|Trumpeter Models kits are a mixed bag in terms of accuracy and quality. While there is no such thing as a perfect kit, some Trumpeter offerings have had more
than their share of flaws and others are considered to be rather good. Their USS England destroyer escort kit falls into latter category and has been generally well
received by modelers. So this kit is a very good choice for Five Star Model’s first 1:350 scale upgrade set. Up until now, Five Star Model has focused on
producing 1:700 scale ship specific upgrade sets as well as some more general sets in both scales. This set is a mix of photo-etch, resin and turned brass parts and
contains both add-on and replacement parts for the kit. Each photo-etch fret is identified by a letter and parts numbers etched into them for easier identification and
cross-reference (a combination of fret letter and part number) to the assembly guide. The brass has excellent relief-etching and appears to be fine but still sturdy
enough to handle. Each photo-etch fret is sandwiched in clear plastic film to protect the parts.
Fret A contains parts to for the 20mm Oerlikons and quad 1.1-inch antiaircraft guns. This fret also the depth charge roll-off and K-gun loading racks, ammo
storage boxes, Mk. 10 Hedgehog launcher blast shield, four styles of watertight doors in both open and closed positions and arbor heads for the K-gun launchers.
Fret B contains new bulkheads for the superstructure, which is an interesting feature. These parts are not meant to replace the kit parts. On the contrary,
according to an email I received Five Star Model in answer to this question, they are to be glued onto the face of the kit parts and this will require removing all
molded on details from those parts. Etched into the photo-etch bulkheads are the locations to affix other PE details which are included with this set, like the fire
hoses and pipes also contained on Fret B. Other parts on this fret include the spray bulkheads, deck for the 3-inch gun tub, deck for the aft 20mm gun tub, deck
for one of the midship 20mm guns tub, deck hatches, four styles of cable reels, life raft stowage racks, life ring stowage racks and storage racks for the K-gun
Fret C has several decks and platforms: the navigating bridge deck, the forward superstructure deck (where the #2 3-inch gun position is), various bridge
platforms, the remaining three midship 20mm gun tub decks, the quad 1.1-inch gun tub deck, the aft 3-inch gun tub deck and a mast platform. The relief-etched
tread plates, where present on the decks on Fret B and C, are subtle and nicely done as are the anti-skid sections on the navigating bridge. The other parts on Fret C
include the bridge face and windscreen, bulkhead for the aft 3-inch gun position, splinter shield for the #2 3-inch gun position, flag bags, inclined ladders, boat
davits and depth charge endcaps. There appears to be an error in the part numbering on this fret as there are two parts C19: the mast platform and the depth charge
endcaps. These parts are referenced in the instructions the same way.