Reviewed by Brett Green
Cutting Edge resin replacement cockpits were always very good. With every release they seem to get even better. The best news, however, is that they are also getting easier to assemble due to some cunning casting.
The latest Cutting Edge cockpit is destined for the lovely ICM 1/48 scale MiG-3. The resin parts completely replace the cockpit in the Russian kit.
The set comprises only 13 dark grey resin parts and one small acetate sheet. However, the small number of parts does not compromise detail.
The tubular cockpit structure is cast onto thin wafers of resin representing each sidewall. The sidewall detail - quadrants, switches, boxes, wiring, flares and more - are all moulded onto the main sidewall parts. The only separate sidewall details are the two oxygen bottles.
The cockpit floor looks equally good. For ease of alignment and assembly, the tubular structure under the pilot is cast onto a flat base. In spite of that, with a little careful painting Cutting Edge's deep casting should portray the "floorless" tubing very convincingly.
The instrument panel is furnished in two resin parts. The flying panel incorporates the instruments and the main panel includes raised detail on the rear face. The truly afflicted may wish to add some wiring bundles to the back of the instruments as this detail will be visible from the open engine bay (offered as an option in the ICM kit).
I particularly like that Cutting Edge offers the choice of either painting the resin instruments as supplied, or removing the instruments by lightly sanding the back of the flying panel and using the acetate instruments.
The pilot's seat is another highlight. The distinctive curved armour, backrest cushion, quilted headrest and harness are all well represented.
The turtledeck rounds off the set. This part includes an integrally cast radio set, although not all Soviet aircraft carried radios.
The only other separate small parts are the seat truss frame, control column, rudder pedal assembly (cleverly cast in one piece) and the gunsight on its curved mount.
CE's dark grey resin is claimed to be more resilient than standard resin. All of the parts in my sample set are perfectly cast with no imperfections whatsoever. Casting blocks are getting better, although it is still advisable to first separate parts from their mounts using a razor saw before tidying up with a sharp hobby knife.
Instructions are up to Cutting Edge's usual high standards. The simplicity of the set requires only a single side of a letter-sized sheet filled with 14 construction steps, notes and scrap drawings. A labeled list of the parts and a template for the modifications to the firewall are included on the sheet. I recommend that the instructions are studied carefully before commencing construction as a few minor adjustments to kit parts are required.
This is another excellent product from Cutting Edge. It will genuinely enhance the first-rate ICM MiG-3.
Detail is excellent and the considerately small number of parts will make for swift assembly. The features will really come to life with a coat of paint after an oil wash and details are picked out with a fine brush.
Thanks to Meteor Productions for the review sample
Cutting Edge Modelworks Resin Conversion Kits are available at Meteor Productions Website
Review and Image Copyright © 2000 by Brett