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Re: First impressions of the Takom 1/35 5”/38 Mk.38 Mount
Mighty John was a great ship! When you are out of FRAMs you are out of cans!
Ordered one of these beauties the instant it became available, and took delivery earlier this week. Bizarrely, there is another boxing of it by Pig Models (not making that up) that is the exact same plastic, only with split plastic barrels (really, in 2021?) - for twice the price. The Takom box contains turned metal barrels. More on that later.
Overall impression is outstanding. They appear to have pretty much nailed the details of this turret, but note that this is the Mk.38 version fitted to Sumner and Gearing class DDs only. Without some fairly substantial modifications, you can’t do the versions fitted to BBs, CAs, or CVs.
The main part of the turret is made up of large flat/angled/curved pieces that appear to fit together really well (typical of Takom). All of the details are molded separately, including the water tight doors, grab handles, ladders, etc. And given the large scale, everything appears to be pretty much in scale. It should build quickly. You only get a square of flat “deck” with the mounting reign on it, so if you want to portray more of the ship’s deck or superstructure, you’re on your own.
The barrels, I must say, are a big letdown. I know that 1/35 tank barrels have been done in metal with rifling visible in the muzzle. Not these. They’re simply turned aluminum shapes with the muzzle drilled out about 5mm deep.
Fortunately my friend Steve of Model Monkey is going to be doing some 3D printed barrels with full rifling, so the lands and grooves will be visible in the muzzle as they should be in this large scale.
You don’t get any decals with it, which is mostly appropriate. During and after Korea, most ships had the hull number painted on top of the 52 mount, so I made some masks for the “885” of the USS John R. Craig that mine will represent.
Overall I’m very impressed. I’ve wanted a big scale kit of this important weapon for a very, very long time. Really looking forward to their upcoming 1/72 Iowa Class turret!
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