Some years ago, Pit-Road Models released 1:350 scale kits of some Imperial Japanese Navy escort destroyers in a few variants. The kits included the Ukuru class Type A and B and early and late fit Hei class ships. The kits build into fairly good models
out of the box but like most injection-molded plastic kits, they can benefit from photo-etch parts and details to improve them. Here is where the
Tom’s Modelworks Ukuru IJN Escort Destroyer detail set comes to the rescue.

The set, with fittings for one model, supplies basic parts such railings and ladders. It also has a variety of parts to replace specific kit parts and as well as add additional details. You get all the railings needed, including upswept bow railings. Vertical and
inclined ladders are also included, with the latter having individual steps that can be bent to a 90-degree angle.
Kit replacement parts include the perforated bridge and aft AA gun platform supports, other platform supports, forward gun depression rail, funnel handrails, boat davits, perforated mast platform support bracing, depth charge storage and roll-off racks,
RDF loop antenna and the Type 3 Mark 1 antenna. The latter is a multi-part affair but a significant improvement to the clunky kit version. Add-on detail parts include the funnel vent grill, additional gun depression railings, boat detail parts, mast details and
paravane support booms. Some of the replacement and add-on parts require modifying the corresponding kit part before using. There is one shortfall with this set; I have the
Ukuru Type B kit, which needs six boat davits, but unfortunately the photo-etch
set only has four.

The instructions come on a single double-sided sheet of paper and are basic but clear and easy to follow. Photo-etch parts are identified by their image and for those that require folding and some assembly, there are diagrams showing how it’s done. For
the parts that are replacements for or to be used with kit parts, the corresponding kit part numbers are given. I did notice a typo related to the boat davits where it says it is a replacement for kit part D5, which is actually the RDF loop antenna. The
corresponding kit parts are actually D13.
Richard Harden, the current owner of Tom’s Modelworks, told me that this set was one of the last that Tom Harrison designed before his passing. While it may not be as fancy or have a high count part as some of the photo-etch details sets that have
come since, I will fondly classify it as an “oldie but a goodie”. This set provides just about all that you need to nicely detail one of the Pit-Road IJN escort destroyer kits and is good value for the price of $18.00. My thanks to
Rich Harden for providing
this review sample and I can’t wait to use it on
Ukuru Type B kit, which I recently dug out of my stash.

Felix Bustelo
New York