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USS North Carolina BB 55

Eduard 1/350 USS North Carolina BB 55 Detail Set First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2007 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject USS North Carolina BB 55 Detail Set Scale 1/350
Kit Number 53018 Media Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful detail update to the Trumpeter USS North Carolina BB 55 kit Cons
Skill Level Advanced MSRP (USD) $54.95

First Look

USS North Carolina BB 55
USS North Carolina BB 55
USS North Carolina BB 55

Eduard from the Czech Republic is easily the most prolific producer of aftermarket details. Period. Their series of photo-etched detail sets have brought additional fidelity to otherwise bland subjects, and have taken even the best-produced models and kicked them up a notch or two with details that cannot be produced with injection-molded plastic.

When Eduard first introduced the acetate-printed instrument faces that go behind their photo-etched instrument panels, this raised the bar on model cockpit reality as you could almost read the time on the aircraft clock. How could they top that?

It took a number of years, but the answer is color photo-etch. Somehow Eduard has developed a process for printing color directly on their photo-etched parts such that now you not only can read the instrument faces, you can now see the color warning arcs around airspeed indicators and color reference circles around Luftwaffe flight and engine instruments.

Now when it comes to naval subjects, you don't usually associate Eduard with in-depth details for ships. Evidently that will change. Just look at the coverage of this huge detail set and you're going to be busy for a while.

This set consists of three large frets of photo-etched details. You can see from the ten pages of color instructions that there's a bit of work afoot. Unlike most of Eduard's releases, this set is reserved for the advanced modeler for the vast number of tiny photo-etched parts that make up this scale make-over of Trumpeter's 1/350 USS North Carolina BB 55 kit.

The set starts with the details on the bow with replacement anchor chain reinforcement plates for the deck, bow railing, boat hoists and the start of hatch installations.This carries on across the rest of the model with lots of railings, ladders, boat cradles, hoists, vents, and structural reinforcement plates.

One of the things that is best rendered in photo-etch is the structural detail of cranes and hoists. The large cranes on the North Carolina are nicely rendered.

Another thing you'll see lots of in these images are the details that REALLY dress up the multitude of dual twin-40mm gun mounts. The mount, platform, railings, shields, and even charging handles are all rendered in photo-etch.

The set also pays attention to the 5 inch and main gun turrets as well, with turret details and frames to enhance the appearance of each enclosed turret.

Of course another detail best left to photo-etch is the radar antenna. The main search radars and gun directors are all nicely presented in photo-etch in this set.

The set is rounded off with another very impressive set of details to replicate the complex structure of each of the twin catapults on the stern of the North Carolina. If you use no other detail in this set, these catapults are very nice indeed!

Of course Eduard really didn't stop there, each of the two Kingfishers receive scale propellers and corrected struts for the outrigger wing floats.

You should be able to find this detail set at your local hobby retailer or one of the many online hobby shops. Trust me, this is worth looking for!

Recommended for advanced modelers!

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!