When it comes to after-market parts to further enhance the detail of any warship model, there are a number if options available for the modeler. The most frequently selected option is the purchased a
ship specific set of brass or stainless steel photo-etch. Even when a model comes with photo-etch, the after-market producers almost always provide even greater detail than the kit supplied photo-etch.
Accordingly, there are a great number of photo-etch producers. Closely tied with photo-etch are turned brass barrel manufactures, who provide turned brass or aluminum barrels to replace the plastic or
resin barrels included in the kit. The next layer of detail after photo-etch is normally the acquisition of wooden decks. Although there are fewer wooden deck producers, there are still a good number of
them. Then we come to kit corrections with supplemental resin parts to add additional fittings or to correct mistakes in the kit. There are far fewer after market sets that go this far. Now here is
. Pontos does it all! In true one stop shopping. The HMS Warspite super-detail set from Pontos Model designed for the 1:350 scale kit from Academy is right on point. It is an expensive set but
provides everything, multiple brass photo-etch frets, turned brass barrels, masts and other items, wooden decks and resin replacement parts.
First, we'll examine the two wooden deck sheets provided in the set. In common with other wooden decks, there are cut outs in the deck, which have to be popped out for plastic deck fittings to fit
through the wooden decks. The larger of the two is the deck of the forecastle all the way to the catapult, while the smaller sheet provides the deck aft of the catapult and a separate quarterdeck piece.
Although I have not punched out any of the cutouts, they look extraordinarily easy to punch out. You can hold the deck up to a light and examine the backside. Light shines through the punch out lines
and only the film covering the adhesive underside holds the cut-outs in place. The deck scribing is very fine. Even using three power glasses the butt ends to deck planks were not readily visible.
However, if you look at the photographs below, it is obvious that they are there. The boarders of the decks are solid, since they represent the metal base for the scuppers.
Pontos provides a whopping four frets of relief-etched brass photo-etch. Two are large, one medium and one fret is small. Fret #1 is about 40% railing. The largest part is the forward face to the aft
superstructure. This fret provides a major upgrade for the plastic stern-walk in the kit. The kit was a solid walkway, a simplistic post railing and a separate top. The plastic top is still used but dump the
solid walkway and plastic railing.
Pontos provides the correct perforated walkway and intricate X pattern railing. The delicate radar arrays are also present on this fret. Academy makes some effort to
provide radar but the yagis and other fine parts of each array are missing. There are separate metal plate chain plates and deck hawse with separate grill-work guards to fit atop the wooden forecastle for
the anchor chains. Other major parts include brass catapult and multi-piece funnel grate. There are host of intricate smaller parts such as perforated platforms, antiaircraft gun sights, multiple pattern
deck coaming doors and others. The included railing includes a number of different patterns.
Pontos even includes two strips of railing covered with canvas dodgers.

The second large fret is designated as fret #2. A good portion of it is for the ship's boats. This time the wooden decking is in brass for six ship's boats in three different patterns. Twenty-two boat
cradles in seven different patterns are included. The extra boat details include boat cabins with open windows, keels with rudders, propellers, other separate rudders, stern platforms and safety railing.
Most of the boat crane detail is also on this fret. This includes frames, gears, pulleys and other fittings. Stack platforms, including open siren platform are of fret #2. Starfish platform and braces for the
foremast, Walrus detail, inclined ladders and a host of even smaller parts can be found on this fret as well.
The medium size, fret #3 is mostly parts for anti-aircraft guns. I'll mention the smallest first. The Oerlikon 20mm guns supplied by Pontos in this set are the most detailed 1:350 scale Oerlikons that I
have ever seen. On this fret are the open frames fir the guns and gun sights and gun shields. Where are the guns and bases? They are separate turned brass parts. A turned brass 20mm with recoil
cover in turned brass? Amazing! Of yeh, don't forget the turned brass gun pedestals. But what about the 40mm Pom-Poms? Same treatment as the Oerlikons. The Pom-Pom bases, frames, ammo
boxes, ammunition belts and gun sights are of this fret. However, the gun barrels, as with the Oerlikons, are turned brass parts with conical flash suppressors. Crane rigging is also on this fret. The
small 4th fret is for corrections. After preparing the first three frets and having them etched,
Pontos discovered a handful errors. What did Pontos do? They didn't ignore mistakes and hope that the
modeler wouldn't notice. Instead of taking the easy way out
Pontos prepared this correction fret. This fret includes two boat cabins, two small perforated platforms, six radar parts and two inclined
I've already mentioned the incredible turned brass Oerlikons and Pom-Poms. If Pontos is supplying the smallest guns in turned brass, it shouldn't come as a surprise that they also included turned
brass 15-inch and 6-inch guns. The guns are not the only turned brass parts included in the
Warspite set. You'll also find the pole foremast, director pedestals, flag staffs, yardarms and booms.
Not satisfied to provide wooden planked decking, four frets of relief-etched brass and turned brass barrels and masts, Pontos also includes resin parts with the Warspite set. It starts off with
resin deck hawse fittings that sit atop the brass plate and there are also other anchor fittings, and search lights. Although Academy provides blast bags for the plastic 15-inch guns in the kit, they
are for the guns to be horizontal with the deck.
Pontos provides alternate blast bags that will have the guns elevated for firing. All of the Oerlikon gun tubs are provided in resin and their
bulkheads are much thinner than the plastic versions in the kit.
The Pontos HMS Warspite set has one very large back-printed page of instructions. The printing is very high quality with multiple colors printed on high gloss paper. Pontos uses a modular
format, so the detail can be done in any order. The modules are done in a series of photographs, showing multiple stages in the construction of the various equipment or fittings. A color plan view
plate is provided in located the positioning of different equipment and fittings. About the only complaint that I have with the instructions is the lack of any manifest describing the various parts. I
have a feeling that some of the parts will remain unattached as they can't be located in the instructions. If
Pontos would provide a manifest/laydown with text description along the lines of White
Ensign Models it would significantly improve the instructions.
If you really want to go whole-hog in super detailing the Academy HMS Warspite in 1:350 scale, you can't go wrong with the Pontos Model multi-media set for this kit. Pontos gives the
modeler everything in every medium. From extremely thin wooden decks, to four frets of relief-etched brass, to machine turned brass gun barrels, including 20mm Oerlikons snd 40mm
Pom-Poms to a gamut of resin replacement parts, the
Pontos set is totally comprehensive.