Gold Medel Models PE review
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Dragon 1/350 USS Gearing is the latest in their Smart kit line. The kit is highly detailed and improves on the previous Buchanan kits. But it still lacks the finer details that are just not possible to achieve in plastic. Not to worry, Loren Perry has worked his magic once again and the result is this update set. The Dragon kit has basic photo etch for some of the smaller items, but no railings. This set includes finely etched railings with drooping chain and micro-fine safety netting  along the bottom and closed chocks at the appropriate intervals. The railing is custom fit to the kit and matches the gently sloping deck. All of your favorite features found on Gold Medal sets are included for your Gearing on this superbly etched set. Extensive use of relief etching provides a 3D appearance to the otherwise flat parts. The ammo racks for the 40 mm gun tubes add an extra level of detail to the kit and they are smartly designed to help you position them at the right intervals. Even the highly detailed 5" gun houses on the kit are improved with the captains sights. You can super detail the kit with the new yardarms and doublers.  Eyebolts and turnbuckles will allow you to add realistic rigging details to your ship.
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If you have ever had trouble hanging that boat from the kit supplied davits, then you will appreciate the boat pulley details in this set. Scale thickness depth charge roller and storage racks are improvements in the kit parts. Another really nice touch was the flagstaff and jackstaff for the bow and stern. If you don't think the kit torpedo training gear is detailed enough, then try out the one supplied on this fret. There are hand wheels with cranks and a control panel with gauges.
Additional detail shots of the photo etch fret.

This set contains:

  • custom-fitted and pre-shaped main deck rails with integral netting and correctly positioned chocks. 
  • custom-fitted 01 level rails.
  • Additional railing sections in several styles are provided for custom work including simulated canvas-covered rails
  • tapered rails for the aft funnel platform.
  • vertical and inclined ladders
  • depth charge tracks and stowage racks
  • K-gun loading racks with handling davits
  • 40mm railings, sights, and seats.
  • 20mm anti-aircraft gun details with bracing on the back side 
  • 5" gun captain sights
  • pre-shaped ready ammunition racks for all 40mm gun mount tubs
  • propeller guards
  • anchor chains
  • jackstaff & flagstaff
  • funnel cap grilles and handrails
  • whistle platform & rails
  • floater net baskets
  • boat details
  • see-through bottoms & paddles for all life rafts
  • mast & yardarm details
  • Mk. 12, Mk. 22, SC-4, SR, and SG radars
  • ECM antennas
  • three fold-to-shape see-through director towers
  • two sets of torpedo tube control stands
  • antenna brackets for funnels & superstructure
  • Stokes litters
  • watertight doors
  • swab & broom rack with extra swabs & brooms
  • turnbuckles, and eyebolts
  • life rings
  • capstan brake wheels and assorted control wheels.
The instructions are two legal sized pages with the usual in depth assembly notes. Very well illustrated with lots of sub assembly views and notes. I have always been a fan of Gold Medal Models instructions sheets. They are easy to follow and even a good reference for the kit. They even make note of some of the mistakes in the Dragon version. 
click to go to Gold Medal Models website

Did I mention the brooms and mops? Now you can put those 1/350 sailors to work swabbing the deck with the extensive detail set. There is even a rack to store them when they are done. This set will really add life to your Gearing class. There are plenty of extra parts to allow you to modify your kit into other ships  

This is set #350-49 WORLD WAR 2 GEARING-CLASS DESTROYER for $40.00 US. A great value that will add value to an already great kit. You can get it direct from Gold Medal Models or pick your set up wherever fine ship accessories are sold. Paypal is now accepted.