If you want to dress out any model of a USN destroyer model in 1:700 scale, the Midship Model brass photo-etch set MPK801 for the Midship Gridley/Bagley/Benham kits has just what the admiral ordered. Of course this photo-etch set is optimized for the Gridley/Bagley/Benham models, as where else are you going to find the long oval stack gratings found on those one-stack destroyer designs? However, fully 90% to 95% of this fret will work just fine with 1:700 scale models of other classes of USN destroyers, such as the four new Midship kits of the Mahan/Dunlap classes. There are parts found on this kit that are applicable to destroyer kits regardless of the year of fit from pre-war to 1945. 

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Even if you are building a pre-war fit of a destroyer, there are plenty of parts to be found in this set, which will be of great use in detailing the model. Midship has just released four new kits of the Mahan/Dunlap classes. One of the kits is of the USS Mahan DD-364 as she appeared in 1938, soon after commissioning. You won’t need 20mm Oerlikons for the 1938 Mahan but you certainly can use .50 machine guns as the pre-war Mahan mounted four of these guns. The kit does not come with parts for machine guns but with set MPK801 you get seven of them. The Mahan class had supports under the bridge wings. There are none in the kit but this set provides two. Although the set as designed for the Gridley/Bagley/Benham one-stack destroyers, they were the next design to follow the Mahan/Dunlap so these supports will probably fit your Mahan. The 1938 Mahan kit comes with solid propeller guards, which you can replace with photo-etch guards in this set. The tripod foremast on the prewar Mahan, which is one of the most prominent features to this fit, will certainly be spruced up with the yards found on the set. The Mahan kit should have anchors but does not, as was true with the earlier four DD kits, so you certainly could use the brass anchors in this set. How about brass depth charge racks? You’ll have to remove the raised plastic rack line on the kit part to use the rows of depth charges on the kit racks. However, the racks will certainly be more impressive with the depth charges inside detailed brass rack frames. Even small items like a ship’s bell, fighting lights, lookout seats and rigging supports are included. Additionally there are the necessary railing, inclined ladders jack staff and vertical ladders. 

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If you are building one of the war-time Gridleys/Bagleys/Benhams/Mahans/Dunlaps, not only do you need all of the pre-war detail, except possibly the .50 machine guns, but then you also get to use all of the other detail found on this fret. A small 2nd fret has the Mk 37 radar for mounting atop the gun director. This radar also comes with distinctive parts for the frame, which lifts the radar clear of the director. For late war models, the small elliptical height finding radar is also on the fret. You can ditch the heavy plastic Oerlikons in the model and substitute brass 20mm guns and sights found in the fret. For some reason the fret does not have gun shields. This is unfortunate, in that the plastic gun shields in the kit are too thick and should be thinned through sanding. For additional supplementation of ASW weapons, the fret provides four K-gun racks. An IFF mast is included. Another feature found from mid-war forward is the floater net basket. This fret supplies eight baskets for your destroyer.

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Verdict
Although, specifically designed for the Midship Models Gridley/Bagley/Benham destroyer kits, MPK801 covers almost all of your modeling needs for the Midship Mahan/Dunlap kits just released. Regardless of the year of the fit being built, this fret has detailed parts for any prewar, early war, mid-war or late war destroyer kit in 1:700 scale. 

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