Toms Models has produced a new brass photo-etched fret set, designed for the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau kits produced by Heller in 1:400 Scale (Set 4012). There are two frets in the set. The first fret contains ship specific items and measures 7 Inches by 2 7/8 Inches. The second fret contains railing and vertical ladders and measures 6 Inches by Two Inches.

Scharnhorst5858specFret.JPG (170076 bytes) Scharnhorst5859railing.JPG (132067 bytes)

The first two things that jumped out at me when I opened the Toms package for the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were the 01 level safety nets and the various radar arrays. The safety nets fit in the 01 deck semi-circular cutouts over the main deck 5.9 inch secondary positions. The mesh of the safety nets, radar screens, various platforms and catwalks brass parts will really supercharge the Heller model.

Scharnhorst5860decknets.JPG (214564 bytes) Scharnhorst5865radars.JPG (206640 bytes) Scharnhorst5861catplat.JPG (177937 bytes) Scharnhorst5864cranebase.JPG (178401 bytes)

Parts Listing There are multiple parts for each numbered assembly area.

1.  Turret Face Windows    
2.  Aircraft Brass Parts
3.  Crane Framework
4.  Crane Bases
5.  Rafts
6.  Boat Racks
7.  Catapult and catapult base platform
8.  Small Boat Boom and Base
9.  Bridge Wings and Supports
10. Foremast Platforms and Supports
11. Capstan Wheels
12. Stairs and Bridge Over Bow
13. Aircraft Hanger Catwalks and Railing
14. Bridge Platforms
15.  Bow Platforms
16.  Main Deck Wash Rails
17.  Deck Netting
18.  FuMB 4 (Samos) Radar
19.  FuMO 22 November 1939 Radar
20.  FuMO 27 Summer 1941 Radar
21.  FuMB 7 (Timor) February 1942
22. FuMB 6 (Palau) Radar
23.  Platform Supports
24.  Mast Spreader Foot Rest
25.  Fore Mast Spreader & Rigging
26.  Steps Over Deck Wash Rail
27.  Radar Face Dipoles for FuMO Radars
Scharnhorst5866rafts.JPG (147601 bytes) Scharnhorst5862briwings.JPG (108110 bytes) Scharnhorst5863mastplat.JPG (90545 bytes) Scharnhorst5867cranes.JPG (129497 bytes)

This fret consists of ten strips of three bar railing with bottom gutter, one strip of three bar railing (narrowly spaced stanchions), one strip of two bar railing and two strips of vertical ladders. No inclined ladders are on either fret but Toms does have a fret of 1:400 inclined ladders available separately (Fret 4017).

This set comes with a comprehensive four page (two pages printed front and back) set of instructions. Each assembly step is described in text and shown in clear, nicely done drawings. An isometric view is given for attachment of mast spreaders and foot railings. Each radar array is shown in a separate inset drawing. The instructions include a reference bibliography on the class.

Scharnhorst5868Inst1.JPG (47080 bytes) Scharnhorst5869Inst2.JPG (37989 bytes) Scharnhorst5870Inst3.JPG (45713 bytes) Scharnhorst5871Inst4.JPG (50028 bytes)
Scharnhorst5872Instsupdet.JPG (115307 bytes) Scharnhorst5873Instdet.JPG (111095 bytes) Scharnhorst5879Instamiddet.JPG (176528 bytes) Scharnhorst5878Instmiddet.JPG (171473 bytes)
Scharnhorst5874InstFuMO22.JPG (61247 bytes) Scharnhorst5875InstFuMO27.JPG (93824 bytes) Scharnhorst5876InstFuMO27&FuMB7.JPG (71764 bytes) Scharnhorst5877InstFuMO27.JPG (60772 bytes)

Since Heller has the only large scale models of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, photo-etched detail for these famous twins has long been needed. At this time (September 2002), Toms Models is the only photo-etch manufacturer that has a detail set for these 1:400 kits. Using this set will dramatically improve the appearance of either Heller kit.