HMS Lord Nelson was a pre-dreadnought battleship launched 04-September-1906 and completed in 1908. Her sister ship in the class was HMS Agamemnon also launched 23-June-1906 and completed in 1908. The delays between launching and completion of both ships was due to the diversion of their 12” guns to the completion of HMS Dreadnought. She was the Royal Navy's last pre-dreadnought. The ship was flagship of the Channel Fleet when the First World War began in 1914. Lord Nelson was transferred to the Mediterranean Sea in early 1915 to participate in the Dardanelles Campaign. She remained there, becoming flagship of the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron, which was later re-designated the Aegean Squadron. After the Ottoman surrender in 1918 the ship moved to the Black Sea where she remained as flagship before returning to the United Kingdom in May 1919. Lord Nelson was placed into reserve upon her arrival and sold for scrap in June 1920. HMS Lord Nelson armament included four 12” Mk X guns, ten 9.2” Mk XI guns, twenty-four QF 12-pounder 18 cwt guns, two 3-pounder guns, and five 18” torpedo tubes. The torpedo tubes are not included.
Master Model is a scale model metal detailing parts manufacturer located in Poland. Their lines include exquisitely detailed photo-etched and white metal replacement parts for aircraft and ships in the most commonly produced scales. This Master Model set provides a huge leap over any of the injected molded parts available on any 1/350 kit. Most ship gun barrels are over-scale due to the limits of injection modeling, not to mention successfully removing the sprue attachment points and sanding down the mold seams. You can see this in the pictures below [Please note that the green background photos are courtesy Master Model]. If you close you can also see that the barrel tip flare is reproduced.
Notable is the thin re-sealable pouches that Master Model uses that makes the parts easy to review and then stuff back into the re-sealable package securely. You will want to be careful handling these parts due to their small size, making them an easy sacrifice to the carpet monster. Another caveat is that the smaller gun barrels are really thin and can be accidently bent. I’ve had this happen before in 1/350 scale, but not to worry, it can be fixed. Placing the gun barrel in between a smooth flat set of tweezers will straighten out the tip. Just be extremely gentle so you don't break it when you gently roll it so that it is straight once again.
This Master Model set provides you with 46 turned aluminum and brass barrels, two metal paired barrel connector pins, and fourteen resin parts. You do get eight 3-pounder barrels in this set which corresponds to the Hobby Boss instructions that call out for sixteen QF 12-pounders and eight 3-pounders. The eight 3-Pounders are depicted in the instructions as being installed on each of the eight gun turrets.
As shown in the instructions, you will need to cut off the barrels of the twenty-four QF 12-pounder 18 cwt guns, two 3-pounder guns. I would use a photo-etch razor saw to cut of the plastic barrels. In the end, both guns should be ~11.4mm long. You will also need to be able to drill a 0.4mm (0.0157”; a #78 carbide drill bit is 0.0160”, a 1/64” carbide drill bit is 0.0156”, and a #79 is 0.0145” carbide drill bit) hole for the QF 12-pounders and the 3-pounders. In both cases, I would recommend using a smaller drill bit than required and then move to the next larger size if needed. This will help ensure a tight fit. It is also critical to make sure the drill bit is properly centered in all three axes. Just follow the instructions and each gun barrel will only take a few minutes to complete.
The four 12” Mk X guns, ten 9.2” Mk XI guns will require you to be able to drill a 1.0mm (0.0394”, a #60 carbide drill bit is 0.0400”, a #61 carbide drill bit is 0.0390”) hole through the resin parts. The metal barrels themselves fit a bit loose in the resin parts, so you will need to be careful on making sure the completed assembly is straight. I would note that clean-up of the resin parts is really not necessary since they will be hidden inside of the turrets.
Be sure to use your favorite thin CA (super glue) or epoxy, as the normal plastic glues or solvents will not react with the resin or brass. Due to the size of the parts, this is one set where you don’t want to use a gel, or thicker super glue. You will also want to be careful painting the parts to retain their sleek nature.
Highly recommended! This set is a super upgrade over the injected kit parts. These machined aluminum and brass barrels eliminate the need to deal with mold seams and sprue connections. They also present a more accurate barrel tip. I must say that in past review of Master Model barrels compared to injected kits, that the injected parts were grossly oversize and ‘blobby’. I do have to credit to Hobby Boss that their injected barrels do look better than any I have seen before. While I don’t have the Hobby Boss 1/350 HMS Agamemnon kit, I’m sure this barrel set will work well on that kit as well. This set would also probably enhance the resin Combrig 1/350 kits of the HMS Lord Nelson and HMS Agamemnon. This excellent set will easily enhance your 1/350 HMS Lord Nelson battleship.
Thanks to Master Model and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this set.