Gold Medel Models PE review
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
August 2013
The USS Indianapolis is finally available in 1/350 scale plastic from Academy Models. It's not a bad kit, but is a little soft on the details. This new set from Gold Medal Models is just what you need to fix that. It is custom tailored for the new Academy kit and can even be used on the Trumpeter version. The details are correct for either an Indianapolis or Portland from the 1944-45 time frame. 

This set includes most of the items that the modeler will want to upgrade. The set includes railings, but they are more than just lengths of 2 or 3 bar. They are etched with braces and open and closed chocks where appropriate. Separate chocks are included to glue to these to add thickness. Swabs and brooms, their racks, and even stokes litters can be found on the relief etched brass fret. The open doors with their etched on dogs that can be bent into position are probably the most detailed ones now on the market. 

click images to enlarge
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Relief etching is used to give the catapults frames some really amazing rivet detail. Ammo racks for the gun tubs are another one of those details that will set your Cruiser apart from the others. These now have little legs that when folded down help you get the spacing right. A great deal of time went into the design of this set and it shows. Features like the mast platforms with slots to help locate the angle braces on the underside. I really hate trying to apply gussets to a part with nothing to help guide me. Little things like this help those of us with fat fingers get it right. That assembly also folds over to give thickness where it is needed while retaining the thin open mesh of the platform. 
Additional detail shots of the photo etch fret.
I have listed some of the highlights of this set. A more complete listing of the parts is shown below. 
  • custom fitted deck and superstructure railing
  • platforms railings
  • SK, SG, Mk. 3, Mk. 8, & Mk. 12 radars
  • TDY & TDY-1 ECM antennas
  • funnel cap grilles and detailed catwalks for both funnels
  • details for 40mm Bofors guns
  • pre-shaped ready ammunition racks for all 40mm Bofors gun tubs
  • armor shields and other details for single and dual 20mm Oerlikon cannon
  • rails for 5" 25 cal. gun mounts
  • see-through bottoms for all life rafts
  • tiedown rigging for turret-mounted rafts
  • life raft paddles
  • correctly detailed replacement yardarms and see-through platforms for both masts
  • watertight doors in open and closed positions
  • cable reels in two sizes
  • two detailed aircraft catapults
  • crane boom and rigging
  • accommodation ladders with davits
  • rudders and manropes for ships' boats
  • struts and propellers for two SOC Seagull seaplanes
  • life rings
  • two leadsman's platforms
  • two propellers guards
  • windshield for open bridge
  • detailed replacements for jackstaff and flagstaff
  • swab and broom racks
  • floater net baskets
  • figure of CAPT Charles B. McVay III.
The instructions are two legal sized pages with the usual in-depth assembly notes. The modifications to the existing kit parts are clearly spelled out. These instructions are some of the best out there and clearly show where the details go. 
click to go to Gold Medal Models websiteI am glad to see that Loren is not quite ready for retirement. This new set proves he is still able to produce some great detail sets. This one is just the ticket for your Indy. This is set #350-52 USS Indianapolis Detail Set for $50.00 US ($2.50 shipping for North America). A great value that will give you hours of modeling enjoyment. You can get it direct from Gold Medal Models or pick your set up wherever fine ship accessories are sold. Paypal is now accepted.