Models 1/350 Scale
The Academy 1/350 Scale plastic kit of the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate was generally well received and it garnered very positive reviews. As good as this kit is there is always room for improvement in some spots. Injection-molded gun barrels and antennas typically are a little over scale due to the limitations in the process. To help address this, Master Models has released a set comprising of a turned brass 76mm/62 OTO-Melara gun barrels and five antennas. The machined brass barrel is exquisitely done and is extremely accurate. It captures the distinct look of the OTO-Melara 76mm barrel with the thick base and unusual ball about ľ of the way up. The shape of the muzzle is well represented and it has been drilled out just enough to make it look realistic. What I find especially helpful is the stem at the bottom end of the barrel which facilitates gluing the brass part in place. The five antennas are also a sight to behold. The bases are some detailed it is astounding and the brass tapers to a very thin point just like the actual antennas fitted on the ship. Something this fine could not be reproduced this well in plastic, resin or white metal.
The instructions provided with this set are simple and straightforward and lay out the three steps required to make the swap. The photos show how the brass parts look in comparison to the corresponding plastic parts in the Academy kit. Two of the brass antennas are straight replacements for parts C-27. The remaining three that replace the ones in parts D-44 require a little surgery. As you can see there is really no comparison between the kitís 76mm barrel and the brass version. Not only is it finer and more accurate, the brass version is sturdier and will not snap off like the plastic version, which is exactly what happened when I removed it from the sprue. This replacement set from Master Models is a must if you plan on building the Academy kit and I would also recommend it for use with the Yankee Modelworks and the now out of production Iron Shipwrights resin kits. Since the OTO-Melara 76mm gun is currently the most popular naval gun, used on ships in service with 51 navies, Master Models also has a pair of the OTO-Melara barrels sold separately.
Felix, The Enforcer, Bustelo