One problem that has plagued ship modelers for years is trying to replicate the “cage” masts which first appeared on the South Carolina battleship series. Kits have tried to replicate them in plastic and it just can’t duplicate the fineness. Photoetch has been done but it requires a deft hand to bend and even then, it’s flat. Enter 3D Model Parts. This set contains two masts for USS Colorado/Tennessee class ships which require both masts. The masts are done in orange plastic and come two to a set packed in a sturdy plastic tube in a pouch. Instructions include where to cut. These are printed parts and printing is starting to make a real inroad to the hobby.
To use them, all you need to do is snip away the excess plastic and then gently sand and you’re done. The masts are about 1/3 the size of a mechanical pencil (~3 inches long). To make it shorter, all you need to do is get the right length and snip. I wanted to try painting the part and it accepted Alclad primer and battleship gray perfectly. Since they are printed, there appears to be no mold release. You can see by the details how well the lattice like structures are represented. And remember, this is 1/700 scale not 1/350. They look much better than the kit part and better than the photoetch too.
I think this is not just recommended but is more like mandatory for anyone modeling these ships. They are much more accurate and detailed than the kit or photoetch parts. They are easy to assemble and paint. Go get them! I want to also mention, that there is an entire series of fighting tops, guns and miscellaneous parts for this series that beat the kit parts to pieces so visit their web site above for more details. Lastly, there is another set specifically for he NY/TX class of ships. You can see these on the Pacific Front Hobbies site and soon on 3D Model parts site.
My thanks to Carl and 3D Model Parts for the opportunity to review this item and IPMS/USA for the chance to spread the word about the future.