|The Kit - Black Cat Models has recently earned high praise for its line of 3D printed accessories but when the business was first getting of the ground, Ben Druel
was looking to produce ship model kits. The 1:350 scale 83-foot cutter was actually the first product designed. My build was a test build to provide some feedback to
tweak the final release. When you look at the photographs of the kit contents, you are indeed seeing double as you get a complete set of both resin and 3D printed small
parts. Early on, Ben did not own a 3D printer, so the master parts were CAD designed and the 3D printing outsourced. The master parts were used to make molds for
resin casting, the traditional way. Fast forward many months and Ben can now do his own high-quality 3D printing, so he decided to include a set of 3D printed small
parts. Since he already had the cast resin parts, instead of wasting them he is including them as well. Also included in the final production version are turned brass
parts from Master Models. This model gives you the option of building an anti-submarine patrol/convoy escort or D-Day Rescue Flotilla cutter.
The one-piece full hull is very nicely detailed, with recessed windows and handrail on the wheelhouse, bulwark stiffeners, vents, piping, life ring, running lights and
other details cast into the part. The sides of the hull have rubbing strakes. In the deck there are deep slots and holes which are meant to fit the smaller parts. There are
also some shallower depressions which are used to mark the locations of the photo-etch round hatches. The smaller parts, both the cast resin and 3D versions, consist
of the various lockers, rafts, winch, small cowl vents, 20mm Oerlikon gun and pedestal, depth charge racks, searchlights, radome, rudders, propeller shaft struts and
propellers. In most cases, like the lockers and rafts, the resin and 3D printed versions are pretty much equal and it is up to you to decide which ones to use. However,
the 3D printed 20mm Oerlikon is lightyears better than its counterpart. The fact that you get two of the 3D printed machine guns is a bonus as you have one for the
spares box or a backup in case you mangle the first one.