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Paul A H

HMS Ariadne - 1:700 Revell

HMS Ariadne

1:700 Revell


ariadne_01.jpg


HMS Ariadne was one of six ships belonging to the Abdiel Class of fast minelayers commissioned by the Royal Navy before and during the Second World War. The ships of the class were almost as long as a cruiser, but were much more destroyer-like in layout. They were designed from the outset to lay mines in hostile waters, close to enemy harbours and shipping lanes. In order to complete this task, the ships were designed to be very fast. They were fitted with the machinery of a cruiser, but a low weight of less than 3000 tonnes meant they could achieve speeds of almost 40 knots. They also possessed significant anti-aircraft armament to protect them from aerial attack. Despite this, half of the six ships of the class were lost to enemy action by the end of the War. HMS Ariadne was built by Alexander Stephen and Sons on the Clyde. She was laid down in November 1941 and launched in February 1943. Following commissioning in October of that year, she sailed to Norway to lay mines off the coast and then south to participate in the long running fight against German blockade runners, Operation Stonewall. She then spent the rest of the War in the Pacific, laying a total of 1,352 mines by the War's end. At the end of the War she was used to bring British POWs home from Japan, but was then placed in reserve before finally being scrapped in 1965.

ariadne_02.jpg


ariadne_03.jpg


Revell's HMS Ariadne is, of course, a re-release of Matchbox kit PK-61, which dates back to 1977. The kit is made up of just 76 parts spread across two small sprues of grey plastic. Like many other vintage Matchbox kits, the moulds look to be in decent shape for their age. There is very little flash present, although there are one or two sink marks present. The kit is reasonably detailed, with some nice touches such as doors, windows and ladders moulded in place. The deck is devoid of planking though, which is a shame. The hull is waterline configuration only and is made up of the waterline plate, separate port and starboard hull halves and the deck. A few deck features such as the anchor chains are moulded in place, but most of the details are provided as separate parts. Two twin 4 inch guns, two twin 40mm Bofors guns and six twin 20mm Oerlikon guns are provided. The 4 inch turrets are made up of two parts, with the guns being moulded separately.

ariadne_04.jpg


The forecastle is made up of over a dozen parts and includes some of the smaller details such as the 20mm Oerlikons. Having said all of this, most of the smaller parts are pretty crude by modern standards. Details are quite soft, with the Oerlikons almost blob-like. The masts are also slightly clunky but could be replaced with brass rod. As always the addition of photo etch parts or replacements for some of the generic items raided from the spares box will make a big difference. The painting instructions show how to finish the model as HMS Ariadne in 1943 in a striking four-tone scheme. The decal sheet is small but well printed.

Conclusion

It's nice to see this kit re-released after having been unavailable for nearly 40 years. For those old enough to remember the kit from the first time around, the nostalgia that comes with Matchbox kits is all present and correct. Look beyond that and you'll find a reasonably kit of a handsome warship that has the potential, with care and a bit of aftermarket, to be finished to a decent standard. Recommended.

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit logo-revell-2009.gif t_logo-a.png or facebook.gif

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Hi Paul

Slight error - you called it HMS Kelly at the start! Would love to see some etch for this kit, plus the weapons really need replaced by aftermarket but it is nice n cheap and the only (easy) way to model this ship type!

thanks

Mike

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Atlantic Models are hoping to get a 1/700 etch out for this model by August. Looking forward to seeing it.

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Yes that will be good, there's a lot of things to improve on the kit and some etch will be a good start.

 

thanks

Mike

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