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Shar2

HMS Scorpion. 1:350

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HMS Scorpion
Atlantic Models 1:350


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HMS Scorpion was an S-class destroyer of the Royal Navy, the eleventh of her name, commissioned on 11 May 1943. Initially she was to be named Sentinel, but this was changed following the loss of the Dragonfly-class river gunboat Scorpion in the Bangka Strait in February 1942.

Scorpion joined the 23rd Destroyer Flotilla of the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow on 11 May 1943 and was deployed on patrol in the North-western Approaches. On 20 October she joined an escort group of nine destroyers, a Norwegian corvette and two minesweepers which sailed to the Kola Inlet as part of Operation FR, tasked to bring back merchant ships that had been waiting in Russian ports over the summer while the Arctic Convoys were suspended. Covered by dense fog, convoy RA54A arrived safely in Loch Ewe on 14 November, while the destroyer flotilla turned around to escort Convoy JW 54B to Archangel. She returned to Scapa Flow, but was out again on 10 December to screen the battleship Duke of York and cruiser Jamaica which had been ordered to sea to cover Convoy JW 55A. The Kriegsmarine did not emerge and so she sailed with the battleship all the way through to the Kola Inlet, an unusual and risky move that surprised the Russians.

Scorpion covered Duke of York as she returned west to refuel in Akureyri in Iceland on 21 December 1943. The Home Fleet left Iceland on 23 December to cover Convoy RA 55A and Convoy JW 55A, alerted of German intentions to intercept one of the convoys by Ultra intelligence. On 26 December the German battleship Scharnhorst, escorted by five destroyers, attempted to attack the ships of Convoy JW 55A, but were driven away by Admiral Burnett's three light cruisers and then cut off by Admiral Fraser's force. During the action Duke of York hit Scharnhorst's starboard boiler room with a 14 inch shell, slowing her briefly to 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) as she attempted to evade the British fleet. This provided the destroyers with an opportunity to attack with torpedoes. Closing from astern, Saumarez and Savage fired star-shell, blinding the Germans to the approach of Scorpion and the Norwegian Stord on the starboard side of the battleship. The two destroyers launched 16 torpedoes, scoring one hit, and driving Scharnhorst into firing range of Saumarez and Savage, which scored two more hits. This crippled the German ship and allowed the slower Duke of York to catch up and sink her. After the battle Scorpion picked up 30 survivors and sailed on to the Kola Inlet, arriving there on 27 December. She returned to Scapa Flow with the rest of the fleet on New Year's Eve.

In March 1944 Scorpion was assigned to the "Ocean Escort" force for Convoy JW 58, one of the largest Arctic convoys of the war. All ships arrived safely and Scorpion returned with Convoy RA 58. Scorpion was then assigned to Force S, alongside several other S-class destroyers, part of the Normandy invasion fleet. During May she took part in preparatory exercises before sailing to Spithead early in June. She crossed the channel on 5 June and took up position off Ouistreham to bombard targets in support of Allied landing forces in the Queen Sector of Sword Beach. On 7 June she was assigned to patrol the Eastern Task Force area following the loss of her sister ship, the Norwegian Svenner to German T-boats. On 9 June she was detached with Scourge to reinforce the O-class destroyer flotilla against the threat posed by the German heavy destroyers from Brest. She spent the rest of June, July and August on patrol in the English Channel protecting convoys from E-boats.

Scorpion returned to escorting the Arctic convoys in September 1944, screening the battleship Rodney in support of Convoy JW 60 and then Convoy RA 60. In October she was diverted to support Operation Lycidas, screening two escort carriers, Fencer and Trumpeter, as they carried out aerial minelaying around the Norwegian coast. In November, sailing with Savage, she carried Norwegian troops to the Kola Inlet (Operation Freeman), their role being to join Red Army as it pushed the Germans away from Murmansk back into Norway, lending authority to the Norwegian Government in exile. She then joined the escort for Convoy RA 60A on 11 November. Later in the month she supported two more operations with escort carriers off the Norwegian coast near Karmøy on 20 November (Operation Handfast) and then near Mosjøen on 27 November.

She escorted Convoy JW 63 over the New Year period, her anti-aircraft gunners accidentally shooting at (and missing) two Wildcats which had been launched to intercept a German aircraft. She escorted four more Arctic convoys early in 1945, RA 63 in January, RA 64 in February, and JW 65 and RA 65 in March. She was also deployed to support three more operations in the North Sea in February, Operations Selenium, Shred and Groundsheet. She continued in service with the Home Fleet until VJ Day in August 1945 when she was placed in reserve. In October 1945, Scorpion was sold to the Dutch Navy and renamed Kortenaer, serving as a destroyer until 1957 when she was converted to a fast frigate. She was broken up in 1962.

The Model
Originally, this kit was to be released by the old White Ensign Models. Unfortunately they folded before this could take place, or should I say fortunately, as this and her sister kit have been taken up, like many of the old WEM kits, by Peter Hall at Atlantic Models. Issued under the WEM banner of Atlantic Models the kit arrived at BM’s London offices in the standard sturdy cardboard box. Inside the kit was smothered in poly chips, which provide the much need protection when in transit. Once the poly chips have been removed there are two zip-lock bags, one containing the resin parts, the majority of which in held in small zip-lock bags, whilst the other hold the holds the white metal parts and lengths of brass wire which are used to make the propeller shafts and the basis for the early style tripod mast, late main mast and yardarms. There is also a length of plastic rod which is used to make the depth charges from.

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As we have come to expect from Atlantic Models, the casting of the resin parts is exceptional, with no signs of imperfections, or bubbles, and only a small amount of flash which is very thin and easy to remove. I wish I knew how Peter does the masters, as there are parts that shouldn’t be doable with resin, such as the main section of the forward superstructure, which includes the chimney “sprouting” from the rear underside of the lower bridge wings. You will need to be careful of this when building, as, if you are as clumsy as I am when building, you will knock it off. There are quite a fe moulding points on the underside of each superstructure section, but, once again these shouldn’t take too long to remove and clean up. The hulls are where these kits really shine, and this is no exception, although when mated there does seem to be a slight undercut to the lower hull which will need to be filled and sanded to make the hull section smooth. If you are making the kit as a waterline, then you will not need to worry. The metal parts never seem to be quite as sharp as the resin, but that is the nature of the material, there are still well moulded, just a little fuzzy. Since you will need to clean most of them up, due to flash and material excess, you can give them a quick swipe with a sanding stick to sharpen them up.

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Construction begins with the assembly of the main gun turrets. The open turrets will need the gun opening to be cleaned out as they are flashed over out of the box, the metal guns can then be slid into position on their trunnions. The twin 40mm Bofors mount is also assembled at this point, and consists of a resin mounting and metal guns. To the Bofors mount the seven etched parts and a small section of 10thou plastic are attached. The twin 20mm Oerlikon mounts are next, each made from a metal mount and metal guns. Two Oerlikons are fitted to the superstructure mounted just aft of the funnel, this is also fitted out with a platform onto which the main searchlight is fitted along with the appropriate length of railing. The Bofors platform, fitted between the two torpedo tubes is fitted with the Bofors gun, two Carley racks and their floats. With the superstructure sections fitted to the hull the four main turrets can be glued into their respective positions. To the Bridge structure, the main director, director access platform, Type 285 Yagi aerial array, DF aerial, signal lamps and DCT Control tower are all attached, along with the bridge screen and optional bridge awning.

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The forward superstructure section is fitted with another pair of Oerlikons, lower wing support braces, two Carley float racks, plus floats. There is an option of early or late fits of foremast, the early is made up from the lengths of brass rod, etched braces and yardarms, which can be strengthened with more brass rod, and a white metal crows nest. The mast is usually free from top fittings, but can be fitted with the Type 291 aerial. The later mast is a lattice type, with the PE sections glued together and topped off with a platform with railings. The platform is fitted with a weather vane frame and the cheese slice style radar antenna. The yardarms are then attached, along with the topmast which can be fitted with either a Type 291 radar antenna or an MF/DF antenna. To the foreward end of the rear superstructure an optional single pole past or lattice mast with optional Type 291 or MF/DF antenna is fitted, along with a long length of vertical ladder stock. The Oerlikon platform is fitted with a small mast or wire antenna spreader, basically a length of brass wire with a PE yardarm.

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The funnel is fitted with a pair of platform braces/handrails, funnel cap and siren bracket, whilst the ships boat davits are folded to shape and attached to the ships boats, the cutter being fitted with the PE thwarts and gunwhales. Each of the depth charge throwers are made of PE and once folded to shape fitted with a length of plastic rod cut to size and fitted with PE end caps. More depth charges are need for the PE stowage racks and stern rails which are fitted with a TSDS gantry. With the superstructures glued to the decks, the two torpedo tubes can be attached, along with their respective cranes. Alternatively you can use the white metal parts for the throwers, with charges mounted and the the separate charges for the racks and stern rails. The ships railings can then be glued into position, along with the PE anchor cables and anchors. The two torpedo deck catwalks, each made from three PE parts are glued between the respective superstructure sections over the torpedo tubes. If you are building the model full hulled, the two lengths of brass wire used to make the propellers shafts are slid into the A frames and glued into position, followed by the propellers and finally, the rudder.

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Conclusion
This has got be another winner from the hands of Peter Hall, the release of this and its sister ship, HMS Vigilant fills another gap in the maritime modellers wish list. The superb moulding and detailed parts, resin, metal and in particular the etched brass will go towards making a wonderful model of an important yet mostly forgotten class of destroyer. Very highly recommended





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Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of logo.gif

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There's also a mod set for the KGV to build the Duke of York, so make that four. :thumbsup:

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I have the 1/700 WEM kit, which is excellent so I expect this would be of a similar quality.

thanks

Mike

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