When I reviewed the Trumpeter 1:350 scale Langley, I bemoaned the fact that all of the forest of girders, braces and supports were solid plastic, lacking the airy grace of open girders. Further, I recommended that the modeler should wait until someone
released a brass photo-etch set of the
Langley girders as an upgrade for the kit. I certainly did not have to wait long as Trumpeter itself was first to release such a set.

Why didn’t Trumpeter put the brass girders in the kit instead of releasing it as an upgrade? There are actually a number of valid reasons. For one thing there are multitudes of girders and including brass versions in the kit would have significantly jacked up
the cost of the kit. Some modelers are happy with the kit as it is. They don’t want to bend and fiddle with brass girders. There is no doubt that the
Langley is far easier to build using the plastic girders, rather than brass versions. Not long after writing the
review of the kit, I noticed that
Free Time Hobbies was accepting preorders for a Langley upgrade set from Trumpeter at a really low price. I quickly signed up to get a copy of this set. When it arrived, I quickly saw that Trumpeter provided a lot of
items for the money.
The Trumpeter upgrade set comes with eight brass photo-etch frets, metal anchor chain, wooden deck and deck paint mask. The first fret labeled Fret B concentrates on the first five truss structures forward. The trusses fold together, completing in the
open structure, so each truss is completed with one connected piece of brass. Separate braces connect each truss with others. There is no relief-etching but perforated deck edge walkways are included in this fret. With all of the brass folding, these
upgrade trusses are certainly more work than the solid trusses included in the kit, but I believe the results in improved appearance will certainly be worth it. Triangular flight deck supports are also included on the fret.
Fret C concentrates on the braces connecting the trusses. There are eight on the fret. There are also eight of the lighter triangular lattice structures that fit below the truss braces. Also provided are four large perforated walkways and two narrow
perforated bulkheads, connecting the walkway with the flight deck edge. More flight deck supports are on this fret.

Fret E has the aft eight trusses. One of the trusses does have relief-etching with recessed panels with open circles inside the panels and fan blades inside the open circles. This is fine detail. The fret also has three cross braces and fourteen flight deck
Fret F is almost all braces for connecting the trusses and perforated panels with perforated bulkheads. Brass replacements for the two plastic cranes are on the fret, as well as some lattice bases for the last truss. Fret G is almost all connecting braces for
the trusses. Also, there are the most aft supports, as well as the most aft perforated bulkheads.
Fret H is 70% supports for the perforated, deck edge, walkways. Also on this fret are sold truss footings, last truss bracing and triangular deck supports. Fret J is mostly the triangular lattice work between the trusses, but also included are more solid
truss footings and platforms for the interior face of trusses. The last fret is not lettered.  It appears to have supplemental parts for the main kit. For instance relief-etched deck arrestor wires, which were not included in the kits photo-etch. Other parts on
this fret are a metal elevator edge for the flight deck, relief-etched doors, relief-etched hatches, deck plate with relief-etched bolts, and aft landing officer platforms. However, I couldn’t find the attachment points for many of these parts on either the main
kit instructions or the instructions for the upgrade set.

The upgrade set also has metal anchor chain and a wooden flight deck. The flight deck is in four pieces. One is a T-shaped bow section. The second is the deck running to the elevator. The third is the elevator deck. The fourth is the rest of the deck
running from the elevator to the aft end. The detail on the decks is very fine with not only the plank lines but also with what appears to be tie down points. Also included, is a deck mask to protect the wooden deck from being over painted when painting
the model.
The upgrade set comes with its own set of instructions. Page one shows the attachment of the triangular supports under the flight deck. Page two shows attachment of the walkway supports under the flight deck. Page three shows attachment of the
perforated walkways and perforated bulkheads at the edge of the flight deck, as well as assembly of two of the brace structures. Pages four, five and six show assembly of the trusses and support braces from bow to stern. Page seven shows attachment
of the truss structure to the hull and page eight has final assembly. Go slowly, as there are a lot of parts shown in these instructions. I am disappointed that the assembly points for the parts on the unnumbered fret are not shown in the instructions.
Trumpeter gives you a lot of parts for your money with this upgrade set for their 1:350 scale model of USS Langley CV-1 and at the low price it certainly is a value.

Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama