Whatever your favorite dance, whether Waltz or Watusi, Twist or Tango, you don’t have to do the plastic Polka with your Trumpeter 1:350 scale Buckley class destroyer escort. With the Beethoven of Brass, Mad Pete, that madcap music man, conducting the WEM philharmonic, all modelers will feel like dancing when they see the brass beauties included on the White Ensign Models Buckley Destroyer Escort /Captain Class Frigate Photo-Etch Set designed for the plastic kit, Set WEM-3594. It is a somewhat long-winded title because WEM provides parts specifically for the USN destroyer escort version and the RN version, which was typed a frigate. You get the full tonal range with high notes and low notes presented in perfect harmony with thorough relief-etching throughout this fret. No matter whether you build the Yankee or Limey version of the ship, there are certainly no missed or sour notes in this symphony of shimmering metal.

And A One, And A Two, And A Three
You’ll need more than your fingers and toes to count the number of parts on this fret. The Buckley fret measures 8-inches by 5 ¼-inches and is crammed with high detail parts, which will without a doubt, transport your Buckley to a new level. The parts manifest lists 65 different parts’ designs but of course, most designs have far more than one part included on the fret. The parts can be roughly broken down into three areas: armament; specific fittings; and generic fittings.

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Hit Me With Your Best Shot
There are brass detail parts for surface weapons, ASW weapons and AA weapons included in WEM-3594. Four sets of 3-inch gun fittings are included for use in both USN and RN versions. These are added to the bare bones plastic parts of the kit to significantly enhance their appearance. These fittings include three parts for each gun: the mount deck; gunners’ seats; and sighting fitting. Additionally for RN versions three gun shields are included, along with shield attachments, affixing the shields to the gun mount. One other very interesting British only feature are flare rocket rails for attachment on the sides of the B mount gun shield. Another British only option is a two-pound bow chaser. Normally mounted in the frigates operating in the English Channel, this gun was mounted right at the bow for use against S-Boots and other small combatants. The bow chaser even comes with a raised spray shield fitted at the top of the cut-water.

If you are building a Buckley you may feel left out of the dance contest right now, but wait, here is your ticket. USN fans also have an exclusive bit of ordnance from the USN. Everybody’s favorite piece of questionable USN AA ordnance, the 1.1-inch quad mount or Chicago Piano, is on the fret since the lowly DE didn’t rate the priority for Bofors. The Chicago Piano comes in six detailed parts. Both versions will enjoy the inclusion of twelve relief-etched 20mm Oerlikon guns to further augment their AA power. Each Oerlikon consists of three parts: gun with pedestal, shield and hand wheel. If you are more into subhunting the WEM fret still offers two versions. Although the USN and RN versions had the same depth charge rack arrangement at the stern, they varied in their deck side ASW fittings. The Buckley has four K-guns on each side so there are four K-gun charge racks per side. With the Captains there are only two K-gun racks per side but there are two additional storage racks on each side. The headgehog unit gets replacement mortar bombs for finer detail of this bow ASW weapon system.

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Ladies and Gentlemen Choose Your Partners for the Virginia Reel
Actually it is not square dance reel on the fret but relief-etched cable/hose reels. There are six reel frames in two different style and they are just some of the smaller deck fittings included in the fret. The largest parts are two replacement parts for the spray shields on either side of the forward superstructure. The actual ship had a series of water runoff slots along the bottom of the bulkhead. These features are not present on the Trumpeter kit but with this set, you can easily substitute these parts for plastic parts B18 and B19. There are other brass for plastic substitutions that will give you greater fineness and delicacy with the use of the WEM brass parts. Other examples are the support frames under the Oerlikon tubs on either side of the stack. Of course the plastic radar is downright crude compared to the six piece brass SA radar provided for the foretop by WEM. Other mast detail include yardarms with footropes, BK antenna and TBS antenna. For the RN version the HuffDuff or 291 radar array are provided to use rather than the SA array. Rounding out the mast detail is a long vertical ladder for the mast, DF loop, and safety railing for the mast platform.

Gun mounts receive depression rails and gun stop guards. The bridge receives a strip of windows for the top of the open bridge. You get eight fine open mesh floater baskets so as to add these ever-present USN fittings to your model. The Mk51 AA directors are substantially improved with side fittings including swing arms. Another important addition is the sky lookout position found at the top of the superstructure. WEM provides five of these on the fret. Carley raft positions are totally upgraded with open frame structures. The stack gets further detail with platform, sirens and wire spreaders. Other British parts provided are whaler boat detail and davits.

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Stairway to Heaven
To put the Led Zeppelin song in a nautical perspective it would actually be the inclined ladder to heaven. Even though inclined ladders, railing, doors and hatches are merely afterthoughts with some, with White Ensign Models these fittings are treated with the same degree of care as the most spectacular ship specific part. With this kit there are only two inclined ladders as well as two accommodation ladders but the ladders have individually foldable treadways and the accommodation ladders are fine four piece assemblies. Every door and hatch comes with a front and rear relief-etched side as well as the door or hatch coaming. You can choose to have each individual door or hatch open or closed without sacrificing one jot of detail. White Ensign even provides options for railing. For the up-curving forecastle railing and aft railing, you can choose to use either standard three bar railing or three bar railing with safety netting. WEM also provides lengths of stock two bar and three bar railing.

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Verdict
With White Ensign Models set WEM-3594 for the Trumpeter 1:350 scale Buckley class destroyer escort, you have the parts to add fine detail to the USN DE or Captain class RN frigate. With your DE sporting these fine parts you’ll be so pleased that you’ll join Mad Pete and Dance Like an Egyptian.

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