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HMS Nelson detail Set Mk1 Design 1:200 The release of the big 1:200 HMS Nelson by Trumpeter was a bit of a shock, but a very pleasant one. While the kit is superb out of the box, both in size and detail, but there was bound to be at least one company to take up the challenge of producing a details for it. Just such a company is KA Models within their Mk1 Design brand. The set comes on a large flip top opening box with a sleeve on which a listing of the contents on the front and a picture of the built, but unpainted model, showing off all the brass. Talking of which, there is a LOT of brass. The statistics speak for themselves, twenty sheets of relief etched brass, one of which is pre-painted, seventy turned brass parts, eighteen turned aluminium parts, five wooden deck sections, ten resin parts and seventy centimeters of chain. This set is not to be taken lightly, there is some serious amount of work, and so all those of a nervous disposition should look away now. The Nelson kit is amazing, but with this set youre not going to just take it to the next level, but into the next solar system. Youll be looking at months worth of work, but the effort and amount of detail youll be adding will be so worth it. Being the DX set the instructions might appear to be slightly amusing, along with the duplication of etched sheet idents, but this is due to the fact that it is what Mk1 Design call the basic set, with all the other supplementary sets included. You will need to be careful identifying the correct part from the correct sheet. As with other Mk1 Design instructions it is really a series of photographs showing the location for where each part is fitted, along with more exploded views on each of the sub-assemblies are built up. They are very clear, but it would still be good practice to annotate on the kit instructions where the styrene parts are replaced with etch. That way you dont build something, then discovering it is mostly replaced with brass. There is so much in this set that it is difficult to know where to start describing what you get. So I will just go through the instructions and try to explain whats what. Firstly the masts are assembled. The main mast uses the kit parts to make up the lower tripod and lower platforms, although with new supports. This section is detailed with the addition of three, four part cable wheels for the boat crane boom, which is made up of a turned brass boom, five etched parts for the lower cradle, along with another turned brass part for the locating pin. The boom is finished off with the addition of the cable wheel and hook. The starfish platform is completely made up of PE including the twelve under platform supports, and upper platform railings. The Type 272 radar lantern is assembled from fifteen parts and will need some careful rolling to get to shape. Before the starfish is fitted to the mast, a large turned brass part needs to be attached to the top of the lower mast along with the lower yardarm and its three mast fixings. With the platform and lantern in place the ensign gaff and upper mast are fitted. The upper mast has three yardarms attached up its length and topped out with and another smaller gaff and the Type 279 radar array. The foremast is quite a bit simpler, consisting of the kit lower section onto which the turned brass mid and upper sections with a PE bracket connection the mid and lower sections and a platform separating the mid and upper sections. The platform is fitted with an ensign gaff, whilst both mid and upper sections are fitted with a yardarm. The mast head is topped off with a Type 281 array. The main gun directors are only given a small amount of etch treatment, in the form of new access hatches, ladders, and visor screen. The secondary armament directors receive the same amount to extra detail, whereas the High Angle Control System mounts are fitted with a completely new Type 285 array, with its five dipoles and the PomPom directors receive the Type 282 with their two dipoles. The Type 284 gunnery director is fitted with a more boxy style of radar array to go with the new hatches and access ladders. With the radars and masts assembled, and with most of the hull already painted by this point, the wooden decks are laid. There is no best method for these, its pretty much what suits the modeller, but I would rub down the deck details so that the replacement deck looks to be fitted more naturally. With the wooden focsle, main and quarter deck laid you can start fitting the many new details. From the focsle aft these are the anchor cable deck plates, large deck hatch, main breakwater, (each breakwater is supplied with all their angled supports separately), complete with large deckhouses, boat boom storage, second breakwater, with associated lockers, cable reels, (with resin centres), windlasses, and windlass controls. Alongside A turret there are more boat booms and their cradles, whilst around B turret barbette there is another breakwater, two deck hatches, four new cable reels, new ventilator grilles and two winches. Between B and C turret there are another pair of winches, five deck lockers and four more hatches. All the kit deck lockers and ready use lockers are provided with new doors, some of which can be posed open should you desire as are all the watertight and armoured doors. The set also provides a full complement of inclined and vertical ladders which festoon the superstructure and masts. The funnel is given a lovely interior that only goes down a third of the way from the top, but gives the impression that the ladders and platforms go all the way to the bottom. Outside the funnel is fitted with new vertical ladders, hand and foot rails, new platforms, foghorns and a large slab or armour plate on either side. The ships crane that comes with the kit is completely replaced with an all etched brass item which will look great once it has been fitted with cables which the modeller has to provide. The paravanes are also completely new units, with a turned brass body with etched fittings, cradles, fins and cable cutter. With 01 deck has been fitted with the wooden deck, etched ships cradles and their bases can be fitted. The main bridge structure is fitted with new platforms, aerial supports and the aerials themselves. Each of the ships boats are all detailed with etched brass, and for this some of the kit details need to be removed. The motor boats receive new cabin structures, railings, jack and ensign staffs, and propellers. The cutters and whalers all receive new gratings, thwarts, rudders and oars. Some of the smaller boats are stored on top of larger ones and the cradles for these are provided as well. The davits in which some are kept are given extra detail that included the turned brass boom, etched straps and scramble nets. The various sizes of Carley floats are all given replacement gratings before being fitted into position and fitted with the supporting straps and paddles. The largest selection of both etched and turned brass parts is naturally dedicated to the ships armament. The three main gun turrets are each witted with new etched trunnion mounts, turned alluminium trunnions and turned aluminium barrels. The main openings for each of the guns need to be opened up further, so Mk1 Design have included and brass template to help with this. They all have the various gun hatches, rangefinder hatches, walkways, rear mounted ventilation hatches roof panels and access ladders. The roof of each turret differs depending on what light AA weapons are mounted, so pay careful attention in fitting the right roof to the right turret. The secondary 6 turrets are only lightly detailed, with ladders to the turrets roof, rear mounted hatches and the turned barrels. The high angle 4.7" turrets get quite a bit more, as on top of the turned barrel, each mount is fitted with new trunnion mounts, along with several fittings on each one, elevation cog, electrical boxes, motor faces, ladder rungs of teach side, and sighting hatches, in either open or closed condition. The light AA weapons are well represented in the set and will probably cause most of the swearing and cursing throughout the build. The quad 40mm mounts arent too bad, with the styrene guns replaced with folded etched brass breech units, loading bins and trunnion mounts for each pair of guns. The mountings do actually use the kit parts, but with most of the detail removed. To each mounting the modeller fits, the trunnion bases, rear rails, main splinter shield, elevation guide, two three piece ring sights and, finally, the two pairs of guns. The octuple PomPoms are a different matter, in that almost the whole mounting is made up of etched brass parts, with the exception of the eight turned barrels and modified kit mounting base. In total, each of the six mounts comprises of seventy three individual parts. That should keep you busy for a while, although when finished, if they look anything like the pictures in the instructions, they will be amazing. Oh, and if the PomPoms didnt break you then the single 20mm Oerlikons may. Theyll certainly test yet more of your patience, as each of the sixty three mounts comprises ten parts, which include a turned brass barrel and pedestal, etched splinter shield, gun breech, pedestal ring, pedestal wheel, shoulder bars, sight, ammunition drum and shield/gun frame. The odds and sundries included in this set, and there are perhaps too many to mention, but Ill try, include items like the fabulous looking accommodation ladders, numerous life rings, boat boom Jacobs ladders, searchlight mounts, shields and elevation wheels. You even get five 6 shell and a couple of etched shell barrows, each made up of nine etched parts. Perhaps some of the nicest looking etched parts are those for the flag lockers whose front faces are pre-painted, showing all the signal flags nicely folded in their individual compartments. Of course no set is complete with the ships railings and this set has a full set for all decks, main turrets and platforms. Lastly and by no means least the set provides the ships name in individual letters for each quarter, and also a lovely representation of the ships bell. Conclusion Ive bought Mk1 Design DX sets before, but this one has got to be the best to date. The sheer amount of extra detail and the levels which the detail is taken is just amazing. Yes it is expensive, more than the original kit, but for the amount of work, and therefore modelling pleasure you will get, makes it a pretty good pound/hour rate. You will definitely need a lot of patience and plenty of previous experience with working with etch, resin and turned metals if youre thinking of buying it. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of