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F-104G/J Cockpit

Cutting Edge

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: CEC48250 / 48251
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 14 resin parts and 1 acetate instrument film
Price: US$15.99
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent detail; Good fit; Option to use acetate film instruments
Disadvantages: Oxygen hoses on seat are missing.
Recommendation: Highly recommended for the new Hasegawa kits.

 

Reviewed by Dave Williams


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions

 

FirstLook

 

This is one of at least three cockpit sets announced by Cutting Edge for the new Hasegawa 1/48 scale F-104 kits. This set contains the Lockheed C-2 upward firing ejection seat as fitted to CF-104s, F-104Js, and many F-104Gs. 

Set CEC 48251 is otherwise identical, with the exception that it has the Martin-Baker GQ7 ejection seat which was used by a few nations, most notably Germany. 

The set completely replaces the kit cockpit, with the exception of the throttle handle, for which Hasegawa part R2 is used. The set is molded in the dark gray resin CE is now using which seems to be fairly strong, although it is a little difficult to photograph.

The major item in the set is the well-detailed one-piece cockpit tub. This part includes the detail of the hatch that forms the cockpit floor. Although the C-2 seat was upward firing, the seat was installed and removed from the bottom of the fuselage. I'm not sure why this was, unless it was a legacy from the early F-104s that had a downward firing ejection seat. The rear bulkhead is well detailed and the cockpit sidewalls are separate parts, which are much more accurate than the simple rib detail molded into the Hasegawa fuselage halves. Once you remove the prominent molding plug on the front of the cockpit tub, the cockpit parts slip right in with almost no trimming once the detail molded into kit fuselage is removed.

Unlike the one-piece Hasegawa instrument panel, the CE panel is molded in a couple of parts. The side panels are molded with the cockpit tubs and the upper and lower parts of the instrument panel are separate pieces. The lower half is attached to the center of the tub, while the upper half is attached to the detailed cockpit coaming part. This breakdown allows the installation of the coaming/upper instrument panel after the fuselage halves have been glued together. Hasegawa implies that you can put their instrument panel in after the fuselage is together, but as the kit part has the side panels attached, it is larger than the cockpit opening. 

As cast, the instrument panel has needle detail molded inside all of the round instruments. As an alternative, CE provides an acetate film panel like what you get in the Eduard sets. You can sand the backside of the panels until you sand the back of the instruments out and then apply the film instruments. (The closeup photo of the instrument panels with the film shows them as they come in the set. In the photo with all the parts, the instruments have been hollowed out.)

The Lockheed C-2 ejection seat is a jewel that is designed to slide into the separate side rails, which are attached to the cockpit floor and top of the rear bulkhead. To be nit picky, the prominent oxygen hoses that run along the sides of the seat are missing, although it probably would have been difficult to mold these as part of the seat as they stand off a little from the actual seat. The instructions don't mention anything, but Hasegawa parts T2 and T6 represent these hoses and they might fit, although I haven't tried them yet. As an alternative, here is a chance to try your favorite 1/48 scale oxygen hose technique.

The instructions mention that the set can be adapted to the old Monogram kit, but you are on your own in fitting it. Overall, highly recommended.

 

 

Construction Tips

 

I have already started to fit the set to a Hasegawa F-104J kit. Here are some of my observations:

  1. The instructions have you dry-fit the cockpit tub, without sidewalls, to the fuselage halves, use a pencil to mark the location of the sidewalls, and then remove the tub and glue the sidewalls to the fuselage halves. What worked for me was to glue, or temporarily tape, the rear bulkhead to the cockpit tub and then use the open-topped box formed by the tub and rear bulkhead to adjust the fit of the sidewalls to the tub/bulkhead combination. The top of the sidewall should line up with the top of the tub at the front and the top of the bulkhead at the rear. The CE tub is sized to exactly fit between the bulkhead at the very front of the fuselage halves and the nosewheel well attached to the underfuselage part, so if you get the position of the sidewalls off, you may have problems later. The easy way out is to glue the sidewalls to the tub instead of the fuselage and then put the whole thing in as one. What I did was to put a small blob of Blu-Tac like putty on one of the side consoles to hold the sidewall in place, put some super glue on the back of the sidewall only, and stick the whole assembly into one of the fuselage halves. Then, I used a paintbrush handle to push the sidewall against the fuselage side, held it until the glue set and then removed the tub, leaving the sidewall in place. Repeat for the other sidewall.

  2. Sanding the backs of the instrument panels to use the acetate sheet can be a tricky undertaking. There is a fine line between sanding enough to sand out the backs of the instruments and sanding almost completely through the panel. You need to ensure your sanding is uniform, especially on the upper panel as basically the entire panel contains instruments that get sanded out. Go slow and check your work constantly. Also, remove the panels from the sprue before sanding. I recommend getting the backs of the instruments paper thin and translucent and then punching through with a scalpel blade or small drill bit instead of trying to remove the back of the instruments by sanding alone. I learned this lesson the hard way be messing up the first panel I tried.

  3. The instructions say to glue the front fuselage halves together and then insert the completed tub from the bottom. Don't! The tub is far bigger than either the top or bottom fuselage opening and needs to go in before the fuselage halves go together.

Dave Williams IPMS/USA 19050


Cutting Edge Modelworks Resin Conversion Kits and Details Sets are available at Meteor Productions Website


Review and Image Copyright 2000 by Dave Williams
Page Created 26 September, 2000
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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