Pontos Models review
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
May 2014
Pontos has released an upgrade set for the Academy 1/350 Indianapolis. This "Detail Up" set looks like it includes all the options you will need to make a highly detailed and accurate ship.
This set features a Blue stained wood deck with realistic wood planking to overlay on top of the kit flight deck.  The deck planking is very accurate with the proper trimming around the edges. This deck is really thin and doesn't have an oversize wood grain that you sometimes get with early wood deck sets. 
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Since there is still some debate about whether the Indy had her deck painted in 1945, both the deck blue, the naturally wood deck option are included.
The first fret includes the aircraft crane, and catapults. These are nicely done with relief etched rivet detail and work in conjunction with the resin catapults gear shown further down in this review. Ammo racks and details for the 40 mm guns are included. 20 mm gun parts are nicely etched with shields and lightweight mounts. Boat davits are nicely etched in a fold up assembly with rigging to help hang the boats. 
The railings (cut to length for the kit), ladders, and a variety of platforms are included here. Note the funnel details with footrails, and fitted platforms. The radar's are well engineered to work with both the kit parts and some of the CNC turned parts. Not to be overlooked is the bridge windscreen. They inclined ladders have posable steps and are also custom made for the various kit locations. The are also a number of antenna and mast parts to add even more detail. 
Doors with relief etched surface detail and floater net baskets fill out this fret.
The kit doesn't rely on just folded flat parts, there are turned parts where appropriate. Of course the gun barrels are the most obvious, and the 8" ones are nicely done with deeply drilled out ends. 40 mm gun barrels are nicely done with nice ribs simulating the springs. The 20 mm look odd, until you see how they work with the folded PE assemblies to make some awesome twin mounts. There is a nicely shaped SF-1 radome, jack staff and ensign staff for bow and stern, and kingpost and many other details. 
To add even more details, Veteran 5" 25 cal open gun mounts are included to replace the crude ones in the kit. 40 mm mounts are exceptionally detailed and are far superior to the kit parts. These parts are very fine, but are very accurate and have a more to-scale appearance. These are only included in the advanced set.
As mentioned above extra parts for the catapult are included as some things just cant be simulated in PE. The piping and cylinders are well cast with minimal flash. 
New steel decks are included to replace the kits plastic ones. Detail is more to-scale with etched panel lines where they belong. New side panels to simulate the side armor panels will help make the ship more accurate. 
One thing about the Academy kit that many modelers will not like is the molded on anti slip tread pads. They are way over scale and one of the reasons why the above mentioned decks are included. The reproduce those rubber pads that were placed on the decks, Pontos has provided deck masks that will allow you to airbrush them on in a more accurate way. 
These are actually dry transfers instead of waterslide decals which will simulate the draft marking and hull numbers.
The instructions are full color and include subassembly views showing how all the parts go together. They appear to be very thorough and help illustrate where all the parts go. 
The following photos from Pontos show the finished kit and some subassemblies showing what your kit can look like. Even more photos and discussion can be found on the shipmodels.info forum here.

This new set from Pontos, is a work of art. Not for the beginner, but the perfectionist that wants to have all the details just right. The engineering in this set is impressive and addresses the shortcomings of the kit. The photo etch and machined brass parts are expertly designed and the end result is just stunning. This is kit #35017F1 1/350 USS Indianapolis CA-35 Detail Up Set with a  Price of  $139.95 USD advance or $99.95 at Freetime Hobbies. It's a lot of money, yes, but considering the detail it adds, I would say it well worth it. 

Check their website for more information or inquire on the forum about the set.

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