by: Tim Reynaga [ ]
This FineMolds “Nano Dread 350” set consists of four 1/350 scale sprues of highly detailed replacement searchlights, signal lanterns, and side lights for your World War Two-era Imperial Japanese Navy destroyers and other ships. The parts include:
(4) 90cm search (or signal) lights
(8) 30cm deck lamps
(8) 2kw daylight signal lanterns
(8) side position lights
Described by FineMolds as “Micro-detailed Plastic Parts for Ships,” these plastic molded parts actually live up to the name. Molded in clear plastic to more effectively render the glass surfaces, they are crafted with incredible precision. Almost microscopically small, the detail on these pieces has to be seen to be believed. For example, though only 2mm across in 1/350 scale, the 90cm signal light faces have clearly discernable individual louvers, and you can just slip the point of an x-acto in the miniscule spaces between the light cans and the mounts.
The larger units, the 90cm searchlights, consist of two parts – the light/base and the face, and each has the option of being built as the louver-faced signal light or the cross-faced searchlight. Even though they are only 6mm in height, they clearly match every detail on the artist’s rendering on the boxtop, right down to the little “feet” at the base of the mounts. The 30cm deck lamps, 2kw signal lanterns, and side position lights, molded as single pieces, are equally good. Although the miniscule surfaces are a little difficult to see on the unpainted clear-molded plastic, the moldings are near-perfect in both shape and detail.
There are no instructions as such, but the illustration on the back of the box shows typical placements of the 90cm, 30cm, and 2kw daylight signal lanterns on Akizuki and Kagero class destroyers. The excellent box art also shows each of the lights in clear, detailed artist’s renderings so good they are in themselves worth keeping as references.
The only down side I can see for this set is the price; at US$15 suggested retail (about $1.90 per part), they aren’t cheap. However, the sets can be found for lower prices online.
Beautifully molded in clear plastic, these replacement searchlights are among the best 1/350 scale upgrade parts available. Though not inexpensive, these super parts will help bump your Imperial Navy destroyers to the next level.