Gun Barrels for pre-‘42 Lexington and Saratoga

Published: October 11th, 2012     
Parts Packaging
Parts Packaging
Reviewed by: Rob Benson - IPMS# 44038
Scale: 1/350
Company: Master Model
Price: $12.50
Product / Stock #: SM-350-069
Product provided by: Master Model

Thank you to Iwona and Piotr Czerkasow of Master Model and all those at IPMS Reviewer-OPS for providing me an opportunity to examine and apply some delightful parts for improving a ship model kit. Model Master's recent addition to their Sea Master Series is very welcome. The aftermarket world is indeed enhanced with the products Master Model offers.

While no kit is specifically recommended in the instructions or packaging, I chose to use these barrels to replace the molded equivalents in the armament included in the Trumpeter CV-3 Saratoga kit. I am modeling the Saratoga with a deck of yellow wings as she appeared in ~1936. Eight elegantly turned stainless steel eight-inch and 12 brass five-inch replacement barrels are provided in a small zip-lock package. Some very nice touches in the packaging are the recloseable cellophane wrappers to keep everything in order, or least reduce the chances of loss! As expected and as they should be, instructions are brief, but drill sizes for the locating base pins are provided, a very nice and appreciated bit of information.

The Trumpeter 8-inch barrels have small triangular blocks at the kit barrel base. These appear to be blastbags or similar sleeves. The Master Model barrels are strictly cylindrical turnings and have no such features. Pictures of the turrets aboard Saratoga (pp. 24, 75 & 84, Fry, 1996) suggest that these sleeves are fairly minimal and could easily be duplicated on the Model Master mounted barrels, if needed. I could not find any documentation or plans that directly provided gun lengths on the actual weapons, but photographs of the barrels in onboard installations suggest that the Master Model barrels are more proportionally accurate than the kit parts. Furthermore, both sets of barrels add significant crispness to the gun mounts that really set off the appearance. Both set of barrels are drilled out at the ends, to about a depth of 0.005 in. on the eights, adding to this crispness. Drilling out the turrets and receivers to mount the barrels was easily done with the recommended drill bit sizes. Both the brass and stainless steel took primer readily. However, I do not expect that I will be adding the gold star-bearing weather plugs in the eight inch barrels!

These replacement parts are an excellent value and add greatly to the overall effect. They are easily installed, and I am looking forward to seeing the new guns alongside the airwing as I move toward completion. The completed examples of these parts in their respective mounts highlight and compliment the kit parts and other aftermarket photoetch materials. I highly recommend these barrels.

Thank you again to Iwona and Piotr Czerkasow of Master Model and all those at IPMS Reviewer-OPS. It is a privilege to be part of a hobby that is indeed international.


Fry, J., (1996), U. S. S. Saratoga CV-3, An Illustrated History of the Legendary Aircraft Carrier, 1927-1946, Schiffer Publishing, 176 p. ISBN 0-7643-0089-X

Photo captions below:

Photo 1 - Package is about 2.75 in. by 5 in.
Photo 2 - Kit part comparison. Note the fine polish, with crisper taper and barrel steps, compared to kit parts
Photo 3 - 5-inch barrel mounted on kit parts with Gold Medal photo-etched railings.
Photo 4 - Annotated instruction sheet
Photo 5 - 8-inch barrels mounted on kit parts with Gold Medal photo-etched railings.
Photo 6 - 5- and 8-inch barrels next to scale ruler. Small black squares are each a 350- scale foot.

  • Photo 1
    Photo 1
  • Photo 2
    Photo 2
  • Photo 3
    Photo 3
  • Photo 4
    Photo 4
  • Photo 5
    Photo 5
  • Photo 6
    Photo 6

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