Master Model has been producing finely detailed turned brass and steel gun barrels for several years. Now, working with Northstar, they have produced complete 40mm gun mount sets that include brass barrels, photo etch and finely detailed resin parts. Each package includes all parts necessary for six complete gun mounts. Each also includes a resin Mk. 51 gun director with photo etch details for each gun mount.
These sets contain some of the most finely detailed resin parts that I’ve seen. Each mount unit consist of three resin parts - the main carriage; the gun body and the very small (and fragile) shell ejector chutes. Each gun mount shows exquisite detail, with knobs and piping easily discernible, yet still completely to scale. Even the grating on the flooring is there, subtly indicated. The gun barrels fit snugly into the gun bodies, and these main gun units in turn into minute gun cradles. The overall engineering of the resin parts is exceptional.
As we’ve come to expect from Master, the 40mm barrels are beautifully turned, with crisp indications for the recoil springs and flash suppressors. The extensive photo etch sheet includes parts for sights, case chutes, gun pivots, loader’s and trainer’s seats and footrests (each seat has perforation holes), hand wheels, railings and in the case of these quad mounts, shields. The PE is perhaps the thinest that I’ve ever worked with, and requires very carefully handling of the smallest parts to fold into shape, and to maintain that shape while placing the individual parts. They also include some of the smallest PE parts in my experience, particularly the hand wheels and the open sight guards. I strongly encourage the user to have strong light, a good magnifier and thin, sharp tweezes at hand. And practice the use of very controlled application of pressure with your tweezers, it’ll come in handy.
The instructions are very well done. The illustrations provide a clear progression, using color to differentiate materials, as well as sequence of assembly (i.e, resin parts are shown as grey, with newly applied PE in gold and resin in blue. Once applied, these parts are shown as grey, like the resin they’re attached to, and the next new parts to be applied are in color). If only I could shape these minuscule parts as well as they’re shown in the instructions.
So far, it appears that Master has produced three distinct twin mount sets and three quad sets. The only difference that I can discern is in the different styles (or absence) of railings, and in the case of the quad mounts, the inclusion (or not) of shields. This reflects the different mounts as found on different classes of US destroyers, cruisers and battleships. One should check their references carefully to be sure they’re getting the proper mounts for the particular ship that is being built.
With these gun mounts, I think I’ve finally maxed out on the level of detail that I can embrace. Even with my trusty Canon on its super macro setting, I had difficulty capturing images with all the detail that are in these mounts. Constructing these little gems isn’t for the ham-handed or faint of heart, but with some patience and care, the extra detail that these guns will add to you next 1/350 warship will be stunning attention getters.
Thanks to Master Models and IPMS for providing the review samples.