Black Cat Models
1/350 Edsall Class DE

Reviewed December 2020
by Martin J Quinn
The Edsall-class destroyer escorts were escort ships built primarily for ocean antisubmarine escort service during World War II.  A total of 85 Edsall Class Destroyer Escorts were built between 1943 and 1944, either at Brown Shipbuilding, Houston TX, or Consolidated Steel Shipbuilders, Orange TX. The lead ship of the class, USS Edsall DE-129, was named after the USS Edsall DD-219, a Clemson class Destroyer sunk in the early days of World War II.   The class was also known as the FMR type from their Fairbanks-Morse reduction-geared diesel drive, with a type of engine also used in submarines of the time. The FMR's substitution for a diesel-electric power plant was the essential difference from the predecessor Cannon class.  This was the only World War II destroyer escort class in which all the ships originally ordered were completed as United States Navy destroyer escorts. 

For further information, check out Edsall's Destroyer History Foundation page here, or from the Edsall Class Veterans page here

The Black Cat USS Edsall Class DE

Edsall is packaged in a large white cardboard box, with a nice rendering of the ship underway on the box top.  Inside the box is the hull, resin parts (both bagged and loose) and several plastic clamshell containers with 3D printed parts.  There are 8 resin parts, over 260 3D printed parts and 8 turned brass parts, along with three photo-etch frets and decals.  The model depicts an Edsall-class DE in its late WWII fit, with upgraded AA.    Somewhere between France and New Jersey,  both the outer shipping box and the kit box were crushed, but luckily nothing inside was damaged. 

The hull - and all the resin parts - are cast in a light gray resin.   The hulls scales out perfectly to the real ship in both length and beam.   Detail is good, with a large portion of the superstructure cast into the hull.   There is a large resin over pour on the port side of the hull, which will have to be sanded off, and some mold lines on the bottom of the hull. 

The rest of the resin portion of the kit consist of six parts, mostly centered around the superstructure. The bridge is nice. There is a little over pour to remove, but there are really nice details, like “controls” cast into the forward bulkhead, and “lattice” decking on the bridge deck. 

Splinter shields are fairly thin with bracing. The parts are keyed to the hull with pegs or holes in the bottom of the parts to help with alignment. That’s a nice touch.  There is detail inside the top of the funnel.  The large aft superstructure is the same the other parts – good casting, some nice detail – though it is a bit warped.   There is also a small gun tub for a twin 40mm.  There is detail on the inside of the gun tubs. 

Overall, I think the resin parts in this kit are better than those found in Black Cat's earlier Farragut kit. 

As with the aformentioned Farragut release, the 3D parts is where this kit really shines.  There are four clamshell containers, each holding multiple resins printing rafts.   Included are everything else needed to finish the model, including, but not limited to: Hedgehog launcher, 3 inch guns, 40mm quad and twins, 20mm guns, various deck equipment (some of it with nicely done hand wheels), floater net baskets, flag bags, antenna trunks (really great feature), ready ammo boxes, searchlights, signal lights, running lights, practice loader, smoke discharger, directors, vents, gun tubs, sirens, ships boats, davits and depth charge racks, among other items.  There is also the rudders, props and struts for the prop shafts. 

All the 3D printed parts are up to Black Cats usual high standards. Some of the parts that really stand out – to me – are the practice loader and the backing for the SC radar.    The prop guards (normally PE on many kits), bollards and chocks are also separate 3D printed parts, as are the two different style of floater rafts. 

A small bag of turned brass parts are included.  Included is the foremast and small main mast, plus bracing for the latter. There is also a jack staff and prop shafts.

There are 3 frets of PE included. The largest has railings, radar screen, vertical and inclined ladders, plus decking for around the 3 inch guns. 

The next largest fret has ready racks for the 40mm gun tubs and supports for the raised director tubs. 

The last “fret” is a guide plate, keyed to match parts cast in the hull, to make sure you install the aft gun tub shields in the correct place. Brilliant idea!

There is one small decal sheet included, consisting of the hull numbers, which will allow you to build other the members of the Edsall class.    Consult your references to see what changes you'll have to make to build one of Edsall's sisters. 
The instructions are another plus.  They are in the form of a booklet, with the different parts (resin, 3D printed, brass) all laid out, and shown in different colors, for ease of identification.   The build sequences seem to be fairly logical and straightforward, and should be easy to follow.    Other resin  manufacturers should take a look at these directions and take note - this is how you do it! 

I believe this is the first Edsall-class kit released in 1/350 scale, which means all of the US World War II destroyer escorts are now available in this scale, in either injection molded plastic or resin.

Overall, this kit is well done.  Other than the over pour on the hull of my sample, the resin casting is generally good.  The photo-etch and brass parts also look good.  As with their earlier Farragut kit, it’s the 3D printed parts that take this release to another level. Not only are all the 3D printed parts finely printed, but there are so many parts included, that this should build into a highly detailed model right out of the box, giving you hours of building enjoyment. Highly recommended!

This is Black Cat Models USS Edsall, kit number 350-008a.  The model lists for approximately $138.00 USD, and is available from many of our fine sponsors, or directly from Black Cat Models, who I'd like to thank for the review sample. This is an in-box review, your mileage may vary once you commence construction.