RB Productions | RB-P32038 1/32 I.A.R.80/81 Late-Type Harness
Reviewed by Iain Ogilvie
Hot off the press for the superb new 1:32 I.A.R. 81C kit by FRROM, we've received an example of a new set of seat straps from RB Productions. Those that have already treated themselves to the FFROM kit will know of Radu Brinzan's involvement in the project - so it's not surprising to see a range of accessories being released by Radu's RB Productions brand for this kit.
The set provides a small etched fret, a sheet of pre-cut paper straps and a set of assembly/reference instructions.
Why Paper? We'll - I'm going to cheat and copy the text from RB Productions site - I haven't used them in anger yet (but soon will!) - but all sounds reasonable to this reviewer:
The "paper" used on these seatbelts has a high rag content and no lignin (meaning that it is actually a "textile" material), it is acid free and died in the grain.
Why is this better than "fabric"? Fabric was considered and tested, then it was abandoned for the following reasons:
- Fabric is hard to cut properly. The edges will often fray. The paper used on these seatbelts will always keep a well-defined edge.
- The paper used on these seatbelts is extremely easy to "set" and stay on the model if you moisten it slightly. Fabric tends to be "springy" and will not settle like real seatbelts.
- Real seatbelts have a very "tight" and "solid" look about them. Seatbelt strap weaves are usually quite fine and the threads tend to be around 1mm on the coarsest materials, but usually they are much finer. In scale 1/32 such coarse thread would be 0.03mm, which is basically one fifth of the thickness of a human hair. There is no way such weave or thread could ever be visible on accurately-scaled straps. The paper used on these seatbelts provides the correct "tight" and "solid" look of the real thing.
- "Fabrics" tend to have a "plain weave" respectively a perpendicular "over and under" pattern. No seatbelt material is ever woven like that - most of them tend to be a "twill pattern". Furthermore, no matter how tightly the fabric is woven, on the fabric material used for "fabric" seatbelts there are fine gaps between the threads and as a result the seatbelt will be slightly translucent. The paper used on these seatbelts provides the correct thickness and opacity of the real thing.
Particularly appreciated are the detailed instructions - including reference drawings illustrating the full size straps - it's the little details like this that help hugely - especially a relatively obscure aircraft type such as this.
If you're planning on building the new FRROM kit I can highly recommended as an upgrade over the brass straps in the kit - and good value for money too!
This new mask set is available directly from RB Productions at €5.50 plus postage.
Review copy courtesy of Radu at RB Productions.
Take a look at Kevin Futter's review of the FRROM I.A.R.81C for more information about the target kit.
© Iain Ogilvie 2014
This review was published on Sunday, October 12 2014; Last modified on Saturday, October 18 2014