Veteran Models 1/700
USN MK-22 3"/50 Twin Open Mount (with Mk56 Gun Director)
Yet another review
by Sean Hert

When Allied forces first faced Kamikazes in October of 1944, it quickly became apparent the 20mm's and 40mm's used for close-in AA defense were inadequate to meet this new threat. The warhead was just too small to knock out a kamikaze before impact. The USN choose the 3"/50 Mk 22 then in production; it was the smallest gun which could fire a VT (proximity fuze) shell, and was easily convertible to an automatic gun. The twin mounting of the new 3"/50 automatic gun was called the Mk 27, and was close to the size and weight of the quad 40mm mount, allowing them to be swapped out on a one for one basis. The Mk 27 wasn't ready until after the war, but found service on many ships during the post-war era. Mk 27 was later upgraded to the Mk 33 mount, and some made it into the 21st century still in service.


This kit of 3"/50 AA guns has parts for making 4 mounts, and also includes the parts for 4 Mk 56 3" directors. Each mount consists of 6 pieces; the base, 2 gun mounts, the rotary loader and 2 pieces of photoetch railings. The barrels can be placed at any angle between 0 and 45 degress (the real mount had elevation range of -15 / +85 degrees). The barrels are molded slightly long to allow for miscasts and breakage- you may need to trim to length. There are also three parts to each Mk 56 director; the director housing, the round radar dish and a photoetched antenna for the dish. These parts are quite detailed, but delicate.


The instructions show the assembled mount, and simple steps required to build it. They reference using a "blower" to help fix bent barrels, which must be an allusion to a blow dryer- although hot water might be a better method.


A great, highly detailed accessory for your 1/700 post war fleet. Definately recommended.

This is set #VTM-70001 USN MK-22 3"/50 Twin Open Mount (with Mk56 Gun Director) with a list price of $20.95.

Veteran Model products are distributed in the US by Georgetown Hobbies and are available at the following stores. Thanks to Veteran Models for providing this review sample.