Hasegawa 1/350 Escort Carrier
USS Gambier Bay Detail Up Etching Parts Basic

Reviewed by Sean Hert

Hasegawa's USS Gambier Bay is a fine kit in it's own right, but many modelers today are not satisfied with the fidelity of all plastic parts. Photoetch allows for thinner, higher detailed parts to enhance the scale appearance of your model. Since Hasegawa's first 1/350 ship offerings, they have released supplementary photoetch detailing sets for their kits. This set is the Basic, or "A", detail set.

The Basic detail set is comprised of a single fret of brass photoetch. Tightly packaged in a plastic bag, the brass feels to be the right thickness for this application; not too thin, and not too thick. The etching is very crisp, with no signs of over- or under-etching, chemical staining, or other manufacturing defects.

The fret itself is basic, as the title implies. This set is almost completely made up of railings and safety nets, with 2 replacement ladders included. Most of the railings are intended for the catwalks and galleries that surround the edge of the flight deck, but there are also included safety lines for the edge of the hangar elevators. These lines are pre-shaped with a droop, and will make a great detail if you choose to use them. The ladders are not the normal ladders usually included in aftermarket photoetch sets. These are part-specific, pre-lengthened, and require some minimal folding; they should look very good.

One item of note is the method Hasegawa uses for mounting the railings. Each stantion or net has a tab at the bottom. This tab is intended to be bent over at a 90 degree angle, and then attached underneath the catwalk. These tabs also provide for a large contact area for the adhesive, and presumably a better bond.


A large double-sided folding sheet of instructions is included. These instructions have both illustrations and photos of the parts installed on the kit.


A nice photoetch set, but a bit "basic" for the cost. Hasegawa has an additional set, a "Super Detail" set, which includes more items. The super set also costs about twice as much as the basic, and you still require the basic set to get the handrails needed. While all the parts on this fret should fit perfectly, the cost is a bit steep for what is a set of just railing.

Thanks to Great Planes Model Distributorsfor the review sample. It is listed as #72144 1/350 Escort Carrier USS Gambier Bay Detail Up Etching Parts Basic with a MSRP of $52.99 US. Great Planes is the exclusive US importer for Hasegawa.