Reviewed by Jon Somerville

Any one familiar with the modern aircraft carrier knows that the catwalks contain numerous hose reels that have different shapes, styles and sizes. Tom's has provided four different types of refuelling reels and a fifth type of reel is for fire hoses (reel #5). The brass itself is relief etched which really shows up nicely and is a distinguishing feature in some of the reel types.

The set provides 21 of each type of refuelling reel and 20 of the fire hose reels. That makes a total of 104 reels that comes with each package.

One of the things that caught my eye is the size of the reels. To me they are correct size when other offerings I've seen by some photo etch sets appear to be too large.

Close ups of the fret

Instructions are a one sided sheet providing images of what the reels look like on the real ship and how to fold the parts. Additional research by the modeller will be required to figure out exact placement of the parts as it would be impossible to provide such help. Some helpful tips are also provided here.


As there are a multitude of reels that line the catwalk of any modern carrier, this set provides the variety needed that you cannot find in any other photo etch set. At a cost of $12.50 this set is a much welcomed set for many modellers. Now that MRC has announced a 1/350 modern assault ship, another market for this set is clear. At the time of release Tom's Modelworks also launched two other sets, Nimitz Flotation Canister Racks (3576) and Enterprise Flotation Canister Racks (3569).

Be sure to check out all of Tom's Modelworks ship detail sets on their online store with secure shopping.