Can anyone comment on the fit of the KMC versus Cutting Edge resin cockpit for the Airfix BAC Lightning kit. I am starting this kit (the F6 version) and discovered that that I have both the KMC and cutting edge parts in my stash. I just want to use the one that will take the less amount of cutting and fitting.
Haven't seen the cutting edge set, but the KMC I have isn't very nice at all, although the PE canopy framing was welcome. The Aires set is superb though, which is what I went with, and the wheel wells and afterburner cans are highly recommended too.
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The resin castings are absolutely beautiful. The problem is that the cockpit simply will *not* fit. Both the kit fuselage halves and the resin cockpit walls need to be thinned drastically. So drastically that the fuselage halves will eventually become paper thin and will collapse. The best way of using the resin set is to use the instrument panel and front bulkhead, the rear bulkhead and seat and the cockpit floor. Detail the fuselage sides with Microstrip and slice the throttle quadrant and other components from the resin cockpit walls and use these as detailing components.
I was using the set on a Seafire FR47 that I had spent ages hunting for. As I posted here at the time, I tried thinning the kit fuselage halves... thinning the resin parts... and still the resin simply refused to fit properly. I trimmed here... Trimmed there... Trimmed every flippin' where. No joy.
And then disaster struck. I thinned the fuselage halves and the resin so much that even applying gentle pressure caused the rear fuselage to break away and the cockpit sides to collapse! But all was not lost. I have six Airfix Spitfire 24 kits that were intended to supply the engine parts to be added to a Hasegawa MkIX. I took the fuselage halves from one of these. The broken bits from the Seafire will still be perfectly usable for a MkXIX. So then I started again with the cockpit. The odd thing is that I thinned the resin cockpit sides so much that much of the moulded in detail - fuse boxes, switch panels, throttle quadrant - had become a selection of parts in their own right! So I used those to detail the Airfix cockpit sides. In the end, I was very pleased with the way the cockpit turned out, but if I hadn't had those spare kits, it could all have turned into tears before bedtime.
Talk about doing it the hard way! Anyway the final outcome satisfied you, so it was probably worth the effort. I went looking around on the web for info on this particular problem with the Aires detail kit, and found the instruction sheet as a pdf from the Eduard kit that includes both the Airfix model Spitfire and Aires cockpit set:
section about installing the new cockpit is on page six, but it's so vague that it almost looks like they want you to saw the fuselage in half and install the new cockpit as a plug between the front and back halves (I don't think they really have that in mind, but it would be a novel approach.) Anyway, this was a major slip on Aires part, which is a pity, as the cockpit detail looks excellent other than that (pages four and five). To me, the way you ended up doing it looks like it would have been a better option in the first place. A detail kit where you would simply add all the new detail parts to the cockpit walls rather than install new resin walls. I wonder if that was the original intention of the kit, and they then added the new walls without realizing they would need to thin the floor section and bulkheads to get it to fit in the fuselage correctly.
That would probably actually work, but would require a lot of careful rescribing of panel detail.
I think a similar situation will pertain with the Aires 1/72 A-4 cockpit intended for the Fujimi kits. I think that I may end up actually cutting the fuselage sides away to allow the resin cockpit walls to double as the fuselage. In total contrast, the 1/72 A-7 cockpit for the Fujimi kits fits perfectly with minimal adjustments.