Over a year ago Trumpeter released a 1:350 scale model of the HMS Repulse. It is a nice kit of this beautiful ship and even comes with some photo-etch. However, it covers only major items like the crane plus some generic items, such as railing and inclined ladders. To really make your build of HMS Repulse pop, you’ll need a third party after-market dedicated photo-etch set because this battle cruiser deserves that extra step. Loren Perry heard the clarion call of modeler’s need and to resolve this imperative released a Gold Medal Models photo-etch set designed specifically for the Trumpeter Repulse. In addition to examining the brass parts, there will be a section comparing the GMM parts with the Trumpeter plastic and brass parts that come with the model.

  As usual there are ship specific parts as well as generic parts. You may say, “Why should I get a GMM photo-etch set for the Repulse when Trumpeter supplies one with the kit?”  There are two answers, quality and quantity. Not only are the GMM parts relief-etched versus the flat Trumpeter parts, but also the detail is far greater. The Trumpeter supplied brass is limited in quantity. Only the most significant ship specific parts are provided and only the most generic railing and ladders are provided. GMM goes far beyond the boundaries of the Trumpeter brass. 

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The quality of the GMM brass is very evident with the two aircraft cranes. The relief-etching of the GMM parts pops out when contrasted with flat brass equivalent Trumpeter parts. No only are the parts more detailed, they appear more accurate. The Trumpeter cranes are larger than the GMM cranes. In comparing a profile drawing of the crane, it appears that the GMM cranes are more to fidelity and scale. The same is true with the funnel grates. The GMM grates are realistic thin bars, while the Trumpeter grates appear as wide planks. The Trumpeter brass has the Repulse blind with no radar but you get the radar in the GMM set. The GMM aft double ladders and platforms are much more detailed with GMM, as are the accommodation ladders. The Trumpeter crane rigging is rudimentary, while the GMM rigging is detailed and plentiful. Look at the Trumpeter plastic one piece Oerlikons, they’re over-sized with splinter shielding as thick as a mattress. GMM lets you vastly improve these guns. You’ll need to remove the plastic shields and replace with the thin GMM shields. Additionally, GMM allows you to super-detail the guns with sites, shoulder rests and training hand wheels. The pom-poms are also dramatically improved with the GMM mount railing, gun sites, and ammunition racks. 

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Now look at the Trumpeter Walrus wing braces. Whoever did that can go into the drywall business but since the solid slabs for the bracing on the kit parts are far thicker in scale than drywall, it may be more appropriate for concrete highway lane dividers. I seem to remember in the movie Volcano that the LA Fire Department using slabs of this thickness to stop a lava flow. Do you want your Walrus to stop a lava flow or do you want them to be the thin delicate bracing/supports as they were of the actual aircraft? GMM lets you do that by simply slicing off those thick Trumpeter anti-lava slabs and use the GMM bracing. Oh, and don’t forget the GMM Walrus propellers. Aircraft with piston engines do better with propellers than without. The inclined GMM inclined ladders are superior to the Trumpeter ladders. With the Trumpeter plastic Carley rafts you have a sold raft bottom not the open grate bottom as on the actual rafts, GMM provides open grate Carley bottoms in various sizes to substitute on the Trumpeter parts.  What about the open grid vent screens from GMM? You won’t find those with the kit brass. As with the vent screens, you’ll find that GMM supplies specific parts for the Repulse fittings of the yardarms, boat cradles, jack staff, ensign staff, mainmast starfish, foremast platform and foot ropes, accommodation ladder davits and cable reels in various sizes. 

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Now comes a comparison of more generic fittings. Trumpeter provides two frets of railing and …well…, that’s it, just railing. Not only is the Gold Medal Models railing thinner than the Trumpeter railing but also GMM supplies everything that Trumpeter doesn’t provide. There are numerous GMM fittings for detailed doors, open and closed, with dog detail. Although Trumpeter has brass inclined ladders, there is no inclined ladder that goes up to the main mast starfish. For that you need a vertical ladder. You may just as well order your 1:350 scale crewmen to don their tree climbing equipment now because Trumpeter doesn’t provide brass vertical ladder but GMM does. Other GMM fittings include eye bolts, turnbuckles, porthole rigoles (eyebrows), davits, davit rigging, boat oars, boat rudders, Carley paddles, and capstan brake wheels. 

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The Gold Medal Models brass photo-etched set for the 1:350 scale Trumpeter kit of HMS Repulse is an essential requirement for completion of the plastic time as a realistic replica. Not only does it provide far more detailed relief-etched parts than supplied in the kit, but also it supplies all of the parts that the Trumpeter kit lacks.