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Built Review
135
US Naval 4 inch/50 cal Gun
CMK – Naval 4 inch/50 Caliber (102mm) Cannon
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]

Introduction


The 4 inch/50 caliber 102mm Naval gun was the standard low angle Quick Firing (QF) defence weapon of the USN during WW1 and in to the 1920s. The guns were mounted on the Caldwell, Wickes, Clemson and Town class Destroyers and also on the US S Class and some of the Balao class Submarines.

During the conflict in WW2 a number of these obsolete guns were mounted on merchant ships (armed merchantmen) and deployed on coastal defence under the Lend Lease scheme. By 1945 the gun mount seems to have been through about 44 modifications. The very early guns had no side seating s best I can tell and these appear somewhere between mod 4 and 6 but these are not dated.

I am not a Naval Historian so my knowledge of the weapon is limited and neither do I have accurate scale drawing to compare the kit to, therefore this review is very much an ‘in box’ one giving you an overview the parts and instructions.

The kit


The kit comes packed in a sturdy box with a bright coloured paper top showing the product and manufacturers details. The parts are cast in a cream coloured resin and come packed in 3 air sealed plastic bags. The parts looked free from any damage or cause for concern.

The instructions are on a 4 page A5 side sheet showing the part numbers and what looks like a fairly logical build sequence. There are 14 build steps to completing the kit. The instructions show just 28 parts to construct the gun therefore this should be a fairly quick build.

The detail on the parts looks very good. You will need a sharp razor saw to remove some of the pour plugs that are quite big and there are a number of small parts such as the handles on the hand wheel and breech assembly you will need to be careful not to loose to the carpet monster. There is some flash to be clean up around the recoil mechanism and the parts in general. The barrel is pre-drilled and the gun shield is nicely detailed.

You will need to drill a small hole on the underside of the seating to fix then to the seat stands and I would recommend inserting a swivel pin between the gun mount and base if you wish the gun to rotate. Also you'll need to choose the angle of the gun barrel when you fit the side bolts to the barrel. There shouldn't be a issue about resetting the angel as the pins were a snug fit and didn't need glued so removal of one will allow you to alter the angle if you are not satisfied with you're first attempt.

Be careful removing part 28 from the pour plug, it has a small locating pin on the end which you could damage on removal and part 22 should have a small locating pin which you may want to add.

The breech isn't designed to open so if you wish to go that route then you'll need to do a fair bit scratch work.

Conclusion


This would appear to be a very acceptable kit. I cannot comment on it’s accuracy but is should make for an interesting build and I was very please to see a manufacturer producing 1/35 scale items in this field.

As a stand alone kit it will make a nice unusual display, or it could be incorporated onto a part deck or as is my intention shown in the Coastal Defence role during WW2.

A small parts count doesn’t diminish the kit, these look to have been fairly straightforward weapons and it will be nice to build something that shouldn’t be too complicated and take forever and a day.

As with any resin kit, it may take a little more patience but the end result should be worth the effort. Annoyingly somewhere between photographing the kit, washing it and bring it to the work bench I misplaced part 13, one of the gun shield supports, so I'll have to make a replacement if it doesn't surface soon or ask CMK if they can supply one.

The kit doesn’t come with any ammunition so you may need to improvise there.

Overall this was a very enjoyable and reasonable straight forward build (apart from mislaying part 13 and breaking off the locating point on part 28). You could easily build this over a couple of evenings or in a day. So if you're looking for something different and fun this one could be a good project. The parts are nicely detailed and clean up well. A few pictures of the built kit so far are attached at the end of the review.

There were 4 guns deployed in Western Australia during WW2. Two at Beacon Battery, Garden Island and two at Geraldton Battery, Geraldton. From a picture I found on the internet the Australian guns would appear to have been mounted without the shield. Garden Island was I believe the home of Australia's Z Force. The gun deck of HMS Campbeltown of Castleton might also offer other build display option.

Normal safety precautions apply when working with resin.
SUMMARY
Highs: Good detail and a low parts count
Lows: Perhaps a lack of suitable ammunition
Verdict: Recommended
Percentage Rating
84%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: RA046
  PUBLISHED: Sep 08, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.96%

Photos
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About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2018 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thanks Alan. This will make an excellent scene. Good detail and a low parts count - I like that! I hope more of these auxiliary weapons are produced. They expand the horizon for diorama subjects. There are so many neat subjects that can be created to high quality now. H/R Products made many exotic weapons including a 1/32 U.S. Navy 3"/50 Mk 22 Mount (Single Open); I built their 1/32 towed 40mm Bofors, USN 20mm Oerlikon and .50-caliber M1921 water-cooled machine gun back in the '70s. They were cast lead or white metal and pretty good models. I still have them.
SEP 07, 2013 - 11:38 PM
Hi Fredrick, Thanks. Only grumble was no response from CMK when I emailed them about a replacement part for the shield support I lost along the way. I used a piece of scrap PE filed to fit. Don't you just hate gremlins! Part was there one minute and gone the next . Apart form the 4 used in Western Australia I'm still looking for a land based UK deployment. There were thousands of defence sites constructed across the UK from 1939 onwards and there is indication the MK 9 was deployed in coastal defence having been acquired through Lend Lease but I haven't found a specific site/location yet. If I don't find a location I could simply take the shield off and go Aussie but I thought the Bronco Bofors Crew would be very adaptable for shore based crew.. Doing the research into UK Coastal Defence has been a very interesting, just need to find a location for the gun . As you say there are lots of possibilities for dioramas either part ship or land based. Cheers Al
SEP 08, 2013 - 12:15 AM
This is the Aussie gun at Beacon Battery WA in 1943 . Al
SEP 08, 2013 - 01:05 AM
Excellent review, Alan! Such a subject would also have some applications in shipboard dioramas, especially shadow boxes... --Karl
SEP 10, 2013 - 05:53 AM
Thanks Karl. Al
SEP 11, 2013 - 04:15 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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