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Found 16 results

  1. Some time ago, in a discussion with other members of the board, I posted some photos of the Captains Class frigate I am building in 1/72 scale. At the time I said I would post some updates as the build moved along. It's now progressed to painting and fitting out, so its high time I shared some photos so those interested can see how things are coming along. This is a radio-controlled model and, as such, there needs to be provision for access into the hull for batteries and maintenance, but beyond this I am seeking to keep the build as close as I can manage to its likely appearance and configuration in April/May 1945. https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=a247b899de80955e364e783094c46384
  2. HMS Cumberland Type 22 Frigate (Batch 3) Atlantic Models 1:350 I must admit straight off that I have a soft spot for the Type 22 Batch 3. I was present at the Launching of HMS Campbeltown, and worked on fitting her out as part of my apprenticeship. The Batch 3 Type 22 Frigate had developed a fair way from the original Broadsword Class first ordered in 1974. The Class were primarily designed as anti-submarine ships to protect convoys under the UK's commitment to NATO. The length at the time was dictated by the dimensions of the undercover Frigate Refit Complex at Devonport Dockyard. As well as sonar system they were fitted with torpedo tubes and would carry the Lynx Helicopter. Offensive armament was provided by 4 canister mounted Exocet missiles on the foredeck. The primary defensive armament was 2 sextuplet Sea Wolf missile systems. By the time the four Batch 3 vessels were ordered a more general class of ship was needed, it had been released by the RN that ships really still did need a Gun and the bow space again was taken by a 4.5" turret. The ships did not loose their missiles though as the 4 Exocets were replaced by eight Harpoon missiles on two quartet launchers mounted up behind the bridge. The defensive armament was enhanced by fitting a 30mm Goalkeeper CIWS. Extra accommodation space was also fitted in allowing the ships to host a flag officer and become command & control centres. Propulsion was obtained from 2 Rolls Royce Tyne Engines and 2 Rolls Royce Spey Engines, the Speys replacing earlier Olympus Engines. These gave the vessels a top speed in excess of 30 Knots and a better sea keeping ability. Names for the 4 batch 3 ships were a mixture, though all celebrating different parts of RN history. a mixture: Cornwall and Cumberland, revived County-class names previously carried both by First World War-era cruisers, and by Second World War-era County-class heavy cruisers. The other two Chatham and Campbeltown, were Town names, the former reviving a 1911 Town-class light cruiser name, and the latter commemorating HMS Campbeltown famous for the St Nazaire Raid in 1942; the name for HMS Chatham was also selected as a salute to the Medway town, where the Chatham Dockyard, established in 1570, had closed in 1984. While most of the earlier Type 22s were sold to overseas Navies all 4 Batch 3 Ships were scrapped well before the end of their projected service lives The Kit The kit comes in the standard sturdy Atlantic Models box filled with plenty of poly chips to protect the contents. The metal, and resin parts are contained in zip lock bags stapled to a piece of card. The upper and lower hull sections are further protected from damage, by being wrapped in bubble wrap. There is a long envelope found at the bottom of the box containing a large sheet of etched brass, whilst a separate zip lock bag contains the sheet of decals. When the impressive 42cm hull is unwrapped the first thing that strikes you is the cleanliness of the resin. It is really smooth, with no sign of deformation, bubbles, or other imperfections. The upper and lower hulls are joined together by several pips and holes, but I find that it’s easier to remove the pips and align everything by eye and by feel as they tend to leave a large gap whereas by removing them, the gap almost disappears and there is very little need to filling, just a light touch with a sanding stick. The rest of the resin parts are just as well moulded, although the large sections of the superstructure do appear to have small pips on their undersides that may need to be removed. As seen in the photos, some of the smaller parts have a fair bit of flash, but it’s very soft and easily removed. The white metal parts don’t have a lot of flash, but there are seams that will need removing, again, a fairly easy job. The large etch sheet is what we have come to expect from Atlantic Models, beautiful clean relief etching, great design and lots of parts, and is probably the area that makes these models more for the experienced modeller than even the resin. Before any construction can take place, make sure you clean all the parts in warm soapy water to get rid of any mould release agent that may be attached. Naturally for these kits, it’s sub assemblies first. This is mainly the main deck house The bridge goes on at the front with the foremast at the rear. In between these goes the forward Sea Wolf tracker and the Goalkeeper CIWS. Behind the main deck house sits the intake housing for the engine room and behind this the funnel. Between the funnel and the hanger goes the rear mast. Now these main parts are on its time to make up a whole host of smaller parts for mounting to the ship. The 4.5" turret gets its gun. Then the main mast top antenna array is built up. The Goalkeeper gets its barrel and to the 30mm Oerlikon DS30 guns. Two quad Harpoon launchers are built up from a PE frame with resin missile tubes, the PE blast shields to go behind them. The type 911 Fire Control Radar is built up as are the Sat Com platforms. The DF antenna for the bridge roof gets built up, and if you are fitting them the mini gun enclosures. Last up are the decoys and their ejector racks. The gun goes on the fore deck and the forward Sea Wolf launcher behind it in front of the bridge. The main fore mast is next with the main radar on top followed by the many PE arms and other parts including a navigation radar being fitted. The Sat Com antennas are fitted to the Engine intake block, here there are PE railings to fit and also ladders which go on the front of the intake covers. The rear mast is next with the main antenna pole and antenna array being fitted to the top. Here again there are many PE arms to the mast and smaller fittings. To the front of the hanger the crane for the ships boats is fitted, and the boats in the landing area there. Along all the main decks PE railings are fitted with netting type areas next to the 30mm deck fittings. There are also life raft canisters to fit to the deck. There are also man overboard life ring ejectors to fit. Moving aft the rear deck goes on, and to the starboard side of the hanger the ships gangway. Above this go additional life rafts and the fuel can stowage racks to the inflatable boats. Above the hanger and on the rear Sea Wolf Radar platform more railings go on. Forward of the hanger deck there is another small boat crane, and forward of that the two triple torpedo tubes. Moving back to the flight deck the harpoon grid is fitted to the centre, and around the outsides the flight deck netting is fitted. If you want to close the hanger then a PE door is supplied for this. The aft Sea Wolf launcher is fitted to the hanger roof. Next we move to the lower hull with two stabiliser fins being added to each side. The propeller shafts go on, with the props on the ends and the ships rudder behind these. We now jump back to the main deck. Davits are made up for the main ships boats. There is also a late fit RHIB platform to be fitted on the port side of the funnel These are for the late fit Pacific 24 RHIBs which replaced the Cheverton on the starboard side. The data link radome is now added to the front of the hanger deck. For Campbeltown use the solid mast, for other ships cut the radome off and use the PE lattice mast. Decals The single decal sheet contains the main pennant numbers and ships names for the 4 ships as well as Ships Crests, Flags, Ensigns, draft marks and helicopter landing markings. Conclusion Well, Atlantic Models have done it again, producing a kit that fills another hole in the Royal Navy Cold War story, that of the last of the Type 22s. This is not a kit for the novice but it will with time and care build into a great looking model. Very Highly Recommended. This last shot shows the main upper casting with the main parts added as a dry fit to show how well the fit and to give an idea of how the kit will end up looking even without all the detail parts fitted. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  3. This is my build of the AFV Club 1/700 kit of the Knox class frigates. The kit comes with 6 options of markings, but I chose to represent USS Elmer Montgomery (FF-1082) because it served in the Atlantic. The Knox class frigates were frequent visitors of my home city of Rio de Janeiro, and on a few occasions I had the privilege of coming on board. I have fond memories of these ships designed for the tough job of escorting transatlantic convoys against soviet submarines swarming down the GIUK gap, in case the Cold War turned hot. This is a nice and affordable kit that gives you an accurately shaped representation of these ships, but not without problems (for a build report, and more photos, check my web site; address in the signature panel below). It is also a bit light on detail, and with next to zero instructions for painting. I intended to enhance the model by using a photoetch set, but ended up not using most of it, given that the sizes of the parts were incorrectly represented. The railing I used was generic (Big Blue Boy 1/700 modern USN set), and other parts were scratch-built (e.g. details of the masts, aerials). The decals provided in the kit were a bit all over the place, some oversized (e.g. the ship's name on the stern) and some undersized (e.g. the red cycles around the ASROC and CIWS), so a few had to be home-printed (with mixed results). The rigging was done using human hair. The seascape base was inspired by photos of FF-1082 off the coast of Norway in 1988 (see image below, from navsource.org). Given that the sea was a bit choppy I did not think it was appropriate to leave the helicopter on the pad, so I represented it overflying the ship, propped up by a glass capillary tube. Best regards Marcello
  4. I will probably be building this ship next, Trumpeter 1/350 HMS Montrose Type 23 Frigate. Does anyone know what colours to paint her ? Only two colours really I guess, vertical surfaces and horizontal. I’ve got a fair collection of Tamiya Acrylic paint, so if anyone knows the closest to correct colour I can use I would be most grateful. Jon
  5. Somewhere in the South Atlantic May 1982... This is my 1/350 build of three of the ships in the RNs Falklands task force, there are two scratch builds, and one minor conversion, plus huge amounts of detail on all three. I don't want to think about the amount of time I've spent over the past 5 1/2 years... Starting with the complete scene: From left to right: HMS Broadsword, HMS Hermes and HMS Yarmouth HMS Hermes and Yarmouth are both scratch built from plans Weathering on both was closely based on photos from the time to get the weather worn look of two of the oldest ships in the fleet. Many of the details are from WEM and Atlantic Models etched brass sets, but I also learnt to etch at home for unique pieces including H's mast, crane, davits and some antenna. Around 230 figures are spre​ad across the 3 ships, mostly on the flight deck HMS Broadsword was a conversion of the OOP WEM HMS Brilliant kit, the main change being the funnel, plus a wealth of detailing. the seascape is modelling clay plus acrylic medium and teased out cotton wool for the foam and spray. The base was lined with plasticard to get a mid-ocean swell adding a bit more interest and action Finally for this post a couple of overhead shots, Broadsword is approaching to start taking on fuel from Hermes' starboard quarter, Yarmouth steaming past on the port-side. Both escorts are really a bit close, but the base is the largest I could fit in my cabinets (to the millimetre) and the navy have been known to bend ships every so often so it's not impossible. Next up some detail shots. If anyone has missed the WiP and would like to see the history on this one, here's the thread: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234927178-operation-corporate-carrier-battlegroup-1350 Andrew
  6. Having got my build of HMS Phoebe out of the way, it is time to move on to my third and favourite ship; HMS Somerset on which I served from December 1994 to May 1998. Somerset is the 11th Type 23 Frigate (although her yard number was T23-12). I joined the ship whist she was in build in Glasgow and had the privilege of being part of the team that brought the ship to life. I am intending to model Somerset as she was in the period 1997 to 1998 and the starting point is the Trumpeter 1:350 HMS Kent kit and White Ensign (now Atlantic Models) Etched brass. I am hoping that unlike my model of HMS Phoebe that this will be a more straight forward kit build, although there are subtleties in the ships of the class which will no doubt require some attention. I will point these out during the build but I know there will be very little need for scratch building. I need to say at the outset this is my first build at 1:350 scale and I am hoping the larger scale will be “easier” than my previous attempt at 1:600. First steps, building the hull; I had previously started the model with the intention of having a full hulled model and then I abandoned it. But having successfully built Phoebe in the intervening period I have changed my mind and I have decided to convert the model to waterline as I think ship models look best when they are portrayed in their element. Unfortunately this necessitated a serious hack, once the waterline had been established. Before hack: After hack: and cleaned up:
  7. Resin kit from Combrig models in 1/700 scale. Built in 3 days. I used acrlyc paint for deck and hull and Humbrol enamel black for gun barrels and ancor. It was not easy to assemble this ship due the bad instructions. Brush painted. The mast could have been more detailed with more antennas and the gun turrets don t match the original soviet AK 726 but it's OK since this is the only yugolsav ship on market. Enjoy Historical facts The VPBR-31 BEOGRAD (serb. VPBR-veliki patrolni brod, eng. large patrol vessel) is a modified soviet Koni class frigate (PROEKT 1159). The ship was laid down in January 1978 in soviet shipyard in Zelenodolsk. It was completed in 1979 and etnered the Soviet black fleet as Sokol. In 1980 it was renamed into Split, a large town on Yugoslav coast. It entered service in Yugoslav navy in 1980. In 1982 four antiship missile launchers were added on the stern for SS-N-2 Styx missiles. After that it was reclassified as missile firgate. VPBR-31 suffered an engine failure in 1988 during the sail across the Adriatic. It was overhauled in 1990. When the war broke out this ship was used to fight against Coratian paramilitary across the Adriatic coast. It supported convoys and the naval blockade of the coast. The most fearsome battle was the Battle of the Split in 1991. Croats claimed that they have damadged the ship but that was not true since there was no traces or scratches on the hull. During the operation Sharp guard VPBR was the only ship resistant to NATO electronic jamming since it had analog radars and electric systems on board. In 1993 ship changed it's name to Beograd. In 2001 it was withdrawn form active service and it was offerd for sale. Since nobody was interested it was sold to in 2013 and scrapped in Albania. VPBR-31 had a sister ship... VPBR-32 Koper, later Podgorica. Hope you liked it.
  8. Royal Navy Rothesay Class Frigate. pics of HMS Plymouth F126. First pic is crown copyright and only used to show the overall outline of the vessel. The rest of the pictures are thanks to the team at Scale Warship.com, and taken while she was on display at Birkenhead Docks.
  9. Hi, Another model recently arrived at my yard: the FREMM Aquitaine Frigate - French Navy (Marine Nationale) by Gwylan Models at 1/700 scale. This is my personal review about this kit. Hope you like. The real ship: The Aquitaine ASW frigate is the first ship of FREMM (European Multi-Mission Frigate) class operated by the Marine Nationale (French Navy or “La Royale”), which also includes the ER (Extended Range) version. As for the Italian Navy FREMM, both GP (General Purpose) and ASW (Anti-submarine Warfare) versions of this ship are now in service, but they have different armament and sensors configurations as well as dimensions. The FREMM Aquitaine has a displacement of 6.000 tons, length of 142m, beam of 20m, maximum speed of 28knots and range of 6,000nm with a cruising speed of 15knots. Each vessel can accommodate an NH90 ASW helicopter and carries two RHIBs for commando operations located in closed bays in each side of the ship. The ship has a crew of 108 but can accommodate a maximum of 180. To date only the ASW version has been exported for the Royal Moroccan Navy which purchased its Mohammed VI FREMM frigate in 2014. Although similar to the Aquitaine, does not include the VLS for the SCALP Naval cruise missiles as well the jammers and 20 mm guns Nexter Narwhal / Remote Weapon Systems. The Egyptian navy is also due to receive the FREMM Normandie from the French Navy inventory, although negotiations are still proceeding by now. More information: http://navalanalyses.blogspot.pt/2014/07/aquitaine-class-fremm-frigates-of.html http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/fremm/ The kit: The 1/700 French FREEM Aquitaine (ASW) is the third FREMM kit released by Gwylan Models after the Italian FREMM Carlo Bergamini (GP and ASW versions), whose review is available at the following link: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234978156-fremm-carlo-bergamini-gwylan-models-1700/?p=2000421 The kit includes: • Single piece waterline resin hull; • Main sprue with all resin parts; • Complete PE set with parts to be applied on the hull; • Resin sprue with 2x NH-90 Caïman Helicopters parts; • PE Set for 2x NH-90 Caïman Helicopters; • Decal sheet for 8 ships of this class; • Instruction sheet. Hull: This kit is cast as a single piece waterline resin hull, with excellent moulded details including the VLS cells, air vents and life raft canisters, among others. As happened with previous models the sample I’ve got is almost perfect although the hull requires minor corrections, but nothing serious. Resin Parts: There is a single resin sprue for the remaining parts to be applied on the hull, which include among others: • Mast; • Thales Herakles 3D multifunction (phased array) radar; • OTO Melara 76/62 mm gun; • EXOCET MM-40 missile canisters (4x); • 20 mm guns Nexter Narwhal / Remote Weapon Systems (2x); • Multiple Sensors, radars and SAT Domes; • Decoy and jammers systems; • Gun Directors; • RHIB’s (2x); • Etc. As for the two NH-90 Caïman helicopters the quality is superb and allowing two different configurations to be built (unfolded and folded) with a specific photo etch parts. Photo Etch: The photo etch set is very complete and includes railings, antennas, mast yards, helicopter safety nets, doors for the RHIB bays areas on each side of the model, etc. An extra photo etch set is provided just for the NH-90 Caïman helicopters and includes the main and tail rotor blades for two helicopters, with two sets for the folded option and one set for the extend version as well as the tail horizontal stabilizers. Decals: Gwylan Models provides a very compete and sharply rendered decal sheet (hull numbers, helo deck markings as well as the ship nameplates) allowing the modellers to build one of the following ships: • D650 Aquitaine • D651 Normandie • D652 Provence • D653 Languedoc • D654 Auvergne • D655 Alsace • D656 Bretagne • D657 Lorraine Instructions: As always, the instruction sheet included very clear and provides via a systematic methodology a very simple and easy approach to build model. The location of the decals and PE parts are also very clear, and the only step on this building that requires extra attention is highly detailed mast, which requires 12 PE parts to be fixed. Painting Scheme: Although no specific colours reference is indicated in the instructions sheet, the manufacturer suggest Vallejo Model Colour 153 Pale Grey Blue for the hull and other “vertical” surfaces, deck houses, masts, funnel, etc. As for the decks and other horizontal surfaces (flight deck included) the Vallejo 163 Model Colour Dark Sea Green could be a good option. Conclusion: Yet another fantastic Gwylan Models kit that I’m sure it will please many modellers looking for modern 1/700 scale model warships, in particular for the FREMM fans! Moreover, for those fans, Gwylan Models will release the 4th version of the FREMM series, and the 2nd version of the French FREMM. In fact the so-called FREMM-ER (Extended Range) will be also available at 1/700 scale at the same time as the ASW version. So both versions will be available in the next few days. It seems that we will be able to get the all family! This kit will be available (together with the FREMM-ER) in the next few days at Gwylan Model website for £27,50 (about €35,75) and as all other kits of the FREMM series, has an excellent price for such a highly resin kit with photo etch parts and decals for all ships of the class. Check other Gwylan Models kits at the website: http://www.gwylanmodels.com or facebook https://www.facebook.com/gwylanmodels Now, some photos: Higher resolution photo: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7753/17574772703_56c4ea76ea_o.jpg Higher resolution photo: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8844/18008061820_04b8bbf8c0_o.jpg Higher resolution photo: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8857/18196558521_9b4a786dab_o.jpg Thanks. Regards, Ayala Botto
  10. This is my build of HMS Phoebe as she was from 1988 to 1989 when I served on her for my apprentice sea time. I started last October and have been posting this as a work in progress on another forum not realising its North American slant. It was through some of those who were kind enough to comment on my efforts that I discovered Britmodeller. As a new member to this forum I thought I should share my attempt at converting the venerable Airfix kit to a Towed Array Leander. A subject matter I think that is more suitable and probably has more appreciation for on this forum. Whilst the build is still very much a work in progress I have taken the opportunity to edit my postings in order to improve their quality (and to remove any references to self-doubts and disasters). For those of you who are following this on the other forum, my apologies for the duplication. For those of you who are seeing this for the first time what follows are the trials and tribulations of my attempt at converting the Airfix Leander kit. An introduction: HMS Phoebe had 3 guises over her life; starting off with a gun followed by Exocet conversion and finally with a Towed Array sonar. The starting point for this project is as I previously mentioned is the Airfix kit of HMS Leander at 1/600 scale. This has been festering in a drawer having been bought many years ago. The trigger to me undertaking this project was seeing a super detailed version of the Pit Road HMS Sheffield at 1:700. I thought that would look good on my desk and I should have a go at doing something like that. So I dug out some not so relevant Jecobin drawings of HMS Penelope that had been scavenged from a long forgotten source and I bought the White Ensign Models PE set. I spent a sum total of 0 hour 0 minutes planning for this exercise, which in hindsight was not a bad thing. Had I considering what I was about to undertake I probably wouldn’t have done it! And now for the pictures: First steps; building the hull, filling the wells and building the Towed array sponson. I have converted the model to waterline as I want to present my model in her element. Also all the deck fittings aft of the fo’c’tsle break were removed and replaced with scratch built items take into account the impact of the Towed Array sponson and the Exocet launchers. I should mention now, this build requires a plentiful supply of Plastistruct and Evergreen building materials as will soon become evident. Next installment to follow very soon
  11. Leander Class Frigate Atlantic Models1:350 Peters HMS Cleopatra in 1:350 shown as a guide Although the Airfix 1:600 HMS Leander hasnt been re-released since 1992, there are still a few available on the internet and Im sure a fair number lurking away in the stashes of BM members. Well, nows the time to get them out of the stashes and start building them with the beautiful etched brass detail set from Atlantic Models. The set comes in a white envelope with a card insert to prevent the sheet from being damaged in the post and some very descriptive instruction sheet. The single sheet measures 146mm x 97mm and contains over eighty parts to add that much needed fine detail to the kit. Aside from a full complement of ships railings, each shaped and sized to fit their specific positions, although some will need to be bent to fit, there are also a full set of flightdeck and hanger roof netting which can be positioned folded or upright. Some scratchbuilding is still required to bring the kit up to the correct standard of weapons fit and this is particularly shown with the need to build the Corvus chaff launcher enclosures. The set includes a base and two templates for which to shape the 20thou plastic card needed to build the enclosure up. Slightly less intensive is the modification of the kits Seacat launcher which is clearly explained in the instructions and which are further detailed with the four etched Seacats and the launchers guide frames. The two 20mm Oerlikons are also provided along with the Corvus launchers. The foremast upper pole section will look great when assembled, but will be quite fiddly in this scale, what with all its antenna. The rest of the foremast is also fully detailed, with a complete array of yardarms, platforms, platform railings and aerials, whilst the funnel is also fitted out with a pair of yardarms. The set also includes the dan bouys that were always carried, along with the liferaft racks and davits for the ships boats. The main mast is also given the full treatment with a complete array of yardarms, platforms, and aerials. Talking of aerials, ok radar arrays the Type 965 bedstead array is a complicated and tricky build in 1:350, well the same can be said for this one, only more so. A nice touch is that if you want to build a Dutch Leander then the set includes the Hollandse LW-02 radar array, which, it has to be said that its a lot easier to assemble. The two SCOT domes are provided with new platforms, and depending on the type of Leander you are build the SCOT domes were replaced by whip aerials, for which you will have to fashion out of styrene sheet. To the rear of the ship, the hanger is provided with a new door and floodlighting bar. The Variable Depth Sonar, (VDS), well is fitted with three cable drums, the frames of which are included, you just provide the styrene rod, or sprue to make the drums. The VDS itself is scratchbuilt to the dimensions given in the instructions and fitted with the etched cradle, while the VDS frame with its pit head cable gear is all provided. The paravane derrick is also included and fitter to the port side of the quarterdeck. Lastly the Wasp helicopter is provided with new undercarriage legs and wheels, stabiliser, plus main and tail rotors. Conclusion This set is exactly what we have come to expect from Peter Hall of Atlantic Models. Comprehensive, detailed and very delicate, just what the Airfix kit has been crying out for to bring it bang up to date. As usual, care and patience are the order of the day when using etched brass, but itll be worth it. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  12. Completed Model Post. Here are some pictures of my model of HMS Phoebe, a Towed Array Leander class frigate as she was in 1989 when I served on board her for my Apprentice sea time. The model is a conversion of the 1:600 Airfix kit with White Ensign Photo Etch detailing and some scratch built enhancements. A detailed build log can be found here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234976345-hms-phoebe-f42/ Enjoy.
  13. HMS Cleopatra Atlantic Models 1:350 The Leander class was the UKs most successful frigate design. This design combined operational flexibility with excellent sea-keeping in affordable ships that were adaptable to new requirements. Leander s were very active with Royal Navy aircraft carrier task forces and in other operations. This section covers the RN ships as built. A separate section covers these ships as modernized. In the late 1950s the naval construction directorate added air conditioning and a helicopter facility to a Rothesay (Type 12) design intended for New Zealand. Features brought forward from the Type 12 design included the hull shape, the engineering plant, and part of the armament. Elimination of deck-mounted tubes for the cancelled Mk 20E heavy torpedo permitted a larger superstructure while still leaving paths on deck for underway replenishment. In a new seawater-compensating fuel system, fuel tanks once emptied of black oil could be refilled with seawater to maintain proper trim. This eliminated the Type 12's separate water-ballast trim tanks and permitted the relocation of heavy equipment in their stead low in the ship. Both diesel electrical generators were relocated from the forecastle to a lower location forward of the boiler room. Their exhaust vented through ducts in the foremast, which was stepped further forward than in the Type 12. With the resulting increased stability margin and the additional internal space, the designers added a large operations center, the helicopter facility, variable-depth sonar (VDS), long-range air-search radar, more-capable communications, a centralized galley, active stabilizer fins, and provision for Sea Cat missiles for close-range air defence. The Admiralty, greatly liking this design, ordered conversion to it of an authorized Type 61 frigate and of three Type 12 frigates on the building ways. These became the first four Leanders. The Leander class never had a frigate type number, in particular not Type 12M. Type-numbering of new designs was functionally irrelevant after the RN abandoned the mobilization strategy in 1954. During the 10-year construction program the installed armament varied.. The Canadian-developed combination of variable-depth sonar and a ship-based helicopter was intended to equalize the fight against fast submarines. With VDS, the helicopter, and the improved operations room, Leanders could engage submarines at longer range, which improved the probability for detecting submarines and gave more time to engage. Seven of the first 10 ships mounted imported Canadian SQS-504 VDS as Sonar Type 199 and four later ships mounted British-built licensed copies. Other ships carried the hoisting gear for the VDS but never received transducers. The first ten ships retained the Y-100 steam propulsion plant of the Type 12 and Type 14 frigates. The next six, Phoebe through Danae, had a Y-136 improved propulsion plant. The final ten ships mounted the same armament as the preceding ships but featured a Y-160 automated propulsion plant and a wider hull for modernization. The RN built 26 Leanders and other navies built 18. This total of 44 set the post-1945 record for construction to one design among frigates and larger warships outside the United States and Russia. Elaborate finish was arguably wasteful but perhaps good appearance contributed to foreign naval orders for Leanders. Exclusive of weapons, in the mid-1960s construction cost about the same per ton as for the contemporary USN Knox-class (DE/FF 1052) frigates. The Leander program reportedly bolstered American political enthusiasm in the 1960s and 1970s for frigates, although the U.S. Navy designs had no technical connection with the British ships. Newer warships derived from the Leander design have included HMS Bristol, the RN Type 22 frigates, and the Indian Godaviri and Bramhaputra classes. HMS Cleopatra, was the last ship of the first batch of the Leander class and was laid down at HM Dockyard, Devonport on 19th June 1963. She was launched on 25th March 1964 and commissioned into service on 4th January 1966. Cleo as she became known joined the 2nd Destroyer Squadron of the Far East Fleet to where she was deployed for the first part of her career. This also involved taking station off the coast of Mozambique on the famous Beira patrol, which was designed to prevent oil from reaching the landlocked Rhodesia, who had unilaterally declared independence. During 1969, HMS Cleopatra was one of the 5 ships escorting HMAS Melbourne when the Melbourne was involved in the catastrophic collision with the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans and became involved in the subsequent rescue operation. Early 1972 saw Cleo on escort duties for Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philips tour of South East Asia, then in 1973 she was assigned to the North Atlantic area to protect British trawlers from the Icelandic gun boats during the second Cod War. HMS Cleopatra then began her mid life refit, during which she had her twin 4.5 Mk6 Turret removed and replaced with a bank of four Exocet missile box launchers. She and HMS Penelope were the only Batch 1 Leanders to have this modification, as the other eight were converted for Ikara. In 1982 saw Cleo in refit again having the large Towed Array Sensor equipment fitted to the stern and the superstructure modified with the larger hangar to accommodate the Lynx helicopter that was replacing the Wasp on all small ships. The mortar well was plated over to make a larger flight deck for Lynx operations. She continued to carry out her duties through the 1980s though she was starting to show her age by the early 90s. On January 31st 1992 HMS Cleopatra was decommissioned and sold for scrap the following year. The Model After the magnificent release of HMS Glamorgan Peter Hall has now released what is probably one of the most sought after classes in 1:350, the Leander Class frigate HMS Cleopatra. The model comes in the standard sturdy cardboard box with a picture of HMS Cleopatra on the top. On opening the modeller is confronted with a sea of polystyrene chips. Carefully emptying the box will reveal two ziplock bags, one with the metal parts in and the other with the resin parts. Well wrapped in bubblewrap is the main superstructure, and hull, which is in two parts, split at the waterline so that either a full hull or waterline model can be built. At the bottom of the box are the etched brass sheet, which is quite large considering the size of the kit, a CD containing the instructions and the decal sheet. As we have come to expect from peters work, both with Atlantic models and the greatly missed White Ensign Models the casting of the resin hull is superb with no sign of even a pinhole bubble. The amount of detail on the upper hull has to seen to be believed and must have taken the moulding to the edge of what is possible or casting defect. There are some small moulding pips, all on the join of the two hull parts, so easily removed without damaging any of the detail, and a quick test fitting showed that the fit between upper and lower hull is pretty darn good, considering the problems that different shrink rates can cause. That said you will probably need to do a little bit of fettling to get a perfect fit and to remove the join line. The lower hull is moulded with the propeller shaft fairings moulded into the stern, and also a pair of very fine strakes either side pluse what look like two sonar domes, one a lot shallower than the other. The main forward superstructure is also beautifully moulded with some very fine details and includes pretty much all of the fixtures in place. The resin fittings provided include the funnel, hanger roof, with director mount, twin 4.5 turret, foremast, mainmast, chaff launcher enclosures, 27 Whaler, 25 Cheverton motor boat, Gemini inflatable, punt, although in the review example two have been provided, mortar mounting base, Limbo mortar, forward director mounting and a lovely looking Wasp helicopter fuselage http://www.britmodeller.com/reviews/atlanticmodels/cleopatra/bridgejpg The metal parts look pretty good and are well moulded, but theres still the problem of having quite a bit of flash. This shouldnt put the modeller off as they are easy to clean up and do really look the part. The metal parts provided are the two 4.5 gun barrels, Corvus chaff launchers, GWS22 Directors, aft director tub, Seacat launcher, 993 radar array, 978 radar array, VDS body, Liferaft canisters, a choice of either early or late foretop mast array, anchors, propeller shaft A frame supports, searchlights, rudders, Stabiliser fins, and aft deck windlass. Etch Sheet The large single sheet of relief etched brass is packed full of the finer details that go to make these models a delight to view when built. As well as a full ship set of railings, the sheet contains items such as the liferaft canister shelves and racks, the stays, plates, panel and screen for the 965 bedstead radar array, boat davit support frame and upper section, single 20mm Oerlikon mountings, Dan buoy, glidepath indicator light, bridge roof davit, chaff launcher flare guns, propeller blades, early and late mast top arrays, main mast gaff, anchors, should you not want to use the resin ones, prop guard buffers, sword and shield antenna, RAS gantries, Seacat missiles and launch rails, ships nameplates, foremast and main mast yards, platforms, foremast DF antenna, fuel can stowage racks, vertical ladder stock, anchor chain stock. The prominent Variable Depth Sonar parts include the body side fins, gantry pit head wheel, pit head stays, side arm, body cradle, and centre bracing, whilst the Wasp helicopter is fitted out with undercarriage parts, main and tail rotor blades, main rotor control linkages, and flotation device pods. Decals The decal sheet is very nicely printed, and its a pleasure to see a kit like this come with decals. Apart from the obligatory Union Flag and White Ensign, the sheet includes enough numbers to produce any of the class pennant numbers for both sides and stern. Also included are each of the ships names for the port and starboard quarter, their code letters for the flightdeck plus the other flightdeck markings which include two types of landing circle and finally the depth markings for the ships sides. The Wasp helicopter is also provided with decals, and these include the roundels, Royal Navy titles, and the helicopters specific number, which changed when changing ship and for which there is a very useful list of what serials went with what ship. You will need a good pair of magnifying glasses to read which number is which though. Conclusion It has been a long time coming, but at last we have a Leander class frigate in our midst, and what a blinder it is too. Peter is a one man band, but his craftsmanship and attention to detail on these cold war classics is second to none. Of course it does help a little that he served his time in the RN/FAA when these ships were in service so hes got no excuse to get things wrong, (I say this as an ex-FAA man myself, although with a memory thats obviously fading quicker than his). These arent throw together kits, but they are well designed and with a good dose of patience and quite a bit of care they shouldnt cause too much trouble for anyone of intermediate skills and above. What you will get at the end of a rewarding build is a super model of a wonderful ship. The idea of having the instructions on CD is good as it does mean that you can blow them up to make them easier to read although if you need to, you can get a paper version on request. Peter is already working on modifications for the Ikara fit and may even release another of the Exocet and Seawolf fits, so theres more Leanders to look forward to, I cant wait. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  14. HMS Montrose Type 23 Frigate Trumpeter 1:350 The current HMS Montrose is the eighth of the sixteen ship Type 23 or 'Duke' class of frigates, of the Royal Navy, named after the Duke of Montrose. She was laid down in November 1989 by Yarrow Shipbuilders on the Clyde, and was launched on 31 July 1992 by Lady Rifkind (when, as Mrs Edith Rifkind, her husband Sir Malcolm Rifkind was Secretary of State for Defence). She commissioned into service in June 1994. HMS Montrose is part of the Devonport Flotilla, based in Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth. Deployments in the 1990s include her first trip to the South Atlantic, as Falkland Islands Guard ship, which ended in October 1996. Her first visit to the City of Dundee was in Easter 1997. Several NATO deployments followed, and in early 2002, Montrose returned to the Falklands on the now-renamed Atlantic Patrol Task (South) deployment, during which divers from Montrose replaced the White Ensign on Antelope, which was sunk during the Falklands War. On her return from this deployment, she conducted her first refit period (RP1), which was completed in early January 2004. Montrose deployed in 2006 to the Persian Gulf on Operation Telic in the first half of 2006. After returning to the UK for personnel changes and maintenance, from 8 January to 27 July 2007, Montrose then deployed for seven months to the Mediterranean Sea as the UK contribution to the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2). As part of this group, she participated in NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour (OAE), countering terrorist activity in the Mediterranean and preventing smuggling and other illegal activity. After Summer Leave, the ship headed to Scotland to take part in Exercise Neptune Warrior, during which time she was visited by Prince Michael of Kent, Honorary Rear Admiral of the Royal Naval Reserve, on 24 September 2007. Following Operational Sea Training, Montrose deployed again to the Middle East on 12 March 2008 to join Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, operating in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Activity in this deployment included Exercise KhunjarHaad, a multi-national exercise held in the Gulf of Oman, and (working with Chatham, Edinburgh and RFA Argus the seizure of over 23 tonnes of drugs including cocaine, hashish, amphetamines and opiates. She returned home on 3 October 2008, and after operating in UK waters, commenced a £15,000,000 upkeep package at Rosyth in early 2009. This second refit package (RP2) included a number of major capability upgrades for the ship, including the first fitting of the Royal Navy’s newest command system, DNA(2), and the replacement of the two old manually-operated 30mm guns with two 30mm DS30M Mark 2 Guns. Having rejoined the ship on 20 July 2009, the Ship's Company conducted post-refits trials until January 2010, and Montrose was formally accepted back into the Fleet on 11 February 2010. After operational sea training Montrose deployed to Arabian Sea in summer 2010 to conduct anti-piracy operations, highlights of which included the November 2010 destruction of a Somalian pirate ship by the ships Lynx helicopter while on patrol off the coast of Somalia and the disruption of several pirate attacks on merchant ships. In October 2011, Montrose deployed again to the South Atlantic, during which she was due to visit Callao, Peru in March 2012, but the Peruvian government cancelled the visit, according to the Foreign Minister, as a gesture of solidarity with Argentina over the Falklands. After visits to New Orleans and Bermuda in March and April 2012, Montrose returned to the UK in May 2012. In July 2012, the ship acted as the escort vessel for HM the Queen during her Diamond Jubilee visit to Cowes. The Model The kit comes packaged in a very sturdy box with an artists representation of the Montrose at mid pace at sea on the top. Inside there are eleven sprues and two hull pieces of light grey styrene, one sprue of clear styrene, one sheet of etched brass and a small decal sheet. Each sprue is protected in their own poly bag. All the parts are very well moulded, with no sign of flash and only a few moulding pips. Detail appears to be very crisp throughout and quite a lot of use of slide moulding technology has been used on the kit, particularly on the superstructure parts. This is the second Type 23 frigate Trumpeter has released. The first, HMS Kent being released this time last year with quiet acclaim from maritime modellers. It would have been expected that the Montrose release would have been for a later period in the ships career, but it appears that this is not so. The only difference between this and the Kent are the decals, which is a rather cynical way of maximising profits in this reviewers opinion. So, the modeller gets the old Mk 8 MOD 0 turret and manned 30mm mounts, instead of the Kryten style Mk 8 MOD 1 and DSM30 Mk2 mounts even though these are shown on the box art. Having looked through the instructions it appears the Siren decoy canisters are also missing from the platforms either side of the forward bridge structure. The build begins with the fitting of the two part sonar dome and bow anchor, along with the keel strakes and stabiliser fins amidships. Moving aft, the two single piece propeller shafts, with A frames moulded together are attached to their relative positions, then fitted with the scimitar bladed propellers. The two rudders are then attached to the hull, as is the transom with separate variable depth sonar hawse pipe/guide. Turning the hull over the deck piece with indented quarterdeck is fitted. The quarterdeck is then detailed with the forward bulkhead whilst three individual supports are fitted to the starboard side and a single piece fitted to the port side, whilst a capstan is fitted centrally. Up forward, the two piece port anchor is fitted to its hawse pipe. Completing the deck/hull is carried out by the fitting of the rear flightdeck/quarterdeck head and the optional ensign staff. On the foredeck the bow hawse pipe, jack staff, breakwater and anchor capstans are fitted. Around the deck edge twelve cleats and bollards are attached, whilst amidships two winches are fitted. Next up is the construction of the complicated foremast. This is extensively made up of etched brass details added to the main styrene parts. Take your time with the etched parts, as they are a little bit fiddly and mistakes will be very noticeable. With the foremast done there are several sub-assemblies to be built up, such as the platforms for the bridge structure, SCOT domes, bridge roof, harpoon launchers, and the two Type 996 radar mountings. The upper bridge structure is then built up out of the single piece superstructure, bridge roof, rear SCOT wings, SCOT domes, and several lockers on both sides. The lower bridge structure is made up of the deck, two sides, front and rear. Onto the deck the SRBOC launchers are fitted as are the four aldis lamps, a pair of liferings and the two platforms per side. The upper structure is then fitted to the lower and the foremast fitted to rear of the upper section. The completed assembly is then put to one side and the build moves onto the centre section. The centre superstructure is made up of a single piece lower section with all but the starboard side moulded together. The missing side is then fitted and an extra section of decking is added on top. On the underside the wing supports are added, whilst topsides the boat cranes, RIBs, 30mm cannon mountings and several miscellaneous parts are added. The forepart of the structure is then fitted into position. The funnel is then built up with the main section fitted with the two sides. On top the six exhausts are fitted and a radome added to the front of the structure. The completed funnel is then attached to and completing the centre superstructure. The last main section of superstructure is the hanger. This is again a slide moulded part which just needs the starboard side added to complete the main part. Internal bulkhead detail is then added, as is the hanger door. For this to be posed open it needs to be cut down to size before fitting. On the outside there are four platforms to be fitted, two per side. The main mast is built up, again using quite a bit of etched brass and fitted to the hanger roof along with the aft 996 radar mounting and roof wind deflectors. With all main superstructure sections fitted to the main deck it’s on with the final bits to be added, these include the vertical launch silo structure for the Sea Wolf missiles. This is fitted forward of the bridge, and forward of the VLS is the 4.5” Mk8 MOD 0 gun turret, consisting of the outer shell, gun mount and gun. The Lynx helicopter is produced in Trumpeters usual fashion of clear styrene and is made up of the main fuselage with moulded nose wheel, main wheels and their sponsons, two torpedoes, the separate tail with tail rotor and wing, also separate. The modeller has the option of having the helicopter in folded or extended pose, but there aren’t any stabilisers included for the folded rotors. Being a full hull model only there is a strong modular stand with a separate nameplate for the model to be displayed on. Etch The etched brass sheet is really quite thin and nasty. The review example was already creased, even though it was in a protective sleeve with cardboard backing. The parts included are only for the yardarms, radar mounting railings, harpoon launcher mountings and a few aerials and platforms. There are no railings or flight deck edge netting that really is needed to complete the model. Decals The small decal sheet has most of the markings required for the ship, namely the pennant numbers, flight deck markings, depth markings, funnel crowns, ships crest for the front of the bridge, ships nameplates for either side just beneath the quarterdeck, Union and Ensign flags and finally the flotilla markings for the funnel. The decals are well produced; they are in good register with thin backing film and good opacity. Conclusion This a very nice looking kit, and apart from the etched parts, it looks like it should go together with minimal fuss. It is a shame that Trumpeter didn’t include the later turret and 30mm cannon particularly as the ship is shown in this MOD state on the box art, which is really a bit misleading to the casual purchaser. Fortunately the likes of White Ensign Models have released their full etched set for these kits which will also add the important railings and deck edge netting. They have also released a Mk8 MOD 1 Kryten turret and the siren decoy launchers which really shouldn’t have been missed by Trumpeter as they are actually quite prominent. So, not perfect, but certainly a good basis to build upon. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Type 23 Frigate HMS Richmond F239, pics thanks to David H
  16. Wonderland Models are now taking orders for the new Trumpeter HMS Montrose F236 Type 23 Frigate Model Kit in 1/350 scale. Looks a beauty!
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