MK XVII Depth Charge
Brengun is known as a prolific manufacturer of accessories and aftermarket items. Over the years I have purchased or reviewed some 15 to 20 after-market items like this product being reviewed and I have yet to find any deficiencies in any of those products. The Mk. XVII Depth Charge set lives up to the standards that I have come to expect from Brengun.
This version of the Mk XVII Depth Charge is designed to be delivered by an aircraft and can be used to enhance any number of aircraft that the modeler currently has on their workbench, both serving in the military branches for the United States and its allies. As prepared by Brengun, there are components for two Mk. XVII’s included in this package. Also included are the “bomb” racks which connect the depth charge to the aircraft.
The depth charge consists of two resin parts and four photo-etch parts. Note that Brengun has molded a deep groove on both the tail assembly and the forward part of the depth charge, just above the point at which the parts are attached to the runner. Those grooves indicate where to place your razor saw when it is time to remove the parts from the resin runner. The larger of the resin parts forms the business end of the depth charge while the smaller resin piece forms the conical aft end of the depth charge with 4 aerodynamic fins molded onto the conical “tail”.
There are four photo-etch parts which are attached to the resin sub-assembly. A long rectangular strip of P.E. needs to be formed into a circle and then attached to the tail fins of the depth charge. There are two small circular plates which are attached to the forward resin part of the depth charge, and on opposite sides of the cylinder. There are some locating “holes” for those two P.E. parts and the two P.E. disks fit very well into those locating holes. The fourth P.E. part, labeled as Part Nbr 1 on the instruction insert is the arming propeller. Assembling the depth charge and adding the four P.E. parts is the easy part. It is the assembly of the six parts that make up the “bomb” rack that requires some time and thought.
Because the components are small and must be trimmed away from the P.E. runner with some caution. It is important to remove the photoetched “gate”. It is not difficult to achieve a “clean” separation, but it is wise to approach this process with some patience. Some time should be spent thinking through the process of bending the “bomb” rack parts and then joining those two parts correctly. A P.E. bender helps but the job of shaping the “bomb” rack components properly can be done with a thin metal ruler to be used to bend the two “bomb” rack parts into a “U” shape, as indicated on the instructions. Before assembly of the “bomb” rack be sure to study the illustrations on the instruction sheet. There is an orientation issue which, if not understood, will result in the two parts that make up the “bomb” rack being assembled incorrectly. Don’t ask me how I know.
The resin depth charge is attached to the P.E. bomb rack by the two P.E. parts, labeled Nbr 5. The “arms” of these two parts are formed into an arc which helps to stabilize the depth charge while the aircraft carrying the weapons is in flight.
Brengun includes a small “sheet” of decals. The decals are of high quality and presented no issues when applied.
The detail seen on this Brengun item is superior to that which you find on similar parts provided by kit manufacturers. The components lend themselves to the level of detail that photo-etch can provide rather than injection-molded plastic. Simply put, there is a much higher level of “detail” with Brengun products than with most kit-provided accessories and details.
The depth charges, of which there are parts for two depth charges, are not time-consuming to assemble. Total construction time, including painting and decaling, came to just a few minutes over an hour.
This product is highly recommended for its reasonable price, high level of “detail”, quality of the cast resin parts and excellent quality of the photo-etched parts. Thanks to Brengun for providing this item for review by IPMS/USA.
A word about the accompanying image which contains a figure standing over the depth charge. The figure is not included in the Brengun package. The figure was included in at least one image to provide some “scale”, showing the size of the depth charge.