by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
Originally published on:
What is a bezel ?
“A Bezel setting”, or “bezel rim” encompasses, surrounds and fastens a jewel, watch crystal, lens or other object to a fixed position. This consists of a band of metal containing a groove and flanges (i.e. projecting lip) holding a watch crystal, gauge face or gemstone in its setting. This was the earliest method of setting gemstones into jewelry. An expansion of the word used in this sense can refer to a rotatable rim on a clock or watch used to indicate certain data such as elapsed time. These are also called “Dash Bezels” when concerning instruments for various vehicles.
We have to go back to Fotocut and the 1976 works of Harry Woodman to see the first photoetch brass bezels for 1:72, 1:48 & 1:28 WWI aviation model kits. Simple rings of varying sizes of brass rims meant to augment a cockpit and add some color to production kits of the time. You could stack them and get thin ring onto of a thicker ring and get a two dimensional item that enhanced a kit build instrument panel.
HGW has given us a new selection of instrument cluster bezel facades. Set #132030 WWI Instrument Bezels in of course 1:32. There are three frets of 68 items each. They are various sized silver nickel, black and brass bezels facades all in one package. I am told they may do a 1:48 scale set as well. These are generous in number and size and you must cut the gauge faces from kit or aftermarket decals. Place them on your instrument panel then apply the bezel for the size of decal you are using. Mr. Jan Bobek of HGW notes that these were created with the folks at as Eduard consultants.
Aircraft of all WWI combatants had these items as part of the instrument gauge feature. The attachment screws were inset into the perimeter of the bezel ring itself. The ring held the pane of glass in place over the gauge face and the screws attached the whole unit to the instrument panel. These sets easily cover the subjects most often found in cockpits of WWI and some between the wars subjects.
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