by: Dariush [ ]
Originally published on:
I do hope the audience is well aware about some inaccuracies and left out details within the Tamiya 1/350 USS Enterprise (CVN-65) Kit. As I already mentioned, some issues of the styrene kit can be handled with some minor scratch building and some others are really tough ones to rectify without further support. There are two major aftermarket manufacturers offering their help.
One would be Gold Medal Models (GMM) and the other White Ensign Models (WEM).
I had no preference prior to ordering my copy but found the WEM parts easier to obtain here in Europe. Please refrain about any conclusion just because I picked up the WEM set to review.
After ordering I received the WEM typical packaging as of this writing with the photo etched frets inside a cardboard strengthened envelope. The only hint on the content would be a sticker in the top right corner of that envelope recognizing the content as: 1/350 USS Enterprise – The Ship.
…. And what is inside? …
Upon opening the envelope the, modeler is given one big fret of photo etched brass parts and instructions.
I first noted there were no under- or over etching issues with the brass fret. Every part comes with sharp edges. Also, you will find relief etching where useful to enhance the visual aspect of the parts. With this said, let us see what is mainly offered:
1. Bar Guard Rails (Standard and Close Sanctioned)
2. Elevator Safety Rail
3. Safety Net for all relevant sections
4. 3 and 4 point Areal Spreaders
5. Folding Side Antenna Handles
6. Side Sensor Deck Grid
7. SPS 10 Radar
8. SPS 49 Safety Net
9. SPS 49 Antenna Screen
10. SPS 49 Antenna with Backing Frame
11. Wind Direction Vanes
12. SPS 48 Screen assembly with Support Brace
13. Approach Radar Scanner Centre Probe
14. Island Starboard Director Platform and Supports
15. Island Starboard Upper Sensor Platform Braces
16. Island Vertical Ladders and Cages
17. Cone Antenna
18. Island Forward and Aft Spreader
19. Long inclined Ladder
20. Island Pole Antenna
21. Arrestor Wire Guides
22. Accommodation Ladders
23. Island mounted Hose Reels
24. Catapult Operator Deck Hatches
25. Standard WT Doors
And many more parts.
Starting with what is provided, the wealth of parts is overwhelming. With the given Quality one is sure well advised to obtain these WEM parts. The hose reels still have no hoses but at least they are true to scale and so much thinner and more accurate than what is provided with the Tamiya kit. The Radar, which may be the most disappointing aspect of the Tamiya kit, truly comes to life now with this set.
The Instructions consist of 5 roughly 8 ½ x 11 sized pages. The print is clear to read and the few texts given are easy to follow.
The first page deals with general hints and warnings when using photo etched brass parts. The second page shows a printed diagram of the etched brass fret as a parts list. The main instructions start with page 3. Most of the following isometric diagrams deal with the radar equipment. Some few hints on assembling the hose reels follow as well as some advice on the location of the safety nets. The last page gives optional instructions if the modeler desires to use the full set and further replace kit given parts as well. Latter ones are mentioned with the according Tamiya kit numbering. That is roughly about it. The provided doors got not covered at all.
The Instructions do provide references for further reading.
No real assembly or real ship pictures are provided.
Result and Conclusion…
This is sure a very worthy set to obtain. Every single part will help the modeler to greatly enhance the Tamiya kit. The correct hose reels are a real relief and disqualify the styrene kit given solution to the fullest. The radar equipment is worth the given attention and will make any model stand out. The netting will require some major surgery on the Tamiya kit parts. This set is highly recommended.