Flyhawk 1/350
Italian Navy Battleship Roma Super Detail

by Sean Hert

Flyhawk's update set for Trumpeter's Roma is comprised of *12* frets of brass photoetch, and machined brass barrels for the main and secondary batteries, and new resin bases for the 20mm twin AA guns. This expansive upgrade set is not for the shy or timid.


This first fret of photoetch, fret A, has bridge window upgrades, railings, ladders and various other details for the conning tower/forward bridge superstructure.


This fret contains a large "starfish" for the mainmast, more railings and platforms, and a many various structural supports for platforms and pedestals.


Fret C focuses primarily on the two funnels, with screens, handrails and other details specific this area.


Fret D has a magnificent replacement of the aircraft catapult- a major feature on the quarterdeck of Roma. Additionally, there is a nice upgrade to the crane, including pulleys with "cables" already tensioned.


Fret E is AA weapons fret, containing replacement for the twin 20mm/65 guns as well as the *single* mount 37mm/54 guns. These replacement gun mounts may prove tricky for some modellers.


Fret F is also AA weapons fret, this one strickly concerned with the 37mm/54 twin mounts. These assemblies are even trickier than the ones on Fret E.


G has one last part needed to complete the twin 37mm's, and the rest of this fret concerns the detailing of the 381mm main turrets, the 152mm secondaries, as well as a replacement gunshield for the 120mm illumination guns and some upgrade ladders for Roma.


This fret had some great upgrades for Roma's embarqued boats, with both replacement decks and deckhouses included. Flyhawk has selected not to include any running gear (props, rudders,etc) for these boats. H also has some more ladders and hatches, including some parts for the Roma's distinctive 90mm/50 AA guns amidships.


Fret I has for all the boat stowage on deck, then turns to upgrades for aircraft braces, launch cradles and props.


Fret J has the boat davits, accomodation ladders and gear as well as the mooring booms and gear.


This fret has watertight doors, hatches and scuttles, all etched in a manner which allows them to be positioned opened or closed. There are also the standard replace hose and cable reels found in most photoetch sets. This set also has the track which supports the end of the catapult, which would swing from port to starboard for launching.


Completing the photoetch in this set is Fret L, which is mostly the main deck railings. It also includes raised letters for the ship's name, ladders down to the quarterdeck and replacement breakwaters for the foredeck.


There are 21 machined brass barrels, consisting of two different calibers. There are nine (9) 381mm main guns, three for each of the three turrets. Next, there twelve (12) of the 152mm barrels for the four triple-gunned secondaries.



Some simple resin disks, to act as bases for the 20mm's.


Flyhawk has their normal three color, multi-sheet set of instructions, six pages in this case. Flyhawk relies on little text, using drawings to illustrate assembly. There appear to be some steps not covered in the instructions; the metal barrel installation is immediately apparent.

These instuctions do not follow the building process, so careful planning, including close examination and study of both the parts and instructions are paramount prior to final assembly.


This super detail set from Flyhawk is quite extensive with a level of detail well surpassing that of the base kit. It is unfortunate the instructions are not more extensive- and the long paper format is a tad unwieldy. Still, this upgrade set is highly recommended, but for experienced modelers comfortable with complex photoetch.

This is set #FH350121 1/350 WWII Italian Navy Battleship Roma (For Trumpeter 05318) with a list price of $109.95. Flyhawk products are available from many online and traditional retailers. thanks Flyhawk for providing this review sample.