Here we have a group of 11 different cast lead ship models. The bottom is cast with the word "Comet" the manufacturer and the ships individual names. World War II turned small scale ship modeling from a civilian hobby to a military necessity. Accurate identification of friendly and enemy ships and aircraft was necessary to avoid costly mistakes on the battlefield. Basset-Lowke and Wiking retooled for war, meeting the demand in Britain and Germany for standardized sets of identification models that covered nearly every warship class of the major naval powers. In the USA, demand for ID models was greater than anywhere else following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Responding to this demand, new firms such as BESSARABIS, FRAMBURG, SOUTH SALEM STUDIOS and COMET utilized spin-casting to mass produce model sets in vast numbers that were packaged in rugged wood cases and sent to U.S. naval ships and bases all over the world. Ship identification handbooks issued by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) also featured photographs of the models taken at various angles from the air and on the surface. The end of World War II also saw the end of the wartime ship model production effort. Of the US firms, only Comet continued production for the civilian market under the name AUTHENTICAST. The writing to the bottom is NOT clear. These models have wear small bends and damage. They are used and not mint. Fortunately with care small features can be easily bent back into place. The longest is approx. 5".
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