- Published on Friday, 27 January 2012 00:02 James Hatch
1:32 Albatros D.V/Va 'Super Detail Set'
For Wingnut Wings Kit
Catalogue # 132044
Available from HGW for 616CZK (around £20)
If you've never heard of HGW, they produce a fine range of aftermarket products, such as decals, etch sets, seatbelt sets and numerous other modelling necessities. Based in the Czech Republic, these guys certainly are prolific, and cater very much to modellers of World War 1 aircraft, along with the rest of their extensive repertoire of products covering other aircraft genres, and even such things as decal setting solutions etc.
After a couple of emails sent back and forth between SP&R and HGW, we agreed that it would be good to review their new Albatros D.V/Va Super Detail Set for the Wingnut Wings kit. HGW are presently the largest manufacturer of detail sets for WNW's excellent range of model kits, and this sample is very similar to the Eduard 'BIG ED' sets in that it is a suite of products previously released, but in one package, and at a discounted price. Indeed, both the etch and mask components within this set are a collaboration between HGW and Eduard. The items within this package are:
- 132055, Albatros Seatbelts
- 132056, Albatros Surface Details
- 132040, Albatros Radiator
- 132023, Mercedes D.III Etch Set
- 632006, Albatros Mask
The set itself comes presented in a re-sealable clear wallet with a thick cardboard stiffener within. The individual items within this set are fastened to an attractive HGW card backing sheet by means of a slightly tacky adhesive, meaning that it is easy to remove the components, including photo etch frets. With the exception of the two page, Eduard-produced instruction sheet for the 'Surface Details', the remainder of the instructions are printed in colour on thin, handy-sized card inserts, hidden behind the card stiffener. Let's take a look at the individual sets.
132055, Albatros Seat Belts
This rather generic sounding set is shown as being for the Albatros D.III and D.V variants, and suitable for both Wingnut Wings and Roden kits. The belts themselves are printed in full colour on a synthetic fibre material known as 'Microtextile'. You will need to cut these out individually from this sheet also. Two different colour of belt is supplied, and from what I can see in total, including the photo etch parts, you will actually have enough parts to construct 2 sets of seatbelts. The printing is excellent, complete with stitching etc. This material calls to be scrunched up into a ball before assembly as this will allow the modeller to form it into a natural shape when you fit them.
The small etch fret contains 33 small metal parts, easily identifiable on the instruction card. The etch parts are produced by Eduard and are very crisp in execution.
This set appears to be a breeze to assemble, with no difficult threading techniques to follow. In fact, assembly is so easy, you simply follow the colour image of the completed set, complete with annotation so you can identify the various cloth and metal parts. When assembled and fitted, you simply finish with a matt varnish!
132056, Albatros Surface Details
This set contains around SIXTY-FIVE photo etch parts on a single etch fret. Whilst this set doesn't add any 'new' detail to the WNW kit, it does call for the modeller to remove every vestige of raised surface panel, vent, eyelet and strap from the host kit, and replace with a metal duplicate. With some very skilful surgery to the WNW kit, the addition of this set will really make the detail go 'pop'. The plastic moulded parts are indeed very, very good, so you may want to perhaps be selective with which parts you want to represent in metal. With regard to the etched ports, you now have the option to pose these items in an open position. Again, etch is by Eduard and the quality is every bit as good as we have come to expect.
The instructions are printed over two single sided sheets, in line drawing colour with new parts shown in colour and those to be removed shown in red, as is Eduard tradition. Fitting the parts is self-explanatory with simple one-for-one replacement.
132040, Albatros Radiator
The Wingnut Wings Albatros D.V/Va kit supplies two different radiators, namely the Teves & Braun and Daimler-Mercedes radiators. The latter type is the one represented in this kit, being the shuttered, louvered setup. The kit parts are very good, but of course, the restrictions presented by injected moulding means that it wouldn't have the finesse of an etch variant. Fifteen etch parts help to re-create this radiator, complete with the separate shutter and handle parts. In fact, the manually operated handle is one part of the Albatros that WNW forgot to add to their kit, and this excellent etch radiator has this additional feature also.
Construction of this part is very simple, but requires a little folding to be undertaken. As the kit radiator is a separate plastic part, there should be no surgery required to the host hit in order to fit this. As a bonus, the upper plastic radiator mesh also has a supplemental mesh part to place over the plastic detail.
Instructions are simple to follow with their three-part sequential drawings, again in colour for ease of construction.
132023, Mercedes D.III Etch Set
This set can be used on any WNW kit with a Mercedes D.III engine; specifically the Albatros, Pfalz D.IIIa and Roland D.Via kits, but that is irrelevant with an Albatros detail set! Consisting of one small etch fret, the parts in the set add data plates to the engine crankcase, as well as ignition leads, rear prop baffle, and some extra wiring. There are around thirty parts to this simple set, and along with the beautifully detailed kit engine, all you will perhaps need is a little extra to the rocker springs, and you'll have an engine to be proud of.
Again, instructions are printed on an accompanying card, and are easy to follow with three constructional sequences.
632006, Albatros Masks,
Specifically for the WNW Albatros D.V/Va kits, this set consists of one die-cut mask sheet, made from the Kabuki paper that Eduard favours. As well as two part masks for each of the three windshield options, masks are also included for the external wheel hubs. Die-cutting quality is excellent ,and the instructions simple to follow. It's as simple as that!
A small slip of dark wood grain decal is included with this set. Described as 'Transparent', you will need to lay down a base coat for this before you apply. Instructions are given on a sticker within the rear packet which tell you how to apply the decal. Test before you commit to application.
So what do we think?
I've purchased seatbelts and rivet decals from HGW previously, and know them to be reliable, and with an excellent quality product. I am very pleased to see these guys producing these aftermarket sets, and upon seeing this, I am certainly not disappointed with the overall quality and detail which is evident with this release. As a discount price set, I consider the price of this to be pitched correctly, and you should certainly consider this if you have designs on building the WNW kit.
Our sincere thanks to HGW for the review sample used here. To purchase this directly, click THIS link.