Peter Hall is unbalanced. How else can you explain it? No sane person could be this obsessed with the minutia and the smallest detail. As I looked at the Photo-Etched Brass Fret Set produced by White Ensign Models for the Tamiya 1:350 scale Yamato, with slack-jawed amazement, I was struck by what I saw. All the proof needed was there on the two frets supplied in this set. The individual treads on the inclined ladders had perforations on each tread! Madness, sheer madness was the only explanation!
If you doubt my judgment, just look at the photographs of the detail of the parts included in the "The Ultimate Set" for the 1:350 IJN Yamato/Musashi WEM PE 3528. Exhibit after exhibit, confirming my conclusions are found there. It is time to delve into the dementia. The set comes with two frets. Again WEM has chosen to use brass sheets of two different thickness for this set.
Fret A is the larger of the two frets and is fashioned from the thinner of the brass sheets. Slightly over 10 ¾ - inches by 7 - inches (275mm x 178mm) it is thick with parts of extraordinary fineness and detail. As has been seen before in frets from WEM, they use a combination of high polished brass contrasted with burnished satin finish brass on their relief edged pieces. This finish really does accent the three dimensional appearance of these parts. Almost every armament system on a battleship famous for its armament gets a heavy dose of exceptional detail in this fret. Starting with the big boys, the 18-inch turrets.
The giant turrets will receive hand railing for the top of the turret as the start of a veritable parade of detail. Those are mere appetizers for what follows. Outer gun barrel foot plates, barrel lattices, gun barrel platform rails, turret site lenses, rear door’s steps and canopies make up the first course. The 18-inchers get more from Fret B with main turret doors. The 6.1-inch turrets received blast bag restrainer rails, vent grills for the barbettes, turret top handrails on Fret A with riveted seams for the barbettes, sliding doors, heat protection strips and antenna spar towers on the heavier Fret B. For the 127mm gun positions WEM provides railings and shutters for the enclosed positions with complete gun fittings for the open positions. The triple 25mm positions receive back door and railings for each enclosed mount. Complete gun fittings and gorgeous relief-etched foot plates for the open mounts. Even all of the single 25mm mounts get the three dimensional base plate treatment with gun sights and shoulder bracing for each gun. On the smallest level 13mm twin machine guns with gunner’s seats are included.
Both frets feature relief-etched base plates for guns and Fret A also has incredibly detailed plates for the searchlights. WEM gives you option deck hatches with simple closed hatches or open hatches with complete opening frame. Length after length of railing, including curved bow railing, radars with brackets, catapult mechanisms, crane rigging, aircraft detail parts for Jakes and Petes, cable reels and the incredible inclined ladders with individual perforated treads are also found on Fret A. To top it off, this fret comes with the significant number of ventilation grills for the superstructure.
Fret B is 8 ¼ - inches by 4 5/8 – inches (210mm x 115mm) and is of a thicker, sturdy brass. In addition to the turret details already mentioned, this work of art is also full of minutia. Flight deck turntables, catapults, main crane, flight deck outside bracing, catapult bases, deck grill work, stack cap, aircraft cradles, hawse pipe covers, oodles of different style doors & hatches, stack walkways, outside bracing for the flight deck … all are included. Sixty percent of this fret is relief etched! Individual flight deck track sections? Will the madness never end?