Black Cat Models
1/350 US Navy SK Radar


Reviewed by Martin J Quinn
August 2021

Black Cat Models from France has sent us some of their latest products.   One of those to arrive is a set AC350091e, US Navy SK Radar (x1)

According to various internet sources, by 1939, radar had evolved to the point where is was practicable to use it in combat. The British had given a great deal of thought as to how radar could be used effectively, and this research proved extremely valuable during the Battle of Britain.   Meanwhile, the Americans were pursuing their own, independent, research into radar.  From 1930 to 1940, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory explored the use of radio for ranging and detection, and in 1935, the Committee on Naval Appropriations of the U.S. House of Representatives provided $100,000 to the Naval Research Laboratory for the development of radar. The research led to the first U.S. radar, the XAF, which was permanently installed on USS New York (BB-34) in 1939. By the time the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, 20 radar units had been installed on selected ships.*   In production, the XAF was designated as the CXAM radar.   The follow up was the CXAM-1, which included some enhancements.  

SK was an improvement on the CXAM air search radar set. It was essentially an SC-2 radar set, with a larger antenna with 66 dipoles. The radar was capable of detecting a medium bomber at 10 000 feet and 100 nautical miles. There was no elevation control but elevation could be estimated roughly from positions of maximum, and minimum signal strength of the difference of the signals between the antenna rows. The SK radar was mainly used on larger units of the US Fleet.+

*Partially sourced from Naval Heritage and History Command website.
+Partially sourced from the website.

Click to enlarge images
The packaging is the usual plastic clamshell container, with a single print raft attached to the bottom of the packaging with double sided tape.  

There is one SK radar and mount included.   The radar and supports are generally well printed, but the top of the radar - on the small rectangular part about the main "square" - droops ever so slightly across its top bar.   The whole assembly looks very fragile, so use caution when removing it from the print raft. 

Close ups of some of the parts details.


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 a PDF on how to remove the printed supports that are part of the 3D printing process.

This SK radar is another great accessory from Black Cat.  I've assembled a few photo-etch SK radars, and it's always a challenge to get the brace onto the PE screen, without clogging the latter with glue.   This 3D printed version elimiates that step, will look more realistic, plus it already has the base included, which will make it easier to handle and attach to your model.  

This is Black Cat Models set AC3500091e, US Navy SK radar (x1).  It retails for about $9.00 USD, and is available directly from Black Cat Models - who I'd like to thank for this review sample - or from some of our other fine sponsors.   Highly recommended!