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  1. Hi dear fellows, My name is Michal, I'm from Poland. I like 2 WW planes and warships, and Battle of Atlantic is one of my "special topics". First of all I want say thank you all for such lot of inspiration, knowledge and fellowship on Britmodeller Forum. I want to show you my interpretation of White Ensign Models Castle class Corvette as rather late-war Canadian Copper Cliff: EDIT: you will find more photos further in this thread. In this thread's 2 page you will find my modelling guide for WEM's Castle Class Corvette kit. My reflections, list of modifications and so on. Best regards, Michal.
  2. HMS Exeter 1:350 Etch Set With the release of the Trumpeter 1:350 HMS Exeter is was only a matter of time before White Ensign Models brought out an etched set. As per usual the set has been designed by Peter Hall of Atlantic Models and sold on the Toms Modelworks website, as well as a large, well known emporium in Lowestoft. If you’ve used WEM’s sets before then you pretty much know what you’re going to get. A great selection of brass parts to really enhance your model of this famous ship. Some kit parts will need to have their detail removed before the brass can be added others are completely replaced by brass and there are parts that Trumpeter missed out, but have been included on this sheet. This very comprehensive set comes on a single large fret which is 290 x 195mm with about 113 different parts squeezed onto it. As well as a full ships set of railings, including specially shaped parts for the fo’c’sle there are a host of watertight doors, some of which can be posed open should the modeller desire, deck hatches, vertical ladders, inclined ladders and support braces for all the smaller platforms that get missed in the kit. The main gun turrets are provided with new rear access doors, while the 4” secondary mounts are provided with new railings, hand wheels and sights. The 0.5” quad machine gun mountings are completely replaced with brass parts with each mounting consisting of four parts, two of which will need some careful folding. The paravanes are also heavily modified with most of the plastic detail removed leaving just the body. The fins, fin support, tail and wire cutter are then added. One of the most interesting features of HMS Exeter at this period of her career was the twin fixed catapults. The kit pieces are completely discarded and replaced with much more detailed items complete with the two extending sections for each catapult. Please note that only one catapult could be extended at a time as they would clash if both extended. This set also included new aircraft launch cradles one for each aircraft in the kit. There is also an aircraft access platform which was mobile to access either catapult. The aircraft crane is also extensively modified, or if the modeller wants completely replaced. You can either add some detail to the crane base cab, and just replace the jib or you can replace the cab as well. Both of which will require some careful folding, but the finished crane will look so much more realistic. Each funnel is provided with a new internal walkway and funnel cap, while the fore funnel is also provided with two new sirens and their respective platforms. The various Carley flots need to have the internal gratings removed as these are replaced with brass parts giving them a much more accurate look. The floats are also provided with paddles. Some of the kit parts are themselves made of brass, but I find the Trumpeter brass to be too thick, thus, items such as the depth charge rails are replaced with the thinner brass in this set. If you want to load up the rails you will need to make the depth charges from 1.5mm styrene rod cut to 2mm lengths. Items such as the boat support frame and boat cradles are also provided on the sheet completely replacing the kit plastic parts, with the exception of the davits. The boats themselves are given new gunwales, thwarts, and rudders for the open boats, and new interior cabins for the motor boats, which is also provided with a seat for the coxswain, boats wheel, windscreen and hand rails and light mast for the cabin roof. Moving onto the aircraft, there are parts for each type, with the Supermarine Walrus receiving replacement struts for the mainplanes, horizontal tailplanes, engine mounted struts and floats. The Walrus also gets a new engine mount, propeller, scarff rings, wheels, landing gear legs and two Lewis machine guns. If you wish to pose the Walrus with wings folded, there is also an option for that in the shape of the wing hinge fold and inner rib faces. The Fairey IIIF has fewer parts to replace, but these include the interplane struts, Lewis gun, float struts, and propeller. For the rest of the ship there are new baffles and gratings for the bridge, a completely new WT office and aerial house, much finer signal platform supports that you could possible produce in plastic, anchors, and new boiler room vent boxes in two different styles. The two masts are provided with new yardarms, complete with footropes, while the foremast is also given a new DT aerial and platform, new lower platform and two TBS antenna. The rest of the sheet includes wardroom window hatches, washdeck locker hatches, 4” ammunition locker doors, leadsman platforms, flag lockers, bridge semaphores and aldis lamps. Conclusion It’s great that the fine name of White Ensign Models has been saved by Toms Modelworks and having great detail sets released under that name. The set itself is well up to the usual standard we have come to expect from Peter Hall and will help produce a wonderfully detailed model of this great ship. While it may not be as comprehensive as the detail sets from other manufacturers it’s still up there with the best, and if you are on a limited budget then this is the set to go for. Review sample kindly provided be Richard at
  3. My eldest sister's husband (now deceased), served on HMS Birmingham during the 1950's. I'm currently doing research on the best way to model this ship (1952 fit), in his honour. I know White Ensign Models did a 1/350 HMS Southampton but it seems no longer available? A friend suggested modifying Trumpeters HMS Belfast which was longer and beamier, along with other differences I'm sure, but that seems like the hard way. I wont start this build till sometime next year, but meantime my research continues. Any ideas on availability of the WEM kit, or using the Trumpeter Belfast? I posted in this thread but could have placed it in Cold war as well, as that is the era I'm interested in. Thanks Terry
  4. 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
  5. Good morning! The postman dropped off the photo-etch pieces this morning so I thought I might as well start So, the base kit will be the old Airfix 1:72 Avro Vulcan, with aftermarket bits including: -Freightdog Resin 201 Series Tailpipes -White Ensign Models (WEM) Vulcan Interior -WEM Vulcan Exterior -WEM Vulcan Bomb Bay This build will be significant for two reasons; first of all, with AS exams starting in two weeks and proceeding over the next couple of months, it will be something to keep me sane! Secondly, it will be the first build where I've already had a go at doing some build-enhancing techniques before and needless to say I shall attempt to use these on this build, these include: using filler to get rid of those nasty gaps, using a scribing tool (Tamiya) to replace the notorious raised panel lines, working with resin aftermarket pieces and finally working with photoetch (I might have thrown myself into the deep end with this one!) XL360 is my second nearest Vulcan, the closest being Cosford, I have chosen this one because it's preserved (and has served) as a 617 "Dambusters" aircraft, I have also had the pleasure of sitting in the rear cockpit of the aircraft- I therefore have quite a bit of reference material to hand and finally because, unlike the shiny Cosford example, the Coventry Vulcan allows me to have a shot at weathering. Pre-build photos: Well, more updates shall follow in due course, don't expect them to be too frequent, unfortunately revision must take precedence over the next few weeks. Kind regards, Sam
  6. To be fair, the absolute last thing I needed was another ship project on the go, but I got talked in to it through a Facebook group I co-admin which initiated a group build themed on the Battle of the Atlantic. Being an admin, I thought it bad form not to join in, but realised that finishing a ship would be good for me so decided a fresh start with lowered aspirational standards might actually help. I therefore took a bit of a detour on the way home from Duxford in July and dropped in at Hannants in Lowestoft. In retrospect, there are postal companies available which would have saved an enourmous amount of time droning down mile after mile of the dullest roads in Britain, but never mind. It's the Trumpeter 1942 boxing. The mouldings are quite nice on the face of it: I raided the stock room for White Ensign Models PE747 to go with, and also got some brass barrels, masts and yardarms from Master to go with. The Group Build kicked off on 1st August. Being Trumpeter, it doesn't take too long to find an issue. The upper and lower hull halves are different lengths. Just blending in the prow or stern didn't seem clever as the torpedo bulges don't line up either. Anyway, I set about spraying the deck. All paints are my own, perhaps/hopefully obviously. I started removing moulded ladders which will be replaced by photo etched parts later. The moulding on B turret barbette shows poorly aligned tooling. I decided it would be easier to just sacrifice the ventilators to get the barbette cleaned up properly Then I replaced them with Evergreen strip. I intended to display this model in a seabase, but I just don't feel right about using waterline plates, so I decided to address the hull, by sawing it in half. The width of the razor saw blade almost cured the alignment issue, and some wet and dry on a flat, hard surface did the rest. The halves were rejoined and glued to the upper half. The seam was filled and sanded The hull was then sprayed 507C thinned with cellulose thinner for maximum drying speed, then masked with Maskol before painting on Western Approaches White and B5. Tonight's exercise is to remask and hopefully get the MS1 and MS3 colours on. Tonight I have: The hull camouflage was completed: Then the underwater hull was painted in the Royal Navy's anti-fouling red colour and the boot topping painted on. Building up superstructure prior to camouflaging it: I took a break and painted the Walrus cockpit areas (not the glazing!!) black and the rest of the fuselage silver. When the Dark Slate Grey/Extra Dark Sea Grey goes on later, this gives a sort of illusion of not being a solid blob of plastic. I made a start on a sea base. This is my first attempt at this particular technique. And a wee bit more superstructure assembly and I'm calling it a night.
  7. It's a very soggy day in Aberdeenshire today and therefore one purpose made for model making indoors! It has taken me far too long to get around to having a more formalised presence here on Britmodeller and hope to share some of what we're doing both in the UK and internationally. 13 months ago I read on Facebook that White Ensign Models were to cease trading. This came as a shock and huge disappointment. I've been making models since I was a child with both my father and grandfather but had only fairly recently got back in to it properly after a break where starting careers and family got in the way. I'm quite clear on what happened after that Facebook announcement but how it all happened is a bit of a mystery and somehow I ended up owning my favourite paint brand. We started the new company immediately but it took us some time set up properly. I dislike chaos and wanted to do things properly. Colourcoats was relaunched at the Scottish Nationals model show in Perth in April 2015, the first commercial order was dispatch to the USA shortly after and our shiny new webstore opened for UK Mainland customers in June. I mostly model aeroplanes and ships myself, and soon after getting Colourcoats up and running again, I realised I could no longer obtain most of my favourite naval modelling products in particular, so we have thus far reinvested everything we've taken into improving that situation in the UK, and now offer White Ensign Models again (now imported from California), Pontos Models and new-start Infini Model both from South Korea. More is on the way this quarter. We're just rolling out colour boxsets at the moment which are proving popular already, happily. The Colourcoats paint range currently comprises: Colourcoats Sea. Modern Naval The Great War United States Navy Imperial Japanese Navy Royal Navy Kriegsmarine (German navy) Regia Marina (Italian navy) Colourcoats Land. Australian Army Imperial Japanese Army Army for Defence for Israel United States Army Red Army (Soviet) British Army Wehrmacht (German army) Regia Esercito (Italian army) Colourcoats Air. The Great War Armee de l'Air (French air force) US Army Air Corps / US Air Force / US Navy Imperial Japanese Army and Navy Royal Air Force / Fleet Air Arm Luftwaffe (German air force) Royal Australian Air Force Regia Aeronautica (Italian air force) Royal Netherlands Air Force
  8. The Kit: The model is of the Russian Kirov class missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy. The kit is by Trumpeter, though the box states that it is a joint project with Pit Road. There are options for both waterline and full-hull versions; I will be building this one full-hull, and using a detail set by White Ensign Models. There are bags containing nine sprues plus hull and deck pieces; a stand can be assembled from parts located on the sprues. There is a sheet of decals, and no photo-etch that I have discovered. The etch set from WEM features railings, a variety of sensors and instruments and helicopter blades among other details. To begin with I decided to join the two hull parts together. Although the instructions call for this to be done later I have previously had upper hulls turn banana shaped once superstructure has been added, so I decided not to risk it happening here. The 1/700 HMS Sheffield pictured alongside shows the massive size of the Kirov class. Due to the sheer number of small pieces I will prime most of the parts on their sprues before moving on to bridge assembly and hull painting. Thanks for looking in and hopefully it will be a fun build! Regards, Ross.
  9. Avro Vulcan 1:72 Etch Sets It’s been a long time coming for someone to produce aftermarket sets for the Airfix 1:72 Avro Vulcan. But at long last White Ensign Models have picked up the baton and really run with it in producing three sets of relief etched brass. The sets are well up to the usual standard we’ve come to expect from this company having been designed by the indomitable Peter Hall they will really spice up the old kit. If you went to Telford last year and saw Peters build of the Vulcan using all the sets, then in pre-production you will understand why there is some excitement at having these available. Each set comes in its own envelope, well protected with addition cardboard. The interior set, (PE 7255A), comes on a single medium sized sheet gives the modeller a completely, and I mean completely, new cockpit which only requires five kit parts, which are the instrument panel, which is used as a back plate for the PE version, including an acetate sheet for the instruments, the two control joysticks and the pilots’ and co-pilots’ ejection seats. The rest of the flying cockpit, such as the front and rear bulkheads, ejection seat bases, rudder pedals assemblies, side consoles, centre console, throttle box, floor with additional details and even the additional jump seats are provided. The rear cockpit is also provided, and included the two swivelling outer seats with full mechanisms, the sliding centre seat, rear bulkhead, floor, fully instrumented NAV/ECM/Bomb panel, again with acetate sheets for the instruments and the chart table/shelf onto which the AEO’s Morse key is mounted. All the sub/side panels, navigators’ camera mount and even the anglepoise lamps are included. For access, a new three part crew ladder is also provided. Exterior set, (PE 7255B), is also on a single medium sized sheet and provides replacement, and very well detailed, through relief etching, nose and main wheel bays. The bays don’t just replace the sides of the kit parts, but also the roof of each bay, with additional parts such as various fuse type boxes and linkages. Naturally the kit will need some surgery before fitting these parts, and the same goes for the four extended air brakes, which are beautifully designed and will look superb when fitted. The main undercarriage legs also get extra detail in the form of scissor links, front and rear leg linkage and cooling grilles. Other finer detaile parts are also provided, these include new pitot probes, static ports, undercarriage door liners, various blade aerials, towel rail antenna, windscreen wipers and for some reason new ejector seat firing handles, which are not exactly external unless in use, but welcome all the same. Bomb bay set, (PE 7255C), comes on a much large sheet of etched brass and provides a complete bomb bay, including all the side walls, front and rear bulkheads, and all the structural bomb arch frames. Even with just this assembled and fitted would be a huge improvement over the kit. But Peter goes one step further and provides each of the bomb carrier unit location plates, the forward, mid and rear longitudinal braces. He then goes even further and describes how to cut and modify the kits bomb bay doors and where the PE mechanism attachments fit, along with the bomb door actuator panel, complete with actuators. Peter then goes even further in his quest for extra detail and has designed and etched three bomb carrier units, thus allowing a full bomb load of 21 1000lb bombs, which are also available from WEM, to be fitted. Conclusion All I can say is WOW. These three sets are stunning and just go to show how madness lies in the detail. If these sets are anything to go by Mr Hall must be bonkers as they are so full of detail as to be mind boggling. The effect on the Airfix Vulcan, especially having seen Peters’ model is truly amazing and will drag it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Since it would be a shame to lose all the cockpit detail under the canopy I would leave it off, or at least detachable. I can quite easily recommend these sets highly, but they sure aren’t for those of a nervous disposition or who haven’t had much experience with PE. There is also a super set, which includes all of the above at a discount. Review sample kindly provided be John at
  10. HMS Portchester Castle White Ensign Models 1/350 History The Castle-class corvettes were an updated version of the much more numerous Flower-class corvettes of the Royal Navy, and started appearing during late 1943. They were equipped with radar as well as ASDIC. The Admiralty had decided to cease Flower-class construction in favour of the larger River-class frigates as the Flower-class had originally been intended for coastal escort work and were not entirely satisfactory for Atlantic convoy service. In particular, they were slow, poorly armed, and rolled badly in rough seas which quickly exhausted their crews. However, many shipyards were not large enough to build frigates. The Castle-class was designed to be built on small slipways for about half the overall effort of a Loch-class frigate. The Loch-class frigate was similar to a River, but built using the system of prefabrication. The appearance of Castle-class corvettes was much like the later "long forecastle" variant of the Flowers and they were a little larger (around 1,200 tons about 200 tons more than the Flowers, and 40 ft (12 m) longer). The most obvious visual difference was the lattice mainmast instead of the pole version fitted to the Flowers. There was also a squarer cut look to the stern although it was still essentially a cruiser spoon type; this difference was only visible from abaft the beam. The armament was similar except that the depth charge fitment had been replaced by one Squid anti-submarine mortar, with Hadleigh Castle receiving the first production Squid mounting. The propulsion machinery was identical to the Flowers, and experienced officers felt that they were seriously under powered, having a tendency to turn into the wind despite everything the helmsman could do. The fact that Squid attacks required a fairly low speed (compared to depth charge attacks) only made matters worse. Most of the Castle-class corvettes had been discarded by the end of the 1950s, but a few survived a little longer as weather ships. The last Castle was the Uruguayan training ship Montevideo, originally HMS Rising Castle, which was scrapped in 1975. Most were operated by the Royal Navy, but twelve were transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy before completion and one to the Royal Norwegian Navy. Three Castles were sunk through enemy action, and Castles participated in the sinking of seven U-boats. HMS Portchester Castle named after the castle that stands at the entrance to Fareham Creek was laid down on 17th March 1943 at the Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson yards at Wallsend on Tyne. Launched on 21st June 1943 and completed on 8th October 1943. One of the fastest builds of her class. Portchester Castle was one of the first of the Castle class corvettes to be commissioned, and she completed her trials and work up by the end of December 1943. It isnt clear what the ship was doing during January 1944, but in February she was allocated to the B7 Escort Group on Trans Atlantic Ocean convoy duty. She remained with that group until April, when she was transferred to the B4 Escort Group, escorting convoys to Gibraltar. Later in the year there were enough Castle Class corvettes available to make up single class escort groups that would provide anti submarine patrols and convoy escorts in the Western Approaches and around the coasts of the UK. HMS Portchester Castle sank U-484 near Tory Island. This was the first occasion that a submarine had been sunk entirely by a ship using squid mortar unit. Two months later she and other members of her escort group sank the U-1200 off Cape Clear. The ship was taken in hand by the dockyard for a lengthy refit from January until the 1st of May 1945 and saw no further action. Later, in June 1945 she was transferred to the West African Command where she performed Air Sea Rescue duties until October. During her time in West Africa she was involved with the sinking of the Edinburgh Castle that had been used as an accommodation ship in Freetown. To avoid the cost of returning the ship to the UK she was towed out to sea and sunk using gunfire and depth charges. From there HMS Portchester Castle moved to Gibraltar to perform similar duties until early 1946 where she was withdrawn from service and laid up in Harwich. In April 1951, HMS Portchester Castle was brought out of reserve and re-commissioned for service in the 2nd training squadron based at Portland. While there she took on one of her most famed roles as the fictional frigate HMS Saltash Castle in the film the Cruel Sea. She continued to show her pennant number F362 during the filming, which was done at Portland and the English Channel. She was again withdrawn from service in June 1956 and laid up until 1958, when she was sold for scrap. She resisted to the last, breaking away from her tow from the tug Brigadier on the night of 15th-16th May, but having re-established the tow HMS Portchester Castle arrived at Troon on 17th May 1958 for breaking. The Model Moulded in their customary cream resin, the kit comes in White Ensign Models standard sturdy top opening cardboard box, with the kit details and colour drawing of her starboard side. The hull comes in two parts allowing the kit to be modelled either waterline or full hull, and measures out at 220mm or just under 83/4. There are a number of moulding pips on the undersides of each part with need to be sanded down so that they fit snugly. There doesn't appear to any shrinkage between the two parts, but a little filler may be required around the waterline. As usual there are no apparent air bubbles or other faults on these parts. Be careful of the sides of the rear hull along the quarterdeck, the mouldings are very fine and easily broken from the upper hull. Fortunately they should be easily repairable. The rest of the resin parts make up the lower main superstructure, bridge, AA gun platform, funnel, 4 gun shield, anchor windlass and the three ships boats. All these parts are crisply moulded, but as can be seen with the boats there is some flash that will need to be removed, but its very thin so shouldnt take too long to clean up. The majority of smaller parts are produced in white metal. Again they appear nicely done, but some require more cleaning up of flash than others. Those items still on their pouring sprue include the 4 gun, two twin Oerlikon mounts, four cowl vents, squid barrel cluster, squid mounting base, crows nest, searchlight, six Carley floats, the rudder and propeller. The etched fret is well up to the usual standard set by White Ensign. Along with a complete compliment of ships railings, inclined ladders, ships anchors, and the stock lengths of vertical ladders and anchor chain the sheet also provides the lattice mast assembly along with the mast top platform, mast top DF antenna, top mast pole base and top mast array. Then there are the Type 25/M aerial, Type 242 antenna, Type 277 aerial, single and twin Oerlikons, ESM antenna for a later fit, the funnel cap grille, yardarms, flare rocket launchers, superstructure side platforms, depth charge rails and rail frame, gun platform cross braces, radar lantern assembly. Carley float racks. For the single depth charge throwers there are loading davits, the throwers themselves, as well as items for the ships boats, including oars, davits, thwarts for the 27 whaler and the ships nameplates. Construction is relatively straightforward, particularly if you have some experience of working with resin, etched brass and white metal. If the model is to be made in full hull configuration, the its best to fit the two hull parts together at the beginning, this way any gaps or overhangs can be sorted out early. Once this is done the upper and lower hull, main deck and boot topping can be painted as it will be a lot easier to do it now rather than when the kit is complete, there is a nice coloured painting guide at the rear of the instructions. The forward superstructure, bridge, funnel and AA platform are fitted to the main deck. Once again it may be best to paint these items before fitting. From then on its building up the sub assemblies, such as the 4 gun, complete with gun shield and flare rocket launchers, the two twin 20mm Oerlikons, single Oerlikons with options for early or late positioning, the squid mortar assembly, and the folding of the two ships anchors. The 4 mount and the squid mount, along with the mortar bomb loading rails are then fitted into position with the 4 surrounded by railings. On the foredeck the anchor windlass is fitted with the anchors slid into their hawsepipes. The supplied anchor chain can then be cut to length and fitted between the two. The bridge antenna and platforms are now assembled and glued into place, along with the 20mm Oerlikons, searchlight, and the bridge inclined ladders. One of the more complex tasks is the folding of the octagonal radar lantern around the affixed roof before gluing to the base. Its a similar story with the lattice main mast, which once folded to shape is fitted out with the top platform, platform supports, pole mast bracket, platform railings, ensign gaff and the crows nest, which will require a small oblong of plasticard to be fitted just under the top platform for it to sit on. The pole mast, made from the length of brass rod provided, is fitted with the four piece yardarm near its base and the FH4 antenna to its top. The Type 242 array and Type 25M antenna are shaped then fitted just beneath the crows nest. The radar lantern assembly is then glued onto the top mast platform. If you are building the ship in a later fit then parts are included to allow this and include a differently shaped top mast platform, yardarm, top pole mast with DF aerial at its top, Type 277 radar and ESM aerial. Once the mast is complete it can be fitted into place at the rear of the bridge structure. If required the two loading booms can be fitted to the lower superstructure in either folded or extended poses. The funnel cap is now fitted as are the twin Oerlikons onto the previously fitted platform along with the PE antenna spreader. The davits for the ships boats are assembled and fitted to their positions on the main deck along with the boats themselves. The carley float racks can also be fitted now and the floats fitted to the racks. The depth charge throwers are now folded to shape and the depth charges, made up of lengths of styrene rod, (provided), glued onto the throwers. The single depth charge rail is folded to shape, as is the rail frame and filled with more depth charges from the styrene rod. The throwers and rail are now glued into position on the quarterdeck along with the thrower loading davits. The four vent cowls are now glued into place around the AA platform followed by the inclined ladders from the quarter deck to the main deck. The ships railings can now be attached and lastly, if the ship is full hull, the propeller and rudder are fitted. Conclusion This is another lovely kit form White Ensign, and one that really fills a gap in the maritime modellers collection. The added interest of being able to produce HMS Saltash Castle from The Cruel Sea gives the modeller another excuse to watch the film, (not that you should need one). The kit is certainly not for beginners, but even an intermediate modeller should be able, given care and time, to build a really good looking model. Unfortunately there are no decals with the kit, but they can quite easily be sourced. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of John at
  11. DKM Battleship Bismarck detail sets 1:200 White Ensign Models Since the release of the big 1:200 Trumpeter DKM Bismarck many companies have released detail sets for it. Now, White Ensign Models have released their Ultimate set. The set actually comprises of eight smaller sets, each of which can be purchased separately, depending on how much detail the modeller wishes to add, so it’s the equivalent of Eduards Big Ed sets. Railings- (PE-2010) which, as the title describes is a medium sized sheet of railings. Since the kit comes with suitable railings for he main deck, this set just provides the railings for the upper deck and superstructures. I say just, but there are an awful lot of individual railings pre sized to fit their particular position. Naturally though the railings will need to be bent and folded to shape before fitting. Also included on the sheet are the foot and hand rails for around the funnel and around the turmmast tower. Boat Fittings (PE-2012). This is the largest of all the sheets available and provides parts for a comprehensive upgrade for all the ships boats. The 11m launches all receive new bench seat tops, bollard clusters, bench seat sides, steering wheel, canopy frames, canopy side frames, helmsmans seat, forward deck hatch, engine bay hatch, safety rails, well deck assembly, propeller and main deck, complete with gunwhales. The 11m and 9m Captains gig, receive new well deck and cabin sides, safety rails, forward box seats, cabin canopy, helmsmans seat, steering wheel, windscreen, bollard cluster, engine bay hatch, bench seat sides and top, well deck steps life belt, propeller and main deck. The 8m and 6m long boats are fitted with new thwarts, decking boards and rudders, plus a full complement of oars. All the boats are also fitted out with retainer straps, with and without buckles, boat tie down eyes and boat lifting eyes. Aircraft Handling Gear – (PE-2013). Once again the sheet description covers it, but this sheet, although one of the smallest of the set, is filled with detail. Firstly the catapults are fitted out with nue walkways and platforms fitted to each end along with the support stays over the main deck. The catapults are also fitted with new cable wheels, again at each end, whilst the aircraft launch cradles are also replaced with new PE items. Now the aircraft parts are where it gets really interesting. Not only do they get new deck handling trolleys, which look really nice and will certainly enhance the deck diorama, but they also receive a complete interior. Yes, you read that right, and interior for these 1:200 aircraft, although they should be a tad easier than trying to fit the 1:350 interiors WEM have released previously. The interior for the Arados include the fuselage internal framework, the central bulkhead with separate radioman/gunners radio sets, which, due to the thinness of the attachment point may need to have a bit of support from underneath. The pilot is provided with a new seat, control column and instrument panel, complete with rudder pedals, whilst the gunner is also given a new seat. The cockpit is finished off with the provision of the etched canopy framework, although the instructions are unclear whether this is meant to replace the kit canopy completely, or compliment it. Lastly the aircraft are fitted out it the access ladder prongs for the front struts and the main strut support braces. Radars – (PE-2014). You should know how this goes by now. This single sheet set contains the various radars Bismarck carried throughout her relatively short life. Each radar is a masterpiece on its own, when added to the model they will look pretty darn special. The types of radar provided include the following:- FuMo 23 FuMo 26 FuMo 27 FuMb 4 FuMb 7 FuMo 21 Each radar array comes some with items such as front and rear faces, individual dipoles, mounting rails, Sensor side bars, mounting brackets, antenna screens. Each antenna has been etched in such a way as to have all of its constituent parts in the same area, so there is no need to hunt around the sheet for each individual part. The instructions are nice and clearly written with information on when each array was fitted. AA Guns (PE-2015). Now the title of this set is a bit of a misnomer as although it provides parts to superdetail the ships 20mm, 37mm and 105mm guns there are also plenty of parts to add to the main and secondary turrets. Each main turret receives new rangefinder sight doors and lenses, turret sliding hatches and comms loop wires; just ensure that you use the correct wires for each turret. The secondary turrets also have their rangefinder doors, lenses and sliding hatches provided. The 105mm heavy AA mounts receive new breech plates, comms loop wires, and fuse setters. The 37mm and 20mm light AA weapons receive new mount fittings, pedestal mount fittings, and flak vierling fittings. The sheet also includes a number of spare grab handles and breach plates should the carpet monster grabs some. Doors and Hatches (PE-2016). This sheet provides a wide selection of doors and hatches for use throughout the model, (naturally). Each door and hatches is made up of a multi element folding parts which not only gives them a bit of depth, but allows them to be posed open or closed. There are a selection of vent grilles, oval access hatches of differing sizes, four types of watertight doors along with ammunition locker doors, storage locker doors, door opening bars, fire hose baskets and even lengths of fire hose, which although made of brass, once coiled up should look quite effective). Sea Chest Intake Grilles (PE-2017). Most, if not all detail sets for ship models concentrate on the superstructure and topsides. This is the first one I’ve seen, other than for large scale submarines, that provides parts exclusively for the underwater section of the hull. Some of the grilles can be fitted directly to the surface of the hull whereas with others the kit detail needs to be removed before adding the etched part. The instructions clearly show where and how to do this as well as parts placement. Platforms and extensions (PE-2018). The parts on this sheet are to replace the kit parts where a platform or catwalk is generally made of see through mesh. Due to the nature of injection moulding it is very difficult, if not impossible to replicate the mesh, even in this scale. At least with this set you will get a much nicer scale effect, (just try not to clog up the mesh with paint). The main items provided are the crane platform and support frame, funnel catwalk, catwalk underframe, AA gun deck overhangs, crane support brackets, funnel platforms, foremast platform, bridge wings, barbette catwalks, crane jib rests, hanger roof peak catwalks, as well as crane operators hand wheels and funnel platform hatches. Conclusion With the Ultimate set, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s possible to produce a museum quality model, even though WEM provide what they think is really needed. Which should mean you won’t have too much, if any spare parts left over and unlike some other sets where parts are replaced for the sake of it. Of course you don’t have to buy the ultimate set, as each of its constituent parts are available separately and you can pick and choose how much you want to add. Whatever you choose enjoy the experience as these sets look particularly easy to work with. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of John at
  12. Handley Page Victor K.2 Updates (Matchbox/Revell) 1:72 White Ensign Models It seems like forever since the original Matchbox Victor was released, and since then the moulds have been taken over by Revell, who occasionally re-release them in a more eye-friendly grey styrene. The Victor has been quite neglected over the years when it comes to aftermarket, but Peter at WEM has decided that following on from his sets for the Airfix Vulcan reviewed here, the Victor should also receive some attention. Two Photo-Etch (PE) brass sets have been crafted to cater for the interior and exterior, so you can choose one or both to drag your kit kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Interior Set This handsome set decks out the front and rear cockpits of the Victor, without taking the drastic steps of throwing away the whole interior, as was needed with the Vulcan. The basic cockpit tub is used as a base, into which the instrument panels and centre consoles are added, consisting of PE laminated with acetate sheet with printed instrument details included. New control yokes and throttle quadrants are made up, and the missing side consoles are added from folded brass, although you'll probably want to add some styrene tabs inside to improve the attachment to the cockpit floor. The two pilot seats aren't provided, as Mk.3 Martin Baker seats are readily available elsewhere, and should be sourced in advance to complete the cockpit area. The rear cockpit is on a slightly raised level, so a new deck is added behind the pilots' seats, and seat rails are added for the four rear seats, which comprise three seats for the regular crew, plus one extra behind the centre console for the crew chief when operating away from home base. The instruments in the rear cockpit are laminated to a new rear bulkhead that is attached to the kit part, and then laminated with equipment and instrument boxes, some of which have acetate sheet behind their bezels. A desk is folded up with front supports and added to the back wall, but would benefit from attachment tabs to hold it firmly in place. The roof skin over the rear deck is curved to fit the contours of the kit and detailed with grab handles and other parts, plus a side panel to the left of the crew. Additional equipment is installed in the centre of the table, a morse key on the right, and a large stack of equipment is folded up and glued to the raised floor beside the crew chief's seat. An avionics box and fire extinguisher are added to the right, and some instruments are glued to the interior of the front cockpit sidewalls on both sides. The last act is to build up the four crew seats from the parts, which are almost identical to those found in the rear of the Vulcan. Having built a trio already, I found them reasonably easy to make, although the bottom "sled" does come away quite easily due to the small attachment points. Exterior Set Once you have decided whether to rescribe the skin of the Victor, and what to do with the tramlines on the wings, this set should provide some external detail that is lacking on the original ageing tooling. A lot of small aerials and vents are dotted around the exterior first on the instructions, although these are probably best saved for last. A small canopy side window panel is added, and the crew door is improved ready to show off the interior if you've succumbed, by the addition of the two shrouds on the top hinged edge, and a crew access ladder that is folded up from a single piece of PE. The airbrakes at the very rear of the fuselage are very clumsily moulded in the kit, and here the detail is improved beyond measure by first removing the moulded in detail, and then adding new skins to the insides of the brakes, as well as adding the two perforated panels that stand clear of the main brake panels when open. The kit actuators are retained, although if you're minded, these could probably be replaced too. Moving to the landing gear, the chunky lock-up mechanism is removed from the main legs and replaced by a nicely detailed replica of the real thing that has "twin robot arms" look about it, and adds small linkages that were omitted from the kit parts for simplicity. The main bays are totally re-skinned inside with detailed PE walls, and this is repeated in the nose gear well, with a more detailed mud-guard assembly constructed for the nose wheels. Two wing fences are added to each wing, one inboard of the engine intakes, the other just inboard of the wing tip, and both are installed in razor saw cuts made in the wing beforehand. The wing-mounted refuelling pods are given a choice of four or eight bladed props to drive their generators, with either a single piece added for a retracted drogue, or a delicate PE "flower" that is folded up to make the basket, with a circular part forming the lip. The tip of the kit drogue is then used to make the base, and then you're on your own for the hose. These have been added as a means to create a diorama of either an in-flight refuelling, or a test of the drogue system on the ground. Conclusion Two nice sets that make up for a lot of the issues with the Victor's rather dated moulding. FOD guards for the horrible kit intakes would have been useful for the exterior set, but perhaps I'm just being greedy. The interior set lends itself toward a replacement canopy, as it would be a shame to hide all that detail under the thick plastic of the original. A PE frame and some acetate sheet might have been useful in this respect, although it would have upped the skill level required beyond what Peter was trying to achieve perhaps? Highly recommended. You can also buy both to save a few shekels Review sample courtesy of John at
  13. HMS Belfast detail sets 1/350 White Ensign Models The release of HMS Belfast was yet another pleasant surprise from Trumpeter, but as is their want, they didn’t quite get it right. But now, with the release of these three sets from White Ensign Models will help the maritime modeller build a pretty accurate and very detailed model of one of the finest looking light cruisers in the world, and probably one of the most famous, since it’s still afloat in the Pool of London and open to visitors. Etch Detail Set, PE 35172. To detail the kit White Ensign Models have released this large etched set, comprising of two sheets, each 290mm x 127mm in size, packed to the gunwhales with parts, delivered in their usual sturdy envelope, well protected with thick card. The instructions are typical WEM, being very clear and easy to read with some useful written instructions on how to shape the relative parts and which alternative parts are required and were they are fitted. There are parts for building an earlier mod state of the ship as well as the later outfitting. Sheet A contains all the ships railings pre-made to the correct size for each area they are required. There are several types of radar included, such as the Type 284, 282 and 285 Yagi antennas, Type 291 and Type 281 radars in addition to Type 86 and Type 91 TBS antenna. There are one set of accommodation ladders provided, one for each side of the ship. The usual inclined ladders are provided along with the 8-Barrelled Pom-Pom fittings, Walrus Amphibian parts, Early mast top platforms and DF antenna, boiler room vent grilles, Foremast and Mainmast top gaff, paravane parts, Mainmast IFF responder and the Foretop Anemometer array. Since the funnels in the kit are of the wrong shape two sets of cap grilles have been provided, one pair for the kit parts and another pair for the correction set, available from WEM. Sheet B contains the more specific parts for the ship. Starting with the main cranes, these complete replacement units consist of new jibs, bases, jib rests, pulleys, and hooks, along with two lengths of rigging depending on whether the jib is raised or lowered. Styrene rod will need to be used for various parts in the build. There are numerous platform supports and new platforms for the Radar lantern, mainmast, and foremast. The foredeck gets a new breakwater with its respective front and rear braces. There are also new items for the hanger with doors that can be wound round a styrene rod to show them open. The catapult gets a new track, top inside plate, side braces, extenders and manoeuvring pump. Whilst Trumpeter have produced some very nice ships boats, this set takes them to a new level in providing interiors for each of the 35’, 36’ and 25’ motor boats including steering wheel in addition to new rudder/propeller skegs, handrails, and masts. The 16’ dinghy, 32’ cutter and 25’ motor launch all get new rudders and a selection of oars for the all except the dinghy. All the ships boats are provided with new cradles and/or frames to sit on. The rest of the sheet is filled with items such as watertight doors, deck hatches, replacement torpedo doors, blakes stoppers, 4” gun mount details, 20mm mounts, the mainmast starfish platform and supports, aldis lamps, bridge and lower bridge venture strips and the hawspipe gratings. Finally there are three runs of stock anchor chain, but these are a little flat for use and they would be better replaced with real chain or WEM’s own battleship chain set and several lengths of generic vertical ladder stock. Pro 3536,. A direct replacement set for the kit parts, mainly meant to correct the ships funnels, but also the compass platform, which inaccurately moulded in the kit. The resin is really well moulded and the new funnels give the whole kit a more accurate look. They don't have the "depth" of opening like the kit funnels, but once painted black and the grilles fitted they will look fine. Of course the modeller could always open the funnels out more. Pro 3537, is another simple direct replacement set for the ships yardarms with one each of very finely turned upper and lower yards. Conclusion It was wonderful to finally get a kit of HMS Belfast in 1:350 scale, it had been a long wait, but it was worth it, even with the inaccurate funnels. Now though, the modeller can not only super detail their kit with the fabulous etched brass set, but also make the model more accurate with the release of the funnels and compass platform, then, add a little more finesse to the finished model with a pair of scale turned brass yardarms, what more could the modeller want. Very highly recommended Review sample kindly provided be John at
  14. Photo Etch and Resin Detail Sets for Airfix Short Stirling 1:72 White Ensign Models When Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet trophy back in 1966, few could have guessed that Airfix’s then brand new Short Stirling would still be soldiering on as the only available kit of the RAF’s first wartime ‘heavy’ nearly fifty years later. Despite the longevity of this venerable kit however, relatively few aftermarket items have been released for it over the years. Now White Ensign Models have released two comprehensive frets of photo etched parts and a set of resin wheels to help us to spruce up this Airfix classic. Each of the photo etched frets arrives packed into a re-sealable plastic bag, safely ensconced in a sturdy hard-backed envelope. Detailed instructions are also included, clearly printed in black and white on A4 paper. One thing I particularly like about White Ensign’s instructions is that fact that they provide a detailed breakdown of each and every part. This gives the reassurance that they have really done their homework, as well as providing a useful reference for the modeller. Short Stirling Interior Detail Set 1:72 White Ensign Models The first of the sets contains parts for detailing the inside of the Airfix kit. Included are a number of larger, structural parts including the main cabin floor, the cockpit floor, the main cabin bulkhead, the forward bulkheads (port and starboard) and the aft cabin bulkhead. The cockpit is well catered for and features an instrument panel, side panel, throttle quadrant and details for the control column. Two complete seats for the pilot and co-pilot are also included. A comprehensive set of parts is included for the bomb aimer’s position too, including the steps leading from the main cabin to the nose compartment, the bomb aimer’s couch, bomb sight, bombing computer and switching panels. The navigator’s position is comprised of a table, instrument box, side panel, stowage boxes and seats. The radio operator’s position is similarly well-appointed. Moving further aft, White Ensign have provided the deck and bulkheads for the tail section, as well as the elsan toilet and privacy curtain. Racks for the smoke floats and flares are also included. Parts for detailing the insides of the defensive turrets are also on the fret, and include seats, ammunition boxes and structural framework. Overall this is an incredibly comprehensive set. Short Stirling Exterior and Wing Bomb Bay Detail Set 1:72 White Ensign Models The second set contains parts for the outside of the airframe. The engine oil coolers, which are a prominent feature of the main landing gear bays are included, as are the main undercarriage bay frames. The wing bomb bays are also included, and use is made of folding parts to make construction a little easier. The crew entry door for the rear fuselage is included, as is the crew access ladder. The engine front supports, aileron control linkages and a range of antennae and pitot masts are also provided, including the Yagi antennae and Mandrel antennae fitted to 100 Group aircraft. Short Stirling Weighted Wheels 1:72 White Ensign Models These are simple but effective resin weighted wheels designed as direct replacements for the kit parts. The wheels are cast in cream resin and, as you would expect from White Ensign, the casting is first class. Conclusion It has taken nearly fifty years, but at last we have a comprehensive aftermarket offering for the Airfix Stirling. Hopefully the release of these sets will breathe new life into the venerable kit. If you fancy having a bash at the largest but least well-known of the RAF’s World War Two heavy bombers, then you should give these sets very serious consideration. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of John at
  15. Hi, I got this kit from White Ensign Models and was very impressed with the delivery (24 hours from dispatch). I have laid a coat of grey primer over the whole kit and display stand. This will be my first kit with photo etch parts and need some advice about the painting of the photo etch parts as they fit into the hull of the sub itself. Photos later. Rick
  16. Type 23 Frigate 1:350 Etch Set To coincide with the release of the Trumpeter Type 23’s, HMS Kent, Montrose, and Westminster, White Ensign Models have released this etch set. Although looking like it was originally designed for their Type 23 model, this set has been modified to fit the Trumpeter kit with the inclusion of some additional parts. Several parts of the kit will need to be modified with the removal of plastic to allow the use of the etched parts. The single sheet measures 262mm x 107mm and contains over one hundred parts. Aside from a full complement of ships railings, each shaped and sized to fit their specific positions, although some will need to be shaped to fit, there are also a full set of flightdeck netting which can be positioned folded or upright. Once the moulded plastic frames have been removed, the Harpoon launchers can be attached to the previously folded etched parts. In addition to these there is a new set of blast shields to be built up. The fore and aft 911 fire control radars get a new platform surround whilst the foretopmast receives a new top lattice and platform assembly, yardarms, aerial supports and wire aerial spreader, and the 996 radar is fitted with a new antenna plate. The centre section of the superstructure is fitted with new extension supports, gun platform netting, ships class crowns and small gaff, part number 43, not 41 as per the written instructions. The main mast also has three multipart yardarms, associated aerials and large gaff. Moving aft, the superstructure is fitted with a new vertical/guarded ladder, liferaft supports, flightdeck lighting assembly, new hanger roller door. The flightdeck is fitted with the helicopter harpoon flightdeck grid and the netting mentioned above. With the ship covered there’s still the helicopter to be suitably detailed. For this there is a new main rotor and tail rotor for the spread condition whilst for the folded condition the tail needs to be removed at the fold joint and the exposed bulkhead added. The etched main rotor needs to be modified by cutting carefully at the root of the blades which are then folded aft. The four blade support poles can then be attached to the fuselage and the blades fitted to their respective slots. Conclusion This set is exactly what we have come to expect from White Ensign Models. Comprehensive, detailed and delicate, just what the trumpeter kit needs to bring out the best in a build. As usual, care and patience are the order of the day when using etched brass, but it’ll be worth it. Recommended https://www.whiteensignmodels.com/p/WEM+1350+Type+23+Frigate+Trumpeter+PE+35167/15946/'> Review sample kindly provided be John at
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