B&D Barrels is a United States based maker of scale brass gun barrels used in ship modelling. Bruce Buchner, owner of B&D Barrels uses CNC (computer numerical control) which is a manufacturing process using CAD (Computer-aided Design) and CAM (Computer-aided Manufacturing) interfacing with milling and lathe machines to produce precise engineered turned brass, scale gun barrels.
B&D Barrels makes replacement barrels for a wide range of scales of ship modelling. In addition to making replacement gun barrels for existing kit, B&D Barrels can create any barrel they have in larger scales, so if is not shown on the website, send an email to Bruce and let him know what you need.
Recently I needed a replacement for some plastic molded barrels on a ship model kit I had. A quick search revealed the B&D Barrels webpage: http://www.bdbarrels.com/ After looking through many of the barrels B&D Barrels had to offer I came across the small set of two Royal Navy 15in /42 Mk1 guns in 1/350 scale for my HMS Roberts Monitor.
There were only two of the large guns on this ship which made the replacement a bit easier to jump at. The pair of barrels only set me back $6 US and the shipping was included as long as delivery was within the United States. There is only a small $2US charge for international customers.
The new barrels arrived quickly; it took only about five days for the barrels to arrive and they were sent well protected between two pieces of cardboard in the envelope. The first thing I noticed was the barrels were packaged nicely in a Ziploc type bag with labeling showing its contents.
These new barrels can be used for use with the blast bag set up of the gun turret or the kit optional non blast bag barrels. Both of the barrels were to precise length and diameter for use with this British Monitor and the muzzle was the correct tapering unlike the kit supplied barrels.
Installation was easy; cut the existing barrels in the right spot, drill a hole to accommodate the set pin incorporated into the CNC design. The barrel is glued to the plastic part with the use of CA (Cyanoacrylate or super glue). The barrels are a huge improvement to the kit design and looking back on my cost for the barrels, there is no reason not to upgrade these barrels.
I did have the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Buchner of B&D Barrels after placing my order and he was kind enough to place two additional samples of his work for me to have a look at. The 1/600 scale version of the HMS Warspite MK1 15”/42 barrels for Airfix’s plastic model kit and a set for replacing Heller’s 1/400 Prinz Eugen’s 8”/60 barrels.
Both sets were packaged similar to the HMS Roberts barrels discussed above. The same care and preciseness was taken in constructing these barrels as well. Although I do not have the two kits that these two sets replace barrels for, a quick search to look for references of these two ships show that these barrels closely represent the original armament.
I am impressed with the quality of the B&D Barrels’ replacement ship’s gun barrels. These gun barrels often correct inaccuracies created by the modelling companies as well as giving a cleaner more in scale look to the batteries they are intended to upgrade. B&D Barrels’ ships direct and are a quick and painless process and the free shipping in the US and $2US charge for international shipping is a bonus in the days of the online shipping charge.
I feel B&D Barrels is an excellent outsourcing of quality model ship replacement gun barrels.
I wish to thank B&D Barrels for the Warspite and Prinz Eugen gun barrel sets for review.