Dragon USS Essex CV-9, Dragon USS Randolph, Essex Class CV-15, Dragon USS Lexington CV-16, Dragon USS Hancock CV-19, Hasegawa USS Essex, Hasegawa USS Hancock, USS Yorktown Essex class carrier, Hasegawa USS Ticonderoga, Trumpeter USS Essex CV-9, Trumpeter USS Yorktown  CV-10, Trumpeter USS Franklin CV-13, Trumpeter USS Ticonderoga CV14, Trumpeter USS Hancock CV19. There are enough 1:700 scale models of the World War Two Essex class aircraft carriers to fill up Ulithi Atoll. The four Dragon kits come with their own brass photo-etch fret that provides some key components like the side elevator support frame, lattice antenna towers and radar, but still the items provided are limited. With the Trumpeter and Hasegawa kits, its nada, nil, zilch, nothing, as no photo-etch of any type is included. To make matters worse, Trumpeter omits certain features from their plastic sprues, such as the prominent support structure under the side elevator, or something as simple as gun shields for the Oerlikons. This doesn't even cover some items that, although provided in plastic, are way too thick to be presentable. Tom's Modelworks has the solution with with set #757, Essex class detail set in 1:700 scale. 

Fret A
Ess5677.JPG (15868 bytes) Ess5678.JPG (33783 bytes) Ess5679.JPG (27948 bytes)
Ess5680.JPG (27961 bytes) Ess5681.JPG (27940 bytes) Ess5682.JPG (33214 bytes) Ess5683.JPG (23754 bytes)
Ess5684.JPG (35899 bytes) Ess5685.JPG (26207 bytes) Ess5686.JPG (32620 bytes) Ess5687.JPG (30030 bytes)

This set includes two photo-etch frets, plus instructions. The largest fret contains most of the ship fittings you'll need to doll up any Essex. First of all, there is the very intricate support frame for the side elevator. Even if you have the Dragon kits with their brass versions, you may want to consider substituting the intricate Toms piece and for Trumpeter and Hasegawa builders, it'll make a tremendous difference. Also in the lattice category are the pyramid antenna masts. Toms give you five. Are your gun crews nervous because they are not protected by gun shields? No sweat swabby. Toms gives you all the protection that you'll need for you 40mm Bofor and 20mm Oerlikon gun crews. This fret contains twenty Bofors gun shields with rear safety railing. You also get 66 Oerlikon gun shields to add to those shieldless Trumpeter Oerlikons. If you want delicate fine radar arrays instead of solid thick waffle irons, here is your chance. Toms provides a wide selection of brass radars. You get SG, SK, SK2, SM, SR, YE, SC2, DF Loop, TBS, Mk 4, Mk 12, Mk 22 and TDY jammer. 

There are a host of other items on this fret, which further detail your Essex. There are 14 individual deck edge catwalks with safety railing and perforated tread ways. There are eleven long runs of railing; one of two bar, four of three bar closely spaced stanchions and six of three bar open spaced stanchions. The included inclined ladders have individual treads that can be turned parallel to the deck. There are two very detailed accommodation ladders with platforms and support frames. Also included on this fret are cover plates for the arrestor gear, stack grating, platform supports, paravane frames, crash barrier supports and late war tripod mast supports.

Fret A
Ess5688.JPG (27657 bytes) Ess5689.JPG (125958 bytes) Ess5690.JPG (139522 bytes)
Ess5691.JPG (123039 bytes) Ess5692.JPG (120482 bytes) Ess5693.JPG (162145 bytes) Ess5694.JPG (139362 bytes)
Ess5695.JPG (156312 bytes) Ess5696.JPG (148595 bytes) Ess5699.JPG (138519 bytes) Ess5700.JPG (134218 bytes)

The second fret is divided about 50/50 between ship fittings and aircraft fittings. The ship fittings include LSO platforms with windscreens, safety netting, two-piece anchors, elevator guard rails, more inclined ladders and assorted platforms. The other half of the fret provides brass details for the aircraft. Parts are included for five different types of aircraft. The F6F Hellcat is covered with parts for 12 aircraft. The parts are the wheel strut covers and propeller. The F4U Corsair parts include 12 each of four bladed propeller & three bladed propeller, with 24 landing gear covers. Twelve TBF Avengers can be equipped with propeller and both landing gear covers. You also get twelve sets of the same parts for the SB2C Helldiver and 12 propellers for the SBD Dauntless. There are also about 50 tail hooks included on the fret.

Fret B & Instructions
Ess5702.JPG (146202 bytes) Ess5703.JPG (107788 bytes) Ess5704.JPG (136895 bytes)
Ess5705.JPG (117833 bytes) Ess5707.JPG (110959 bytes) Ess5708.JPG (135344 bytes) Ess5709.JPG (128841 bytes)
Ess5711.JPG (124538 bytes) Ess5712.JPG (67180 bytes) Ess5713.JPG (58868 bytes) Ess5714.JPG (69403 bytes)
Ess5715.JPG (62582 bytes) Ess5716.JPG (59764 bytes) Ess5717.JPG (63327 bytes) Ess5718.JPG (75181 bytes)

Whether the Essex of your choice is from Dragon, Trumpeter or Hasegawa, Tom's Modelworks set #757 brass photo-etch set for 1:700 scale Essex class aircraft carriers, will have essential detail for the ship and air complement. This two fret set has something, actually many somethings, that every Essex kit can use.