eduard continues to release more sets like this one, as they provide a much appreciated addition to the kit seats. Highly recommended!

Thank you to Eduard for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.

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