Black Cat Models 1/350
5in./38 Mk.30 gun on close mount single knuckle
Reviewed by Martin J Quinn
April 2019
Black Cat Models from France continues to build up their portfolio of new 3D printed accessories. Among the latest releases is a pair of 5 inch 38 caliber enclosed gun turrets, 5in./38 Mk.30 gun on close mount single knuckle. This gun was found on many US Destroyers, especially the Benson/Gleaves and Fletcher class. According to Wikipedia, "Among naval historians, the 5"/38 gun is considered the best intermediate-caliber, dual purpose naval gun of World War II".

Click to enlarge images
The packaging is Black Cat's typical plastic clamshell container. The 3D printed runner containing the guns and barrels is secured to the bottom of the packaging with thick double sided tape, which prevents the runner from moving during shipping. As with earlier reviews of Black Cat products, to avoid breakage while taking photographs, I left the parts affixed to the tape.

There are two turrets and four gun barrels in the package. One turret has blast shield over the gun captains hatch. The detail is exceptional. Some of the details that stand out are the gun sights on the tops of the turrets, the delicate handrails and ladder on back of the turret, all of which actually stand off from the turret itself. There are really well done rivets around the opening for the gun barrel, as well as nicely detail hatches on the turret - the largest of which have handles on them. There are some 3D printed lines on the tops and sides of the turrets. These are more noticeable in digital photos then to the naked eye, but are there, nonetheless. The gun barrels have open muzzles. I like the fact that four barrels are included, for ham handed modelers (like me). 

Close ups of some of the parts details.
3D printed parts vs. kit parts. Dragon (left) Tamiya (right)
There are no instructions in the box, but the packing directs you to the Black Cat Models website. There, on a data page for the particular item, you will find instructions on how to remove the printed supports that are part of the 3D printing process.
These 3D printed turrets and barrels very well done. The print quality is very good, the details are outstanding. I'm especially impressed with the hand rails and ladder. These are some of the best 5in/38 cal single gun turrets I've seen. They will certainly be an upgrade to the kit supplied turrets on the Tamiya Fletcher and Trumpeter Sullivans kits, as well as the Dragon Benson/Gleaves class kits. I wish these had been available when I built my Fletcher class Haraden, as I would have used them over the L'Arsenal resin versions. 

This is Black Cat Models set AC350017e, 5in./38 Mk.30 gun on close mount single knuckle. The pair retails for about $12.50 USD, and are available directly from Black Cat Models. Highly recommended.