Alright, here comes the Gold Medal Models interpretation of what should be updated within the Tamiya 1/350 Enterprise kit (respectively the Trumpeter USS Nimitz-Class or any other CVN in 1/350) regarding the air wing.
The set came to me within a sturdy envelope with an inlayed cardboard for security reasons.
What the modeler receives is a fret of photo etched brass and the instructions.
… And what is inside? …
The brass parts are superbly etched with no over or under etching visible. Where useful, relief etching was applied. This gives the parts so much more depth.
As common for Gold Medal Models standard, the parts naming is provided etched wise on the brass fret. This is a very nice move as it leaves no doubt which part is intended for which airplane. In addition, the parts for each type of airplane are surrounded by an etched frame. Bravo on that as this prevents any misunderstanding!
Now, let us have a look which airplanes are covered:
1- F-14 (9 parts) * 6 = 54
2- F-4 (6 parts) *6 = 36
3- F-18 (8parts) * 10 = 80
4- A-7 (2 parts) *6 = 12
5- A-6/AE-6b (12 parts) * 6 = 72
6- E-2 (10 parts) * 2 = 20
7- EA-3B (3 parts) * 2 = 6
8- S-3 (7 parts) * 3 = 21
9- RA-5C (4 parts) * 2 = 10
10- SH-3 (7 parts) * 2 = 14
These results in 322 parts just for the airplanes!
This is a nice variation of airplanes to start with. Beside the actual airplane enhancements, the modeler also receives the under the wing bomb (86 pieces) and sidewinder racks where needed. Also boarding ladders are supplied.
Of course this set builds into ¼ of a full air wing for any given CVN.
The instructions come printed on one sheet of paper. The print is clear to read and over all, the instructions are easy to follow.
After clarifying for what styrene kit this set was made some general hints on using photo etched brass frets are given.
Right after, a set of drawings for each of the included aircrafts is given. These drawings give clear indication which part goes where.
Squeezed into the S3 Sea King instructions is a reference table about a typical full air wing for the 70´s, 80´s and 90´s. This general statement will not suffice if you are seeking for exact air wing configuration at a specifically given time. However, not every modeler does care to be that exact. For those, this description gives a welcomed rough idea about which airplanes to choose.
No further reference is given.
No real build process pictures are provided.
No photo of the real subject comes with the instructions.
Result and Conclusion…
Oh boy, this set is so nicely executed that there is hardly anything to complain when looking at what is given. If you look at the 1/350 Tamiya Enterprise given airplanes with their simplified appearance you will instantly understand how much more can be achieved by utilizing this set. Even better, get two or three of them to get your flight deck as well as the hangar deck busy. Latter one only applies if you take the burden to open the hangar deck and scratch build it.
Highs: Wide variety of airplanes covered. 4 sets most likely give a full air wing.Lows: No carrier vehicles like cranes etc. are given. Ground bomb transports are missing.Verdict: A highly enthusiastic and well executed set. Due to the many parts provided it is recommended for the intermediate to advanced modeler.
About Dariush (Dr_Who2) FROM: NORDRHEIN-WESTFALEN, GERMANY
... being father of two lovely children brought me back what was a hobby of mine in my own childhood. I guess everyone with at least one child in the household can figure what I am talking about. Despite what I have built in my younger years (most of them blew up or sank in a pond) I learned to lov...