Aircraft Accessories Roundup
Ultracast, 1/48 scale
Reviewed by Brad Fallen
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Canadian aftermarket company Ultracast is firmly established as a manufacturer of high quality, reasonably priced resin detailing sets. I’ve used Ultracast seat and propeller sets in several of my 1/48 builds, and have been very pleased with the results. Ultracast also continues to expand its online store with products from other manufacturers, making its website a tempting ‘one-stop shop’ for aftermarket accessories.
These five recent releases are good examples of Ultracast’s range of products, being easy to use while offering considerably more detail than the kit part or parts they are intended to replace.
Hawker Typhoon tail wheel well
This single-part set is a straightforward upgrade for Hasegawa’s 1/48 Hawker Typhoon kits. As the comparative photos on Ultracast’s website show, the tail wheel ‘well’ in the stock kit is an open hole. Ultracast has designed its wheel well as an insert that simply plugs into this hole. The Ultracast part has a small casting block that needs to be removed, and it’s likely that a little fettling will be needed to seat the new part between the fuselage halves, but this simple improvement should be within the abilities of most modelers.
P-51B/C Mustang Exhausts
Designed for Accurate Miniature’s 1/48 P-51B and P-51C kits, these exhausts are drop-fit replacements for the original kit parts. The exhausts are provided in two styles – shrouded and unshrouded – that are supplied as separate sets, so you’ll need to be sure which type was fitted to the aircraft you are modelling before placing your order with Ultracast. A quick look at my Tamiya 1/48 P-51B kit suggests the Ultracast parts will fit this kit in addition to the Accurate Miniatures ones they were designed for, although Ultracast also produces exhausts specifically for the Tamiya kit. Both sets of exhausts are perfectly cast with delicate, hollowed out ends, and they are attached to the casting block by a thin rebate that should make cleanup easy.
Hamilton Standard 11’ 7” 3-Blade Prop Sets
Ultracast propeller sets always offer a considerable improvement over what kit manufacturers can provide in injection-moulded plastic. These two sets – aimed at modelers of multi-engined US aircraft – are no exception, given that many of their target kits are 1970s and 80s era Monogram classics. The propeller hubs are common to each set, with beautifully rendered detail and designed for quick and easy removal from their casting blocks. The prop blades are however subtly different, with one set supplying broad paddle blades and the other narrower, more pointed blades. Again, check your references for the aircraft you’re modeling to make sure you select the right blades for your model. Given that the blades are supplied as individual parts, you will need to buy or build a jig to ensure they are spaced evenly when you glue them to the hubs. (I used an UMM-USA jig to help assemble and align an Ultracast Bf 109 E spinner and propeller set, and it was a much easier task than I originally thought it would be.) As with the tail wheel well and the exhausts, the parts for the propeller sets have been perfectly cast, with the propeller blades particularly showing no undue drooping or distortion.
All of these Ultracast sets will provide a quick and easy lift to their intended recipient kits, and (in the case of the Mustang exhausts) possibly other kits as well. The propeller sets will require careful assembly and alignment in order to sit ‘just right’, and are probably best suited to modelers with some experience in working with resin.
The tail wheel well and exhausts, however, are drop fit items, and would be ideal for modelers with less experience with resin accessories. All of the sets have been produced to Ultracast’s usual high standard, and can be recommended without reservation.
Thanks to Ultracast for the review sample.
Ultracast figures and accessories are available online from their website
Review and Images Copyright © 2014 by Brad Fallen
This Page Created on 14 January, 2014
14 January, 2014
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