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Reviewed by Timothy Dike
Trumpeter now has a couple of fast battleships available in 1/350. They are pretty good kit, but that just doesn't cut it for those of you who don't build out of the box. A comprehensive detail set is needed to give the ship a realistic appearance. This set includes virtually everything you will need to add realistic detailing your South Dakota class BB. Like his other sets, Loren Perry has incorporated relief etching to enhance the 3D effect of otherwise flat details. This really shows up on items like the float plane catapults with realistic diamond plate on the deck and side frames that appear to be constructed of angle iron. Those same catapults have perforated walkways that will really look cool on the finished ship. Nice crane assemblies are vast improvements over the plastic kit parts. The radar assemblies have nice intricate details that are lacking in the solid plastic kit parts. But don't take my word for it, take a look at the pictures below and see for yourself.
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Many of the fine detail parts you have seen on other USN ship sets are on this fret too. The nice relief etched cable reels and watertight doors. The railings are custom tailored to the ship and the deck edge railings include chocks in the appropriate places. Separate chocks fold over these to give them some bulk and make them stand out. 

Missing from the Trumpeter kit are gun shields for their 20 mm guns. You will find these in this set as well as parts to dress them up a bit. The 40 mm gun parts will help improve the quad mounts too. I suspect that many will opt to replace the kit parts entirely, but I am glad these are included for those who don't want to go to that extra step. 
Additional detail shots of the photo etch fret.

This new set is custom designed for the Trumpeter USS Massachusetts & Alabama battleship kits and contains the following items:

  • custom fitted and pre-shaped main deck railing with pre-positioned chocks and cutouts for catapults
  • specialized railing in all the correct styles for upper decks
  • watertight doors in the correct sizes in open and closed positions
  • sixteen inclined ladders in two sizes
  • vertical ladders
  • SK, SK-2, SC-2, SG, Mk. 3, Mk. 8, Mk. 12, Mk. 22, & Mk. 27 radar antennas
  • TDY ECM antenna
  • two TBS antennas
  • propellers for OS2U and SC-1 floatplanes; two aircraft catapults
  • stern crane with hooks & rigging
  • two pairs of two different styles of boat crane booms with hooks & rigging for the first three ships of the South Dakota-class
  • rails and gunsights for twenty (20) 40mm Bofors
  • similar details for sixty (60) 20mm Oerlikons
  • gunsights for twelve (12) 5" dual gun mounts
  • paddles plus perforated bottoms for life rafts
  • highly detailed replacement yardarms in the correct sizes for both masts
  • rudders and chocks for four 26' motor whaleboats
  • two leadsman's platforms
  • four cable reels; two anchor hawsepipe screens with spares
  • anchor capstan brakewheels in two styles with spares
  • replacement bridge with see-through fold-to-shape windshield frames
  • six Stokes stretchers, and eight life preservers
  • an assortment of eyebolts and turnbuckles for superdetailing the ship's rigging.
  • Numerous spare parts are included in the event of loss or damage. 
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 will be very helpful in detailing your ship.
click to go to Gold Medal Models website
This is an excellent set to do a South Dakota class fast battleship. It has a variety of radar's and details for just about any time period you wish to model. Don't forget that Gold Medal Models also has many of the details in this set available separately, such as doors and hatches, 20 mm and 40 mm gun details, and of course decals. This is set # 350-41 MASSACHUSETTS & ALABAMA  with a retail price of $42.00 US. A great price for a complete makeover set that will greatly enhance the kit. You can order direct from Gold Medal Models or pick your set up wherever fine ship accessories are sold.