Revell of Germany’s (RoG) 1/144 Fletcher Class destroyer is an impressive model both in size and
detail. Out of the box, it builds into a nice replica, perfect for RC operations
or static display. However a ship of this size, even with its detail, is an
opportunity for super detailing. As soon as it was announced, James Corley of
Nautilus models began his move to provide a detail set to take it to the next
level. I know first hand that his research was extensive and thorough. Modelers
who have been waiting for this set will not be disappointed. This offering by
Nautilus is an extensive set. It includes two sheets of photo-etch, anchor
chain, a CD archive of photographs and instructions. You will need all of the
documentary assistance in placing the photo-etch since both sheets are
absolutely crammed with details, I have never seen PE sheets so dense with
detail. The largest sheet measures 11.5 x 8 inches and is .010 thick. The small
sheet is 11.5 x 4 inches and is .005 thick. The thicker sheet has the heavier
structural components while the thinner sheet has the finer details. So here is
what is included:
deck life line stanchions – finer in detail they replace the kit
stanchions and have etched eyelets.
and vertical ladders. The vertical ladders include mounting brackets.
doors and hatches, both open and closed including frames, bridge doors and
for the 5 inch gun enclosures including the mount captain’s optical sight.
inch loading machine detail
sights, shields and hand wheels for the 20mm guns
gun mount details including railings
depth charge racks (multi-part assemblies)
charge K-gun storage racks
for the motor whaleboats
and tackle for the davits
Mk.12 radar array and mounting for the Mk.37 director including the later
side lobe radar dish. This is a kit in itself.
barbette vision slits
etched radar antennas including: SA, SC, SG, SC-4
details including: upper and lower fighting lights, SG radar platform, a
details yardarm, TBS platform, mast head platform, aerial outriggers
and ECM antennas including: TBT, TBS, fan
and vent covers
handrails and foot rails
with smoke floats
mounts and liferaft details
hawser reel and line reels
eyebolts and turnbuckles
for davits and j-bar davits
hawse pipe covers
applicators (long poles with spray holes at the end use for firefighting and
tied onto the lower lifeline to keep sailors from washing overboard.
There are some mini-projects in this detail set that significantly enhance the
level of detail provided, requiring care to get right:
first is the radar for the Mk.37 director. This is the most detailed model
of this radar assembly that I have seen. Nautilus provides not only the
dipoles for the front face of the main radar but also the waveguides for the
side lobe radar. There is some folding involved and the reflector face will
need to be rolled into a parabolic shape.
What is really a nice touch are the replacement hatches for the
director housing which allow you to pose the hatches open – a first.
second is the build up of the searchlight platform. While the railing needs
bending and the floater net baskets rolling, most of the assembly involves
interlocking support framework. The lightening holes are etched in and with
the etched open grating, the result will be a very detailed to scale
stern depth charge racks are a complex build up with a lot of small parts
for the operating assembly. You may want to add some fine wire for the
actuating cables. The details for the ends of the depth charges will just
enhance this detailed assembly.
from the base and the barrel, Nautilus provides all of the rest of the
details to for the 20mm guns including accurate shields and cradles.
SC and SC-4 radar arrays
platforms for the communication antennas. There is a lot folding required
optical sights for mount captain’s position of the 5in gun enclosure will
require a steady hand and good optics, but it is nice eye-popping detail.
details that I like in this set in the frame detail for the watertight doors
and hatches, allowing them to be more accurately posed open.
There are a couple of details that while provided in photo-etch
are better replicated by other means. The firefighting wands (more accurately
called applicators) are best made from brass wire; the nozzle end being the
hardest to replicate. I would also not use the PE liferings, preferring solder
bent into a ring and flattened to make an ovoid cross section. The smoke
canister can be made from styrene rod. The coxswains railing would look better
in stainless wire. Still I credit
Nautilus for providing these details. The documentation that comes with this set
makes it that much better. The instructions are well drawn, well labeled, and
clear – what more can you ask for? The fact that they come with a 1/144 scale
profile of the starboard of the ships is a bonus. But what really is impressive
is the CD. The amount of detail packed onto this disk is astounding! While you
may want more images of the specific ship you intend to build, the high quality
photos provided will help with almost every detail you could imagine. The CD
of the PE frets
of the Revell instruction sheet
pictures from every ship in the class!?
detailed walk around of USS KIDD DD-661.
To have a CD of this quality included is great customer
I have reviewed a lot of PE set and this has to rank as one
of the very best I have seen. The details provided are well thought out and
match the prototypes. It is pretty much one stop shopping. The documentation
provided is a modeler’s dream. If you plan to build Revell’s FLETCHER than
you absolutely need this set.