20mm Oerlikon Barrel
Lion Roar 1:35 set #LB3530
Review by Terry Ashley

Lion Roar have finally released the excellent two part metal 20mm Oerlikon Cannon Barrel included in the recent U.S.Navy PT Boat Super Detail Set #LAS35003 as a separate set allowing this to be used on other kits with one of the most obvious candidates being the Italeri Crusader III AA Mk.III (kit #6444).

Barrel parts with close up of bore hole
Lion Roar

The Set:
This set consists of the nicely machined barrel with well defined cooing fins, barrel grooves and the muzzle hollowed out along with the separate cooling jacket with the six large holes cleaning machined.

There is only one barrel per set so depending on your required use two or more sets will be needed which is the case for the Italeri Crusader AA where two barrels sets is required.

No cleanup is needed on the metal parts before assembly with the cooling jacket just slipping over the cooling fins leaving just the rear locating pin exposed, the fit on one barrel was very good while the other the inside of the cooling jacket needed fine filing to open up a little to fit, but we are talking a very small amount of filing needed.

I haven't checked the dimensions of the barrel for the simple reason I don't have the required info and if I can get hold of this I will update the review with the findings but visually the barrels certainly look well proportioned compared to available photos of the Crusader AA and other Oerlikon mountings. They are also the same length and size as the Italeri kit barrels but comparing replacement parts just to kit parts is no way of determining accuracy at any time.

There a couple of minor detail issues to note in that some photos of Crusader AAs show the ends of the cooling jackets are more rounded than the squared jackets with these guns and some filing may be needed to round the end contours a little to blend in the barrel for a more accurate appearance.

There should also be a slight flair at the muzzle tip of the barrel, this is very subtle and hardly noticeable in some photos but it is there while the LR metal barrel is straight. It is also worth noting that some barrels don't have the grooves in front of the cooling jacket although this isn't a reflection on the Lion Roar barrel as others do have the grooves as depicted on the brass barrel.

Fitting the metal barrels to the Italeri Crusader AA requires a little work due to the locating holes for the kit plastic barrels being half moon while the locating pin on the metal barrel is round. It's best to cut off the locating pin from the kit barrel to fill the holes in the gun mounting and when dry re-drill the hole for the metal barrel. Not a lot of work in the scheme of things but you have to ensure the new hole is drilled centrally in the gun mountings, again not a big challenge.

When fitting the barrels to the Crusader AA gun mountings it should be noted that the two Oerlikons were actually offset a little with the gun on the left set slightly further back in the mounting to allow clearance for the gun breeches, the guns were also mounted at an angle to also allow clearances in the mountings

The metal barrel can then be glued in place using cyanoacrylate (super glue) and then assemble the rest of the gun assembly and turret as per kit instructions depending on how much other detail work you want add.

Fitting the metal barrel to the Italeri Crusader AA kit.
The pin on the back of the metal barrel and the holes in the gun mounting
requiring a little work as per the text.

Lion RoarLion Roar

The metal barrels have vastly superior detail than the kit plastic barrels or any other plastic or resin Oerlikon barrel for that matter and adds a new dimension to the appearance of the Crusader AA kit for very little work in fitting the barrels.

Barrels fitted to the Italeri gun mounting.
Note the left gun set slightly further back in the mounting by trimming a little plastic
off the kit gun mounting before fitting the metal barrels/cooling jackets.
This is only about .05mm but may look more due to the perspectives in the photos.

Lion Roar
Views of the metal barrel on the assembled kit turret.
Note; the turret parts are only dry fitted here and those gaps won't be there when glued in place

Lion RoarLion Roar

This is an excellent metal 20mm Oerlikon barrel with well executed details on the barrel, notably the grooves and cooling fins and the excellent cooling jacket which when fitted together give an excellent overall appearance of the Oerlikon barrel. There are a couple of small detail issues as mentioned above but overall a very nice barrel set.

The barrel now being available separately will have numerous applications for Allied modellers and will greatly improve the appearance of what ever kit is used on, the only thing to remember is there is only one barrel per set when ordering.

Highly recommended 8/10

There are quite a few variations on 20mm Oerlikon barrels and these may not be suitable to all types of mountings but they will certainly make a difference where applicable. I have observed from photos that there at least three different types of barrel fitted to the Crusader AA, ones with longer cooling jackets and no barrel grooves, with shoter cooling jacket and also no grooves as well as those depicted in this set with shorter cooler jackets and the barrel grooves.

Thanks to me Credit Card and Lucky Model for the review set.

Page created August 21, 2008