Adding to the ever-growing lines of replacement barrels offered from Master
is their newest set: 1/350th Scale Bofors 40mm Air-cooled Gun Barrels SM-350-081. This set contains 20; turned brass barrels to replace the plastic kit supplied 40mm Bofors as seen on US, UK and various other ships from WWII.
There are a couple of little side-steps, so to speak, with regards to this set. I will go through these discrepancies in an effort to help understand the issues I see. Let me first start by saying after looking over the barrels themselves, they are made very well. They are turned very cleanly and the representation of the hollowed tip in these small guns is excellent. I just want to make sure I convey that the quality of the manufacturing of these barrels is top notch.
Okay, here is what I come up with…
The SM-350-081 set is sold under the name Bofors 40mm Air-cooled Gun Barrels, which is true; however, the packaging shows in parenthesis below the name “HMS Roberts and Many Ships”. Well, the HMS Roberts was not fitted with any Bofors. It is most likely the MK V duel 20mm/70 guns could have been mistaken for a duel MK1 40mm Bofors and since Master just released a dedicated set for the HMS Roberts with their HMS Roberts Armament set number SM-350-080, these might be thought of as a good addition.
The next item up is the design of the barrels offered. These barrels look to be version of the MK1 40mm L/56 (40-mm Automatic Gun M1) most likely for use in a MK3 mounting or even in a “Wet Application” to be used on submarines. Some of these early guns were equipped with these types of barrels where the recoil springs were covered. These early designed were undoubtedly modified to the typical Bofors barrel we have all seen mounted on just about every major US warship afloat where the recoil springs are showing. Some of these 40-mm Automatic Gun M1’s were mounted in ships and many more were typically used for land based artillery and coastal defense purposes; all in different configurations. While my observations are probably not conclusive judging by what little research I could dig up in the time allotted for this review, these barrels do in fact represent 40mm Bofors barrels, they just seem to be an alternative design other than what the package states it was intended for.
If I judge these barrels on the merit of the quality of the manufacturing alone I highly recommend them for replacement in possible single mount carriages and for early configurations on US and British ships. At this moment time, I need to factor in the “entire” set, package included. The labelling does appear to not reflect completely what is included in this set and adding the disclaimer about these being for the HMS Robert it seems to be wrong. I would have to caution anyone looking to use these barrels to replace the standard quad 40mm Bofors configuration as seen on most of the major allied ship in the Second World War.
If you are looking to replace the Quad 40mm Bofors on your 1/350 model, please check out one of Master
’s other sets; SM-350-014 – Bofors 40mm/56(1.5in) Barrels. There is 20 barrels included in this set that look to match up to what was typically set into the US and British Quad Bofors configuration.
In closing I do feel the 1/350th Scale Bofors 40mm Air-cooled Gun Barrels SM-350-081 from Master
would make for a fine replacement of selected 40mm Bofors Mounts and I would recommend them for use in the single mount MK1/MK3 configuration as this looks to be the closest representation in some references that I found.
SM-350-014 – Bofors 40mm/56(1.5in) Barrels
The Doc Museum