Gold Medal Models Photoetch sets for
Trumpeter's 1/350th USS Hornet
Detail from Hornet "Extra Detail" set
Reviewed by Steve Jantscher
With the recent introduction by Trumpeter of their 1/350th scale U.S.S. Hornet kit, many photo etch suppliers were ready with their various sets to complement this important kit. The best, as far as I'm concerned are these four additions produced by Gold Medal Models. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Gold Medal Models' photo etch. I believe their relief "3D" photo etch is the best out there, and I have used many of their sets before. Their quality extends from the pieces themselves to the detailed and extensive instructions included with each set.
For the recent Trumpeter release, GMM has released two sets specifically for the ship kit. One is known as the "Extra Detail" set, and includes life raft bottoms, direction finder antennas, boat supports, LSO platforms (both fore and aft), accommendation ladders, flight deck windbreaks, arresting gear sheaves and barrier wires, and extensive flight deck and funnel catwalks.
USS Hornet "Extra Detail" set
The other specific set is called the "Hornet Fittings" set. This has more of the small bits, and less of the structural items (such as catwalks) as found in the previous set. Included in the "Fittings" set are the following; aircraft crane, two different boat cranes, CXAM radar, SC radar, 20mm gun details which include gun sight, shield, elevation wheels and shoulder rests,Mk 37 five inch gun director radars, ships screws, life raft paddles, chocks, flight deck ladders, various boat and aircraft details (17 pairs of B-25 props, boat rudders and railings), island details for both late 1941 and April 1942, life buoys, cable reels, flight deck safety rails, flight deck elevator rail, watertight doors and extra railing to finish up the kit. Also included is a lone "LtCol James H. Doolittle" 1/350th scale figure.
detail scans from the "Hornet Fittings"
As a general complement to aid in the proper presentation of an aircraft carrier model is the air wing. To that end, the other two recent releases from GMM are listed below. the first of these is the photo etch set "1/350 Scale WW2 USN Carrier Aircraft Details" set. Included are a large number of landing gear and propellers for that truly scale effect. Specifically, 9 sets for the F4F, and 10 sets each for the SBD, F6F, TBF, TBD, SB2C and F4U. The four bladed props of the late model F4U Corsairs are also included. In addition there are 40 arrestor hooks. These details may seem like not much, but they are just the ticket to putting your carrier over the top in detail and scale realism.
Finally one can choose to add the fine Gold Medal Models 1/350 WW2 USN Aircraft Markings decal sheet to provide markings not available in most kits. Both late and pre-war markings are provided in this generic decal sheet. I really like these, but on my subject sheet the red was slightly out of register. I believe these were preproduction "test" shot rejects, but one should always carefully check their decal sheets prior to purchase, or upon receipt in the mail, from any manufacturer. This set does give you all the major markings in different sizes for nUS Naval aircraft from pre war to the present, as well as white and black lettering and numbers. Also included are "NAVY" & "MARINES" decals and white arrow air wing symbol for the USS Bunker Hill (CV-17). These are incorrectly listed as VF-84 F6F tails. I don't believe there was a VF-84 when these markings were in effect, the squadron that would become VF-84 was VF-17.
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