WWII U.S. Navy Vessels Guard Rails I

Published: August 31st, 2009     
Product Image
Detail Set Image
Reviewed by: Luke R. Bucci PhD - IPMS# 33549
Scale: 1/700
Company: Lion Roar
Price: $12.00
Product / Stock #: LE700061
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

Bottom Line

None better - has very fine sagged and straight railings in 2- and 3-bar styles.

Photoetch Set Review

Lion Roar has a large line of 1/700 photoetch accessories for United States, Japanese, German and Royal Navy WW2 navies. This set is devoted exclusively to US Navy railings, both 2- and 3-bar varieties.

The fret contains seven types of railings:

  1. 7 rows of sagged 3-bar railing (about 38.5 inches) for main decks
  2. 4 short rows of curved, sagged 3-bar railing (about 14 inches) for bow sections of ships
  3. 4 rows of sagged 2-bar railing (about 22 inches) for superstructures
  4. 3 rows of straight 2-bar railings (about 16.5 inches) for short lengths of superstructure railings
  5. 3 rows of straight 3-bar railing (about 16.5 inches) for superstructures and decks
  6. 8 short lengths of sagged 3-bar deck railing with gangway entry (about 0.5 inches each)
  7. 4 short lengths of straight 3-bar deck railing with gangway entry (about 0.5 inches each)

The fret is brass and very thin, as close to scale as the best photoetch railings available. Even though thin, the railings were tough and cut easily without those annoying burrs, and stood up to routine handling without getting bent out of shape. An advantage of this set is the diagonal braces for main deck railings (#s 1, 2, 6, 7). This is a nice touch seldom seen in other railing photoetch sets. One also has a choice of using sagged (very realistic-looking) or straight (taut) railings, although usually sagged railings are seen.

The instructions depict a North Carolina class battleship, and where each type of railing goes. However, these railings were standard issue for all US Navy vessels in WWII, so they can be used for any class of ship. For each ship, consult reference photos and diagrams to see where railings went and whether they were 2- or 3-bar types. I chose a finished model of the USS Pittsburgh by Trumpeter (previously reviewed for IPMS USA website) for these railings. I used 4 rows of sagged #1 railing and less than 1/2 row each of #s 4, 5 straight railings for superstructure railings, as deduced from pictures of the USS Baltimore undergoing refit at Mare Island in 1944 (available from http://www.navsource.org/).

Before anything, I always wash photoetch sets with hot soapy water and rinse them well. I airbrushed ModelMaster acrylic Light Gray 5-L on each side of the fret. I use thick cyanoacrylate glue for photoetch railings, since it holds the railing in place better before the glue sets. Still gives enough time to manipulate the pieces. For long stretches of deck railing, I do not use long pieces. Instead, I cut sections of railing about 1.5-2 inches long right at a post, so that consecutive pieces can be glued together seamlessly. This way, less folding is needed to deal with subtle curves of the deck, including the bow (I did not use the curved bow railings #2 for my Pittsburgh - just did not need them). The railings were easy to bend and manipulate without warping them. Touch up railings and glue spots with a clear flat paint.

The Figures show what these railings can do for a ship model. This set has a good scale look and the sags are even more realistic.

Summary

In my opinion, after working with most other photoetch railings in 1/700 scale, there is none better than this set. The advantage of this set is the diagonal braces and gangway entry sections, seldom seen elsewhere. This set can fully rail 1-2 large battleships or 1-2 aircraft carriers or 2 cruisers or 3 destroyers. At a retail price of $12, this set is a good value because it completes more than one ship with the finest looking railings available. Thanks to Dragon Models USA for supplying the kit. Very highly recommended for WWII US Navy ships.

  • Photoetch fret after airbrushing with Light Gray 5-L.
    Photoetch fret after airbrushing with Light Gray 5-L.
  • Close-up of the different types of railings, showing the sags and diagonal braces.
    Close-up of the different types of railings, showing the sags and diagonal braces.
  •  “Before” picture of USS Pittsburgh without railings.
    “Before” picture of USS Pittsburgh without railings.
  •  “After” picture of USS Pittsburgh with Lion Roar LE700061 railings.
    “After” picture of USS Pittsburgh with Lion Roar LE700061 railings.
  • Close-up of port bridge area without railings.
    Close-up of port bridge area without railings.
  • Close-up of port bridge after Lion Roar LE700061 railings.
    Close-up of port bridge after Lion Roar LE700061 railings.

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