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Found 140 results

  1. USS Alsaka CB-1. 1:350

    USS Alaska CB-1 Hobbyboss 1:350 USS Alaska (CB-1) was the lead ship of the Alaska class of large cruisers which served with the United States Navy during the end of World War II. She was the first of two ships of her class to be completed, followed only by Guam; four other ships were ordered but were not completed before the end of the war. Alaska was the third vessel of the US Navy to be named after what was then the territory of Alaska. She was laid down on 17 December 1941, ten days after the outbreak of war, was launched in August 1943 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, in Camden, New Jersey, and was commissioned in June 1944. She was armed with a main battery of nine 12 in (300 mm) guns in three triple turrets. She was 808 feet 6 inches (246.43 m) long overall and had a beam of 91 ft 1 in (27.76 m) and a draft of 31 ft 10 in (9.70 m). She displaced 29,779 long tons (30,257 t) as designed and up to 34,253 long tons (34,803 t) at full combat load. The ship was powered by four-shaft General Electric geared steam turbines and eight oil-fired Babcock & Wilcox boilers rated at 150,000 shaft horsepower (110,000 kW), generating a top speed of 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph). The ship had a cruising range of 12,000 nautical miles (22,000 km; 14,000 mi) at a speed of 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph). She carried four OS2U Kingfisher or SC Seahawk seaplanes, with a pair of steam catapults mounted amidships. Her shakedown cruise took her to Chesapeake Bay and Trinidad and was followed by a period of yard work. She set off for the Pacific in mid-November 1944, and reached the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on 13 January 1945. She crossed the Pacific to Ulithi with TG 12.2, and at the start of February 1945 she joined TG 58.5, which included the carriers USS Saratoga CV-3 and USS Enterprise CV-6), as part of the carrier screen. She took part in the final stages of the fighting on Iwo Jima, the invasion of Okinawa, and supported the fast carriers during their raids on the Japanese Home Islands and in the East China Sea. She was awarded three battle stars for her World War II service. On 10 February the Alaska sailed as part of TG 58.5. This was the first major carrier strike on the Japanese Home Islands, and was intended to provide cover for the invasion of Iwo Jima. Poor weather prevented the Japanese from attacking the US fleet. The ship was then moved to TG 58.4 to support the invasion of Iwo Jima. Her task force wasn't attacked during the nineteen days the Alaska was based off Iwo Jima. On 14 March the fleet left Ulithi to conduct another raid on the Japanese home islands, this time with the aim of destroying Japanese aircraft before the invasion of Okinawa. The Alaska was still with TG 58.4, which contained the carriers Yorktown (CV-10), Intrepid (CV-11), Independence (CVL-22) and Langley (CVL-27), and once again was part of their anti-aircraft screen. The carriers hit airfields at Usa, Oita and Saeki on 18 March. The Alaska finally got to fire her guns in anger on this day when Japanese aircraft attacked the fleet. Her first target was a Yokosuka P1Y 'Frances', which was targeting the carrier Intrepid, but that was destroyed by a direct hit from the Alaska. This marked the start of a day of kamikaze attacks, but most were shot down by the carrier's fighter aircraft or heavy AA gunfire. The Alaska claimed a second victory over a 'Judy'. On 19 March the carriers sent their aircraft against Japanese warships in the Inland Sea. Once again the US fleet came under air attack. The carriers Franklin (CV-13) and Wasp (CV-18) were both hit. The Alaska and her sister ship USS Guam (CB-2) were allocated to a new salvage unit, TU 58.2.9, which was formed to protect the Franklin. The unit contained the two Alaska class ships, the light cruiser Santa Fe (CL-60) and three destroyer divisions. The damaged carrier made for Guam, covered by TU 58.2.9. The other carriers from TG 58.2 provided more distant cover. On the afternoon of 19 March the small fleet was approached by two aircraft. One was identified as a friendly, but the other was a 'Judy', which was able to attack and escape unscathed. The Franklin was also undamaged, but the Alaska suffered her only combat casualty of the war when several men suffered flash burns. The Alaska escorted the Franklin until 22 March, when she was freed to rejoin TG 58.4. Late that day a Japanese submarine was detected close to the group, and it was rammed and sunk on the following morning. The Alaska returned to her position in the anti-aircraft screen while the carriers bombarded Okinawa. In late March the Alaska was ordered to bombard the island of Minami Daito Shima, 160 miles east of Okinawa, while on her way to refuel. She fired 45 12in shells and 352 rounds of 5in anti-aircraft shells at the island on the night of 27-28 March, without any response from the island. TG 58.4 refuelled and then returned to Okinawa to protect the invasion forces. The Alaska supported the invasion of 1 April, and also provided anti-aircraft cover. The Japanese navy attempted to send a suicide sortie of heavy ships to Okinawa, but they were repulsed by carrier aircraft on 7 April. Amongst their victims was the giant battleship Yamato. During April the Alaska covered the fast carriers as they operated against targets on Okinawa and on Kyushu. She claimed one assist and one victory on 11 April and three victories and three assists on 16 April, although on the same day the carrier Intrepid was hit. The Alaska returned to Ulithi to replenish on 14 May, after two months at sea. The 5th Fleet now became the 3rd Fleet, and the Alaska thus became part of TG 38.4. The group now included the carrier Ticonderoga (CV-14) and the battleship Iowa (BB-61). The fleet sailed in late May, and once again the Alaska formed part of the anti-aircraft screen. She also carried out another shore bombardment, this time hitting Okino Daito Shima, close to Minami Daito Shima, on 9 June, when her targets were Japanese radar bases. The Alaska spent the period between 13 June and 13 July resting at San Pedro Bay, Leyte. She was then allocated to the new Task Force 95, the first US surface fleet to enter the East China Sea since the attack on Pearl Harbor. The task force, which also included the Guam, encountered very little resistance during three sweeps into the East China Sea, operating from a base at Buckner Bay on Okinawa. After the Japanese surrender the Alaska formed part of the 7th Fleet's occupation forces. She visited the Yellow Sea and the Gulf of Chihli, before reaching Inchon in Korea on 8 September 1945 to support US troops that were occupying the southern part of Korea. She then moved to Tsingtao a former German possession on the Chinese coast taken by the Japanese early in the First World War. The US Marines occupied the port in October. The Alaska finally left the Far East in November as the start of a 'Magic Carpet' trip back to the United States. She reached Boston on 18 December 1945, where she prepared to be inactivated. She was placed in commission in the reserve on 13 August 1946 and out of commission on 17 February 1947. She was struck off on 1 June 1960 and sold for scrapping later in the year. The Model With so many maritime subjects being released over the last 5 years or so it’s great to see that there are still plenty of new and previously un-kitted subjects around. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would see many of these subjects in any scale, let alone 1:350 then I would have probably said no. But we are living in a golden age of modelling, and no subject can be written off. Thus, we have the USS Alaska, designated as a heavy cruiser, she is more of a battle cruiser with her 12” guns surpassing those of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau which were designated battle cruisers. The kit comes in quite a large box, appropriate, since the hull is just over 700mm long. The artwork depicts the ship at sea, with her light AA guns blazing away. Inside the box there are fourteen sprues, the single piece hull, two deck sections and four separate parts all in grey styrene, two small sprues of clear styrene, four quite large sheets of etched brass and a small decal sheet. The moulding is superb, particularly the hull, (I’d love to see the moulds this parts come out of), which has the smallest of detail on the lower bow, A number of sprues have been given extra protection with foam wrapping, as well as the standard poly bags in which the sprues are contained. There is no sign of flash, warping or other imperfections, with perhaps the exception of one bilge keel which looks slightly strained on its sprue gates. There are quite a few moulding pips though which will increase the time to clean up the parts. Despite its size, it doesn’t look a particularly difficult build, but you will need some experience with using PE as there are some parts that are made entirely of brass. Construction begins with drilling out of certain holes in the two deck sections, before attaching them to the hull. Turning the hull upside down the two bilge keels are attached, followed by the four propeller shafts, A frames, propellers and three piece rudder. With the hull right side up the decks are fitted out with the numerous bitts and cleats, ventilators, windlasses, four piece cable reels and three piece winches. The pair of three piece intake towers are the fitted amidships, whilst a three piece deckhouse is fitted aft, just forward of the stern 40mm gun tubs. There is a similar deck house fitted just aft of the anchor cables, for which there is a length of chain provided, followed by the two, three piece bow anchors, the main breakwater and a pair of 20mm gun tubs abaft the bridge. There are two, two piece catapult towers fitted amidships, while further aft there are more 20mm and 40mm gun tubs attached. Eight carley floats, stacked three high are then glued into position, followed by four AA controller towers and their respective controllers, while on the fo’c’sle another AA controller tub is attached to a small deckhouse, which, in turn is glued between the hawse pipes, and the Jack staff glued in place. Eight sub-assemblies are then built up using a combination of plastic and PE, with the exception of the bow mounted 40mm tub, the rest are ventilators. There are twelve two piece 20mm Oerlikons fitted from bow to abaft the bridge, and there are three float baskets fitted just forward of the breakwater. Aft of the catapult towers, twenty more 20mm Oerlikons and twelve more float baskets are fitted. The bridge structure, which includes B barbette on the lowest level, which is fitted with two more decks and the base of the foremast, with separate ships bell, as well as four triple stacks of carley floats, and two PE boxes fitted one per side of deck 02. Deck 02 is also fitted with a pair of 40mm gun tubs and for ventilators, while deck 03 is fitted with deck 04, which in turn is fitted with the armoured bridge and a deckhouse, followed by deck 05. Two searchlight platforms, with searchlights are fitted, one per side of the lower foremast, while the myriad of observation and controller sights are fitted around the decks and in additional cylindrical towers. All around the superstructure there are PE vertical ladders and some of the smaller railings to be added. On 02 deck the railing include the netting that goes around the two 400 mm tubs on that deck. More sub-assemblies are made up, again using PE and plastic, these being the main radar array, main battery controllers and secondary battery controller stations. The foremast is then assembled with several platforms separated by additional blocks and topped off with a large yardarm, more observation equipment, forward main battery rangefinder and radar array and the main radar platform main search radar array. This section of the tower is then fitted to the base fitted to the bridge earlier, along with a secondary battery controller. The funnel is made up form two halves, with additional parts fitted internally as well as externally, including searchlight platforms, claxon horns, walkway, multi-piece PE funnel cap and railings for the different platforms. It is finished off with the attachment of a large PE mast fore and aft, the foreward one with a navigation radar array, and the aft with a large yardarm. The aft superstructure is made up of two decks and fitted out with more ventilator intakes, PE gas bottles, vertical ladders, deckhouses and two tall controller towers. It is also fitted with the small AA controllers, and four 20mm Oerlikons. The funnel assembly is the glued to the foreward end of the superstructure, while a main battery rangefinder and radar assembly is fitted to eh tallest of the two towers, while the shorte one mounts a secondary battery controller. The bridge assembly and aft superstructure assembly are then glued to their respective positions on the deck and the four PE inclined ladders are folded and glued into place. Near the aft end of the aft superstructure there are two deckhouses, each fitted with two 400mm gun tubs, each fitted with more PE gas bottles, vent intakes and support columns. Just forward of these is a separate deckhouse which will mount the ships cranes.. Each quad 40mm Bofors mount is made from five parts, and there are fourteen of them to be assembled. Each one is then glued into one their gun tub. The two catapults the ship carried are made almost entirely of PE. Each catapult consists of eleven parts. When assembled they are fitted to their towers amidships. The two cranes are also mostly PE and consist of fourteen parts. These are fitted to their respective positions just aft of the catapults. The crane mounts and separate 40mm gun tubs are fitted with netting, rather than railings. The secondary armament consists of six twin 5” turrets. Each turret is made from ten parts, and once assembled fitted into their positions. The main turrets of three 12” guns are each made from eighteen plastic and twe3lve PE parts. Again, once assembled their are fitted into their respective mounts. Lastly the two Seahawk aircraft are assembled from seven clear parts and, once painted, glued to the catapults. The finishing touch is to add the ships main deck railings, and the build is complete. Just mount the model on the stand and add the name plate, which is also provided. Decals The small decal sheet provides the ships number for the bow, national markings for the aircraft and a pair of Jacks and Ensigns, in two different styles. They are well printed and look to have pretty good opacity. Conclusion I’ve always liked the Alsakas and never thought I would see one released in my favourite scale. But Hobbyboss have done it again and released something we never thought we’d see. From the limited resources I actually have, or more to the point, could find in my library, the kit looks to be pretty accurate, although I’m not sure about the bow, which does have a very odd step in the stem that I can’t see in any diagrams or pictures. If it is wrong then it is easily rectified with some filler. Other than that it really does look like a great kit. Review sample courtesy of
  2. HMS Vendetta, (Vampire Class Destroyer) 1/350 Showcase Models History HMAS Vendetta (D69/I69) (formerly HMS Vendetta (FA3/F29/D69)) was a V class destroyer that served in the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One of 25 V class ships ordered for the Royal Navy during World War I, Vendetta entered service in 1917. During World War I, Vendetta participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight, and operated against Bolshevik forces during the British Baltic Campaign. Most of the ship's post-war career was spent operating in the Mediterranean. In 1933, Vendetta was one of five destroyers selected for transfer to the RAN. Over the next six years, the ship was either involved in peacetime activities or was in reserve, but when World War II started, she was assigned to the Mediterranean as part of the 'Scrap Iron Flotilla'. During the Greek Campaign, Vendetta was involved in the transportation of Allied troops to Greece, then the evacuation to Crete. After, the destroyer served with the Tobruk Ferry Service, and made the highest number of runs to the besieged city of Tobruk. At the end of 1941, Vendetta was docked for refit in Singapore, but after the Japanese invaded, the destroyer had to be towed to Fremantle, then Melbourne. After the refit, which converted the destroyer into a dedicated escort vessel, ended in December 1942, Vendetta spent the rest of World War II operating as a troop and convoy escort around Australia and New Guinea. Vendetta was decommissioned in late 1945, and was scuttled off Sydney Heads in 1948. The Model The kit comes in a nicely presented top opening box with an artists representation of the ship at sea. On opening the modeller is presented with five sprues of dark grey styrene, three sheets of etched brass which includes a very nice name plate and a length of string. The parts are all very well moulded with finely represented details, although the hull is a little stark, with no signs of any plating which can be seen on the real thing, this level of detail can be subjective, but it would have been nice to have a little added, even if it’s just for interest value. There is no sign of flash or other imperfections but some of the sprue gates are quite large and certain parts, such as spars and chimneys look like they could be broken quite easily due to the number of gates, so be aware. The build begins with the single piece, full hull, being fitted with the bilge keels, propeller shafts, propellers and rudder. Meanwhile the main deck is fitted out with the individual cleats, bollards, cables reel, floater basket and a selection of other parts which I cannot identify. The next stage more detail is added to the main deck, in the form of derricks, main mast with yardarm, rear steering position binnacle, four piece aft funnel and ships boat cradles. Next up is the assembly of the two triple torpedo tubes. Each unit is made up from fifteen parts, which, naturally, are very small in this scale so plenty of care will be required when assembling these. One of the completed tube assemblies are then glued to its respective position on the main deck, along with the four piece turret for Y position, the main mast, seven support columns for the AA gun bandstand, two carley floats and two, three piece paravanes. There is a small piece of main deck taht is separate, to this the second torpedo tube assembly is attached, as well as the nine piece searchlight tower, a five piece carley float platform, carley float and ventilator cover. The assembly is then attached to the main deck. X turret superstructure si then assembled and the four piece turret glued into position, as is the four piece AA gun bandstand, complete with three piece gun and four davits. The bridge superstructure is then built up from twenty one parts and attached to the a separate section of the main deck, as is the forward superstructure for B turret. The fo’c’sle section is then fitted out with the numerous bollards, cleats, anchor chains and capstan, while the quarterdeck is also fitted out with bollards and cleats as well as depth charges, two four piece paravane cranes and four paravanes. The four completed sections of deck are then glued to the hull. The build is completed with te addition of the two ships boats, one motor boat and one whaler, each made from four parts, the five piece main mast and the PE railings. Decals The comprehensive deals sheet contains a full range of numbers in several different colours and enough letters to use on destroyers, frigates of all types, not just the Vendetta. There are also Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy Ensigns and Jacks and two colours of depth marks. They are very nicely printed, in good register and nicely opaque, even the white markings. Conclusion This is a really great little kit, not to mention a very welcome release, certainly not one that one would have thought would have been injection moulded. Yes there are lots of very small and fiddly parts and it is a little like a limited run kit with the size of the sprue gates, but with care and patience it can be built into a lovely looking and highly detailed model. Well done to Showcase for this release, and I hope they bring us more in time. My thanks to Tim, of West Middlesex Model Club, who lent me this kit for the review.
  3. French Battleship Strasbourg HobbyBoss 1:350 The battleship Strasbourg was ordered on 16 July 1934 in response to the Italian Littorio-class battleships. The ship was laid down on the N°1 slipway of the civilian Penhoët Shipbuilding Yards, at Saint-Nazaire, which had been built to accommodate the 313-meter long keel of the liner SS Normandie. She was launched in December 1936. Once fitting out was completed, she left Saint-Nazaire for Brest on March 15, 1938 for her acceptance trials. The Strasbourg was commissioned in April 1939, joining the French Atlantic Fleet, and forming, with Dunkerque, the 1ère Division de Ligne (1st D.L.). White bands were painted on the funnel, in March 1939, a single one on Dunkerque as Division flagship, two on Strasbourg. After an official visit to Lisbon (Portugal), for the commemoration of the discovery of Brazil by Alvares Cabral, both battleships, accompanied by three modern light cruisers of the 4th Cruiser division, visited various ports and Royal Navy bases, such as Liverpool, Oban, Staffa, Loch Ewe, Scapa Flow, and Rosyth, returning to Brest after a four-day call at Le Havre. In the first days of September 1939, the Force de Raid, under Vice Amiral d'Escadre (Squadron Vice Admiral) Gensoul on Dunkerque, including the 4th Cruiser division, plus eight large destroyers were based in Brest. Reports came in, (that later proved incorrect), that German Pocket-Battleships had been sighted, and the force left Brest immediately to stop them from passing into the Atlantic. Soon after this, it was decided to split the Force de Raid into hunting groups against the German surface raiders, which also incorporated Royal Navy warships. In October–November 1939, Force X, under Vice Admiral Duplat, on the French heavy cruiser Algérie, along with Strasbourg, the French heavy cruiser Dupleix and the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes, was based at Dakar and vainly undertook sweeps trying to find Admiral Graf Spee. When Strasbourg returned to Brest, 800 of her powder charges remained in storage at Dakar. During the battle of Dakar, this powder was used by Richelieu and was (wrongly) implicated in the explosion of Richelieu's upper turret 380 mm gun barrels. The Force de Raid was despatched, on April 2, 1940, to the Mediterranean to counter uncertain Italian intentions during the spring of 1940, but, some days later, was ordered to return to Brest to provide cover for an eventual Allies' reaction to the German landings in Norway, on April 9, 1940. Finally the Force de Raid was ordered to Mers-el Kebir on April 24, 1940. The only test in battle for Dunkerque and Strasbourg came in the attack on Mers-el-Kébir, after the fall of France, the battleships, HMS Hood, HMS Resolution, and HMS Valiant from Force H. The French battleships had not been designed to confront these heavily armed battleships. They were also complete taken by surprise when the attack took place on July 3rd 1940. The tightly packed vessels of the French fleet still having their turrets trained fore and aft. The old super-dreadnought, Bretagne, was badly hit, and her magazines exploded, causing the ship to blow up, capsize and sink, taking nearly 1,000 seamen with her. Strasbourg, commanded by Captain Louis Edmond Collinet, had managed to cast off and make head-way. A 15-inch (381 mm) salvo just missed he and at 18.00, another 15-inch salvo fell where her stern had been one minute previously. Escorted by five destroyers, she headed to the entrance, and then steered northeast. Strasbourg increased speed from 15 knots to 28 knots but was hampered by damage to an air intake on the funnel, which had been blocked by a piece of flying masonry from the jetty. However she escaped the pursuit by Hood and Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers of Ark Royal until about 21.30. At this moment, all thirty boiler room 2 personnel were found lying unconscious, overcome by the heat and the toxic fumes, and three petty officers and two seamen had died. Passing alongside the western coast of Sardinia, Strasbourg reached Toulon, in the evening of the following day. With Bretagne lost, Dunkerque and Provence severely damaged, Lorraine interned at Alexandria, Courbet and Paris seized in Great Britain, only four heavy cruisers of seven and three light cruisers of twelve remained under Vichy control in Mediterranean waters, and with the Atlantic harbours under German occupation, a reorganisation of the Vichy French naval forces had to be carried out. The 1st (fast battleships) and 2nd (slow battleships) Divisions de ligne and the Atlantic Fleet were dissolved, in August 1940 and new Forces de Haute Mer (High Sea Forces) were created, with Admiral de Laborde appointed as C. in-C., on September 25, 1940, and raising his flag on Strasbourg, which had had the lower bridge tower modified to better accommodate an admiral and his staff. Although the Strasbourg was the flagship of the so-called High Seas Forces, she rarely went to sea, due mainly to the lack of fuel, but did escort the Provence which was returning to Toulon in November 1940. She received three more single 13.2 mm Browning CAS machine guns in 1941, and in 1942, a so-called détecteur électro-magnétique, the French equivalent of an air and sea search radar was fitted. Four small rectangular antennas were fitted atop the main yards. Early tests indicated a range against aircraft of 50 km. Strasbourg was still at her moorings of the Milhaud piers at Toulon when the Germans invaded the so-called "Zone libre", in retaliation of the Allies' landings in French North Africa. On November 27th 1942, when the Germans attempted to seize the French warships remaining under Vichy control, she was scuttled by her crew as part of a pre-planned effort to keep the ships from being turned over to the Italian Navy. She was refloated July 17th 1943 by the Italians, but the armistice between Italy and the Allies in September 1943 halted these activities and the ship was taken over by the Germans. On April 1, 1944 they handed her back to the Vichy French authorities. Her wreck was then towed to the Bay of Lazaret, where she was heavily bombed by the US aircraft, and sunk, three days after the August 1944 landings, as part of the preparations for liberation of Toulon. She was raised for the second time on 1st October 1944 but found to be beyond repair. She was then used as a test hull for underwater explosions until condemned and renamed Q45 on 22 March 1955, to be sold for scrap on 27 May that year The Model Hobbyboss are continuing to release plenty of new and exciting maritime subjects. They have now released the sister ship to the Dunkerque, and while there are many similarities between the two kits there are enough differences between the two ships to keep them interesting. The kit comes in quite a large, longish box, with an artist’s impression of the ship at speed on the ocean. 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, as with the earlier release, 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, nine separate pieces, twelve sprues of grey styrene, and two sprues of clear styrene are all beautifully moulded, with no flash or other imperfections but quite a 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 as 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, eight double carley float assemblies, four three piece twin 37mm cannon mounts and eight 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 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 searchlight platform assembly is fitted to the fore end of the aft superstructure, along with eight carley floats and two small rangefinders. Amidships there is longitudinal bulkhead with deckhouses either side fitted in the centre of the deck. Either side, a twin 37mm and quad 13.2 mount are glued into position, whilst just behind the base of the aft rangefinder tower there is a large tubular mount for another quad 13.2mm mount. The hanger door is then attached while on the hanger roof, two paravanes, a ventilator and eight carley floats are glued in place. Along each side of the superstructure there are numerous armoured hatches, vertical ladders and cable reels attached. 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 a quad AA mount. 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, national stripes for B turret and the aftermost 130mm turret, 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 antifouling. Conclusion This is another very welcome release, giving the modeller the option of making either/or both of a very attractive ships. Since they got the Dunkerque right, it’s natural that this kit is also pretty accurate. Unfortunately Hobbyboss still haven’t provided enough railing for the whole ship, meaning the modeller will have to provide the main deck, quarterdeck and foredeck railings themselves. That said, it’s still a great looking kit. Review sample courtesy of
  4. French Pre-Dreadnought Condorcet Hobbyboss 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. Construction of Condorcet was begun on 26 December 1906 by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire in Saint-Nazaire and the ship was laid down on 23 August 1907. She was launched on 20 April 1909 and was completed on 25 July 1911. Condorcet was initially assigned to the 1st Division of the 1st Squadron (escadre) of the Mediterranean Fleet when she was commissioned. The ship participated in combined fleet manoeuvres between Provence and Tunisia in May–June 1913and the subsequent naval review conducted by the President of France, Raymond Poincaré on 7 June 1913. Afterwards, Condorcet joined her squadron in its tour of the Eastern Mediterranean in October–December 1913 and participated in the grand fleet exercise in the Mediterranean in May 1914. Condorcet 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) at deep load and had a crew of 681 officers and enlisted men. The ship was powered by four Parsons steam turbines using steam generated by twenty-six Niclausse boilers. The turbines were rated at 22,500 shaft horsepower (16,800 kW) and provided a top speed of around 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph). Condorcet reached a top speed of 19.7 knots (36.5 km/h; 22.7 mph) on her sea trials. She carried a maximum of 2,027 tonnes (1,995 long tons) of coal which allowed her to steam for 3,370 miles (2,930 nm) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). The ships main battery consisted of four 305mm/45 Model 1906 guns mounted in two twin gun turrets, one forward and one aft. The secondary battery consisted of twelve 240mm/50 Model 1902 guns in twin turrets, three on each 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 47mm(1.9 in) Hotchkiss guns. The ship was also armed with two submerged 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 bridge tower also had 300 mm thick sides. During the war 75 mm anti-aircraft guns were installed on the roofs of the ship's two forward 240 mm gun turrets. During 1918, the mainmast was shortened to allow the ship to fly a captive kite balloon and the elevation of the 240 mm guns was increased which extended their range to 18,000 meters (20,000 yd). At the beginning of the war, the ship, together with her sister Vergniaud and the dreadnought Courbet, unsuccessfully searched for the German battlecruiser Goeben and the light cruiser Breslau in the Balearic Islands. On 9 August, Condorcet cruised the Strait of Sicily in an attempt to prevent the German ships from breaking out to the West. On 16 August 1914 the combined Anglo-French Fleet under Admiral Auguste Boué de Lapeyrère, including Condorcet, made a sweep of the Adriatic Sea. The Allied ships encountered the Austro-Hungarian cruiser SMS Zenta, escorted by the destroyer SMS Ulan, blockading the coast of Montenegro. There were too many ships for Zenta to escape, so she remained behind to allow Ulan to get away and was sunk by gunfire during the Battle of Antivari off the coast of Bar, Montenegro. Condorcet subsequently participated in a number of raids into the Adriatic later in the year and patrolled the Ionian Islands. From December 1914 to 1916, the ship participated in the distant blockade of the Straits of Otranto while based in Corfu. On 1 December 1916, Condorcet was in Athens and contributed troops to the Allied attempt to ensure Greek acquiescence to Allied operations in Macedonia. Shortly afterwards, she was transferred to Mudros to prevent Goeben from breaking out into the Mediterranean and remained there until September 1917. The ship was transferred to the 2nd Division of the 1st Squadron in May 1918 and returned to Mudros where she remained for the rest of the war. From 6 December 1918 to 2 March 1919, Condorcet represented France in the Allied squadron in Fiume that supervised the settlement of the Yugoslav question. Afterwards, the ship was assigned to the Channel Division of the French Navy. She was modernized in 1923–24 to improve her underwater protection and her four aft 75 mm guns were removed. Together with her sisters Diderot and Voltaire, she was assigned to the Training Division at Toulon. Condorcet housed the torpedo and electrical schools and had a torpedo tube fitted on the port side of her quarterdeck. She was partially disarmed in 1931 and converted into an accommodation hulk; by 1939 her propellers had been removed. The famous underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau began diving while stationed aboard the ship in 1936. In April 1941, the ship was towed to sea to evaluate the propellant used by the battleship Richelieu during the Battle of Dakar on 24 September 1940. One 38-centimetre (15 in) gun had an explosion in the breech and the propellant for the shell was thought to be the cause. A number of shots were successfully fired from Condorcet's aft turret by remote control that exonerated the propellant. The following July, the ship was modified to house the signal, radio and electrician's schools. Berthing areas were installed in the bases of four funnels, which had been removed previously, and the latest radio equipment was installed for the students to train on. Later that year, she was accidentally rammed by the submarine Le Glorieux as she was leaving dry-dock. The impact punctured the ship's hull and flooded one compartment which required Condorcet to be docked for repairs. The ship was captured intact by the Germans when they occupied Vichy France on 27 November 1942. Unlike the bulk of the French Fleet in Toulon, Condorcet was not scuttled because she had trainees aboard. Used by the Germans as a barracks ship, she was badly damaged by Allied aircraft in August 1944 and scuttled that same month by the Germans. The ship was salvaged in September 1945 and listed for sale on 14 December. By 1949 the dismantling of the ship had been completed The Model This really has been the year of the pre-dreadnought, and long may the releases continue. Packaged in the standard style of box Hobbyboss 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 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, each fitted at the end of a PE walkway/track, fitted amidships, while two more searchlights and associated PE walkway/track are fitted at the aft end of the main 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 from 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; and the ships name. They are nicely printed with good opacity and in register. The ship is painted in Dark Sea Grey overall, with black boot topping and the option of having green or red antifouling. Conclusion There are to be at least three of this class to be released, Danton, Condorcet and Voltaire, each is slightly different so you could, in effect build your own French battleship squadron. They are all pretty accurate and although already well detailed, I’m sure aftermarket companies will bring further detail out for them. I’m now looking forward to seeing more pre-dreadnoughts being released as they have a peculiar attraction to a lot of modellers. Review sample courtesy of
  5. I have been impressed by some of the previous conversions of Airfix's 1:350 scale HMS Trafalgar kit that I have seen on this forum; so much so that I felt a desire to do one myself. This one will be a waterline version of HMS Spartan, set in the Falklands during 1982, which I plan to incorporate into a diorama, possibly with other vessels later. Much has already been said about shortening the hull length by 7mm, to get the correct dimensions for the Swiftsure class SSN's, so I am starting this with the hull already converted. Herewith the modified kit. The horizontal indentations on the forward hull sides have been filled, as they do not appear on photo's of the period I have planned for. The model needs the twin baffles to be installed on the hull, alongside the fin; plus the tail fin and other kit parts. As this is a waterline setting, the tail fin will appear separated from the hull; therefore I have placed the model onto a card base. This base will be trimmed to the width of the hull and will be hidden by the sea setting that will surround the model. My intention, hopefully, will be to have Spartan berthed alongside another vessel; probably the Stena Seaspread which was used for repair and maintenance of vessels after the conflict had ended. Well, it's a start and I hope that I can turn this into an acceptable representation of this fine submarine. Thanks for looking. Mike
  6. HMS Roberts Trumpeter 1/350 History HMS Roberts was the first of a two ship class of 15” Monitors. Her keel was laid on April 30th 1940 at John Browns shipyard on the Clyde, and was launched on the 1st of February 1941. HMS Roberts was commissioned, six months late, (due mainly to have repairs made good on damage caused during an air raid), on 6th October 1941, she left Clydebank three days later for the Gareloch where she was dry docked in a floating dock brought up specifically for the job, as no other dock was able to accommodate the Roberts extreme beam. Once trials and final adjustments had been completed, it wasn’t until 13th November that she sailed for work up and to prepare for the long voyage out to the Mediterranean via the Cape of Good Hope. She did not arrive at Suez until the 26th February 1942. She remained at Suez, acting as AA guardship, and was anchored about three miles south of the canal entrance. Her radars and AA directors, added to her design during construction, proving particularly useful, although no action was actually seen during this time. In July 1942 she moved down the Red Sea for a few weeks , before she was ordered to sail for an unspecified operation. This operation turned out to be Operation Torch, the landings in North Africa. Throughout the landings she was anchored seven miles off the coast, but didn’t fire a shot as the French fort Sidi Ferruch did not resist the allied troops. The day after the landings she acted as radar guardship, warning of the approach of any German aircraft from the direction of Tunisia. Her AA guns were used against sustained air attacks, particularly from Ju-88s. She continued in this role until the 11th, when she was hit by two 500kg bombs, one hitting the port side sloping armour on the bulge and the other just aft of the funnel. She was immobilised for two days, before repairs were completed to allow her to sail, all the time still under constant air attack. During the operation she had fired off some 30,000 rounds of AA ammunition in less than a week. With the worst of the bomb damage repaired she went back to her duties and AA guardship until finally relieved, sailing for Gibraltar and home, arriving in Liverpool on the 6th January. The rest of 1943 saw the Roberts providing both AA and 15” cover for operations around the Mediterranean including the landings at Salerno, where she bombarded enemy positions from the 9th to the 19th of September on which she sailed back to Malta to replenish her ammunition as she had fired almost her entire complement of 15” shells during the actions off the beaches. April 1944 HMS Roberts found herself back in home waters to work up for Operation Neptune and to carry out practice bombardments on the Kintyre range in company with the other ships of the bombardment fleet. Owing to her slow speed, she had to sail several days in advance of the rest of Force D, arriving at Spithead on the 28th May to await orders for the invasion fleet to sail to France. On the 5th June she sailed as part of convoy S.6, joining up with the other bombardment ships and minesweepers coming from the Clyde. The Roberts anchored in her firing position eleven miles west of LeHavre at 05.20 on the 6th of June 1944, three minutes later she opened fire from about 20,000 yards range on the Houlgate battery, which had four ex-French 155mm guns, ten miles east of Sword beach. A heavy fire was kept up on the enemy batteries until H hour. Roberts fired some twenty seven rounds during this period, but had difficulty in spotting the fall of shot due to enemy smokescreens and the failure of some armoured piercing rounds to explode in the marshy ground. Periodic fire was required throughout the day to silence any batteries that showed signs of interfering with the build up of troops, vehicles and stores on the beachhead. Most batteries though concentrated their fire on the bombardment ships rather than the flimsy landing craft. During the afternoon of D-Day Roberts made a particularly successful shoot on Houlgate, after sixteen rounds, the spotting fighter reported several direct hits and two large explosions. At 21.30 she had just started to fire on a troop concentration inland from Sword beach, when a crash was heard and a large chunk of metal was seen to fly up in front of the bridge. On ceasing fire it was found that the right 15in had burst its jacket. The jacket had split into several pieces without the whole gun bursting, so further damage was prevented by strapping it with wire rope. It wasn’t until after further action off the Seine and on targets around Caen, using only the one good barrel that she finally was sent back to Portsmouth on the 14th June with only 37 of her compliment of 235 15in rounds left and to replace her guns as the remaining barrel was also out of life. One of the replacement guns was No102, which is now to be found outside the Imperial War Museum, London. By the 21st of June Roberts was back on station on the Eastern flank of the beachhead. Up until the final day of the bombardment operation on the 18th July she continued to give covering fire throughout her operational area. To increase the range out to 30,000 yards the monitor was flooded on one side to give a three degree list to give the guns greater elevation. Roberts returned to Portsmouth on the 23rd July for the next ten weeks, to change her guns, again, give leave and repair the wear and tear of six weeks almost continuous bombardment in which she had fired 692 rounds of 15in, of which only about sixty being armoured piercing. Having completed her duties off the French coast, Roberts took part in the commando landings at Flushing and bombarded the gun emplacements around Zeebrugge. This turned out to be the last action HMS Roberts would take part in, as although she was primed at four hours notice to bombard forts on Heligoland, the operations were called off as the German defence of the Reich collapsed, and the ship’s crew celebrated VE day in Portsmouth. Allocated to the Far East Fleet, she sailed to the Mersey for a quick refit before setting sail on the 27th July 1945 bound for the Indian Ocean where she was ordered arrive before the 1st September to acclimatise before operations against Singapore. Fortunately, the dropping of the two atomic bombs precluded they use, yet she and her sister Abercrombie continued to sail Eastwards until the formal Japanese surrender. The order for the two ships to return and reduce to reserve came on the 11th September, by which time the Roberts had reached Kilindini. The Roberts finally arrived at Plymouth on the 22nd November. Whilst her sister didn’t survive long after the war, being reduced to an accommodation ship and turret drill ship in 1946 before being laid up in Fareham Creek in 1953 and scrapped in 1954/55, HMS Roberts survived quite a bit longer. After arriving in Devonport, she stayed there until 1965, being used as a turret drill ship, accommodation ship and even the headquarters of a sailing club. On the 3rd of August 1965 she arrived at the Wards berth in Inverkeithing to be scrapped. This was the end of the Big Gun Monitors in the Royal Navy after nearly 50 years of service. The Model It was a very pleasant surprise to hear of Trumpeter releasing this 1:350 kit as it would be the first time it has been done in this scale as an injection moulding. The only other option has been the fantastic, but rather expensive resin offering from White Ensign Models. Due to one thing and another we didn’t receive the kit for review until very recently, so I was eager to get the box open and see what it was like. The box lid has a nice painting of the Roberts on the gun line of one of its operations. On opening the box the modeller is confronted with seven sprues of light grey styrene, with separate hull halves and main deck. There are also three frets of etched brass, a small stand and an even smaller decal sheet. The mouldings are really nicely done with some fine detail evident throughout the sprues. There are no signs of defects and not that many moulding pips, being only seen on some of the smaller parts. Unfortunately there is quite a big fly in the ointment as, once again, Trumpeter seem to have mucked up the hull, particularly the foreward end of the bulge, which runs to far foreward on each side, to almost underneath the anchors. The whole hull doesn’t appear deep enough either, although the general shape isn’t too bad. The foreward bulge really needs to sanded away, but due to the way it’s indented this would leave a whole that will require sheeting over with plasticard and filler, probably something only the most fastidious modeller would try. Moving on to the build, construction starts with the two hull halves being joined together. Now, there are several large spurs on both hull joints and gunwhales where they have been cut away from the sprues, which have to be carefully removed before joining. Even though the hull is pretty stiff already due to the shape, Trumpeter have provided three bulkheads and two joining pins to give extra strength and also for giving the main deck somewhere to be affixed to. That said, the next step is to fix the main deck to the hull, before being turned over to have the bilge keels attached, followed by the two propeller shafts, a frames, propellers and rudders fitted into their respective positions. With the hull complete, it’s on with a raft of sub-assemblies, including windlasses, air vents, lookout binoculars, and two Type 282 directors. The weapons assemblies are then built up, the octuple and quad pom pom mounts, (the instructions appear to be wrong, in that it tells you to build two octuple mounts and one quad, whereas it should be the other way round), single 40mm mounts, (which weren’t fitted to the Roberts until 1945), include both styrene and etched parts, whereas the four twin 4” turrets and twin 20mm mounts, (only fitted to the Roberts in 1945), are purely styrene in construction. The next batch of sub-assemblies include the Type 284 directors, fitted with etched Yagi aerials, and three different styles of liferafts, stacked in twos and fours. The main 15” turret is made up of the main turret, turret base and a choice of either moveable barrels, without blast bags, or fixed, with blast bags. Putting the sub-assemblies aside, and with the hull the right way up, the breakwater and storage locker are fitted to the foredeck, along with two 40mm gun tubs. Either side of the main barbette the two quad pom pom splinter shields are fitted, whilst further back on each side the splinter shields for the 4” turrets are attached. The many and various ready use lockers, complete with etched doors are fitted in their appropriate positions, followed by the liferaft stacks. The four paravanes, windlasses, fore and aft anchors, plus their anchor chains and more ready use lockers are fitted. The build then moves onto the aft superstructure with the structures of 01 deck being glued onto the bottom structure. The etched vertical ladders are fitted, along with yet more ready use lockers, followed by the Type 284 mounts, octuple pom pom, three 40mm mounts, the emergency steering position and the twin 20mm mounts. The railings around the 02 deck structures are also attached, thoughtfully provided in the kit. Moving foreward the single piece bridge structure, (like a smaller Queen Annes Mansions seen on the likes of HMS Warspite), which is fitted out with the rear upper bridge surround, rear bridge detail plate, ready use lockers, vertical and inclined ladders, chart and wireless offices, lookout binoculars, aldis lamps, main rangefinder and bridge screen. The structure between the bridge and turret barbette is fitted out with two twin 20mm mounts, their ready use lockers and another stack of liferafts. The funnel is moulded in two halves, which, once joined together is topped out with a two piece etched funnel cap and fitted out with a number of steam pipes on the forward face. These assemblies are then attached to the main deck and at last it’s beginning to look like a warship. Before the assembly of the two masts the midships 40mm mounts are fitted in their elevated tubs, whilst either side of the turret barbette, in similar elevated mounts the two Type 282 directors are fitted. More railings around the upper decks can be fitted now, or the modeller may wish to wait till the end of the main build. The mainmast is assembled from a single pole foreward and double pole moulding aft, connected by two Y shaped struts. To the front pole a long vertical etched ladder is affixed. The top of the mast is fitted out with an oblong star platform on which the mast for the aft Type 281aerial is attached, followed by the yardarm, vertical ladder and etched radar aerial which will need some careful folding to keep everything square. The supporting rear poles of the tripod for the foremast are slid into position to the rear of the bridge structure. The fore pole fitted on top of the bridge, with the large starfish platform, (made entirely of etched parts), fixed to the top of the three poles. The spotting top is fitted onto the starfish platform along with the mast and Type 281 aerial as per the mainmast assembly. With the masts fitted into place, the 4”, 15” turrets can be fitted, as are the forward quad pom pom mounts and foredeck mounted 40mm units. Sundry items, such as the foredeck derricks, Jack Staff and Ensign Staff, ships boats, boat booms, accommodation ladders and quarterdeck derricks are attached. Finally the boat davits, acoustic hammer, (actually removed in 1945), hammer derrick and ships railings are fitted, thus completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet provides just two types of White Ensign, one wavy and one straight. Conclusion I really am quite disappointed with this kit. It had so much promise on opening the box, but Trumpeter has once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The hull, especially the extended bulge seems to have been made by the same team that made, and mucked up the same area, that designed their HMS Warspite. That flaw and the fact that the hull appears to be too shallow overall, but mostly under the waterline makes the whole ship look wrong in its proportions. The twin 20mm mounts and single 40mm Bofors, according to my references, were only fitted to the Roberts in 1945, yet the acoustic hammer was removed, (although the derrick was retained), in the refit before sailing to the Far East. If you want to build HMS Roberts as per her time at Salerno or on D-Day, at the very least you will also need to find some single 20mm mounts to replace the 40mm, another Type 282 director and pair of searchlights, which is a shame really, as the boxart shows her during her bombardment of France during D-Day. Recommended with the above caveats. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. French Pre-Dreadnought Danton Hobbyboss 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 Hobbyboss 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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