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In-Box Review
Ex-KMC Hunter & Sabre Cockpits

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Originally published on:

Set # 49007 - Hawker Hunter F.6 Cockpit Set
Ex-KMC 48-6016. Squadron Price: $10.96

Academy's Hawker Hunter received a rather mixed welcome when it appeared. Although many were delighted to finally see a Hunter in 1/48 scale, critics were quick to point out a number of inaccuracies which certainly dented the kit's sales. As well as problems with the canopy, tail-pipe and undercarriage, a major area of concern was the cockpit, which seemed very under-scale - some reviewers went so far as to suggest that Academy had included a 1/72 scale cockpit by mistake...

The True Details set consists of 10 beautifully detailed resin pieces, which completely replace the kit components. The parts are perfectly cast in beige resin and I couldn't find any moulding flaws in the review sample.

The detail throughout is superb. The hefty cockpit tub has a separate starboard sidewall which allows some really excellent detail to be incorporated. The instrument panel features detailed bezels and gunsight.

The ejector seat is made up of 5 pieces and includes a moulded-on harness, which is very nicely done and will really repay careful painting. At some stage the master for the seat seems to have been damaged slightly - the left side has been broken off and repaired rather clumsily. It will only take a few minutes to fill and sand the crack, but it'll definitely be worth the effort.

The instructions are well drawn, with scrap views of the control column and throttle. Full colour notes are included and the ejector seat is shown separately with it's own painting diagram.

This is a very neat set - deceptively simple, it will look superb with careful painting and it's definitely worth the investment to totally transform the Academy kit's cockpit.

Set #49010 - F-86F-30 Cockpit Set
Ex-KMC 48-6005. Squadron Price: $8.96

Hasegawa's F-86 Sabre is a very nice kit, let down somewhat by an average cockpit. The True Details set may only contain 8 resin pieces, but they replace all the kit parts, with the exception of the rudder pedals and add a huge amount of detail.

The casting is, once again, excellent. The cockpit tub has beautifully done side consoles and throttle, while the instrument panel has finely detailed bezels, which will look stunning with some careful painting. The seat is made up of just three parts, but is a massive improvement over the kit item, with excellent moulded-on harnesses. Beware though - the sides of the seat are paper-thin and easily damaged.

The instruction are very good, with clear assembly diagrams and painting instructions which are even more detailed than those for the Hunter.

Of course, one question is whether the set can also be used with Academy's F-86. Well, the answer is a definite maybe... some major surgery will be needed. Thanks to the kit's open gun-bays, either the resin side consoles will have to be very carefully ground away with a motor-tool or the gun-bays sacrificed. The resin seat will fit without a problem and it's worth doing, because it totally outshines the Academy item.

KMC sets were always excellent and the passage of time has done nothing to harm them. It's great to see these items again and Squadron are to be applauded for making them available to a new generation of modellers.

Thank you to MMD-Squadron for kindly supplying the review samples.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on ARMORAMA

In the 1990s, Kendall Model Company (aka KMC) produced some of the best resin cockpit sets available. About 5 years ago, KMC decided to concentrate on multimedia airliner kits, leaving a serious gap in the market. But all is not lost - in a very welcome move, Squadron purchased the ex-KMC moulds and have added them to their range of True Detail sets.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: See text
  Suggested Retail: See text
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 19, 2004

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2020 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. All rights reserved.


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  • Hunter_seat_1
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  • sabre_parts
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