Skyray Replacement Cockpit
Reviewed by Darren Mottram
Not long ago I was blessed with the good fortune of running into Brett Green at our local model club meeting during one of his rare forays away from HyperScale.
During his visit he asked if I might be interested in doing a couple of reviews on some new Cutting Edge items. Having seen and used some of this companies previous offerings, I couldn't refuse. I have always found Cutting Edge's products to be amongst the better examples of the after-market industry's art.
This set is packed in the usual, sturdy, clear plastic flip-top box. The parts are further protected by packing the larger items (cockpit tub, instrument panel coaming and upper rear decking) in one resealable plastic bag and the smaller components (seat, gunsight, seat handles, canopy actuator and cockpit sidewalls) in another.
Another touch I like is that the canopy actuator is further protected from damage during transit by two solid bars either side of it moulded onto the casting block. In spite of all this protection one of the (very small) cockpit sidewalls had detached from the casting block but without any damage. This does however indicate how finely some of the components are attached which means easy removal and minimal cleaning up.
This set is designed to replace the cockpit tub, seat and instrument panel of the !/48 scale Tamiya Skyray kit. Of the nine components, eight are crisply cast in familiar beige coloured resin whilst the ejection seat, for some reason, is cast in a darker Grey resin (it also has the harness moulded onto it). Some very minor flash is evident in the gaps of the seat handles, otherwise the mouldings are very crisp. The larger components have casting blocks attached which will need removal. The seat in particular has a relatively large, solid block on its base which may prove a little awkward to remove. The smaller items are quite delicately attached and should be no problem to free from their base.
The double-sided instruction sheet includes the usual cutting edge style of written and illustrated guidelines. The written descriptions are brief but concise and the illustrations are fairly self explanatory. One minor criticism of this layout is that the drawings don't illustrate one or two smaller points which are mentioned in the text such as the modifications of the kit's control stick, rudder pedals and nose wheel well for use with this set. That said however, these modifications are fairly simple and quite well described in the text so should not pose any real problems to most modellers. The instructions also mention that the seat included in this set is the early Douglas seat and that later types of seat are available (separately) from Cutting Edge (possibly as another cockpit set. That is not made clear). The sheet also gives a written guide to the colours of the average Skyray cockpit as well as a list of Cutting Edge's decal sheets for the Tamiya kit.
With the very limited trial fitting possible with the components "out of the box", there are no blatantly obvious signs of any fit problems between either the components or the kit.
Tamiya seem to have adopted the policy of making their interior details to a slightly more "average" level in order to keep costs down. This is not meant to be a criticism as their cockpits are quite satisfactory to many modellers, myself included. It simply acknowledges that those who wish to, will probably buy aftermarket accessories for these details anyway. That's where this set comes in. When the already very nice Tamiya kit is combined with this lovely set you end up with a very nicely detailed model with relatively little effort (which allows you to build more models, quicker! ).
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this set to those who want to spruce up the front office of their Tamiya Skyray.
My thanks to Brett Green and Meteor Productions for supplying this set for review.
Cutting Edge Modelworks Resin Replacement Seats are available from Meteor Productions Website
Review and Images Copyright © 2000 by Darren