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Found 136 results

  1. Tarantul III class corvette OrangeHobby 1:350 History The missile boats of Project 1241 class are further developments of the Molniya (Lightning) family boats, developed for export. It differs from its predecessor (Project 1241RE boats) in that the outdated P-20 missile system (SS-N-2 Styx) has been replaced by the Moskit-E (SS-N-22 Sunburn) missile system which fires supersonic anti-ship missiles, and the new Garpun-Bal multirole radar system has been installed. Trials of the first boat of the class have already been completed. The Project 1241 Molniya Missile Boats are intended to engage combatant ships, amphibious ships, and other vessels at open sea. With its comparatively small displacement of 550 tons, "Molniya " is equipped with four "Moskit" supersonic anti-vessel missiles. The first launch of Russia's newest supersonic anti-ship missile, the Moskit SS-N-22 Sunburn, was conducted from an export Molniya fast missile boat at the Feodosia test range late in October 1999. The boat has a radar missile target designation system. It's fitted the latest radio-electronic systems of this purpose. With its high noise-proof features, it can observe fifteen targets simultaneously and define target destinations of six. Besides the missiles and 57mm guns, the boat has anti-aircraft missile weapons and automatic 30mm gatling guns. It has twelve portable anti-aircraft missile launchers "Igla" meant to hit air targets in conditions of natural visibility. The on-board rapid-fire artillery guns are meant to destroy air, surface and coastal targets. They can also be used to destroy floating mines. "Molniya" also has two launchers and combined-interference shells to protect targets from anti-boat weapons with different guidance systems. The boat is also fitted with active radar jammers and IFF radar. The missile boat is equipped with the full set of navigation and communication equipment, powerful gas turbine power plant, air-conditioning and ventilation systems to provide efficient operation in any climatic conditions. The boats' relatively small size enables them to blend in with coastal merchant and fishing traffic, making them difficult to locate and target. With a skilled operator, Russian-built patrol craft armed with Sunburn anti-ship missiles would be a significant threat to any seagoing adversary. The boat's high navigation characteristics allow it to use weapons in stormy weather with wind force 5 and ensures safety in the sea with wind force 8. Thanks to its sophisticated weapons, high running features, the boat can control a total area of water up to 5 thousand square nautical miles. The boat's speed is up to 38 knots, sailing range up to 2,400 miles, crew 41 members. Project 12411 was the designation for a new class of guided missile corvette that would replace the Osa-Class corvette that served the Soviet Navy and its allies around the world. Using a hull that is smaller than the Nanuchka-Class and is less capable than that class, the Tarantul is nevertheless faster and more agile. Powered by a pair of 34,000 HP gas turbines, the Tarantul class can cruise around 40 knots. The Model The kit comes in a rather plain brown cardboard box, with just a small label to tell you what’s in it. Inside there are separate single piece lower hull, main deck and transom parts, along with six “sprues” of parts are all moulded in grey resin. The kit si completed with the etched brass sheet, four turned brass parts and a small decal sheet. Whilst the parts are all beautifully moulded, there is a fair bit of flash, but since it’s quite thin it shouldn’t take much to clean them up. The details moulded are very finely done, yet still crisp. There is a fair amount of mould release visible on the parts, so they will need a thorough wash in warm soapy water. The kit is produced as full hull only, so if you wish to build this as part of a seascape, you will have to take a cutting disc to the hull. Construction begins with the fitting of the transom and main deck to the hull section, with the transom also fitted with two large exhaust port doors. On the underside of the hull, the brass turned prop shafts are glued into position, along with their A frame supports, followed by the two rudders, whilst the bow mounted anchor is also attached. The small resin mast carrying the separate bass tilt radar is fitted with two PE platforms, each of which has a PE plate radar array attached. The main mast is made up of upper and lower sections. The upper section is entirely made of PE and will require some careful bending to get it all to shape, the platform on which it sits is also of PE with the exception of the platform frame. The top dome radar and ECM pods are glued to the platform. The lower section consists of a styrene centre piece around which the mast frame is folded before being glued to the base platform, which, in turn, is fitted with the styrene and PE support beams. The platform is also fitted with SATCOM domes and two PE platforms. The upper section is then glued to the lower section. The main superstructure part is fitted out with the upper deck part over the bridge area, onto which the large radar dome is attached, along with the bass tilt mast and mainmast. The blast deflectors are fitted just forward of the gatling gun tubs, which have a PE gangway fitted between them. The watertight doors are then glued to their respective positions. The main 57mm gun turret is now assembled, consisting of the metal barrel which has the resin trunnion moulded integrally, the turret and the base. The two 30mm gatling gun turrets are also assembled, each made up from the base, turret and tiny metal barrel. The multi barrel rocket launcher parts are glued to their PE frames, as are the separate liferafts. These are then glued to the top of the superstructure, along with the gatling guns and upper deck railings. The completed superstructure is then fitted to the main deck, followed by the main gun mounting, deck bollards, and winches. The models is completed with the fitting of the main gun turret, two more rocket launchers, liferafts, anchor chain, two cable reels and the two main missile launchers. Decals The waterslide decals are provided for the ships numbers for two vessels, one of which also has a name plate on the port and starboard quarters, missile launcher numbers and ships ensigns. They are well printed and in good register. Conclusion It’s great to see the smaller Russian ships getting released, although even in this scale it’s actually not that small. As usual the kit is very well moulded, with some lovely details. Recommended to all maritime modellers, of at least intermediate skill level. Review sample courtesy of
  2. HMS Eskimo detail set 1/350 White Ensign Models It was good to see Trumpeter releasing the 1:350 kit of HMS Eskimo and whilst it is a nice kit overall it does have a number of problems, not all of which can be sorted with just the parts on the single etched brass sheet in this set. That said, this set will enable the modeller to build the ship in any number of forms throughout her career and also provides parts to build a number of her sisters. To really make an accurate model of the Eskimo you will need to change the ships boats, which are of the wrong type, (certainly not British), the 8 barrelled 2pdr Pom Pom also need to be replaced with a correct four barrelled example. Whilst you’re at it you may also like to change the turrets to ones of the correct shape, and the propellers. All these additions are available from White Ensign Models should you want to make one order for the etched set and all the other detail sets. The single sheet is actually quite large but doesn’t appear to have the same number of parts that some other sets have, but, what it does give you is what’s needed. The sheet is up to their usual standard, being finely and cleanly relief etched. Research will be required to ascertain which parts to use for a given build date, but they are all included, such as two types of lattice mast. There are also a couple of types of light AA weapon, the quad 0.5” machine gun mounts and the single 20mm cannon mounts with separate shields. A comprehensive radar fir is also provided, including the Type 286 array, Type 276 antenna, 285 Yagi, 282 Yagi, AA radar Yagi aerials, type 291 Yagi antenna and HF/DF Antenna, just check which ones were fitted and when. The sheet also includes the lattice masts mentioned above, which are completed with further platforms, yardarms and aerials. The alternative tripod mast is assembled from the kits parts, or the modeller can use brass rod, but the yards, aerials and are taken from this set. The bridge receives a new DF antenna, screen, canopy, aldis lamps and stove pipes, whilst the funnels each receive new funnel cap grilles, and sirens. The bridge wings and aft superstructure wings each receive new supports and the carley floats are provided with new bracing structures. A complete replacement searchlight platform will need to be carefully folded before fitting into position as is the quarterdeck mounted depth charge chute and spare charge racks. Each of the ships boats is provided with new davits and there is a new crane for the torpedo loading. As is usual the set provides a full range of railings for the ship along with inclined and vertical ladders, accommodation ladders, anchor chain and anchors. Conclusion This is another superb and useful set from White Ensign Models. It not only provides everything you need to enhance the Trumpeter kit but also helps with correcting some of the shortcomings. If used with the other sets the modeller will be able to build an accurate and highly detailed model. What is more, the instructions are really clear and informative, even showing how to fix the lack of sheer on the fo’c’sle. Highly recommended. Review sample kindly provided be John at
  3. French Pre-Dreadnought Danton Gun Set 1:350 Master Models A new month and a new set of barrels as Master models continue to build up their range of 1:350 scale armament sets. This set is for the recently released Hobbyboss French pre-dreadnought battleship Danton. As usual they are well up to the standard we’ve come to expect from Master Models. [350-097] The guns in the kit are pretty good for injection moulded parts, but you can’t beat some finely machine turned brass barrels to add that extra finesse to the model. In this set you get four 305mm aluminium barrels, twelve 240mm aluminium barrels, sixteen 75mm brass barrels and twelve 47mm brass barrels. The set also includes six resin trunnion mounts for the 240mm barrels and two for the 305mm barrels. These replace the trunnions in the kit. You will need to cut the kit barrels from the 75mm and 47mm mountings and drill appropriate sized holes both 0.5” and 0.3”. Conclusion Master models just amaze me how they continue to churn these sets out and keep the quality so high, just what you need to give your model a lift. Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
  4. USS Iwo Jima LHD 7 1:350 Etch Parts 4 and 5 The latest etched brass set from Eduard, their updates for the re-issue of Revells USS Iwo Jima LHD-7. Whilst the model is superb it is still lacking in certain areas. Eduard have chosen to address some of these shortcomings with these, the fourth and fifth parts in a series of five sets for the kit. Part 4 is for the railings and safety nets, while Part 5 is for the life rafts and ships boats. Part 4 (53185) – This two sheet set contains a full ships compliment of main railings and safety netting, as well as parts to detail more of the external parts of the ship. Several areas need to be removed before the etched parts can be added, namely the watertight doors, vertical ladders, cable reels, and several sections of various platforms. The largest replacement part in this set is for the complete stern ramp, consisting of inner and outer panels between which is sandwiched a latticework of horizontal and vertical beams. There are also replacement and new covered platforms and fittings to be added, the most obvious being that just aft of the starboard lift. The Sea Sparrow launchers also get some additional detail parts, as do the bomb dump chutes. Part 3 (53186) – Life Rafts. This single sheet set provides the modeller with much needed detail for the ships boats, such as new rudder, skeg, propeller, although the modeller will need to provide a length of 0.3mm wire/rod for the shaft. There are also new cleats, lifting eyes, bow mounted bollard, windscreen, wheel, exhaust covers and an unidentifiable plate for the rear cockpit. The RIB is also given the Eduard treatment with the addition of a new engine cover, wheel, transom and drive unit. The rest of the sheet is filled with the numerous life raft canister racks. Each rack, from single to septuple is made up from a rear mounted upright and separate rack units. Once assembled and glued to the model the kits canisters can be glued direct to the racks. Conclusion Two more and I believe the last in the series of detail sets for the Revell Iwo Jima that will all go towards making a great model into a stunning one. You will definitely need a good set of optivisors and very good set of tweezers, not to mention patience and a steady hand. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Vickers 0.50 Quad Machine Gun Mounts 1/350 Tetra Model Works Sometimes, when building a model there are items that you’d love to add that extra bit of detail or change only a small part of the kit parts that you feel would be better in brass, without having to go to the expense of buying a full set for which you’d only use a few parts. Known for their super large sets for complete ship kits, Tetra Model Works have released this small set of Vickers quad .50 Machine guns. There are four complete mountings included and whilst looking very well produced, you will need some serious magnification on your optivisor as the parts are very, very small. Once built however, they will be mini masterpieces. There are sixteen etched brass parts and four turned brass barrels per mounting, giving you an idea of the detail included. Large ships usually had four mounts, although the Ark Royal had mounts, so you will need two sets, Cruisers and destroyers had two mountings. Conclusion Since the Royal Navy used these mounts on most ships until they were superseded by the 20mm Oerlikon this set will be very widely used. You will need to do your research to see whether the ship you are building still had them fitted during period you are building it, as they were generally withdrawn from general use around 1941/1942. Other than that they are really great little items and will give an extra dimension to you model. Review sample courtesy of
  6. HMS Ark Royal Gun Set 1:350 Master Models Master models continue to build up their range of 1:350 scale armament sets, but they are now increasing the items produced to add other accessories, which now includes two of the three releases reviewed here. As usual they are well up to the standard we’ve come to expect from Master Models. [350-096] This set covers all the weaponry fitted to the recently released Trumpeter kit. Whilst the kit is great, you can’t beat some finely machine turned brass barrels to add that extra finesse to the model. In this set you get sixteen 4.5” barrels, 24 long plus 24 short barrels for the octuple PomPoms and 32 Vickers 0.50” barrels for the quad mounts. You will need to cut the kit barrels from the mountings/trunnions and drill appropriate sized holes both 0.5” and 0.3”. For pre November 1941 builds you will need to remove the flash hiders off the PomPom barrels. Conclusion This is another great and useful set to give your Ark Royal model that little bit of pizzazz. Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
  7. I'm currently building a few 1:350 scale ships; two plastic kits and two scratchbuilds, and could do with some expert advice on which Acrylics to use when I get to the painting phase. I currently use Vallejo but they are mainly produced for aircraft and AFV colour ranges. From your experience, what are your recommendations; by brand name and part numbers, for modern RN and RFA vessels? cheers Mike
  8. I am currently building the Airfix 1:350 kit HMS Illustrious and have both Airfix and Trumpeter 1:350 Merlin HM.1 helicopters for this. I've noticed that there is a 10mm difference in fuselage length between the Airfix and Trumpeter kits, so I went online and searched for the correct fuselage length. This is where it gets confusing for me, in that Wikipedia says the fuselage length is 64.1 ft/19.53m (the Airfix version fits this at 55.8mm); however, the Leonardo site states the length is 74.9 ft/22.81m (the Trumpeter version fits this at 65.5mm). Can anyone here please confirm the correct fuselage length for this helo? A difference of 10mm at 1:350 scale is quite noticeable. Mike
  9. USS Iwo Jima LHD 7 1:350 Etch Parts 2 and 3 The latest etched brass set from Eduard, their updates for the re-issue of Revells USS Iwo Jima LHD-7. Whilst the model is superb it is still lacking in certain areas. Eduard have chosen to address some of these shortcomings with these, the second and third parts in a series of five sets for the kit. Part 2 is for the aircraft and deck vehicles, while Part 3 is for the ships superstructure. Part 2 (53183) – This single sheet set contains a host of parts to super detail the kits aircraft and ground equipment. Each of the kits part receiving a greater or lesser amount of detailing as required. AV-8B – is given new undercarriage, pylons, fuselage lift fences, chaff/flare panels, airbrake, undercarriage doors, and refuelling probe fairing. CH-46 – gets new rotor head details, wheels, windscreen wipers, fuselage panels, additional armour, vents and grilles. SH-60F – gets new rotors, both folded and spread, new tail rotor, wheels, and tail skid. MW-22 – gets new wheels, aerials, wipers, and strakes. AH-1W – gets new gun barrels, fuselage panels, main and tail rotors and IR scatter system. CH-53E – gets new wipers, rear view mirrors, wheels, rotor details, aerials and fuselage panels. Nitrogen rig trolley is completely replaced with brass parts. Small fork lift – gets new forks, riser, seat, steering wheel, and roll cage. Large fork lift – gets new steering wheel, forks, riser, rear end, and roll cage. Deck crash crane, (Jumbo) – gets new ladders, driver cab, pullies, platforms, cable guide wheels, hook and cross beams. Each of the towing and crash trucks receive new steering wheels, front and rear end panels, with some getting coiled hoses and generator sets. Part 3 (53184) – Superstructure. Apart from all the vertical, and inclined ladders, watertight doors and railings, which are all replaced with PE, this single sheet set also contains new observer positions at flight deck level, new platforms, FLYCO, windows, cable reels, netting, funnel vents and grilles. There are also a load of new sensors, replacement radars, such as the AN/SPN-43 air search radar, AN/SPS-48E E/F band 3D air search radar, and AN/SPN-43 air search radar. The Sea Sparrow launcher receives extra details, while there are also additional deck houses, platform supports, and crane details Conclusion These another great pair of sets for this superb kit. As with the previous set reviewed HERE, you will definitely need a good set of optivisors and very good set of tweezers, not to mention patience and a steady hand. What you will get at the end of it are some amazingly detailed aircraft and ground equipment, not to mention a super detailed superstructure. Review sample courtesy of
  10. USS Iwo Jima LHD 7 (53181) 1:350 Etch Part 1 The latest etched brass set from Eduard, this time for the re-issue of Revells USS Iwo Jima LHD-7. Whilst the model is superb it is still lacking in certain areas. Eduard have chosen to address some of these shortcomings with this, the first part in a series of five sets for the kit. This quite large single sheet contains parts for the assault craft, both the LCAC’s (Landing Craft Air Cushion), and the LCU’s, (Landing Craft Utility). The LCAC’s each receive a whole raft of replacement parts for the superstructures on each side. Before the etched parts can be attached though, a lot of the plastic detail needs to be removed. The PE parts include a new control cabin, air intakes, exhausts, navigation radar and support, exhaust openings, watertight doors, railings, vertical ladders, superstructure brace supports, masts, and liferings. The cushion section and transport deck also receive new railings, along with stowage boxes, cleats, ramp winch boxes, filter boxes and air conditioning units and the fans intake grills. The LCU’s are even more extensively modified with the whole superstructure replaced with a PE part which will require some very careful folding. Onto this there are new fixtures and fittings, such as watertight doors, which can be posed open or closed, upper steering position, complete with ships wheel, 50cal heavy machine gun and splinter shield, storage boxes, air intakes, vertical ladders and railings. The port side of the LCU is also replaced with PE and fitted with vents, liferings, intakes, which can also be posed open or shut, drainage ports, cleats, and railings. There are also, new anchors, anchor supports, a new bow ramp tread plate and two chains. Conclusion Whilst this is a great set, boy will you need a good set of optivisors and very good set of tweezers, not to mention patience and a steady hand. What you will get at the end of it are some amazingly detailed landing craft, which could be used on their own or with the ship. Review sample courtesy of
  11. French Battleship Dunkerque HobbyBoss 1:350 Dunkerque was the lead ship of the Dunkerque class of battleships built for the French Navy in the 1930s. The class also included Strasbourg. The two ships were the first capital ships to be built by the French Navy after World War I; the planned Normandie and Lyon classes had been cancelled at the outbreak of war, and budgetary problems prevented the French from building new battleships in the decade after the war. Dunkerque was laid down in December 1932, was launched October 1935, and was completed in May 1937. She was armed with a main battery of eight 330mm/50 Modèle 1931 guns arranged in two quadruple gun turrets and had a top speed of 29.5 knots (54.6 km/h; 33.9 mph). Dunkerque and Strasbourg formed the French Navy's 1ère Division de Ligne (1st Division of the Line) prior to the Second World War. The two ships searched for German commerce raiders in the early months of the war, and Dunkerque also participated in convoy escort duties. The ship was badly damaged during the British attack at Mers-el-Kébir after the Armistice that ended the first phase of France's participation in World War II, but she was re floated and partially repaired to return to Toulon for comprehensive repairs. Dunkerque was scuttled in November 1942 to prevent her capture by the Germans, and subsequently seized and partially scrapped by the Italians and later the Germans. Her wreck remained in Toulon until she was stricken in 1955, and scrapped three years later. The Model At last we are seeing some of the more interesting and some would say attractive battleships of WWII being released, and a good start to a larger line up of French ships. The kit comes in quite a large, longish box, with an artist’s impression of the ship being attacked at Mers-el-Kébir. Inside there is the single piece hull, which, according to my research and the Seaforth book on French battleships, by John Jordan and Robert Dumas, is actually pretty accurate. Although the two lower strakes down the side of the ship need to be sanded back a bit as they shouldn’t reach the bow. The rest of the parts, five separate pieces, thirteen sprues of grey styrene, and two sprues of clear styrene are all beautifully moulded, with no flash or other imperfections and only few moulding pips. The kit also comes with six sheets of relief etched brass, a length of chain and a small decal sheet. Construction begins with the drilling of several holes in the foredeck and main deck. The three deck sections are then glued to the hull. Unusually there are no bulkhead parts to strengthen the hull, so check first and you may need to add thwart ships beams for added rigidity. With the decks in place the foredeck is fitted out with three capstans, three lengths of chain, suitably painted, and the three, two piece bow anchors. At the stern there is a single capstan, chain and another two piece anchor. Several sub assemblies are the built up, six two piece searchlights, six double Carley float assemblies, four three piece twin 37mm cannon mounts and eleven quad 13.2mm cannon mounts. The hull is turned upside down and fitted with the two bilge keels and four propeller shafts, A frames and propellers, along with the single rudder and two stern mounted boat booms, which should probably be left till nearer the end of the build. The PE and styrene catapult is also assembled at this point and put to one side to dry along with the two quadruple main turrets, each made up from thirteen parts. The twelve ships boats, each with separate decks and PE cradles are also assembled at this point, along with the eleven piece main mast and rear mounted armoured control station. The upper and middle rangefinder turrets are also assembled, from nine and eleven parts respectively. Moving to the foredeck again, the area is fitted out with the various cleats, bollards, deck houses, ventilators, the jackstaff and the large breakwater, along with a couple of paravanes. The main deck is given the same treatment, and also fitted with davits and four of the ships boats. The quarterdeck is also fitted with cleats and bollards. Six more of the ships boats are glued into position, along with the various boat booms, Carley float assemblies, accommodation ladders ensign staff and inclined ladders. The secondary turrets are assembled, the two twin turrets from four parts and the three quadruple turrets from seven parts. The ships cranes are built up from four styrene parts are three etched parts. The assembly of the superstructure begins with the assembly of the ten piece funnel searchlight platform onto which four searchlight assemblies are fitted. The lower bridge is then assembled, and the rest of the ships boats are on fitted onto the boat deck section, along with the two boat cranes and four inclined ladders. The aft superstructure is fitted out with the aft quad 130mm mounting, two paravanes, the hanger door, several vertical ladders and a couple of deckhouses. The searchlight platform assembly is fitted to the fore end of the aft superstructure and the assembly put to one side. The lower bridge deck is built up from three sub-structures, six support beams, and eleven PE supports before being fitted with the lower bridge assembly, a medium rangefinder, two small rangefinders, lower tower block and two quad AA mounts. The next level platform is fitted with four lookout stations and two searchlights. Onto this platform the upper tower block is attached, followed by another platform. The larger of the three rangefinders fitted to the tower is assembled and the two smaller units fitted to each others roof. The topmost rangefinder is fitted with an elaborate PE aerial array. The upper tower is also fitted with three large aerial spreader bars before being attached to the lower tower and the whole assembly being glued to the front of the boat deck, followed by the fifteen part funnel assembly. The completed structure is then glued to the main deck, followed by the aft superstructure, main and secondary turrets, catapult and nine piece aircraft handling crane. The model can be displayed onto the four piece stand included. The kit comes with two of the Loire 130 seaplanes the ship carried, each is produce in clear styrene, which, I must admit I’m not a fan of, but it can help with the clear sections I guess. The fuselage is in two halves, which, once glued together are fitted with the tailplanes and wings, each of which has separate floats. The engine and separate two bladed propeller is the attached to the top of the fuselage. Decals The small decal sheet provides the French national flags in straight and wavy forms; ships name plates, plus the roundels and fin flashes for the aircraft. They are nicely printed with good opacity and in register. The ship is painted in Dark Sea Grey overall, with black boot topping and red anti fouling. Conclusion This is a very welcome release of a very attractive ship. She, and her soon to released sister will make a great accompaniment for anyone’s collection. The model appears to be pretty accurate from the research I’ve done, which is a nice change for a Trumpeter/Hobbyboss kit. The only downside is that whilst the kit provides most of the railings required, the main railings around the fore, main and quarterdecks aren’t provided, so you will need to source these yourself. Review sample courtesy of
  12. USN 40mm Bofors Quad mounts 1:350 Master Models As we saw in the Twin Mounts sets reviewed HERE, MASTER models are upping their game with the maritime releases. Once again we see a selection of resin, PE and turned brass. The resin and etch have also been produced by North Star and incorporated into the sets. The new boxes the same style too, with the resin parts in their own compartments in the foam for added protection. [SM-350-093] As with the twin sets, this set contains six version 1 mounts, each mount is made up from no less than twenty two parts, so, once again you will need your optivisors and best tweezers, along with an extra bottle of patience, as you will need them. The resin gun mount is fitted with a two resin front pieces and two PE seats complete with footrests. The gun slides are then rolled to shape and fitted to the mount, along with two hand wheels. Two pairs of twin guns are built using a resin breech, two brass barrels, PE sights and sight covers and a PE elevation arc. The gun assemblies are then attached to the mounting, which is then finished off with the rear mounted railings which have ammunition storage racks built in. The set also include a Mk51 director sighting pedestal, made from a resin pedestal, shoulder guides and deck mounting ring. [SM-350-094] – This set is for version 2 of the twin 40mm Bofors mounts and is the same build as the version above, but, unlike the twin mounts, I cannot see any appreciable differences, unless it’s the fact that version 1 is a manual mounting and version2 is power operated as there is some slight equipment differences on the mounting, but only if viewed through a magnifying glass.. [SM-350-095] – This set is for version 3 of the twin 40mm Bofors mounts and is the same build as the version 2 above, with a different rear mounted railing, and a full splinter shield to the front. Conclusion Since these mountings were fitted to almost every US warship from the frigate and larger, these sets can be used on almost any model released. Just check you references to check which mounting was used. Review sample courtesy of Piotr at
  13. National Ensign Flags Eduard 1:350 Quite a few maritime kits these days provide a selection of flags and pennants that are printed on paper. These can look ok, but generally always have a tired well worn look, like they’ve been left in the sun for a few months. Eduard have now countered this look with the release of this pre-painted steel sets, which supersedes the etched brass set previously available. The four flags are beautifully painted and will look great on either an ensign staff or in the battle ensign position. To use, just cut the chosen flag from the sheet and wrap it around your favourite rigging material. How you get the wavy flapping effect is entirely up to you, but it may take a bit of experimentation to get the desired effect. Conclusion These are very nice and easy to use sets which would add a dash of colour on your warships. Review samples courtesy of
  14. French Pre-Dreadnought Danton Trumpeter 1:350 Although the Danton-class battleships were a significant improvement from the preceding Liberté class, especially with the 3,000-ton displacement increase, they were outclassed by the advent of HMS Dreadnought well before they were completed. This, combined with other poor traits, including the great weight in coal they had to carry, made them rather unsuccessful ships, though their numerous rapid-firing guns were of some use in the Mediterranean. Danton was laid down at the Arsenal de Brest in February 1906, launched on 4 July 1909, and commissioned into the French Navy on 1 June 1911. The ship was 146.6 meters (481 ft 0 in) long overall and had a beam of 25.8 m (84 ft 8 in) and a full-load draft of 9.2 m (30 ft 2 in). She displaced 19,736 metric tons (19,424 long tons; 21,755 short tons) at full load and had a crew of 681 officers and enlisted men. She was powered by four Parsons steam turbines with twenty-six Belleville boilers, the first French warship to use turbines. They were rated at 22,500 shaft horsepower (16,800 kW) and provided a top speed of around 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph). Coal storage amounted to 2,027 t (1,995 long tons; 2,234 short tons). Danton's main battery consisted of four 305mm/45 Modèle 1906 guns mounted in two twin gun turrets, one forward and one aft. The secondary battery consisted of twelve 240mm/50 Modèle 1902 guns in twin turrets, three on either side of the ship. A number of smaller guns were carried for defence against torpedo boats. These included sixteen 75 mm (3.0 in) L/65 guns and ten 47 mm (1.9 in) guns. The ship was also armed with two 450 mm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes. The ship's main belt was 270 mm (10.6 in) thick and the main battery was protected by up to 300 mm (11.8 in) of armour. The conning tower also had 300 mm thick sides. In May 1909, at the launching ceremony for Danton, socialist activists prevented the ship from leaving the stocks. The ship was eventually launched on 4 July 1909. A week after she was completed, she was sent to the United Kingdom in honour of the Coronation of George V in 1911. Upon her return to France, Danton was assigned to the 1st Battle Squadron, along with her sister ships and the two powerful dreadnoughts Courbet and Jean Bart. In 1913, while off Hyères in the Mediterranean, Danton suffered an explosion in one of her gun turrets, which killed three men and injured several others. Danton served in World War I in the French Mediterranean Fleet. At the outbreak of the war in early August 1914, she was assigned to guard convoys bringing French soldiers from North Africa, to protect from attack by the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and light cruiser SMS Breslau, which were operating in the area. At the time, she remained in the 1st Battle Squadron alongside her sister ships, under the command of Vice Admiral Chocheprat. By 16 August, the French naval commander, Admiral de Lapeyrère, took the bulk of the French fleet from Malta to the entrance of the Adriatic to keep the Austro-Hungarian Navy bottled up. Danton, commanded by Captain Delage, was torpedoed by U-64, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Robert Moraht, at 13:17 on 19 March 1917, 22 miles (19 nm; 35 km) south-west of Sardinia. The battleship was returning to duty from a refit in Toulon and was bound for the Greek island of Corfu to join the Allied blockade of the Strait of Otranto. Danton was carrying more men than normal, as many were crew members of other ships at Corfu, and had been zig-zagging to foil enemy submarines. The ship sank in 45 minutes; 806 men were rescued by the destroyer Massue and nearby patrol boats, but 296, including Captain Delage, went down with the ship. Massue attacked U-64 with depth charges, but the U-boat successfully evaded her attacker. In February 2009, it was made public that in late 2007 the wreck of the ship was discovered "in remarkable condition" during an underwater survey between Italy and Algeria for the GALSI gas pipeline. The wreck lies at 38°45′35″N 8°3′30″E, a few kilometres away from where it had been thought she sank, sitting upright with many of her gun turrets intact at a depth of over 1,000 metres (550 fathoms; 3,300 ft). The Model This is the first Pre-Dreadnought release of the year, with at least three more to be released this year and a very welcome release it is too, with the hope that there will be many more to come. Packaged in the standard style of box Trumpeter use for their ship kits, it is somewhat smaller than most. Inside there are thirteen sprues of light grey styrene, and one separate deck section. There is also a small black stand, three sheets of etched brass, a length of chain and a smallish decal sheet. All the parts are very nicely moulded with some very fine details, particularly on the deck and superstructure. The parts are all cleanly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are quite a few moulding pips, mainly on the small parts. The exceptions being a couple of the loose parts, where they have become detached from the sprue and will need the a bit more cleaning up. The instructions are well printed and very clearly mark the positioning of parts and sub-assemblies along with a nicely printed painting guide. Construction begins with the fitting of the two hull halves between which are two bulkheads and the rudder. There are two, two gun casements fore and aft and two four gun casements, one on each beam, these sub- assemblies are then fitted into their appropriate positions in the hull. The main deck section and the quarterdeck section are glued into position once a couple of holes have been drilled out in the main deck. The hull is then turned upside down, so that the bilge keels, four propeller shafts, A frame supports and propellers can be attached. Before continuing the main build, several sub-assemblies need to be built up; these are the main capstans, and the folding of the inclined ladders. The capstans, bitts, chocks and roller chocks are fitted to the foredeck and quarterdeck, whilst the inclined ladders are fitted in their appropriate positions as are the PE casement doors which can be posed in either the open or closed positions. The anchors, anchor chains, ensign staff, jack staff, midships mounted winches, several deckhouses and four searchlights are then glued to the deck, whilst along each side there are more PE doors, vertical ladders and plastic boat booms are glued into position. The bridge structure is assembled next with the base being fitted with the bridge deck which includes the bridge wings. Under the wings and bridge front there are fifteen PE supports to attach. The after superstructure is also assembled with the deck mounted on sixteen supports, and fitted with a small deck house. The main bridge is then fitted with the armoured hood and another deck house, followed by another deck and four light guns, two rangefinders, four vertical items, which I cannot identify, the binnacle and the navigation lights. The bridge, aft structure and upper deck structure aft of the bridge are attached to the main deck. The aft structure is then fitted with four light guns, binnacle and four upright items. The turrets are then built up, two main turrets and six secondary turrets, each made up form a turret base, two guns on a single trunnion, two trunnion mounts, turret top, and sighting top. The two masts are also assembled at this time each with separate yardarms, platforms and their associated railings. The masts are then glued into position, along with nine ventilators and several deck houses, plus three chimneys. The most obvious identification for this ship is the five funnels, each is made up form two halves, then fitted with two piece funnel tops and PE grille, along with PE vertical ladders and railings. The two boat cranes are built up from seven plastic and seven PE parts. The completed funnel and crane assemblies are then glued into position. The two PE boat cradles are folded to shape and attached to the main deck, followed by a set of railings and a selection of PE inclined ladders. There are ten rowing boats and two steam launches to assemble. The rowing boats have thwarts fitted and the steam launches a funnel, they could do with some etched oars, rudders and propellers, but other than that they look ok. Once assembled, the ships boats are then fitted to their respective cradles. The kit does come with a full ships complement of railings which are now attached, followed by the turret sub-assemblies, PE accommodation ladders, boat davits and boats, side anchors and small cranes, completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet provides the French national flags in straight and wavy forms; ships name plates and a white funnel band. They are nicely printed with good opacity and in register. The ship is painted in Dark Sea Grey overall, with the option of having green or red antifouling. Conclusion At last, we are seeing the promised release of the pre-dreadnoughts. This is great looking kit and from the research I did for this review it looks pretty accurate, although the middle side turret extension may not be correct, depending on which pictures you view. I’ll let you decide on that one, but to me it’s not quite the right shape. Other than that, it should be an enjoyable build and I’m sure the aftermarket people will be releasing some more etch for it. Review sample courtesy of
  15. USN Radar of WWII Eduard 1:350 This single sheet set of relief etched brass continues Eduards policy of releasing useful sets to add detail to parts of a model that seems to be forgotten. This set, for US WWII Radars is really quite comprehensive. The radars included are:- CXAM Early made up from only two parts, but needs a piece of styrene rod for the base. YE Aircraft homing beacon, also made from two parts and requiring a styrene pole to be fixed on. Mk3 Main battery fire control radar, made from five parts and also requiring the styrene base. 2 x Mk4 Secondary battery fire control radar, made from eight parts. SC-1 Surface search radar array, made from nine parts and utilises the kit base. CXAM-1 Surface search radar made from twenty five parts and requires a styrene base. SC-2 Surface search radar array, very complex twenty two piece unit which uses the kit base and transmitter probe. 2 x Mk22 Height finding radar for detecting low flying aircraft, made of three parts and a piece of styrene rod to attach it to the Mk4 or a Mk12 director array. 2 x Mk12 Secondary fire control radar, a seven piece unit which requires some complex folding and shaping. Fitted to the top of a Mk37 director from 1944 onwards. Conclusion This is a very useful set as it covers the entire selection of radar arrays used throughout the war. All you have to do is carefully build each array and fit to your model. Of course you will need to do some research to determine what array was fitted when on your particular subject. Review sample courtesy of
  16. International Flags Eduard 1:350 Quite a few maritime kits these days provide a selection of flags and pennants that are printed on paper. These can look ok, but generally always have a tired well worn look, like they’ve been left in the sun for a few months. Eduard have now countered this look with the release of this pre-painted steel set, which supersedes the etched brass set previously available. The forty five flags and ten pennants are beautifully painted and will look great either as a coded message from a halyard or two or even on a ship dressed overall, although it would have to be modelled for a calm day as, even though the metal is quite thin I doubt you’d be able to replicate a flapping flag too easily. To use, just cut the chosen flag from the sheet and wrap it around your favourite rigging material. Conclusion This is a very nice and easy to use set which would add a dash, or even a lot of colour depending on how many you use. Review sample courtesy of
  17. USS Daniel Webster. 1:350

    USS Daniel Webster Mikro Mir 1:350 The contract to build Daniel Webster was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, on 3 February 1961 and her keel was laid down there on 28 December 1961. She was launched on 27 April 1963, sponsored by Mrs. W. Osborn Goodrich, Jr., and commissioned on 9 April 1964, with Commander Marvin S. Blair in command of the Blue Crew and Commander Lloyd S. Smith in command of the Gold Crew. Webster was originally built with diving planes mounted on a "mini-sail" near the bow, leading to her nickname "Old Funny Fins". This configuration, unique to US submarines, was an attempt to reduce the effect of porpoising. While successful, the "mini-sail" required to contain the operating mechanism reduced hydrodynamic efficiency and lowered her overall speed. During a mid-1970s overhaul, these unusual planes were removed and standard fairwater planes were installed. She was decommissioned on 30 August 1990 and struck from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. She was converted to a moored training ship (S5W Prototype facility) by the Charleston Naval Shipyard at Charleston, South Carolina. Upon completion and designated MTS-626, she was towed up-river to her permanent berth at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston. The Model This kit has been out a little while now but this is our first look at it. The kit comes in the familiar coloured top opening box, inside of which the kit parts are safely held in a poly bag. Considering the size of the completed model, there are very few parts, making it a great kit to start with if you thinking of making a selection of submarine models. The grey styrene is not as soft as some short run kits I’ve come across and the moulded details, such as the silo doors, are very nicely moulded. The two hull halves are cut vertically rather than the standard horizontal seen in most other kits. This makes the modelling of a waterline diorama so much easier. If making the model as full hull the two halves are glued together and the join line filled and sanded as necessary. The single piece silo section is then glued to the upper hull, followed by the four part sail assembly, consisting of two sail halves, clear screen for the front of the sail, sail top and internal floor, being attached to the forward end of the silo section. The sail is provided with three periscopes which are fitted to the top of the sail. The forward sail, which was a distinctive feature of this boat is made up from two halves and is fitted with the two forward dive planes, before being attached to the bow. The upper and lower rudders and the aft dive planes are then attached to the rear of the hull, followed by the etched propeller. With the boss in place, the blades must be twisted carefully to shape, which is shown in the instructions, but you might get better results by finding a photograph of them on the internet or your library. Decals The small decal sheet provides the boats ID number, fitted to the fin, its name plate, fitted to the aft section of the missile silos, depth markings and escape hatch and bollard markings. The decals look suitable opaque and in register with very little in the way of carrier film. But still best use on a glossy base. Conclusion As with the other boats released in this scale, this is great looking kit and even though it’s short run, it does build into a really nice model, as can be seen in the Ready For Inspection section on this very forum. Mikro Mir should be congratulated for releasing these esoteric boats. Review sample courtesy of
  18. HMS M1. 1:350

    HMS M1 Mikr Mir 1:350 HMS M1 was a submarine of the British Royal Navy, one of four vessels of her class ordered towards the end of the First World War. She sank with the loss of her entire crew in 1925. The vessels were originally intended as "submarine monitors", but their purpose had been changed before detailed design began. M1 was fitted with a 12-inch (305mm) gun which was intended for use against surface ships in preference to torpedoes, the argument being that, "No case is known of a ship-of-war being torpedoed when under way at a range outside of 1000 yards". Although the gun had an effective range of 15,000 yards (14 km), it was normally fired using a simple bead sight at periscope depth with only the barrel above the water. It was important for the submarine's gun to sink or disable the target with the first shot, because the gun could only be loaded on the surface. She was 295 feet 9 inches (90.14 m) long, displaced 1,950 long tons (1,980 t) submerged and operated out of Portsmouth. She was launched on 9 July 1917, but was not involved in active service in the First World War. In 1923, water leaking into the barrel of the gun resulted in extensive damage to the muzzle when it was fired. She sank with all 69 hands on 12 November 1925 while on an exercise in the English Channel. A Swedish ship, SS Vidar, struck the submerged M1 and sank her in 70 m of water. The collision tore the gun from the hull and water flooded the interior through the open loading hole. The crew members appear to have tried to escape by flooding the interior and opening the escape hatch, but their bodies were never found. Her wreck was discovered by a diving team led by Innes McCartney in 1999 at a depth of 73 m. Later that year, the wreck was visited again by Richard Larn and a BBC TV documentary crew, and the resulting film was broadcast in March 2000. The wreck is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. The Model Consisting of two hull halves and a single sprue of light grey styrene and quite a large sheet of etched brass, the kit is contained in the standard, colourful Mikr Mir box. As with most submarine kits, there aren’t a lot of parts and shouldn’t take too long to build. The difference with this kit is that there are quite a few PE parts which, whilst adding to the detail, will slow the build down, especially for those not used to working with brass. The build begins with the assembly of the turret from two halves into which the two part gun barrel is fitted. The two control tower halves are then joined together and fitted with the periscope deck, along with two periscopes and three aerials, whilst alongside each side is a faired projection. The two hull halves are joined together and the completed tower assembly glued into the slot in the main deck, which has obviously been made so that HMS M2 can be made from the same hull moulds. The propeller shafts, complete with A frame supports are glued into position, along with the two PE propellers and plastic bosses. The front and rear dive planes are attached and each fitted with two PE support frames. The single 3” gun is fitted to the upper deck aft of the tower, one the PE decking has been glued into place, as well as gun mounting base and two support frames to the front and rear of the pedestal. The tower is then further detailed with PE handrails all round and a strake on the starboard side. Lastly the two PE keel strakes are fitted to the lower hull. Conclusion Whilst HMS M1 has been released before in 1:350 by ROP os, although in resin, it’s nice to have options when choosing a kit and this one will probably be more inclusive, for those modellers who don’t like resin, and it is certainly cheaper. Be aware that this is a limited run kit so won’t throw itself together, but it does build into a nice looking model, one that any submarine or maritime fan will proud to have in their collection. Review sample courtesy of
  19. I'm stuck at home, post major surgery, and am looking at the nice little pile of Christmas cash that I have received as presents in front of me. As I cannot get out I thought I would trawl the usual bazaars to see if there are any Boxing Day bargains to be had but things appear to be rather quiet at the moment, unless you want a new Smart TV or Sofa etc. My modelling scales are 1:144 aircraft and 1:350 ship kits, anyone spotted anything out there? cheers Mike
  20. HMS Zulu. 1:350

    HMS Zulu Atlantic Models 1:350 By the mid-1950s, the wisdom of building specialist frigate types was being questioned, particularly on cost grounds and the problems associated with getting the right ships, in the right place, at the right time. Design work was initiated on a ship that could integrate most of the specialist functions of the Type 12, 41 and 61 frigates. The outcome of the design study was the Type 81 (Tribal class) Frigate and the first of the new class was ordered in February 1956, despite the design not being finalised until February 1957. The first keel was subsequently laid down in January 1958. The new design incorporated gas turbines as part of the main propulsion, in the COSAG (combined steam and gas turbine) system which was also used in the 'County' class destroyers. Main propulsion was provided by a 12,000hp steam turbine that could drive the ship at over 20 knots and could be augmented by a G-6 gas turbine (7,500shp) to boost the speed to around 28 knots. The main advantage of this system was that the main steam turbine could be used to give optimum fuel efficiency at normal cruising speeds and the gas turbine could be brought in to give extra power on demand. This meant that less boiler capacity was required with resultant savings on space, manpower and cost. With a gas turbine, the ship could still be powered up and manoeuvred at very short notice while the steam system was still warming up. The disadvantage of the system was that a second funnel was required to carry the gas turbine exhaust, which took up deck space. As a result, the Type 81 was the only frigate design to feature two funnels. The advantages clearly outweighed the disadvantages though and the Royal Navy gained valuable experience in the operation of gas turbines in a wide variety of operational environments and showed that the gas turbine could be reliable enough to run for extended periods. This led to the eventual development of improved models, which were installed as the only propulsion system on later classes. The new ship also incorporated guided missiles as part of the main armament for the first time. Space was provided for a quadruple Seacat launcher and its associated GWS21 control system. The launchers were positioned either side of the foremast while the directors were on platforms either side of the second funnel. The missile was steered by radio command guidance and the target could be tracked visually or by the Type 262 radar in the director. Due to delays in the development and procurement of the Seacat, all the ships except Zulu had single 40mm AA guns installed in place of the launchers and were gradually refitted as the equipment became available. In addition to this the vessels were also designed with facilities to carry and operate a helicopter as part of the ship's equipment, which, due to the space, meant that the ship could only be provided with a single Limbo mortar. The Type 81 had a displacement of 2,300 tons as standard, and 2,700 tons if fully loaded. It was 360 feet long, had a beam of 42.5 feet and a draught of 17.5 feet. The ship had a completely flush deck with considerable sheer with the superstructure block extending the entire width of the ship, supporting the bridge and mast. Both funnels were set aft and raked back slightly with the small hanger and flightdeck being towards the very rear of the ship. The Type 81 had a main gun armament of two single 4.5in guns (Mk V mounting), one being just forward of the main bridge (that had three 2in rocket flare launchers mounted), the other on the quarterdeck. These had come from scrapped 'C' group destroyers but had been modified to improve sighting and loading arrangements before they were fitted to the new ships. They had a maximum range of around 19km, and while the 50-degree elevation would only give them limited effectiveness against aircraft, they were really meant to engage surface and land targets. Fire control was by means of a MRS3 director that was mounted behind and just above the main bridge and incorporated a Type 903 radar for tracking targets. The ship also had a Type 965 radar fitted with a AKE1 'Bedstead' aerial, a Type 993 radar with a 'Cheese' aerial and a Type 978 navigation radar on a small platform projecting forward from the main mast. The Seacat system provided a simple but effective close-range air defence system that was subsequently fitted to almost all British and some foreign warships. Two four missile launchers were fitted on either beam and had a maximum range of 4.75km. Anti-submarine weapons consisted of a single Limbo mortar and a Wasp helicopter, and while the inclusion of six torpedo tubes was dropped, the ship had a comprehensive sonar suite with Type 177, 170 and 162 sonars being fitted. The ships were a giant step forward in terms of crew comfort and facilities. It was the first ship to have cafeteria-like messing facilities and bunk sleeping. Full air conditioning for all accommodation, working and operational areas was provided which meant that the class could operate in a wide variety of environments without being specially modified. A detachment of Royal Marines was carried with their weapons and equipment, the concept being first tried out with HMS Loch Killisport and having proved a success, was adopted on the Tribal and most other frigates as well. The class was named after the 'Tribal' class destroyers that had served with distinction in the Second World War. These destroyers had represented a major change in design philosophy and so it was thought fitting that the new class of frigates was named after them. The lead ship of the class, Ashanti, was commissioned in late 1961 and put through extensive trials to test the new propulsion system and to develop operation procedures for using light helicopters on frigates. The last vessel in the class was Zulu, which was completed in April 1964. As a class, the ships saw service all around the world, with considerable time spent in the Persian Gulf, Middle East and West Indies, due to their high level of accommodation and air conditioning. Modifications were limited - those vessels that initially had 40mm anti-aircraft guns had them replaced by the Seacat. All ships had two single 20mm guns mounted on each beam just forward of the bridge that could be used in peacetime or low intensity conflict situations where the use of the main guns or Seacat missiles might be inappropriate. This was a lesson learnt in the Indonesian Confederation in 1962 - 3 where many patrolling frigates had found that they had no effective armament to engage small boats and fishing vessels used for gun-running. Also, two Knebworth / Corvus multiple rocket launchers (that fired chaff to confuse incoming radar-guided missiles) were mounted, one each side of the bridge from 1970 onwards. Ashanti (1968) and Gurkha (1969) were fitted with the new Type 199 variable depth sonar, which was installed on the quarterdeck. These ships were very useful for peacetime patrolling and low intensity conflict operations (what today would be called Peace Support Operations) as well as 'showing-the-flag' visits. Their limited armament and low speed made them unsuitable to be combined with the remainder of the fleet in Task Force situations and mostly operated on detached duty. With the introduction of new frigate classes and the run down in naval strength, they were relegated to first the Standby Squadron and then listed for ultimate disposal in the 1981 Defence Review, Ashanti having been mothballed in 1979 and Tartar, the last operational ship of the class, being decommissioned in December 1980. Vosper Ship Repairers actually proposed a modernisation programme, with a view to selling them abroad where the two 4.5in guns would be replaced by a single automatic 76mm gun mounted forward. The Mk 10 mortar and existing hangar and flightdeck facilities would be removed and new facilities installed that extended to the stern so the ship could operate a Lynx helicopter. A large streamlined funnel would replace the two separate ones and a new Fire Control system installed. Although there were rumours that Venezuela was interested in buying some of the class, the deal never materialised and it's a shame that the modernisation could not have gone forward with the ships being retained in Royal Navy service as the ships had been relegated to disposal well before the end of their useful lives. The Falklands conflict saw three of the ships (Tartar, Gurkha and Zulu) being recommissioned into service to cover for combat losses and ships being laid up due to battle damage. This showed the value of keeping a number of ships in reserve so that they can be activated should the need arise. The remaining four 'Tribal' class ships were not recommissioned and were stripped of any serviceable equipment to keep the other three going. By 1987, all four had been disposed of, Mohawk being scrapped in 1982, while Eskimo, Nubian and Ashanti were all sunk as targets in 1986, 1987 and 1988 respectively. The other three had another two years of service, after which they were bought by Indonesia, refitted by Vosper Thorneycroft at their Woolston yard and commissioned into the Indonesian Navy as Martha Kristina Tiyahahu (Zulu, 1985), Wilhelmus Zakarias Yohannes (Gurkha, 1985) and Hasanuddin (Tartar, 1986). The Model The model comes in the standard plain cardboard box with just a large sticker on the front depicting HMS Zulu at sea. On opening you are faced with a sea of polystyrene peanuts which protect the parts from rattling around. The two parts that make up the hull are wrapped very carefully in bubblewrap. The smaller resin parts are further protected by having the zip lock bags they are in surrounded by bubblewrap. The metal parts are also contained in a zip lock bag, whilst the decals, instruction CD and etch are in a separate envelope. As with the HMS Cleopatra kit, reviewed HERE, the instructions are in pdf format on a CD, so you will need either a colour printer or a laptop/computer at your workbench. Although doing both is a good idea, as having them on a screen allows you to zoom in to confirm parts placement and able to read the useful text that accompanies each section of the build, whilst having the printed version for general use. The two hull sections are beautifully moulded and matched, in fact on the review example they virtually clicked together once the leftovers of the pour stubs are removed. There are no signs of mould imperfections, air bubbles or flash on the main parts, but the smaller parts do have a small amount of flash that will need to be carefully removed. The metal parts are a different matter, they do have quite a lot of flash and on some parts it’s difficult to see where the flash stops and the part starts. But since this model is for the more expert modeller this shouldn’t cause too many problems. The etch is well up to the standard we come to expect from the man who did all the White Ensign etch which is a good job really as there is a lot of etched parts and looks like they’ll be some very complicated assemblies. Lastly, and quite importantly there is a small decal sheet, which is a great addition to these kits. I’ll go through the build as per instructions, but, if you’ve built these sorts of kit before then you may wish to do it your own way. The first choice to whether to build it full hull or waterline, if you choose waterline you can dispense with the lower hull, otherwise check fit and glue to the upper hull. There may be a slight gap around the joined, but you should only need a smear of fill before sanding back. Careful when sanding though as you wouldn’t want to damage the beautiful resin. I generally paint the hull and deck first before adding anything other than the propshaft, shaft support and rudders then adding the main resin parts. The resin bridge, shelter deck superstructures, midships superstructure, with funnels, hanger are then fitted along with the quarterdeck mounted metal winch. Then it’s a matter of building the sub-assemblies. The first sub-assembly is the two turrets of the main armament. Each turret consists of resin shield, metal gun barrel and in the case of the forward turret, a pair of etched rocket rails, one on each side of the turret. The Seacat launchers are next and each main unit is made of metal and detailed with the four guard rails. The Seacat missiles themselves are made up of three etched parts, which look quite good in this scale. Each of the Corvus decoy launchers are fitted with an etched falre tube folded to give more depth. The Mk10 Limbo launcher is assembled from the separate base and the triple barrelled launcher. One of the more complicated assemblies is that of the Type 965 radar, also known as the bedstead. This is made up form twenty two separate etched parts, including the front and rear faces, individual dipoles, plus the IFF interrogator array and support beams, alignment is paramount for it to look right, so care and patience are the order of the day. This goes for the other complex assembly, that of the lattice mast. This is made up of one etched part which is folded so that it forms three sides and the top of the mast. Within the mast structure there is a small platform with sensors that fit poking out of the sides, the separate fourth side is then glued into place. The mast is then detailed with the two waveguide conduits, Type 978 radar and its associated platform, top sensor arrays, which can be left off if building a later period ship, two yards and their supports midway up the mast, followed by four more yards/supports further up. The completed bedstead aerial is then fitted to the top of the mast via a short piece of rod provided by the modeller. The bridge superstructure is detailed with etched DF antenna attached to the forward edge of the bridge roof, whilst the platforms, complete with railings and supports for the Type 993 radar and the MRS-3 Fire Control Director are attached to their respective positions on the bridge roof, followed by the radar array and director. The bridge is completed with the fitting of the two resin aldis lamps. There liferaft canister racks for single, two and four canisters, each from etched brass, which, once folded are fitted with the required number of metal liferafts. With the bridge superstructure glued to the hull, the various railings can be fitted around the bridge, along with the inclined ladders, liferaft assemblies, both single and twin, chaff launcher enclosure, whip aerial mounts, two 20mm Oerlikon mounts, each made up of a double thickness gun and separate shield, the spare anchor and the two Seacat sub-assemblies. On the fo’c’s’le the side railings are fitted, followed by the anchors and jack staff plus its associated supports. The midships superstructure, with the two funnels attached, is further detailed with the railings, inclined ladders, two liferaft racks, with four rafts on each, and the Seacat directors which have been moulded with their gazebo roofs in the closed position. There are also two petrol tank containers fitted, one per side on the rear edge just behind the Seacat directors. Each one is made up of a folded cage into which three shelves are fitted so that they slope outboards. The rear funnel is fitted with its rear intake grille, two floodlight frames, complete with three separate floodlights, and three wire antenna masts are attached to the front of the funnel top. Forward of the superstructure deck two more whip aerial bases are attached, whilst at the rear the RAS sheerlegs are fitted. Just aft of the midships superstructure is the Limbo well. Into this, the Limbo sub-assembly is fitted along with all the associated railings. On the outside ledges of the well structure the modeller has the choice of fitting the panels that go over the hanger roof if the Wasp is to be posed on the flightdeck. If the Wasp isn’t going to be used on the ship, then the complete cover moulding can be used. The flightdeck also has a full array of netting to be fitted around the outside. Each of the two ships boats is fitted to their respective davits, each of which are made from two parts folded to shape, the completed davits and boats are then fitted into their positions either side of the fore funnel. On the quarterdeck the small paravane crane is fitted to the moulded base on the deck, along with the rear main gun mounting plus all the railings. If you wish to build either HMS Ashanti or HMS Gurkha you can fit the Variable Depth Sonar. This will entail quite a bit of modification to the rear of the quarterdeck, which needs to have the carved out to the correct shape and depth, the dimensions of which are given in the instructions. The VDS frame is assembled from a single etched part folded to shape, then fitted with the four piece pit wheel. The VDS body is provided as a single piece metal part, which, when fitted with its cradle, is fitted into the well. The stern is fitted with an extension plate which needs to be level with the well opening. The single Wasp helicopter is made up from a resin airframe, to which the spider like undercarriage is attached. The undercarriage consist of the cross frames attached to each undercarriage leg, so that when fitted they all mesh on the underside. The flotation canisters are attached to the top of the cab and fitted with two support frames. The main rotor is fitted with the two control linkages, one above and one below the rotor head, then attached to the rotor mast, whilst at the rear the tail rotor is attached to its shaft. Unfortunately there is no option to show the helicopter with rotors and tail folded unless the modeller wishes to tackle a rather fiddly conversion. Decals The smallish decal sheet is very nicely printed, and even in this scale you can read the names on all the nameplates, two provided for each ship of the class. The sheet also included all the required numbers to produce the correct pennant numbers for the ships sides and stern, plus their respective ID letters for the flight deck, as well as the flightdeck markings. There is also a full ships worth of depth markings, a Union Jack, large White Ensign and a smaller White Ensign for use at sea. The ships helicopter also has the codes, correct for each ships flight, for each side and the nose, as well as the Royal Navy titles and roundels. Get you magnifiers out as the helicopter codes are white and therefore difficult to read, and you wouldn’t want to put the wrong ones on now, would you? Conclusion At last we have Tribal class frigate in 1:350, who’d have thought it? The standard is as high as ever, with the exception perhaps of the metal parts which seem to have more flash than I remember on other Atlantic Models kits. The resin is flawless and fits together beautifully with only the finest of fettling. From a conversation I have had with Peter it will be a challenging build, even he thinks so, so what chance mere mortals have is anyones guess. But with buckets loads of patience, care and a fair amount of experience working with these materials you should be fine. If you’d like it and it’s your first attempt at a multi-media kit like this, then I would suggest trying something simpler out first. This is one great all round package, and one Peter should be proud of; I just can’t wait to see what else is in the Atlantic Models pipeline. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  21. HMS Upton Atlantic Models 1:350 The Ton class were coastal minesweepers built in the 1950s for the Royal Navy, but also used by other navies such as the South African Navy and the Royal Australian Navy. They were intended to meet the threat of seabed mines laid in shallow coastal waters, rivers, ports and harbours, a task for which the existing ocean-going minesweepers of the Algerine-class were not suited. The design of the class was led by the shipyard John I. Thornycroft & Company, and drew on lessons learnt in the Korean War, and numbered 119 vessels. They were diesel powered vessels of 440 tons displacement fully laden, constructed of wood and other non-ferromagnetic materials. Their small displacement and shallow draft gave them some protection against pressure and contact mines, and allowed them to navigate in shallow inshore waters. Primary armament was one Bofors 40 mm gun, although the South African variants also had an Oerlikon 20 mm cannon behind the funnel. RN vessels also had the same but they were gradually removed and an M2 Browning machine gun mounted midships. Sweeping equipment was provided for moored mines and magnetic mines. Many of the class were converted to minehunters by the incorporation of active rudders and the installation of the Type 193 minehunting sonar and associated equipment, including a very welcome enclosed bridge (the exception being HMS Highburton who retained her open bridge until de-commissioning in the 1970s, this actually becoming a source of manliness to her crew when meeting other Ton crews). These vessels only retained mechanical "Oropesa" sweep capability. The class served as patrol vessels in Borneo, Malaysia, Northern Ireland and Hong Kong. The minehunters played a significant role in the Suez Canal clearance after the Yom Kippur war. They also provided the backbone of the UK's Fishery Protection Squadron (4th MCM). Five of the class in Royal Navy Service were permanently converted to patrol craft for service policing Hong Kong's territorial waters in 1971. These vessels, comprising HM Ships Beachampton, Monkton, Wasperton, Wolverton and Yarnton had their minesweeping gear removed and were fitted with a second Bofors 40 mm gun aft of the funnel. They also received new pennant numbers: Beachampton P1007, Monkton P1055, Wasperton P1089, Wolverton P1093 and Yarnton P1096. It was originally planned to name the ships after insects, with names like Red Ant, Green Cockchafer and so on, but this plan was abandoned and the Royal Navy ships of the class were given names of British towns and villages ending in "-ton", hence the name of the class. With the rundown of the Royal Navy fleet in the 1960s, many were sent to become base ships for the Royal Naval Reserve allowing reserve crews to get to sea for short periods without a lot of effort to organise a crew of significant size. Some of these had their names changed to reflect the RNR Division they were attached to. The RNR vessels lasted until the introduction of the River-class minesweepers in 1984. The remainder of the RN ships paid off in the 1990s. The Model As with all the other Atlantic Model kits this one comes in a sturdy cardboard box, although admittedly somewhat smaller than normal in this case. Inside you are met with a box full of polystyrene chips, amongst which you will find a bubble-wrapped two piece hull, a bag of resin and metal parts, a sheet of etched brass, a CD containing the instructions and a small, but well filled decal sheet. As usual Peter has cast his magic and produced another superb resin model. The two piece hull is free from blemishes, pin holes or other imperfections other than the moulding pips on the mating surfaces of the hull sections. The detail included on the upper hull section is superb, with some of the finest bulkheads that can possibly be moulded. The detail continues on the small bridge and funnel sections of the superstructure, with only the small pour marks on the underside of each that requires any work, take care not to remove the locating pips though. The other parts made from resin are the buoy storage rack, complete with six buoys, two Gemini boats and the main sweep winch. The white metal parts include the 40mm mount, 40mm barrel, four sweep paravanes, or Oropesa as they are known, the hawser reel, the stern frame and towing bit, the anchor windlass, three liferaft canisters, and the propeller A frames. Some of the metal parts will require a bit of clean-up to remove the small amounts of flash attached to them. There are three short lengths of styrene rod provided, the two round section rods for the propeller shafts and a square section for the interior of the boat crane. The rest of the detail is provided on the etched brass sheet and includes funnel badges for the Hong Kong Squadron, a full set of railings, the anchors, jack and ensign staffs, boat deck, radar reflector fins, stern gear, buoy rack frame, sweep winch frame, boat derrick, propellers, funnel badges for the 1st MCM Squadron, mast, yardarms, mast platforms and their braces, sweep crane jibs and hand wheels, sensor cross, rudders, Oropesa cradles, radar mounting frame, radar antenna, stern sweep cradle guides, lifering ejector racks, signal lamps, DF antenna, plus vertical ladder stock and anchor chain. Construction begins with the modeller deciding how he would like to show the model off, either full hull or waterline. If full hull then the lower hull is joined to the upper hull and the joint filled and sanded as required. The 40mm gun is assembled from the white metal mount and barrel, whilst the life ring ejector racks, life raft racks and navigation radar mounting are folded to shape with the navigation radar antenna then fitted to the mounting. The 40mm gun, bridge section and funnel section are glued to the upper hull, along with the main sweep winch. The bridge section is then detailed with the various railings, DF antenna, vertical ladder, and fitted with the navigation radar and life raft ejector rack. The foredeck is fitted with the appropriate lengths of railing and further detailed with the anchors, their chains, the jack staff, two liferaft racks, which are fitted with two of the metal liferaft parts and the etched crane, complete with hand wheel. The mast is made up of two halves, which, when joined together are fitted with the three mast supports, and the various yardarms, platforms, braces, sensor cross array and the sensor panel, which is fitted to the base of the mast. The complete mast assembly is then glued into position behind the bridge. The Oropesa are paired up and fitted into the etched stowage racks, whilst the buoy rack is fitted with the etched frame, which contains the buoy arms which are in turn fitted with the radar reflector plates. The whole buoy rack assembly is glued into position over the main sweep winch, with the Oropesa racks just aft, two per side and the stern gear fitted to the transom. The quarterdeck is then fitted out with four cranes, each with separate hand wheels, the stern mounted towing bit frame and the two lower hawser guides fitted to the transom. The etched boat deck is fitted to the funnel section of the superstructure and fitted with the appropriate railings. The boat cranes is assembled and glued into position, with one of the Gemini boats fitted to the boat deck. If the model is being built in full hull configuration the propeller shafts, A frames, propellers and rudders are attached to the lower hull. Decals The smallish decal sheet contains complete pennant numbers for HMS Upton, M1187, P10, for the Hong Kong Squadron period, plus part pennant numbers M11, and M12 to which the individual numbers provided can be added, to make any of the class. There aren’t any nameplates, which is pretty understandable, considering how big this class was. The sheet also contains the bridge windows, for those who won’t like painting them in a large and small ensign and a large Union Jack. The printing is pretty good all told, although the flags are quite out of register, and a little bit thicker than the original decals Peter used in his Leopard class kits, so they should be easy to use. Conclusion Well, Peter does it again, with this release of another important class within the RN cold war fleet. With the exceptional moulding and etch we’ve come to expect from Atlantic models it would make a good kit to start with if you wish to build these multi-media style models. It is quite a bit smaller than the previous releases too, so would make for a nice centrepiece to a seascape that will be easy to transport and store. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  22. Hello Britmodellers here are pictures from my current build on my bench ( or better one of them) Its Trumpeters H.M.S Hood in 1/350 scale. Its my first attempt to add more details on a 1/350 warship. The kit was started right after i got it in my LHS, as an intended oob build, like my other ships i had at that time. While building her ( that was in 2007 or 08 ) i discovered modelling sites like Modelwarships.com or websites about the real Hood, learning about the wrong main gun turrets and the posted ships had so much more details. After i became unhappy with my idea it quickly stalled. Filling and sanding the seam running around Hood hull didn t helped either. Some month back, i decided to give this one a second go, with some more budged and some more skill, i ordered an photo etched set from Eduard, gun turrets in resin from WEM, just before they went out of business, and a detail set from Trumpeter with beautiful turned brass gun barrels. Adding PE stuff proved difficult and progress was slow, a bit later i gor me a self adhesive wooden deck from Pontos and my Hood project was running well until live stopped this in summer 2015. ( incl. two BM Group Builds ) Now i have some days of until the new year and Hood is back from the mothballs.
  23. HMS Spiraea. 1:350

    Flower Class Corvette, HMS Spiraea Mirage Models 1:350 The Flower class were an essential resource for North Atlantic convoy protection until larger vessels such as destroyer escorts and frigates could be produced in sufficient quantities. The simple design of the Flower class using parts and techniques (scantlings) common to merchant shipping meant they could be constructed in small commercial shipyards all over the United Kingdom and eastern Canada, where larger (or more sophisticated) warships could not be built. Additionally, the use of commercial triple expansion machinery instead of steam turbines meant the largely Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve crews that were manning the corvettes would be familiar with their operation. Flower-class vessels were slow for a warship, with maximum speed of 16 kn (30 km/h). They were also very lightly armed as they were intended solely for anti-submarine warfare; many of the RCN's original Flower-class ships were initially fitted with minesweeping equipment, while virtually all of the modified Flowers were fitted with a limited anti-aircraft capability. The original Flowers had the standard RN layout, consisting of a raised forecastle, a well deck, then the bridge or wheelhouse, and a continuous deck running aft. The crew quarters were in the fo’c’sle while the galley was at the rear, making for poor messing arrangements. The modified Flowers saw the forecastle extended aft past the bridge to the aft end of the funnel, a variation known as the "long forecastle" design. Apart from providing a very useful space where the whole crew could gather out of the weather, the added weight improved the ships' stability and speed and was retroactively applied to a number of the original Flower-class vessels during the mid and latter years of the war. The original Flowers had a mast located immediately forward the bridge, a notable exception to naval practice at that time. The modified Flowers saw the mast returned to the normal position immediately aft of the bridge; however, this does not seem to have been done in all of the modified builds or conversions of the original vessels. A cruiser stern finished the appearance for all vessels in the class. HMS Spiraea, a long fo’c’sle Flower, the subject of this kit, was launched on 31 October 1940 at Glasgow, Scotland and entered nominal service on 27 February 1941. In 1943, she recovered the survivors of two separate sinkings (the merchant vessels Oporto and Fort Howe), of which the Fort Howe effort was in conjunction with Alisma. Surviving the war she was sold to the Greek Navy and renamed Thessaloniki. The Model Originally released in 2013, Mirage Hobby have now re-issued this lovely little kit. The kit comes in a top opening box with a nice representation of the ship at sea on the front. Inside there are three sprues of medium grey styrene, a small sheet of etched brass and a small decal sheet. Normally, being more of a short run kit, you would expect some flash etc, but this is not the case. There is only a little flash but no other imperfections, but the sprue gates are quite extensive, particularly noticeable on the davits and yardarms, so be very careful when removing these and other small items as they are liable to break. Alternatively these could be replaced with aftermarket items. The moulded details are quite restrained but well done. The hull appears to be correct, including the stem post which doesn’t look like an 8 x 8 block as per some other kits. Unfortunately the instructions leave a lot to be desired, in that the diagrams are small and quite cluttered, it may be best to scan it and blow it up to at least A4/page. The build begins with the joining of the two hull halves followed by the quarterdeck and forward bulkhead. The fo’c’sle and shelter decks are then attached. On the quarterdeck the two depth charge racks, each of two halves are glued into position, along with the depth charge derrick, Ensign Staff, two mushroom vents, three rows of spare depth charges a hatch and two pairs of bollards. Along each side of the shelter deck there are two depth charge throwers, plus seven spare depth charges on the port side and eleven on the starboard side. On top of the depth charge rails a platform and Carley float are fitted. Moving foreward the shelter deck is fitted out with the single 2pdr PomPom gun and mounting, ventilators, davits, ready use lockers, winches, and to the sides, two sets of Carley float racks. The funnel base is then attached, followed by the three piece funnel, four ventilators, chimney pipe and steam pipes. Further foreward still is he bridge, the base of which is made up from four sides, onto which the open bridge moulding, which includes the bridge wings is attached, the wing supports are then fitted along with the main boat davits, two on each side, just aft of the bridge. The radio room, also made from four side pieces is assembled and fitted to the bridge deck, whilst aft of the bridge, the ships boats are shipped along with the Carley floats. Aft of the radio room is the radar lantern, made up from three styrene and one PE part is glued into position, followed by the two 20mm Oerlikons, one on each bridge wing and the foremast with separate yardarm and crows nest fitted. In front of the bridge there is a large breakwater, in front of that the 4” main gun and its bandstand, whilst to each side of the bandstand a splinter shield is added, as well as two davits and a spare anchor. Right foreward, on the fo’c’sle the numerous bollards, cleats, and other fittings are attached, as well as the windlass, a pair of ventilators and capstan. The two anchors are then glued into position and the build finished off with the fitting of the ships railings, which are provided as PE parts. The kit provides a small stand, with a single pedestal on which to display the finished model. Decals The small sheet contains the ships pennant numbers for the sides and stern, ships nameplates and a single White Ensign. The kit is for only one ship, but the full colour painting guide shows her as painted in two different schemes, one for 1941/42 and one for 1942/43. The artwork shows both sides even though they were identical, it’s nice to have. Conclusion Whilst I have built a couple of Mirage Hobby kits, they were in their 1:400 scale range, and to be honest they weren’t particularly brilliant. This kit and that of her sisters is definitely a step up. The mouldings are great, the addition of PE very useful and it should build into a nice little model of a very important class of ship. The only point I will have to reiterate, is that you will need to be very careful removing most of the smaller parts. Rather than using side cutters I would recommend a new scalpel blade to cut the sprue gates and subsequent clean-up. Review sample provided by
  24. USS Kitty Hawk Detail Sets Eduard 1:350 The Merit International/Trumpeter USS Kitty Hawk kit came out last year, yet Eduard have finally released their etched sets for it. As useful as they are, they don’t address one of the primary problems of the kit, the lack of hanger details. That said the rest of the model is provided with plenty. The five sets reviewed here cover pretty much every external part of the model, there are three, two sheet sets contained in large zip-lock bags and two single sheet sets, contained in the standard sized poly sleeve. Set one, (53-170, Island), is a two sheet set containing over 188 parts. These include replacement platforms, platform supports, all the railings required, numerous other fittings and their structures, replacement numbers, in the blocked light style for each side, replacement vertical ladders, and a replacement bridge window section. There is also a full complement of light bars, watertight doors, cable reels, SATCOM aerials, ECM arrays, SPS-49 array, SPS-64 array, mast fittings, yardarm railings, wind indicators, and navigation radar. The funnel receives new caps and walkway, whilst the AN/SPS 48 radar not only gets a whole new array, but a completely new mast as well, complete with all the platforms, railings and doors for the control room at the base. Sheet two, (53-171) is another two sheet set and contains parts to superdetail the hull and deck. Naturally most of the sheets are taken up with new railings, along with the numerous cable reels, and watertight doors, but there are a selection of replacement platforms, their supports and both vertical and inclined ladders. Also included are additional deck houses, replacement parts for the RIBs, additional access platforms, saluting guns, sponson supports, crane fittings, bridle catcher supports and deck edge aerial platforms. The instructions also show how to modify one of eh deck edge mounted radomes to the correct shape. Sheet three, (53-172), is another two sheet set, and whilst there are lot of parts, they are mostly used to replace the kits deck and elevator mounted safety nets. There are also even more railings, along with emergency weapon dumping slides, a new ensign staff and Jack staff with the associated railings used only when in port. The flight deck is fitted with an all new set of edging that goes the whole way round the deck and several new platforms, and, of course, more inclined ladders. Sheet four, (53-173), is a smaller single sheet set, containing parts for the carrier air wing. Each aircraft has different parts replaced, such as the Hornets receiving new pylons, wheels, undercarriage doors, catapult bar and tailhook. The Intruders get, new wheels, undercarriage doors, tailhook, aerials, and, if you’re a complete masochist, an open aft equipment bay. The Seahawks are also given new wheels, and a choice of extended or folded rotor blades, tail rotor, and the instructions show where to cut if you wish to fold the tail. The Hawkeyes, receive new rotor dome pylon supports, wheels, tailhook and undercarriage doors. The set is not confined to the aircraft, all the ground equipment is provided with more detailed parts, such as tow bars, forklift cage and forks, tow truck front and rear panels, fire hoses, steering wheels and the APU extension for some of them. The big crash crane is fitted with a new operators cabin, ladders, cable wheels, support beams, and cross members. Sheet four, (53-174), is also a single sheet set and contains new cradles for the ships boats, along with ninety triple racks for the life raft containers that are sited around the flight deck, along with their supports. Whilst not particularly difficult to fold, they may become a little tedious, so probably best to do them all at once. Conclusion The USS Kitty Hawk kit is a fabulous piece of moulding and design, even without the hanger details, these sets at least makes the external details stand out and with care should make the finished model look amazing. Maybe Eduard could do something for the interior now, although I know a couple of other companies and individuals who have taken up this particular challenge. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Typhoon Class Submarine Mikro Mir 1:350 Built primarily for long missions under the polar icecap, the sheer size of the Typhoon, known indigenously as the Akula Class, was simply mind blowing. She was half the length of an Nimitz class aircraft carrier and about 2/5ths its displacement. A submerged Typhoon was said to reach 48,000 tons, while its western equivalent, the almost as long Ohio Class "boomer," displaced "just" 19,000 tons. The Typhoon's massive tonnage comes from the fact that they were basically two Delta Class submarine hulls mated together and built outward from there. They could carry 20 R-39 SLBMs, each with 10 multiple re-entry vehicle (MIRV) warheads. In other words, this submarine could rain two hundred nuclear warheads down on western cities and military installations in a single barrage. Seeing as the ship was designed with Arctic patrols in mind, she could break through the ice and fire all of her missiles while surfaced if need be. Additionally, she possessed six 533mm tubes that were capable of launching Type 53 torpedoes and SS-N-15 "Starfish" cruise missiles, although these were tertiary capabilities in comparison to her primary mission as a nuclear "second strike" deterrent. What made the Typhoons even more threatening was that they were among the quietest vessels ever built by the USSR, and they were fast, capable of hitting around 28kts underwater. In effect, tracking these suckers was a top priority for NATO, and especially the US, and it was not that easy for America's silent service to do so. Additionally, these ships were prime targets on America's nuclear hit lists while in port as they could launch their missiles even while tied up to the dock if the orders to end the world as we knew it were ever given. In the end just six Typhoons were built during the 1980s, and most were withdrawn from service within a decade and a half of their christening. Today a single boat, the first of her class, the Dmitriy Donskoy, is still in service, acting partially as a missile development test boat as she was updated and converted to carry the newest Russian SLBM, the RSM-56 "Bulava." The two other remaining Typhoons that were still in Russia's reserve inventory are being scrapped as the cost of refitting and operating them is deemed too high. In their place, the more streamlined, efficient and cost effective Borei Class, although not necessarily cheaper to build, and its second generation derivative, which were designed around the RSM-56 SLBM, will solidify its grim role as Russia's primary second strike nuclear deterrent. Interestingly enough, before the final decision was made to scrap all but one of the remaining Typhoons, the shipyard that originally built them was floating some pretty wild concepts in an attempt to see that they were refurbished and put back into active service. Some of the ideas proposed were to refit the ships as natural gas, oil and cargo transports capable of delivering large quantities of stores to Russia's most northern outposts. The Model This is my first look at a Mikro Mir kit in its raw state and I have to say initial impressions are pretty good. The kit comes in a colourful top opening box with what looks like an actual photograph of a Typhoon on the lid. Inside there are four hull sections, two smallish sprues and two separate parts for the fin all in a light to medium grey styrene. Also included are two small etched sheets, a tiny clear styrene sprue and a sheet of decals. On initial inspection the details are nicely moulded, but be aware that this is more like a limited run kit and as such will require a bit more fettling and fitting than a model from one of the larger mainstream manufacturers, it is not a shake and bake. This is particularly seen in the fitting of the hull sections which come in separate bow and stern sections for both upper and lower hulls. Some careful sanding will be needed to get all the parts to fit nicely, but try not to sand too much otherwise you will lose some of the moulded detail. Unfortunately the instructions are little on the small side and I found the easiest way to view them was to scan them into the computer and blow them up, certainly helps with identifying where the smaller parts go. The best way to construct this kit will be to glue the bow and stern sections of the upper and lower hulls before attaching the now two halves, (horizontally), together. With the hull sections glued together there are several fittings to be attached to the lower hull, these include the keel strakes, two, what I can only presume are water intakes, each consisting of two halves, the two piece rudder onto which two PE strakes are fitted per side, and two other parts, fitted aft of the water intakes, which I cannot identify. Turning the sub over the upper hull is fitted with the tower/fin, which is provided in two halves, is assembled, with a floor section sandwiched between them about two thirds of the way up the fin. The small brass parts that make up the antenna/periscope wells are fitted before closing up along with the clear parts that make up the front windows. The fin is then topped off with a selection of antenna poles and periscopes, and finished by fitting the PE handrails around the base. The upper rudder is of the same construction as the lower and once fitted into position two similarly unidentifiable parts to those on the underside are glued into place, followed by the two bowplanes. The two propellers are each made up of individual PE blades glued onto the styrene propeller boss, which is then completed by the fitting of four small strakes into the front of the boss. Once assembled, the two propellers can be glued into place. The two single piece sternplanes are fitted with inner and outer PE plates before being glued into position aft of the propellers which are then enclosed by upper and lower cowl sections. Finally two rounded plates are fitted to the outside of each of the aft horizontal planes, completing the build. A small stand is provided to mount the model on, or you can provide your own method of display. Decals The small decal sheet provides quite a lot of markings for the submarine, mostly for the individual hatches and openings, but also for the escape/access hatches which are provided as two parts to improve the opacity of the white sections. There are also depth marks for the bow, amidships and stern plus two Russian Ensigns. Although marked MikroMir, the decals have a Bergamot feel about them which may or may not be a good thing. Once again I scanned the decal placement sheet into the computer which helped a lot in identifying where the decals go. Conclusion This is a very interesting kit in that it may take a little longer to put together, requiring a little more patience and care with the fit, but at the end of the day you will have a very nice, and accurate model of the imposing Typhoon class submarine. Having seen a couple of completed models they really do stand out from the crowd. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of