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Wooden Deck for Escort Carrier USS Gambier Bay

Hasegawa 1/350 Wooden Deck for Escort Carrier USS Gambier Bay First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2011 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Wooden Deck for Escort Carrier USS Gambier Bay Scale 1/350
Kit Number 72146 Media Wood/Photo-Etch
Pros Thin pre-finished laminate for flight deck Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (Yen) ¥4,640 (about $55.00 USD)

First Look

Wooden Deck for Escort Carrier USS Gambier Bay
Wooden Deck for Escort Carrier USS Gambier Bay
Wooden Deck for Escort Carrier USS Gambier Bay

Hasegawa recently released the first 1/350 scale kit of a Casablanca-class Escort Carrier in styrene with their kit of the USS Gambier Bay ( look here). This is one of several recent naval subjects where the kit is released with essentially an all-plastic kit and several super-detail sets are released at the same time to cash in on the AMS (super-detailer) market before the aftermarket companies can start to produce their own detail sets. As with the previous kits in this series, Hasegawa released two photo-etched detail sets and one wooden deck set for this kit. Here is a look at that wooden deck.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I received this wooden deck set as it appeared no different than a typical Eduard photo-etch detail set. On opening the package, there are instructions, one small packet containing what seemed like sandpaper, one fret of pre-colored photo-etched parts, and one sheet of dry-transfer markings.

The packet of 'sandpaper' turned out to be the flight deck. Removing the material out of the packet, there are four sections of VERY thin wood that is pre-finished on one side, and printed with the silhouette of the deck outline on the other. Look at the first image below, two sections show one side, the other two show the silhouettes. The cut-outs and texturing are either done by laser or dye cut tooling, but either way, there is no cutting of wood required.

If you look at the enlarged second photo, I've altered the contrast so you can see the wood detailing in the deck surface.

To install this decking, you must first remove the arrestor cable/barracade cable details on either side of the plastic flight deck. With this out of the way, the deck is flat and smooth to receive the wood.

Each wood section is self-adhesive, simply remove the backing that has the pre-printed silhouettes, and the pre-cut shapes will come off as you manipulate them. Add them one at a time and carefully lay them into place on the flight deck. When all of the wood surfaces are laid out on the flight deck and two elevators, next comes the photo-etched details to replace the arrestor/barricade units.

Once the photo-etch detailing is in place, you can apply the dry transfer flight deck stripes and numbers to complete the process.

While I've seen some nice aftermarket wooden decks for the U-boats and a few other kits, this is the first time I've seen such flexible material that comes prefished and looks really impressive. I can't wait to see how it installs on my Gambier Bay!

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!