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:

FLELarge01.JPG (141271 bytes) FLElarge02.JPG (160377 bytes)
FLElarge03.JPG (147179 bytes) FLElarge04.JPG (150147 bytes) FLElarge05.JPG (139287 bytes)

  There are some mini-projects in this detail set that significantly enhance the level of detail provided, requiring care to get right:

FLElarge06.JPG (136650 bytes) FLElarge07.JPG (158191 bytes)
FLElarge08.JPG (172390 bytes) FLElarge09.JPG (174221 bytes) FLElarge10.JPG (165862 bytes)

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 includes:

To have a CD of this quality included is great customer service.

FLEsmall11.JPG (91830 bytes) FLEsmall12.JPG (148766 bytes) FLEsmall13.JPG (172727 bytes)
FLEsmall14.JPG (157183 bytes) FLEsmall15.JPG (180841 bytes) FLEsmall16.JPG (143218 bytes) FLEsmall17.JPG (161112 bytes)

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.