If aircraft modellers are cut from the same cloth as armour modellers, be it a different colour, then we all share something in common. That something is the desire to improve upon models via the addition of after market products. Many modellers adorn their models with photo etch and resin parts, and even purchase after market decals for their builds. Armour modellers are very keen on turned metal barrels for their builds and it is brass barrels for aircraft models that this review looks at.
Master Reality in Miniature have a very good selection of brass barrels in five scales, 1/24th, 1/32nd, 1/35th, 1/48th and 1/72nd scale. In addition to metal barrels they also have a fair selection of pitot tubes and radar aerial assemblies.
The product is packaged in a Ziploc bag with a card sleeve and card hanger. Inside the Ziploc bag is a sealed compartmental plastic bag with the barrel parts inside. In the back of this packaging there is also an instruction sheet.
This product from Master Reality in Miniature has enough parts for the assembly of two 7.92mm MG-15. The photo etched fret contains mounts for the aiming points at the front and rear of the barrel, a big plus here is that Master Reality in Miniature have supplied four spare mounting brackets which due to their small size could be a god send. The rear aiming point is a turned brass affair which looks very good, its small size will mean taking care when placing it as no spares of this small part are included. The aiming point for the front of the weapon has 2 options which while not ideal if you lose or damage one does at least give you an alternative.
The turned brass barrel and preformed sleeve are very well replicated, the detail being particularly good on the sleeve. The barrel is easily assembled, requiring only that the barrel is slid into the sleeve; however it is then that things will be more difficult due to the addition of the photo etched parts which will be challenging due to the small size. It is because of the small size that I do not recommend this product for anyone who is not comfortable with the use of photo etch.
The German aircraft machine gun MG 15 is a 7.92mm calibre weapon used on all German bombers and fighter bombers during the early stages of the World War Two, being replaced by the MG 81/81Z, MG131 and MG151 in late 1940 early 1941; That makes this weapon suitable for aircraft up until the end of the Battle of Britain. The aircraft listed as using this weapon are the Junkers Ju 86, Junkers Ju 88, Heinkel He 111 and others.
These are another great offering from Master Reality in Miniature for improving the look of early World War Two German aircraft that were suitably armed. The very fine photo etch used in the kit will make it difficult for use by modellers who are not comfortable with its use, but those who are comfortable with its use will love the improved detail. As you can see from the images these do greatly improve the look of the machine guns over the plastic offerings.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: The high level of detail make these a desirable improvement, they are real gems.Lows: The small pieces of photo etch that need bending may deter some.Verdict: Two very good quality replacement barrels that will greatly improve the look of suitably armed aircraft, highly recommended for those who are comfortable with using photo etch.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...