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In-Box Review
La-5FN Etched Upgrades
  • Ed_La5_FN_Etch_1

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Originally published on:

49386 - La-5FN Self Adhesive Details - $19.95
As with most of Eduard's detail sets these days, this is available in two forms - "Full" and "Zoom". The full set comprises 2 steel frets - one pre-painted and self adhesive, which is also available as Zoom FE386, containing cockpit parts and a second plain metal fret with extra detail to add to the Zvezda kit's undercarriage and engine.

The pre-painted fret contains 62 parts and kicks off with exactly what the kit needs most - a full seat harness. This is beautifully detailed, with petite stitching painted on. Next up is a replacement for probably the only really weak part of Zvezda's La-5 - the main instrument panel. While you still may choose to use the kit's plastic lower panel, Eduard's two-part metal sandwich is a vast improvement over the main panel, with detailed and accurate instruments which need just a drop of varnish to "glaze" them. Also added are the large gun priming handles that Zvezda overlooked and extra details for the gun-sight.

There's a new fascia for the radio, and there are also straps for the rudder pedals, plus a large number of small additions to the sidewalls. These range from throttles and trim wheels, through data panels to the prominent plumbing that shows up clearly in the cockpit illustrations in MBI Production's excellent book on the La-5. Finally, there are exterior strips to add under the cockpit sills, plus details such as locks and a rear-view mirror for the canopy.

The second fret contains a further 41 parts. These add an ignition harness and cylinder-head details to the kit's engine, radiator cores, new wheel covers and brake-lines, a two-part set of engine louvres that can be displayed open, plus external details such as engine vents.

As usual, purists may prefer to use the etched pipework and cabling as a guide for wire replacements for a more 3D appearance.

48 575 - La-5FN Landing Flaps - $14.95
This set comprises a single fret containing 40 parts. The Zvezda kit doesn't feature separate flaps, so it will require a little careful surgery to prepare it for the etched parts. This is clearly illustrated in Eduard's instructions. The flaps themselves each consist of two sections: one large part which comes complete with the ribs attached which is folded to form the tray-like liner of the wing. Added to this is a spar and a number of brackets. The next sections are the flaps themselves, two per wing, which again must be folded to make shallow boxes. From experience with other etched flaps, the construction shouldn't be difficult, so long as you work slowly and carefully - the one really important thing being to ensure that you've thinned the interior of the kit's wing sufficiently to accept the new liner.

Zvezda's La-5FN is kit which really cries out for the extra details here, especially in the cockpit. As it's so cheap it also makes an ideal subject for anyone looking to try their hand at adding photo-etched details for the first time. While the landing flaps are obviously a "luxury" extra for people wanting to superdetail the kit, Eduard's interior details - particularly in the form of the readily affordable Zoom set (Item #FE386 - $7.95) - can almost be seen as essential extras to bring out the full potential of Zvezda's great little La-5FN. Highly recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Zvezda's recent La-5FN was one of the nicest surprises of 2007. Out of the blue came a cut-price kit that out-detailed most of its more expensive rivals and earned a place, in my book at least, among the best kits of the year. But despite the surprisingly complete overall level of interior detail, the one area that was sorely in need of a little help was the cockpit - and in particular, the instument panel and lack of any seat harness. All of which, of course, is a perfect cue for Eduard to step in with a couple of etched sets to take an already fine kit to the next level in detail
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: See text
  Suggested Retail: See text
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 24, 2008

Our Thanks to Eduard!
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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 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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