VERLINDEN DETAIL SET 1536
For Tamiya 1/48th F-84E/G Thunderjet

Retail price: $24.95.

Verlinden has produced a resin and photo etched detail set for the 1/48th scale Tamiya Thundejet kit, which includes cockpit and armament details. I obtained two sets by mail order for $22.46 each.

DETAIL SET REVIEW

The resin parts in this super set are as good as it gets so far as detail and quality of casting, and the photo etched parts are excellent. However, there are some inaccuracies in the cockpit parts, and the instructions could be better.

This set includes parts for:
Cockpit tub
Rudder pedals
Instrument panel
Swiss-cheese speed brake
ejection seat parts
Canopy equipment shelf
Canopy fuselage plug
Gun bay base with shell canisters, guns, and other details
5" Rockets with fins and mounts
250 lb bombs and fins

The cockpit tub is done in a manner very similarly to the Cutting Edge and Aires tubs. The Cutting Edge cockpit is more accurate than this Verlinden part. The instrument panel is for the E-model as it has the extra instrument at the upper left; the backs of the instruments do not match the front as do those on the Cutting Edge instrument panel. Let's be fair here -- how much of the back of the instrument panel is visible when the kit is completed? The ejection seat is cast in several parts and allows for positioning the arm rests (they could be adjusted fore and aft to accomodate pilot comfort), and the harness is photo etched. The instructions for the harness are cryptic, and could benefit from an illustration to supplement the text. The inside panel of the perforated "Swiss-cheese" speed brake is the style shown in the Detail & Scale book, and despite the comment in that book, there are at least two styles for this interior panel. There are no "spacer" sides to give the correct spacing between the inside and outside speed brake panels. See Rangar Eckoff's photo of an F-84G speed brake for a reference of the other style.

To me, the strong suit of this set is the gun bay detail set and the bombs and 5" rockets. The bombs and rockets are cleanly cast, and the photo etched fins are up to Verlinden's usual standards of excellence. That is not to say they will be easy to assemble; the rockets are in two parts with no alignment pins or surfaces that may be depended upon to get them in alignment, either linearly or laterally. I suggest using "V" shaped brass stock as a trough to help align the rocket parts. And, installing the four fins for each rocket -- there are 12 rockets in the set -- could result in a tedious modeling session. It would have been nice for Verlinden to furnish a resin jig to help align the fins. The instructions with the set are helpful to some extent so long as the illustrations and text is carefully inspected and read. However, there is no illustration to show how the rocket mounting straps should be installed, and extant illustrations and photos from other publications I've looked at aren't consistent or are unclear about the details. No decals are furnished, so the decals supplied with the kit must be used.

In summary, I don't recommend this set if it is to be used for the cockpit details alone; the Cutting Edge cockpit detail set is the better choice. But, if you desire to add details to the gun bay and want rockets and bombs better than those furnished with the kit, then this set is appropriate. If you want the gun bay and armament details and have a big budget, then also get the Cutting Edge set for the cockpit details and the Aires set for the ejection seat. If your budget is tight, then use this cockpit set.


Resin parts from Verlinden's detail set

Resin parts from Verlinden's detail set. This graphic is not an accurate representation of the color of the resin; the resin is a light khaki and not tan as it looks here.

Photo etched parts from Verlinden's detail set

Photo etched parts from Verlinden's detail set.

Box art on Verlinden's detail set

Box art on Verlinden's detail set


DETAIL SET RATING
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This Verlinden resin and photo etched detail set for the Tamiya F-84E/G is a moderate value priced at $24.95. Recommended for the armament but not the cockpit details.


Contents Copyright 1997-1999 Bruce Craig -- All Rights Reserved
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