Prior to the development of radar, naval ships could track other ships or aircraft only by using optical techniques, sound ranging, or primitive radio direction finding.
In the autumn of 1922, scientists and engineers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) made an important discovery. They were able to detect a moving ship
by using radio waves which led to the development of the radar principle. In 1930, NRL scientists observed that the reflections of radio waves from an airplane could
also be detected. During the 1930s, NRL worked on using radio waves for detection and ranging and in 1935 they received funding from Congress to develop the
first U.S. radar, the XAF. This unit was fitted on
USS New York in 1939 for testing. The success of this test led to the first commercially produced radar, the
CXAM. Advancements in radar technology led to the development of many other types of units that were installed of U.S. Navy ships of all sizes and contributed to
the victories of the U.S. Navy in war against Japan.

Infini Models has produced a 1:350 scale US Naval radar set comprised of photo-etch and turned brass components covering several types used on ships ranging
from destroyers to battleships and carriers. With this set you can make the following radars:

Radar Type
Number
XAF
1
CXAM
1
CXAM-1
1
SK
1
SK-2
1
SG
4
SC
2
SC-2
2
SM
2
YE
2
As you can see, this set covers a lot of the radars that were fitted during World War II as well as a couple of interesting choices. The XAF radar was experimental
and only fitted on USS New York for testing, so if you would like to backdate the Trumpeter kit you can add this to the model. Another interesting yet welcome
inclusion is the YE homing beacon, which was fitted to aircraft carriers to help pilots find their ship at sea to land. The brass has excellent relief-etching and
appears to be fine but still sturdy enough to handle. The photo-etch fret has part numbers etched into them for easier identification and cross-reference to the
assembly guide and is very well organized, with all of the parts for a specific radar type grouped together. For some reason some of the dipoles for the SC radar
were missing in my sample which may have been the result of an etching mishap.

The radars are further enhanced by the numerous turned brass parts that are the bases for the radars. These are very well done with great detail. The bases for
some of the radars need to be clipped apart and all need to have some excess brass removed. The assembly guide is comprised of a 4-page fold out sheet with full
color images clearly showing the assembly of each radar provided with this photo-etch set. The assembly of some of the radars is quite complex so I strongly
suggest studying the instructions carefully before diving in.
This is a beautiful detail set covering some common radars fitted to US Navy ships serving during World War II. While unfortunately some dipoles were missing
from my set, this does not diminish the quality of the photo-etch and brass components. I do not know what Infini Models replacement policy is, but I cannot image
that if someone else had this issue that they wouldn’t somehow remedy it. Each radar is comprised of a lot of small parts, which adds to the level of difficulty in
assembling them, but the end results promise to be stunning. I am curious to see what radars will be covered by Set B, if one is actually in the works. I would
recommend this set for experience modelers and not for someone just starting to working with photo-etch. My thanks to Infini Models for the review sample.
Felix Bustelo
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