When the USN developed the five-inch/ 38 caliber dual-purpose (DP) gun, they produced the beat all around medium size gun of World War Two. Mounted on ships of all sizes, from battleships and carriers down to destroyer escorts, the five-inch/38 was the primary heavy AA weapon with the 40mm Bofors being the medium weapon and the 20mm Oerlikon the light weapon. The weapon was so successful that it was still mounted on new construction as late as the 1960s.
White Ensign Models has produced an accessory set of the five-inch/38 caliber enclosed gunhouse single mounts, as part of their Professional 350 range, numbered WEM PRO 3504. These mounts can be used for any 1:350 scale kit requiring fully enclosed gun mounts, although their most obvious market is as replacements for the mounts that come with the Tamiya 1:350 scale USS Fletcher. One package includes five identical gunhouses in resin and five identical barrels in white metal.
How are they superior to the mounts that come in the Tamiya kit? The prototypes did not have the gun centered in the mount but instead it was offset to the right of centerline. The Tamiya parts have the gun on the centerline and WEM is correctly offset. The WEM mounts are correctly scaled at 1:350, while the Tamiya mounts are slightly under scale. The WEM mounts have a base ring, which is lacking in the Tamiya parts. The WEM mounts include the compensator tube on the gun barrel, which the kit mounts lack; The WEM mounts have better door detail than the kit mounts. The WEM mounts do not include separate gunhouses with the second "knuckle" for Mounts 51 and 55 (the first & fifth mounts). The second knuckle can be added with a couple of passes of a file. Since it was so easy to add the second knuckle, WEM made the decision to hold down costs for the consumer by providing the standard gunhouse, eliminating the expense of a second master and separate castings. Because of the many variations present in the prototype mounts, blast bags were not included on the barrel bases.