If you go to the Tom's Modelworks web site, you'll find that Tom's released nine brass photo-etch sets in 1:700 scale just in May 2017. That is just in 1:700 scale, not
to mention other scales photo-etch or aircraft such as a B-52 in 1:700 scale or ground equipment such as Surface to Air systems on transporter or deployed. One of the
new
Tom's brass photo-etch sets is this one designed to fit the new Hasegawa Mikasa in 1:700 scale. Tom's set #790 actually consists of two brass photo-etch frets,
#790 with specific brass for the Mikasa kit and fret #791, which has railings and vertical ladder used on the Mikasa but also able be used on other 1:700 scale kits. Fret
#791 is available separately. Both frets feature beautiful relief-etching.

Starting at the top,
Tom's set #790 gives you both the forward and aft bridge decks. Hasegawa has the deck planking running from side to side instead on fore and aft.
If you look at photographs of the actual
Mikasa, you'll see that the correct orientation of the deck planking is to run fore and aft as Tom's has done on this set. The
decks also have the bottom support beams that fold underneath the decks. You also get navigation wing support frames for these two decks. The brass parts provided
on the fret are either replacement parts to substitute for the plastic parts in the kit or additional detail for the model. Another high interest set of parts to me are the six
pieces of torpedo net shelves. They are not solid plates. Instead the torpedo net shelves have a ladder pattern with openings between the rungs. The sternwalk has three
parts, the perforated walk with bottom supports, ornate railing with stanchions for the overhead and the overhead. A lot of details are provided for the funnels with
two-piece grates/clinker screens and twenty funnel foot-rails/hand-rails. All of the QF guns get gun shields. The boat chocks/cradles are relief-etched and fold together
to give the necessary thickness. Not only do they have large rivet relief detail but also weight saving voids. There are a large number of support gussets of various
patterns and sizes. Other parts are yard foot ropes, life buoy racks, stern platform overhanging the rear of the ship's hull, forward funnel platform with inclined ladder,
inclined ladders, accommodation ladders, boat deck ladders, skylight frame, boat crane boom hoists, jack and flag staff supports, and navigation light pole. All of the
inclined ladders have perforated platforms if a platform is present, safety railing and trainable treads.
Fret #791, which is included in the Mikasa set, has superb flexibility. Included on this fret are five runs of two bar railing, four runs of dropping two bar railing, four
runs of three bar dropping railing, three short runs of vertical ladder and most importantly three runs of two bar railing with relief-etched canvas dodgers. Almost all
ships of this period covered their bridge and navigation deck railing with canvas dodgers, unless they were in a warm or calm seas environment.
Combrig 1:700scale
kits represent canvas covered railing as solid bulkheads. The relief-etched canvas dodger railing is perfect for
Combrig or any other kit that lacks this much detail. The
entire
Tom's Mikasa set is only $22.00 USD but you can pick up fret #791 alone for only $8.50 USD, which is well worth the detail that it gives you. All railing has
bottom gutters for easy attachment.

Instructions are well done. The set comes with two back-printed sheets. Page one has general instructions and assembly/attachment steps for railing, bridge deck, aft
bridge deck, funnel grills and sternwalk. Page two has assembly/attachment steps for stern platform, funnel foot rails, funnel platform, life buoy racks, boat chocks,
and inclined ladders. Page three has assembly/attachment steps for accommodation ladders, boat deck ladders, crane hoists, bridge braces, yardarm foot ropes, mast
platform, flag staffs, navigation light, skylight frame, QF gun shields and torpedo net shelves. Page four is a blown up view of the #790 fret with parts numbered to
correspond with the same number in the assembly/attachment paragraph.
Tom's also uses photographs of the actual ship to supplement assembly.
Tom's Modelworks set #790 for the Hasegawa Mikasa in 1:700 scale gives you a lot for your money. With two brass frets, both of which feature relief-etching,
Tom's Mikasa set not only gives you all of the detail that you need to fully dress Admiral Togo's flagship at Tsushima, but also gives you replacement parts to correct
Hasegawa errors.
Steve Backer
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