Is it time to fine-tune your USN destroyers or cruisers, or for that matter battleships and carriers? On the morning of December 7, 1941 the newest and greatest AA gun in the USN arsenal was the power operated quadruple 1.1-inch gun. On the morning in which the Pacific Fleet was pummeled by Japanese naval aviation, the 1.1-inch guns were slowly being fitted to major ships of the Pacific Fleet. By mid 1942 almost any ship cruiser size or larger, carried the weapon system. Nicknamed the Chicago Piano, the weapon system, however, was not very satisfactory. It was large, heavy and cumbersome. It overheated and malfunctioned frequently. By the fall of 1942 the excellent 40mm Bofor gun started replacing the 1.1-inch quad. For a time, some ships were fitted with ordnance of both types, at least until there were sufficient Bofors mounts to replace all of the older guns. Even then the Chicago Piano did not disappear. In a naval version of a "Hand me Down" the big ships, like big brothers, shed the 1.1-inch mounts, which were handed down to destroyers, the little brothers. Although they were getting rarer, they still could be found even in 1945.

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If you are building a 1:700 scale cruiser in her 1942 fit, she probably carried the Chicago Piano during the period. Are you happy with the 1.1-inch ordnance supplied in the kit? Does it even have the Chicago Piano in the parts content? If not, White Ensign Models has an answer. With brass photo-etched fret WEM PE 749, you receive six 1.1-inch Chicago Pianos. The parts are relief etched and each gun is composed of six parts.

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