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Reviewed by Timothy Dike
Trumpeter followed up their sucessful 1/350 scale USS Lexington with a prewar version of the USS Saratoga featuring all new molding. So it just wouldn't seem right to expect modelers to use a Lexington set to detail a Saratoga. Not a problem, Loren Perry has come out with a set with all the details you will need to do a prewar Sara.
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Like their other sets, this one includes very fine relief etched details. All the basic details such as railings and safety nettings are their, and they are custom cut to fit the Trumpeter kit. So you can put away your dividers, you are not going to need them with this set. My favorite feature is the bridge interior details. 
Included in the set are:
  • Specialized railing in several styles with numerous pre-shaped and pre-sized sections for ease of installation
  • watertight doors & pre-sized rails for tops of 8" gun turrets
  • pre-sized safety railing for the No. 2 elevator
  • fold-to-shape inclined ladders in several sizes
  • vertical ladders
  • watertight doors in two correct styles with open and closed options
  • D.F. loop antennas
  • pre-sized and correctly patterned safety rails and safety nets for the flight deck
  • structural supports for several areas of the ship
  • details for aircraft and ship's boats If you need more check the #350-40 1/4 Airwing Detail Set
  • boat chocks in two sizes
  • two-position flight deck palisades (windbreak) with correct number of panels
  • replacement yardarms with doublers
  • pilot house equipment
  • funnel cap grilles
  • cable reels in two styles
  • funnel boat deck braces
  • details for 5" 25 caliber antiaircraft guns
  • arresting gear sheaves and barricade supports
  • correct three-bladed screws for the ship's four propeller shafts
  • turnbuckles and eyebolts for detailing rigging
  • figures of 
    • Captains William F. Halsey
    • John Towers
    • Albert C. Read, Saratoga's commanding officers during the late 1930's
Additional detail shots of the photo etch fret.
A word about quality and customer service. 

Gold Medal Models has always been very concerned about taking care of their customers. When Loren learned about a mistake in the first run of this set, not only did he correct it, but he is offering his customers a special fret with the missing parts on it.Now that is customer service! Bravo Zulu Loren. Read his note below:


While modifying the 1/350 scale Saratoga PE design to create the 1/700 version for Trumpeter's 1/700 Saratoga kit, I discovered a missing railing section in the Gold Medal Models No. 350-39 1/350 scale Saratoga PE set.

The missing railing is GMM Part No. BP5, the pre-shaped rail for the starboard side boat pocket in the hull. Although most modelers could easily make this part from extra rails supplied in the GMM set, I've decided to produce a small fret with this railing in it and include it in the remainder of the first production run of the Saratoga PE set. (Corrections have been made and all subsequent production runs of the Saratoga PE set will have Railing BP5 included.)

At the same time, I'm making this small fret with Railing BP5 available at no charge to any GMM customer who purchased one of the early production 1/350 scale Saratoga PE sets. Simply e-mail us with your request and I'll send it off at no charge. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The instructions as usual are first rate, and include many detail views showing how the parts go together and work with the existing plastic parts. These 
click to go to Gold Medal Models website

This is an excellent set and just what you need for your Saratoga in all her prewar glory. This set could also be used to do an early Lexington. The set has all the typical details that the modeler would want and then some, and with a retail price of $42.00 US it adds a lot a value to your build. You can order direct from Gold Medal Models or pick your set up wherever fine ship accessories are sold.