1/700 Midship Models
Benham/Gridley Class
Photo Etch Set
reviewed by Timothy Dike
The new Midship Benham and Gridley Class Destroyers are the first new DD's to be released since Pit-Road put out their Benson Class DD's. There are plenty of Generic Photo etch sets that can be used on it. But Midship has followed up with a photo etch set made specifically for the kit. It includes parts that will help address some of the shortcomings of injection molding. 
click to enlarge
Click to enlarge images
The fret is relief etched and includes a wide variety of parts. Drawn up by Mike Bishop the set reminds me of some of the PE that is included with larger 1/350 sets. The set includes all the basics such as railings, ladders, and depth charge racks. But goes way beyond that with some awesome little lookout seats and item not commonly found in this scale. Two types of yardarms are included, the early style even has little eyelet's for rigging that us modelers will really appreciate. Mast mounted fighting lights are also included. Another big plus is the many rigging supports such as those found on the sides of funnels. 
Close ups of the fret details
click to enlarge
The railings are custom fitted to the kit with special railings for that taper to the deck for the splash shields on the aft end. The inclined ladders are the type with pose-able steps, and nice handrails. 20 mm and 50 cal guns are provided, but the 20 mm guns have no shields with them a curious omission. Side support frames for the Bridge are included. Items such as floater net baskets will add an extra level of detail to your kit. Funnel grills for both classes of destroyer are included. K-gun davits and racks will make your kit look much better. Did I mention the ships bell? The main radar came out really nice, but the opening in the Mk 37 radar mesh are not as open as I would like. A separate fret with the radar and frame for the Mk 34 gun director is provided. Some of these parts are also on the main fret and these can also be fitted to the Mk 37 directors.
The instructions are two pages with a Bill of Materials and sub assembly views on one side and a reproduction of the Midship instructions with PE locations noted. I'm disappointed by the second sheet. I would have liked to see the PE drawn on the sheet so there is no doubt as to where they fit with the kit. But most modelers shouldn't have a problem figuring out where everything goes.

It's good to have a new line of ships on the market and even better to have a custom PE set to go with it. While there are some minor concerns with this fret, the benefits far outweigh them. If you have any of the Midship  Destroyers then you will definitely want this fret. If you build DD's in 1/700 scale then this fret will be very useful to have on hand. Besides the price is right at $13.99 on the Trident Hobbies online website.

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