Aires’ Quickboost (QB) range is a well-established and familiar line of enhancement and corrective accessories. They are produced to a very high standard, come supplied in a cellophane envelope with orange card header, and some have simple diagrammatic instructions.
I am a QB enthusiast and convert, and have purchased many of their sets. However I do feel in some instances that the benefits of some items over kit parts can be marginal. For this reason I will generally leave the reader to draw their own conclusions based on the images accompanying this review, and only comment at any length where my own opinion is strong one way or the other. In most instances I own, or have owned, the kits the sets are intended for.
QB 72 299 P-51D Propeller with Tool, recommended for Tamiya
Injected props can be a bit thick and lacking some of subtle shapes found in propeller blades.
Resin offers a good way to improve on this, but with a quality brand like Tamiya the need is somewhat less than for some others. I could detect little if any greater finesse in QB’s blades over Tamiya’s. However the cuffs on the QB items were narrower at the base of the blades. I’ve looked at numerous photos and QB may have a point here, but if they’re right the difference is minute. Given Tamiya’s quality I’d use the money to buy a replacement prop for a kit more in need of one.
The prop may suit other brand P-51 kits as well, although QB makes a prop specifically for Hasegawa’s P-51 kits (QB 72 292). As an aside, the alignment tool is a very worthwhile inclusion.
QB 72 302 Focke Wulf Ta 154 Exhaust, recommended for Hasegawa
These are the unshrouded exhausts, and my Ta 154 kit is now sold so I cannot compare to the kit items. However they are very refined and may suit other brand Ta 154’s as well (but why would you bother when you can have the Hasegawa kit?).
QB 72 305 Focke Wulf Ta 154A-1/R1 Undercarriage Covers, recommended for Hasegawa
These are very refined with delicate interior detail.
QB 72 303 P-40 Warhawk Pitot Tube & Antenna Exhausts, recommended for Academy
This set has a variety of resin parts for antennae, pitot and teardrop DF-loop base, plus a “football” enclosed DF loop. There is a very small PE fret which provides the leading part of the pitot (its base being resin), but this will need to be thickened with Mr Surfacer or similar to disguise its 2-dimensional nature. The PE fret also provides a DF loop to go with its resin teardrop shaped base, but this is of course flat and better represented with wire. Finally the PE provides what seems to be the rudder actuator.
I’m unsure of why this set is recommended for Academy’s kit specifically, as I should think that the parts would suit any number of brands without modification. The very simple instructions make no mention of a use for the “football” DF-loop. To be honest, most of what this set offers is easily scratch-built or found in the spares box, but it will appeal to some no doubt.
QB 72 306 P-40M/N Warhawk Exhaust & Radiator Flaps, recommended for Academy
This is in part a corrective set, and will alter the kit’s cowing where the exhausts emerge. This requires a narrow slot to be cut into each fuselage half to receive a resin plug that provides different shape holes for the exhausts.
The instructions draw this area slightly differently from the kit parts, but the intent is clear enough. The exhausts are very nicely cast in pairs and are a huge improvement over the kit items.
The radiator flaps are different in shape and more refined than the kit ones, with a more accurate tapering outline.
QB 72 304 P-38 Lightning Gun Barrels, recommended for Academy
These are extremely refined and well detailed, and a big improvement over the kit items.
QB recommends a brand of kit, in this case Academy, regardless of these parts’ universal nature. After all these barrels will improve any of the 1/72 P-38 kits, not just Academy’s.
QB 72 308 P-38 Turbo-Supercharger Covers, recommended for Academy
The main gain over the kit parts is that the small forward facing scoops have the inlets opened up; there are also some extra rivet heads around the edge.
I’m tempted to dismiss as being of convenience value only, but they do look a lot more refined than the kit parts. However some admittedly delicate drilling should lead to similar results, and if you ruin the kit parts you can buy this set!
QB 72 307 B-24 Turbo-superchargers, recommended for Minicraft
Very refined, and a definite improvement over the kit items (it’s just a pity they’ll usually be out of view on the undersides of the nacelles!).
These will be equally well suited to Academy and Eduard boxings of the same kits.
QB 72 319 B-24 Oxygen Cylinders, no kit recommended
A nicely detailed set of 14 each large fixed and small portable oxygen cylinders. I’d be surprised if such cylinders were not standardised and used on types other than the B-24.
I checked a B-24D handbook on the oxygen system. It showed the large cylinders located high above the ball turret, under the waist gunners’ floor and in the ball turret well, all of which would be hard to see with the waist windows closed. Admittedly the small portable bottles are more visible in the nose areas etc. However, with the waist gun windows opened the large yellow cylinders should be much more visible, and therefore seem worthwhile details to add.
Walk-around and wartime images of later model B-24’s show that bottles were also mounted in more prominent positions than the diagram from the B-24D handbook, appearing both fore and aft of the waist gunners’ area.
QB 72 309 Focke Wulf Fw 190A-3 Stabiliser, recommended for Tamiya
These are very nicely executed with a very delicate rebated edge to the stabilisers for the curved leading edge of the elevators to fit into.
Easy to dismiss as convenience value only for those who whish to droop their tail surfaces, however to do as good a job as QB have done would take some time and skill. No doubt adaptable to other brand kits too.
QB 72 311 Focke Wulf Fw 190A-3 Rudder, recommended for Tamiya
Three nicely cast identical rudders as far as I can tell. It seems to me that it would have been far better to include just one with the stabiliser set (QB 72 309) above. Come to that, I see little need for one over the kit parts anyway as the rudder is easier to remove and adapt fro re-positioning than the elevators.
As a stand-alone item(s) this is just not worthwhile in my view.
QB 72 310 Hurricane Mk.IIC Sea Hurricane Fishtail Exhaust Pipes, recommended for Airfix
Obviously intended for the new tool Airfix Hurricane kit, these exhausts are very delicately done and the open flare of the fishtail exhaust is captured very well.
I have learned the hard way about QB Hurricane exhausts intended to fit one kit brand being the wrong size for another, so I urge caution before you rush out with a plan to use these on anther brand Hurricane. To help you decide if they will fit another brand the length of the part that inserts into the cowl is 13.5 mm.
QB 72 315 Hurricane Mk.IIC Sea Hurricane Exhaust, recommended for Airfix
Again obviously intended for the new tool Airfix Hurricane kit, these exhausts are also very nicely done.
To help readers decide if they will fit another brand, the length of the part that inserts into the cowl is 13.5 mm.
QB 72 312 Spitfire MK.VB Position Lights, recommended for Tamiya
Now this is a cunning idea, in fact “So cunning you pin a tail on it and call it a weasel” to quote Edmund Blackadder. Obviously intended for the clipped wing Spitfire MK VB, the complete clipped tips have been cast in translucent green and red resin. I’d suggest painting a reflective coat on the rear face, and once fitted all that need be done is to mask the lights and paint the wings.
Yes this one clearly falls into the convenience category, but in 1/72 scale carving and sanding little wing tip lights from clear sprue or toothbrush handles can be a pain. This is especially so if the superglued bond lets go whilst sanding and the 90% completed light disappears into the bowels of the carpet monster.
QB 72 313 Messerschmitt Bf 110C/E Exhaust, recommended for Airfix
Bf 110 exhausts are a challenge to look really good for injection moulding; especially the upward exhausting outboard banks of pipes, where each individual pipe is a different length and canted at different angles to each other (spend some time studying Bf 110 photos and you’ll see what I mean). QB has captured this variation in shape and length very well along with delicate casting and nicely done rectangular holes in the pipe ends.
The accompanying photo is by Aires, and I note that some pipe ends are chipped (my sample was OK). So it may pay to take a close look at any you buy as this looks to be a vulnerable area.
For those tempted to adapt the exhausts to other brand kits, the stacks measure at their base 12mm from the front edge of the first pipe to rear edge of the last pipe.
QB 72 316 Mi-24 Hind Guns, recommended for Zvezda
These should be a nice compliment to a superb kit, which I’ve seen but don’t own. I’m sure that these resin guns go beyond what the injected styrene parts can offer.
QB 72 317 F4U Corsair Stabiliser, recommended for Tamiya
Assessment is as for the Fw 190A-3 stabilizers above.
QB 72 318 F4F Wildcat Stabiliser, recommended for Hasegawa
Assessment is as for the F4U & Fw 190A-3 stabilizers above.
The most worthwhile items in my view are the tinted wing-tip lights for the Spitfire MK VB, the various exhausts and turbochargers in every case, the P-38 guns, and admittedly on a hunch, the Mi-24 guns too. The various stabiliser sets are a great way to go if you plan to displace your elevators. The Ta 154 undercarriage doors look to be worthwhile from my memory of my Hasegawa kit. The B-24 oxygen cylinders are worth having if your waist gun windows are to be open. The P-38 turbocharger surrounds are nice, but have a crack at improving the kit items before you buy the set.
Less compelling in my view are the following three items: The P-51D propeller isn’t really needed given the Tamiya kit’s quality, and if the cuffs are in fact too wide shave the kit ones back a tad. The P-40 pitot and antenna set offers little over scratch-building. I’m most puzzled over why a set of three identical Fw 190A-3 rudders would be offered in one set; I’d prefer Quickboost do us a favour and add just one rudder to the FW 190A-3 stabiliser set.
Rest assured of high production quality, but you need to decide regarding utility and value. My money’s on 14½ out of 18 for a recommendation.