Gold Medel Models PE review
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
Hot on the heels of the recent Trumpeter San Francisco release, Loren Perry has somehow found time to produce the perfect set to fit your ship out in style. This set features all the nice details that just don't look right in plastic and all custom tailored for the Trumpeter kit. Most of the shortcomings of that kit are addressed in this set. This set features the items that most modelers will want to replace. Railing for the ship are very fine and include chocks along the deck edge. There are also other separate chocks to allow you to double them up and give them a more realistic appearance. The real gems of this set are the cranes, catapults and the awesome searchlight tower. These parts are designed for easy folding and this set is even relief etched on the back side with fold lines where appropriate. The catapults feature really nice relief etched diamond tread plate pattern and even rivet detailing along the girders on the side frames. Another nice detail item is the funnel catwalks that will really dress up the otherwise plain looking stacks. One of the most noticeable flaws in the plastic kit is the tapered splinter shields around the 5" guns. New ones are provided to replace those. Many of your favorite Gold Medal Models detail parts are included in this set. A variety of Radar's that will allow you to do other ships in the class, as well as lots of AA gun details. 
click images to enlarge
click for a larger view
As you can see by the close ups the etching on this set is very fine. You can replace those molded on doors on your ship with these relief etched ones. There are even open doors with dog details around the frame, very realistic. It looks like this set will leave you with plenty of extra details that can be used on other ships too. One of my favorite things about Gold Medal sets is the smart way the parts fold up. It is much easier to fold PE than to glue it, so I like to see parts that fold up nicely. 
Additional detail shots of the photo etch fret.

This set contains:

  • Contains custom-fitted railing for the main decks plus ample railing in  several styles for all remaining decks and platforms
  • Inclined and vertical ladders
  • SK, Mk. 3, Mk. 4, SM-1, SC, SC-2, & SG radars
  • funnel cap grilles and detailed catwalks for both funnels
  • armor and/or other details for 40mm Bofors guns, 20mm Oerlikon cannon; 5" 25 cal. gun mounts, & 1/1 inch quad machine guns
  • see-through bottoms for all life rafts
  • life raft paddles
  • correctly detailed replacement yardarms for both masts
  • watertight doors in open and closed positions
  • cable reels in two sizes
  • correctly detailed replacement searchlight platform
  • two detailed aircraft catapults
  • two crane booms and rigging; accommodation ladder with davit; rudders, pulpit rails, aft decks, & support cradles for ships' boats
  • struts and propellers for two SOC Seagull seaplanes
  • two depth charge roller tracks
  • life buoys & racks
  • life rings
  • two leadsman's platforms
  • eight replacement 3-D relief-etched splinter shields for 5" 25 cal. gun mounts
  • assorted handwheels
  • two propellers guards
  • and a binnacle for the ship's bridge. 
The instructions are two legal sized pages with the usual in depth assembly notes. Plenty of detail views are shown with no guess work for the modeler on how the parts are used.
click to go to Gold Medal Models websiteI know a lot of modelers who have been holding off on building their ships pending this release. It looks like it will be worth their wait. I never cease to be amazed by the quality sets the Loren is able to turn out in such a short amount of time. This one features all the latest state of the art parts that you need to do a first class build. Not only does this set dress up a flawed kit, it fixes most of the flaws. You can expect to see contest quality Frisco's showing up at a model show near you soon. 

This is set #350-44 San Francisco for $42.00 and you can get it direct from Gold Medal Models or pick your set up wherever fine ship accessories are sold. Paypal is now accepted.