L'Arsenal 1/350 USS Sullivans upgrade set

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
So you always wanted to build a square bridge Fletcher class but the Trumpeter USS The Sullivans plastic kit is just too lacking in detail for you. Well then, this is just the set for you. It contains the parts you need to turn that kit into an accurate late war Fletcher class ship. 
The set includes two photo etch frets and some of the finest resin accessories available today. All of the weapons, directors, and many fittings are provided. The Sullivans had was refitted late in 1945 and had one set of torpedo tubs and two 40 mm guns removed and two quad 40 mm guns mounted in their place. L'Arsenal has includes those extra parts in case you wish to do the later emergency AA fit. With these parts you should be able to do most any mid to late war Fletcher class destroyer. Click images
to enlarge
These gun houses are nicely cast with lots of surface detailing. They look spot on in size and shape with the correct barrel offset. They all appear to be upper mounts without the extra turret knuckle, but I have learned from experience that this is a subtle feature that is not really visible in this scale. You have your choice of machined brass gun barrels or resin ones with blast bags. You can cut the resin barrel away and drill it out for the brass barrel for the best effect. 
The set includes two 40 mm quad mounts and five 40 mm twin mounts. Both types feature incredibly fine casting and true to scale detailing. The separate 40 mm gun barrels are extremely thin and feature the correct barrel profile with the recoil springs. Add a little of the included photo etch to these and you will have some fine looking gun mounts. With the barrel assemblies being separate, you can pose these guns in any position.
Most later Fletcher class destroyers had a twin 40 mm gun mount. The ones in the plastic kit are crude and are not usable in my opinion. In contrast these are excellent and the thinnest I have seen in this scale. There are also some photo etch parts that give the mount some extra details including a photo etch gun assembly. I prefer the resin versions myself will probably mix and match them. 
A new more detailed MK-37 gun director is provided to replace the crude one in the kit. It is correctly shaped and sized with nice casting and will need very little cleanup. This part available separately as MK-37 Gun Directors set. You also get a nice resin SA radar base to mount the PE antenna on. Seven Ammo boxes are provided as well.
Two quintuple torpedo mounts are provided. It is hard to make out in the photos due to the translucent color of the resin, but there is some really nice rib detailing on the blast shield, and the mount itself looks very nice. However only one mount should have the blast shield. The other should be open.
Two 26' whale boats are included with really nice detailing. You can even see the wood planking inside the boat. A set of davits with nice framing are perfect to get your boats in the water. A set of rectangular balsa rafts is included without the netting. That is supplied with photo etched inserts that fit inside them. This gives a very realistic effect when finished. Photo etched details are also provided for the boats including deck inserts, rudders, propeller, and railings.
A complete photo etch set has all those other parts that are needed to dress up the ship. New railings, and ladders as well as gun shields for the various gun mounts. Depth charge racks for the port and starboard and larger roller racks for the stern. New radar antennas and many more fine details some with relief etching to bring out the details. Floater net baskets, funnel side grills, and footrails for the 20 mm gun mounts will add that extra touch.
A second fret is included with additional depth charge racks, also relief etched. 
The instructions are four pages with a parts list for the resin and photo etch. The last two pages show the various subassembly views for the parts.

If you are building a late war Fletcher, this set is your one stop for all the upgrades you will need. Fine photo etch, realistic resin replacement parts, and even turned brass barrels. This is item #KC 350 03 priced at 49.95 Euros. You can purchase them direct from Tony Bunch at the L'Arsenal USA table at the Nationals for $57.00 US. Stop by and say hi and check out all the other fine upgrades for ships of all scales.

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