In-Box Review
WEM USS Hornet 1/350 Upgrade
White Ensign Models USS Hornet 1/350 Upgrade
  • move

by: Dariush [ DR_WHO2 ]


If one looks even closer at my Trumpeter 1/350 CV-8 USS Hornet review than I did, one will surely soon discover that as good as the styrene kit turned out, some major pieces are missing, railings for instance to name one.
Peter Hall at White Ensign Models took the challenge to enhance the kit beyond its design.

Let us have a look at the outcome.

The Package…

I received my order in a large card board strengthened envelope. The upper right corner of the envelope reads this is the 1/350 USS Hornet The Ship.

The Content…

Opening the envelope reveals one big and one tiny photo etched brass fret along with instructions printed on letter sized paper.

Before I give you a rough list about the provided parts themselves, let me tell you about the quality. The brass fret is sturdy enough to be easily handled without fear to totally mess them when cutting out the pieces. The kit pieces themselves show no over etching nor under etching. Also, the fold lines are etched throughout so the folding process is eased to the max possible extend.

Over all, there are 70 different kit parts provided. Of course, this number does not give you the over all parts number as many kit parts come multiple. A rough counting revealed about 200 kit parts to work with. Adding this to the 433 parts of the Trumpeter kit sure gives anyone something to think about.

First to notice are railings. There are three and two bar standard railings as well as according close stanchion railings. Along comes also chain link safety railings, none of them of them are pre fitted.

Further, one receives enhancement parts for all boats including the whale boat, various 50´ and 40´ motor launches.

The sheer list continues with ladders and inclined ladders for every section of the ship in accordingly different sizes and shapes.

All needed antennas are provided as well and are very well executed. Do not worry, the funnel cap grills are provided as well.

The various cranes were extensively taken care of and alone from looking at the provided parts I am sure, they will be a gem on their own when fully built.

The manufacturer totally understood the weakest point of the styrene kit being the armament.
For this, each and every weapon is taken care of by providing either replacement or enhancement parts. This way, the rather crude styrene parts will be raised high above what Trumpeter provided. The .50 caliber machine guns sure are a very tiny piece in this scale. What WEM provides supersedes the Trumpeter given solution by far even though the barrel will be flat with the WEM solution.

The life rafts finally receive their paddles and the webbing inside. A horseshoe lifebuoy & raft, some fairleads, cable reels, yards, leadsman’s platform and other very interesting fittings complete the set with catwalks and perforated platforms.

In fact, after going through all the parts, there is nothing I am currently missing.
To be honest, I found with this set more than I would have asked for. Regarding the provided quality, I am happy WEM picked up the subject and lead it to the given extend.

BTW, the small fret is a replacement part for no.52 on the bigger fret.

The Instructions…

The instructions come on a roughly letter size papers with excellent print quality. The first page dealing with general advises and is followed by a parts list.

19 graphical steps are all that is provided to accomplish the given tasks. Well, we have 70 different parts and only 19 explanations graphical wise?
At the end of them some text rectifies the most urgent questions.

However, the modeler is asked to do his additional own research. For this, a short list of suitable literature is provided as well. Don’t be disappointed because material wise enough was provided. It is just where these go remains a kind of puzzle.
No direct reference to the original ship is provided.
No pictures of the building process accompany the kit.

Some may say I am too harsh with my critics - especially regarding the instructions. Well, I leave this to an open discussion but from my observation, not only the naval buffs use photo etched brass frets to enhance their kits.
If that is true, then the valued customers should be provided with ease of assembly instead the pain of own research.

Not everyone obtaining photo etched parts can instantly handle them. Why give them the burden of additional workload by not clearly indicating fore each part what goes where?

This is a comprehensive kit taking care of most problems that are provided by Trumpeter. Not the hull issue though but about anything else.
The weakest point of this kit is the instructions.
Sadly though, since someone must have test fitted the parts hence could have taken some photos of the process to be included with the instructions.
At the same time, it is a very nice move by WEM to point the modeler into the right direction by giving a list of usable literature to consult if in doubt.

Highs: Excellently performed comprehensive brass parts with the folding lines etched for ease of use.
Lows: The instructions do not live up to the provided quality of the brass fret. The etched barrels can not resemble the original look.
Verdict: This is a must have for the Trumpeter Hornet kit as it gives the modeler so much to enhance at critical points.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:350
  Mfg. ID: PE3525
  Suggested Retail: $35.99
  PUBLISHED: Sep 27, 2010

About Dariush (Dr_Who2)

... being father of two lovely children brought me back what was a hobby of mine in my own childhood. I guess everyone with at least one child in the household can figure what I am talking about. Despite what I have built in my younger years (most of them blew up or sank in a pond) I learned to lov...

Copyright ©2021 text by Dariush [ DR_WHO2 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.


Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move