Tuesday, February 26

Review: Eclipse Model Designs 1/32 Spitfire Fireproof forward bulkhead (for Hasegawa & PCM)

What to do when there is a gap in the floor? Hasegawa and PCM Spitfire modellers know this problem well – their 1/32nd kits do not provide a firewall to stop you from seeing right into the front of the aircraft  - but Eclipse Model Design have come to the rescue with their new Fire-proof bulkhead for both of these kits – we investigate further for you…..

Product no: EMD A32009
To suit the  1/32 PCM and Hasegawa spitfire kits (after MK.VI)
1 part in grey resin.
Price: £4.50 (Price without VAT or delivery)

The floor of the Supermarine spitfire was not a regular floor most modellers are used to – it was a frame upon which everything in the cockpit was mounted, and it was only from the Spitfire Mk.VI onwards that there was a pressurised firewall to properly stop us from looking at the inside of the empty engine bay on our models. As the cockpit is one of the most scrutinised places on any aircraft build this part was in desperate need by spitfire builders.

Part of the instructions are excellent reference pictures like this one - the likes of are very hard to find otherwise and are a welcome inclusion.
This resin replacement from Eclipse Model Designs (EMD) has been made to fill this gap(sorry folks) in the need of spitfire builders. Supplied in a very strong cardboard box and shipped in bubblewrap plastic, this came safely in the post from EMD.
To be precise this kit fixes not only the Hasegawa 1/32 Spitfire Mk.VI kit, but with very minor adjustment it will fit the Pacific Coast Models (PCM) 1/32 Spitfires Mk.IX, Mk.XIV and Mk.XVI as well. The resin is cast by those very skilled guys at Grey Matter – the same people that have recently taken over Jerry Rutman’s lines and actually improved on them. They are indeed very good at their jobs because the resin is without any casting flaws, no bubbles or warping here. They have indeed done an excellent job on casting something so delicate in detail.
The firewall itself has only a few small resin injection marks to remove before it can be simply inserted in the Hasegawa kits. There is a very small amount of shaving to be done to make this kit fit into the PCM model.  The detail here is very fine - not to an extent it is redundant or too fragile either. I think this could have the requisite hoses and wires joined to it without a worry. The small rivets and holes will weather and scratch up very nicely.

I am sorry I do not have either of these kits to check the fit – although I do have the next best thing!
That “next best thing” in this case are the instructions supplied folded up in the box. You can tell that EMD appreciate the Spitfire – as this is a great three page double sided colour printed paper instruction manual which not only gives you the instructions on EXACTLY how to install their firewall on both Hasegawa and PCM kits but there is an excellent diagram of where to install the pipes into the floor of the bulkhead – this is as good a reference as you will need to install the part and it really gives you an insight as to how intricate you can make this kit. Serious modellers and super detailers especially will love this appreciation to detail in the instructions and it will help a lot of modellers become super-detailers in their own right!
Flawlessly cast and fine in detail, with excellent instructions and helpful notes this is the perfect drop-in kit for spitfire makers who need to find their bottom!

Excellent work EMD

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Eclipse Model Design for sending this product for us to review