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Found 172 results

  1. An exercice of style with this oceanic vignette made in a GB initiate in my modelling club of witch i'm a recent member. I was very curious of making such a stuff. the trumpeter kit is stunning and i had just replaced the masts. It was a pleasure to paint and weathering it. There is some scratch work on the Glen. Most of all, i'm very proud of the albatross And the final result : See you ! Fabrice https://www.facebook.com/Fabrice-Simon-104518141316306
  2. HMS Roberts Trumpeter 1/350 History HMS Roberts was the first of a two ship class of 15” Monitors. Her keel was laid on April 30th 1940 at John Browns shipyard on the Clyde, and was launched on the 1st of February 1941. HMS Roberts was commissioned, six months late, (due mainly to have repairs made good on damage caused during an air raid), on 6th October 1941, she left Clydebank three days later for the Gareloch where she was dry docked in a floating dock brought up specifically for the job, as no other dock was able to accommodate the Roberts extreme beam. Once trials and final adjustments had been completed, it wasn’t until 13th November that she sailed for work up and to prepare for the long voyage out to the Mediterranean via the Cape of Good Hope. She did not arrive at Suez until the 26th February 1942. She remained at Suez, acting as AA guardship, and was anchored about three miles south of the canal entrance. Her radars and AA directors, added to her design during construction, proving particularly useful, although no action was actually seen during this time. In July 1942 she moved down the Red Sea for a few weeks , before she was ordered to sail for an unspecified operation. This operation turned out to be Operation Torch, the landings in North Africa. Throughout the landings she was anchored seven miles off the coast, but didn’t fire a shot as the French fort Sidi Ferruch did not resist the allied troops. The day after the landings she acted as radar guardship, warning of the approach of any German aircraft from the direction of Tunisia. Her AA guns were used against sustained air attacks, particularly from Ju-88s. She continued in this role until the 11th, when she was hit by two 500kg bombs, one hitting the port side sloping armour on the bulge and the other just aft of the funnel. She was immobilised for two days, before repairs were completed to allow her to sail, all the time still under constant air attack. During the operation she had fired off some 30,000 rounds of AA ammunition in less than a week. With the worst of the bomb damage repaired she went back to her duties and AA guardship until finally relieved, sailing for Gibraltar and home, arriving in Liverpool on the 6th January. The rest of 1943 saw the Roberts providing both AA and 15” cover for operations around the Mediterranean including the landings at Salerno, where she bombarded enemy positions from the 9th to the 19th of September on which she sailed back to Malta to replenish her ammunition as she had fired almost her entire complement of 15” shells during the actions off the beaches. April 1944 HMS Roberts found herself back in home waters to work up for Operation Neptune and to carry out practice bombardments on the Kintyre range in company with the other ships of the bombardment fleet. Owing to her slow speed, she had to sail several days in advance of the rest of Force D, arriving at Spithead on the 28th May to await orders for the invasion fleet to sail to France. On the 5th June she sailed as part of convoy S.6, joining up with the other bombardment ships and minesweepers coming from the Clyde. The Roberts anchored in her firing position eleven miles west of LeHavre at 05.20 on the 6th of June 1944, three minutes later she opened fire from about 20,000 yards range on the Houlgate battery, which had four ex-French 155mm guns, ten miles east of Sword beach. A heavy fire was kept up on the enemy batteries until H hour. Roberts fired some twenty seven rounds during this period, but had difficulty in spotting the fall of shot due to enemy smokescreens and the failure of some armoured piercing rounds to explode in the marshy ground. Periodic fire was required throughout the day to silence any batteries that showed signs of interfering with the build up of troops, vehicles and stores on the beachhead. Most batteries though concentrated their fire on the bombardment ships rather than the flimsy landing craft. During the afternoon of D-Day Roberts made a particularly successful shoot on Houlgate, after sixteen rounds, the spotting fighter reported several direct hits and two large explosions. At 21.30 she had just started to fire on a troop concentration inland from Sword beach, when a crash was heard and a large chunk of metal was seen to fly up in front of the bridge. On ceasing fire it was found that the right 15in had burst its jacket. The jacket had split into several pieces without the whole gun bursting, so further damage was prevented by strapping it with wire rope. It wasn’t until after further action off the Seine and on targets around Caen, using only the one good barrel that she finally was sent back to Portsmouth on the 14th June with only 37 of her compliment of 235 15in rounds left and to replace her guns as the remaining barrel was also out of life. One of the replacement guns was No102, which is now to be found outside the Imperial War Museum, London. By the 21st of June Roberts was back on station on the Eastern flank of the beachhead. Up until the final day of the bombardment operation on the 18th July she continued to give covering fire throughout her operational area. To increase the range out to 30,000 yards the monitor was flooded on one side to give a three degree list to give the guns greater elevation. Roberts returned to Portsmouth on the 23rd July for the next ten weeks, to change her guns, again, give leave and repair the wear and tear of six weeks almost continuous bombardment in which she had fired 692 rounds of 15in, of which only about sixty being armoured piercing. Having completed her duties off the French coast, Roberts took part in the commando landings at Flushing and bombarded the gun emplacements around Zeebrugge. This turned out to be the last action HMS Roberts would take part in, as although she was primed at four hours notice to bombard forts on Heligoland, the operations were called off as the German defence of the Reich collapsed, and the ship’s crew celebrated VE day in Portsmouth. Allocated to the Far East Fleet, she sailed to the Mersey for a quick refit before setting sail on the 27th July 1945 bound for the Indian Ocean where she was ordered arrive before the 1st September to acclimatise before operations against Singapore. Fortunately, the dropping of the two atomic bombs precluded they use, yet she and her sister Abercrombie continued to sail Eastwards until the formal Japanese surrender. The order for the two ships to return and reduce to reserve came on the 11th September, by which time the Roberts had reached Kilindini. The Roberts finally arrived at Plymouth on the 22nd November. Whilst her sister didn’t survive long after the war, being reduced to an accommodation ship and turret drill ship in 1946 before being laid up in Fareham Creek in 1953 and scrapped in 1954/55, HMS Roberts survived quite a bit longer. After arriving in Devonport, she stayed there until 1965, being used as a turret drill ship, accommodation ship and even the headquarters of a sailing club. On the 3rd of August 1965 she arrived at the Wards berth in Inverkeithing to be scrapped. This was the end of the Big Gun Monitors in the Royal Navy after nearly 50 years of service. The Model It was a very pleasant surprise to hear of Trumpeter releasing this 1:350 kit as it would be the first time it has been done in this scale as an injection moulding. The only other option has been the fantastic, but rather expensive resin offering from White Ensign Models. Due to one thing and another we didn’t receive the kit for review until very recently, so I was eager to get the box open and see what it was like. The box lid has a nice painting of the Roberts on the gun line of one of its operations. On opening the box the modeller is confronted with seven sprues of light grey styrene, with separate hull halves and main deck. There are also three frets of etched brass, a small stand and an even smaller decal sheet. The mouldings are really nicely done with some fine detail evident throughout the sprues. There are no signs of defects and not that many moulding pips, being only seen on some of the smaller parts. Unfortunately there is quite a big fly in the ointment as, once again, Trumpeter seem to have mucked up the hull, particularly the foreward end of the bulge, which runs to far foreward on each side, to almost underneath the anchors. The whole hull doesn’t appear deep enough either, although the general shape isn’t too bad. The foreward bulge really needs to sanded away, but due to the way it’s indented this would leave a whole that will require sheeting over with plasticard and filler, probably something only the most fastidious modeller would try. Moving on to the build, construction starts with the two hull halves being joined together. Now, there are several large spurs on both hull joints and gunwhales where they have been cut away from the sprues, which have to be carefully removed before joining. Even though the hull is pretty stiff already due to the shape, Trumpeter have provided three bulkheads and two joining pins to give extra strength and also for giving the main deck somewhere to be affixed to. That said, the next step is to fix the main deck to the hull, before being turned over to have the bilge keels attached, followed by the two propeller shafts, a frames, propellers and rudders fitted into their respective positions. With the hull complete, it’s on with a raft of sub-assemblies, including windlasses, air vents, lookout binoculars, and two Type 282 directors. The weapons assemblies are then built up, the octuple and quad pom pom mounts, (the instructions appear to be wrong, in that it tells you to build two octuple mounts and one quad, whereas it should be the other way round), single 40mm mounts, (which weren’t fitted to the Roberts until 1945), include both styrene and etched parts, whereas the four twin 4” turrets and twin 20mm mounts, (only fitted to the Roberts in 1945), are purely styrene in construction. The next batch of sub-assemblies include the Type 284 directors, fitted with etched Yagi aerials, and three different styles of liferafts, stacked in twos and fours. The main 15” turret is made up of the main turret, turret base and a choice of either moveable barrels, without blast bags, or fixed, with blast bags. Putting the sub-assemblies aside, and with the hull the right way up, the breakwater and storage locker are fitted to the foredeck, along with two 40mm gun tubs. Either side of the main barbette the two quad pom pom splinter shields are fitted, whilst further back on each side the splinter shields for the 4” turrets are attached. The many and various ready use lockers, complete with etched doors are fitted in their appropriate positions, followed by the liferaft stacks. The four paravanes, windlasses, fore and aft anchors, plus their anchor chains and more ready use lockers are fitted. The build then moves onto the aft superstructure with the structures of 01 deck being glued onto the bottom structure. The etched vertical ladders are fitted, along with yet more ready use lockers, followed by the Type 284 mounts, octuple pom pom, three 40mm mounts, the emergency steering position and the twin 20mm mounts. The railings around the 02 deck structures are also attached, thoughtfully provided in the kit. Moving foreward the single piece bridge structure, (like a smaller Queen Annes Mansions seen on the likes of HMS Warspite), which is fitted out with the rear upper bridge surround, rear bridge detail plate, ready use lockers, vertical and inclined ladders, chart and wireless offices, lookout binoculars, aldis lamps, main rangefinder and bridge screen. The structure between the bridge and turret barbette is fitted out with two twin 20mm mounts, their ready use lockers and another stack of liferafts. The funnel is moulded in two halves, which, once joined together is topped out with a two piece etched funnel cap and fitted out with a number of steam pipes on the forward face. These assemblies are then attached to the main deck and at last it’s beginning to look like a warship. Before the assembly of the two masts the midships 40mm mounts are fitted in their elevated tubs, whilst either side of the turret barbette, in similar elevated mounts the two Type 282 directors are fitted. More railings around the upper decks can be fitted now, or the modeller may wish to wait till the end of the main build. The mainmast is assembled from a single pole foreward and double pole moulding aft, connected by two Y shaped struts. To the front pole a long vertical etched ladder is affixed. The top of the mast is fitted out with an oblong star platform on which the mast for the aft Type 281aerial is attached, followed by the yardarm, vertical ladder and etched radar aerial which will need some careful folding to keep everything square. The supporting rear poles of the tripod for the foremast are slid into position to the rear of the bridge structure. The fore pole fitted on top of the bridge, with the large starfish platform, (made entirely of etched parts), fixed to the top of the three poles. The spotting top is fitted onto the starfish platform along with the mast and Type 281 aerial as per the mainmast assembly. With the masts fitted into place, the 4”, 15” turrets can be fitted, as are the forward quad pom pom mounts and foredeck mounted 40mm units. Sundry items, such as the foredeck derricks, Jack Staff and Ensign Staff, ships boats, boat booms, accommodation ladders and quarterdeck derricks are attached. Finally the boat davits, acoustic hammer, (actually removed in 1945), hammer derrick and ships railings are fitted, thus completing the build. Decals The small decal sheet provides just two types of White Ensign, one wavy and one straight. Conclusion I really am quite disappointed with this kit. It had so much promise on opening the box, but Trumpeter has once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The hull, especially the extended bulge seems to have been made by the same team that made, and mucked up the same area, that designed their HMS Warspite. That flaw and the fact that the hull appears to be too shallow overall, but mostly under the waterline makes the whole ship look wrong in its proportions. The twin 20mm mounts and single 40mm Bofors, according to my references, were only fitted to the Roberts in 1945, yet the acoustic hammer was removed, (although the derrick was retained), in the refit before sailing to the Far East. If you want to build HMS Roberts as per her time at Salerno or on D-Day, at the very least you will also need to find some single 20mm mounts to replace the 40mm, another Type 282 director and pair of searchlights, which is a shame really, as the boxart shows her during her bombardment of France during D-Day. Recommended with the above caveats. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  3. This is my build of Trumpeters type 45 kit 1:350 scale. Having built the Airfix kit, which in my opinion is a bit of a dog due to how they designed the parts to fit together, or not, I was looking forward to building the more complex Trumpeter offering. As Trumpeter kits go I have seen them do better, there is more sink then usual and some issues so far with positive fit too but on the whole ok. the kit comes with a fair amount of etch much of it for surface detail such as grills and doors. I will be adding to that with the Atlantic Models etch and a gras barrel for the main gun. There is quite a bit of research material about on the net including a walk around video of HMS Duncan. there was a resent documentary on the ship and that inspired this build. HMS Duncan is the last of the Type 45s built and on leaving the hanger you will se painted on the internal door 'HMS Duncan Last and Best' So on with the build which starts with fitting the deck, which is a nice snug fit. The bulge at the bow is two parts that don't fit particularly well some filler needed on the joint and the joint with the hull. The other lower hull fittings were aded with the exception of the screws with will be added after hull painting. Just for comparison this is the difference in size net to my Type 42 destroyer The upper hull then receives some etch, all kit supplied for the hull. there is a very prominent raised line around the hull, I can find no evidence of this on any of the ships in this class so have sanded it away. My first modification is the bollards on the rear deck. They have been cast at the incorrect angle and should actually lean inward. I carefully removed them with a chisel blade and fabricated a new base for them. At this point I would normally stop and prime, fill, prime again and paint before further construction. Thats not possible with this build as the superstructure is a continuation of the hull sides. From dry fitting I can see the join is less than positive so I need to fix the superstructure in place and fill the gap first. in tern this means building as much as I can prior to first prime that will be painted the base grey without obstructing painting any deck areas, more about that in the next post Jase
  4. Hi all, my return to this corner of the forum has been a fairly overdue thing, in fact this will be only my second maritime build. Yet another impulse buy - aren't they all - from a model shop in Chichester a few weeks ago (seems like forever ago since the lock-down ), I wanted to attempt another sea-scape diorama but not have to spend ages actually putting the vessel together. This seemed to fit the bill perfectly: From a quick search of this area, I see that there are several recent builds of this kit already - I will be perusing those in due course ahead of actually doing anything for myself. What I hope to achieve is a sea-scape whereby the U-Boat breaks the surface having been attacked from the air. Apparently this actually happened to U-570, which was attacked, and indeed captured on August 27th 1941, whilst on her maiden patrol south of Iceland. She was pressed into RN service as HMS Graph, and used for trials to assess performance etc, followed by a brief period of active service. Anyway, I digress slightly - the parts count, being only 35 (including a base which I definitely won't be using, among others), more or less renders shots of the instructions pointless, however for the hell of it here's how the sprues look: There, I've planted a stake in the ground so to speak, hopefully I will make a start soon.
  5. Hi all, herewith, at last, my RFI for the Revell 1:350 Type VIIC/41 in its seascape 'crash surface' setting - or rather my interpretation of it. The WIP thread is here for those interested. In some (not all!) of my past RFIs I have endeavoured to come up with some kind of interesting back-story about the real thing on which my model was based. My initial interest in building this kit was based on my reading of the exploits of U-570 (later HMS Graph), which was attacked and ultimately captured by the Royal Navy after an ill-judged decision by her skipper to surface more-or-less right under the nose of a patrolling Lockheed Hudson. That story is related elsewhere in this forum I believe, and in any case U-570 was apparently found to be a Type VIIC, not a Type VIIC/41 as depicted by the kit. However, during the build I happened across the rather sorry tale of another Type VIIC, U-1206; with your indulgence I would share it with you, told in my own words. I'll put in the post immediately after this one, just in case people aren't into too much background info - I will be honest and say the only thing that links my model to this back-story is the probable sense of urgency regarding surfacing! OK first off, here's the photos - I hope you enjoy them: Comments and criticisms, as ever, all welcome. ** Edited to correct incorrect reference to U-505 - should have been U-530, thanks to whitestar12chris ** Edited to correct incorrect reference to U-530 - should have been U-570, apologies to whitestar12chris and thanks to Alan P - I'm going back to bed now!
  6. USS New Jersey, Platinum Edition 1:350 Revell The USS New Jersey, a 45,000-ton Iowa class battleship, was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania. Commissioned in May 1943, she spent the rest of that year in the western Atlantic and Caribbean area. New Jersey went to the Pacific in early 1944 and conducted her first combat operations in support of the Marshalls invasion. She was Fifth Fleet flagship during the mid-February raid on the Japanese base at Truk, where she used her guns to sink one enemy ship and join in sinking another. Through the rest of 1944, she took part in raids on Japanese-held islands, the Marianas invasion and Battle of Philippine Sea, the Battle of Leyte Gulf and operations against the Philippines. From August 1944, she was flagship of Admiral William F. Halsey's Third Fleet. The New Jersey continued her Pacific combat operations into 1945, supporting the invasions of Iwo Jima and the Ryukyus. Following overhaul, she again became Fifth Fleet flagship during the final days of World War II and remained in the Far East until early 1946. She then went to the Atlantic in 1947 and made one midshipmen's training cruise to Europe before decommissioning in June 1948. The Korean War brought the New Jersey back into commission in November 1950. Two Korean combat tours in 1951 and 1953 were punctuated by a European cruise in the Summer of 1952. After returning home from the western Pacific in late 1953, New Jersey operated in the Atlantic. She deployed to Mediterranean and European waters twice in 1955-56 and was placed out of commission in August 1957. During the Vietnam war USS New Jersey was the only battleship recalled to duty. She recommissioned in April 1968 and arrived off Southeast Asia in September. From then until April 1969, she conducted frequent bombardments along the South Vietnamese coast. But, whilst preparing for a second Vietnam tour, she was ordered inactivated and decommissioned in December 1969. The early 1980s defence build-up produced a fourth active period for the New Jersey, beginning with her recommissioning after an extensive refit, which saw the mounting of cruise missile boxes, harpoon launchers and Vulcan Phalanx CIWS in December 1982. She again fired her big guns in combat during the Lebanon crisis of 1983-84 and deployed to the western Pacific in 1986 and 1989-90, with the latter cruise extending to the Persian Gulf area. Decommissioned again in February 1991, USS New Jersey was towed from the Pacific to the Atlantic in 1999. She is since become a museum at Camden, New Jersey. The Model Originally released by Revell in 2000 and re-released in 2002 this kit appears older than it really is with quite a lot of flash and extraneous moulding stubs. The original kit looks like it was meant to have been motorised at some point as all the mountings are still extant. When released it wasnt exactly the best produced model of the New Jersey, that accolade went to the Tamiya kit, but it was pretty accurate. In this Platinum release Revell have included lots of goodies to try and bring the kit up to date including wooden decks, etched metal parts plus turned brass barrels and masts. Once cleaned up and the areas which fall short of todays standards removed, the additional parts really bring the model up to a good standard with lots of fine details and accurate shapes. The completed kit on shop at Scale Model World in Telford showed how good it could look. With the appropriate care, patience and time the model could meet almost museum standards. The major hurdle in building the kit is the way the instructions are presented. The original kit instructions have not been altered in any way. Instead the assembly and fitting of the etched and turned parts are provided on three A3 double sided sheets, so a lot of toing and froing will be required to ensure the correct assemblies and parts are fitted to their respective positions, which could get quite frustrating. It might be an idea to go through all the instructions first and mark on the main booklet where the additional parts need to go, so that none are missed or you find that something needs to be removed and youve got to the point where it will be awkward to do so. The standard build starts with the some areas on the single piece hull being removed. Dont forget to add the strengthening beams that were a feature of this commission, along the hull sides before painting. This is followed by the assembly of the three main gun turrets which consist of the mounting, upper turret, the three barrels, rangefinder housings and hatches. With the addition of the etched parts and brass barrels these turrets are transformed. The three barrels are now meant to be fitted to the main deck with locking piece fitted from the underside so that they turn. This is a toy like feature which I feel is unnecessary and will cause problems later in the build, so leave them off until the painting and wooden deck are fitted. What you can do is fit the main deck to the hull and once the propellers, their shafts and the rudders are fitted I would paint the hull and deck furniture, fit the wooden deck, and then put the assembly to one side whilst the rest of the parts are constructed. Attention is now focused on the main single piece superstructure section onto which the superstructure sides are attached. Now there is quite a bit of flash on these parts so a good clean up is called for before fitting. Dont forget to check with the etch instruction sheets as quite a few splinter shields and the like need to be removed, to be replaced by the etched brass parts. This goes for the whole superstructure, bridge and foremast, including the aerials, radars, funnels and main gun directors. In fact there is an awful lot of work to be done when building all these assemblies, but it will be worth it. The whole of the top of the foremast is in fact replaced with brass, the highlight being the super complex SPS-49 and AN/SPS 10 radar arrays. The kit funnels come with solid tops, so these need to be drilled out and carefully cut away and filed before the new caps can be fitted. The instructions have very clear diagrams showing how to do this. With the main fore and aft superstructure assembled and spruced up its on to the other weapon systems where again extensive use of the PE improves the look of the Harpoon and Cruise missile systems. The only downside is that the Vulcan Phalanx systems do not get any treatment and really could do with replacing with more accurate aftermarket parts. With this build you might as well go the whole hog and make the best model you can. The five inch gun turrets are improved with the addition of the turned barrels, etched ladders and doors. There is so much additional detail included in this kit that its difficult to explain it all, suffice to say that everything from the ships boats crutches, ensign and jack staffs are replaced. I particularly like the treatment the Refuelling At Sea boom gets, with replacement fixtures and the addition of the fuel hoses dangling down. The boats davits are also given an overhaul with the addition of the downhauls, access ladders and blocks. Even the Seahawk helicopters are given the etch treatment, with new undercarriage, rotors, both folded and spread, swash plates and pitch controls. Once the wooden decks are laid there are numerous deck hatches, windlasses and other fittings to add. Finally a full set of railings for the whole ship are included, including the flightdeck netting and blackned chain for the anchors. Decals The single decal sheet contains the ships name plaques, identification numbers, awards, and the whole of the faintail flightdeck with the correct markings. The helicopters also get national markings and Navy titling. There are several decals for certain sensors, but I think these would better painted. They seem pretty well printed, with good density and with minimal carrier film, but the larger items will probably need some softener or setting solution to settle them down nicely. There is also a paper sheet with code/signal flags should you wish to add them. Conclusion From a pretty ropey looking kit, certainly on initial inspection I think Revell have really turned this one around with the addition of the etched parts, turned brass and the wooden deck. It has the potential to build into an outstanding model given the appropriate care and attention. Yes it will take some work, and definitely one for a seasoned modeller not a beginner. Very highly recommended Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  7. Hello Please check out my newest project. It's Akagi in 1:350 scale from Hasegawa plus tones of PE. Cheers
  8. Hello, here is the German destroyer Z14, I used several kits for: resin superstructure from Iron Shipwrights 1934a destroyer, Zvezdas Z17 hull, armament from trumpeter kits, White Ensign PE sets. It took 5 years to build it! Thank You for looking Cheers Andreas
  9. This is my build of the Hobby Boss SMS Seydlitz. For Some reason this kit has largely been ignored by the aftermarket manufacturers. There is now an imminent release of a full detail upgrade set from Infini, but this was not available at the time I started this build. A a result this is almost a straight box build with Infini mast replacements and the gorgeous Scaledecks laminate decks. An unusual looking ship, and that was the attraction along with the prominent red rear funnel. This is a selection of pictures of the build so far... [ Jase
  10. Steam Gun Boat HMS Grey Goose Atlantic Models 1/350 HMS GREY GOOSE was built in 1942 and was one of a series of seven Denny type steam gunboats, planned as miniature destroyers, their steel hulls with steam turbines were intended to give superior type of all weather motor torpedo and gunboats, however their vulnerability to small calibre gunfire (all those steam pipes!) and their poor acceleration proved embarrassing, the intended programme for more vessels was cut back, only the seven GREY boats were built of a planned 60 boats, they did however prove very useful as high speed stripped down blockade runners going to Sweden to bring back loads of ball-bearings. At one time commanded by Sir Peter Scot (painter & naturalist) GREY GOOSE achieved her greatest fame when after the war she was converted by Vospers to an experimental gas-turbine powered vessel. S HM SGB-9 was built by J Samuel White & Co at Cowes, Isle of Wight. She was laid down on 23rd January 1941 and was launched on 14th February 1942. She was commissioned on 4th July that year. On completion, she was 145 ft 8 in long, 20 ft wide across the beam and displaced 220 tons at full load. She is still extant and moored at Hoo Marina in Kent, having been tastefully converted to a house boat. The Model Originally announced several years ago by White Ensign Models it never saw the light of day as the company ceased trading. Fortunately Peter Hall of Atlantic Models kept the project alive and now has finally been released. The kit arrives in a small cardboard box filled with polystyrene peanuts, and comes complete with, and rather unusually for a narrow seas model, a two piece hull, a small resin block and a small etched brass fret. The main hull, which is just under 5 inches, (120mm) long, and is a superbly moulded item, There is a bit of flash on the lower hull section and some resin nibs on the mating surface. But these won’t be a problem as I’m sure most builds will be as a waterline, so the lower hull can be put to one side. The rest of the hull and "superstructure" is beautifully moulded, with no sign of pinholes or other defects. Another small bag contains the rest of the resin items, namely the funnel, 6pdr mountings, torpedo tubes, dinghy, 20mm Oerlikon mountings, 3” mounting, 20mm gun platform, life rafts and cowl vents. The rest of the parts come on a smallish etched brass fret. Construction begins the choice of whether to build the model full hull or waterline. If full hull the the lower hull section should be glued to the upper hull and the seam filled and sanded as required. The lower hull comes with the propeller shafts, A frames and rudders moulded integrally, all you need to do is add the pair of PE propellers. The 3” gun mounting is assembled by fitting the PE gun shield and support arms to the resin mounting, this is followed by the 20mm Oerlikon and depending on the option the modeller chooses, two of these need to be assembled from 3 parts of PE and a resin pintle. Whilst we’re on sub-assemblies, the two PE 0.5” turret platforms are folded to shape, as is the Holman projector and fore mast assembly which is made up from the brass rod lower mast, PE upper mast section and PE radar aerials. The two platforms are then glue in position, followed by the resin funnel, metal cowl vents, two torpedo tubes, PE ships wheel in the bridge, and the main mast spreader fitted at the stern. The modeller can then fit either the Holman projector on 20mm Oerlikon to the bandstand glued to the amidships superstructure. The 3” assembly is also glued into place, as are the ships railings, dinghy, dinghy davit, and life rafts. Behind the breakwater, one of the 6pdr mountings is fitted, while the bow chaser 6pdr can be replaced with the second Oerlikon depending on what mod state the modeller wishes to build. The two PE twin 0.5” Vickers machine guns are then folded to shape and fitted to their respective turrets either side of the bridge, followed by the foremast assembly which is fitted aft of the bridge, which is fitted with a windscreen. As is usual, the colour call outs are for Colourcoats paints, available from Sovereign Hobbies. Conclusion Well, it’s been an awfully long time coming, but the wait is certainly worth it, as this is a cracking little kit, and while the construction isn’t actually difficult, the rolling and bending of some of the PE parts could be a little awkward for those not used to working with etched brass. As with the other narrow seas models, this will make for a very nice vignette or as part of a bigger diorama, but will be just as home in full hull in a display cabinet. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  11. Fairmile D MGB 660 Atlantic Models 1/350 The Fairmile D has to be one of the most popular boat used in the narrow seas, certainly by this reviewer. Following on from the earlier Fairmile boats the D was designed purely as a gun boat to take on the German S boats, although it never matched the speed of the S boats the armament was such that if intercepted they could easily overwhelm the German vessels. When fitted with even heavier weapons and torpedo tubes, these boats were able to take on much larger craft with considerable success. Around 229 D’s were built between 1942 and 1945. The Model The kit arrives in a small cardboard box filled with polystyrene peanuts, and comes complete with single piece hull, a small resin block and a small etched brass fret. The main hull, which is around 2 inches, (50mm) long, and is a beautifully moulded item, although the review example has one very small remnant of a moulding stub on the stern, but this is well below the waterline so when using in a diorama it may well be ignored, unless the modeller is really picky, even then they will easily be removed with a sharp scalpel or a few swipes of a sanding stick. The rest of the hull and "superstructure" is very clean and nicely done. Another small bag contains the rest of the resin items, namely the dinghy, life rafts, 6pdr mounting, twin 20mm mounting and 2pdr mounting. The rest of the parts come on a smallish etched brass fret. As can be seen in the photo there is quite a bit of thin resin around each of these parts that will need to be carefully removed with a sanding stick or scalpel. Construction begins with the assembly of the twin Oerlikon mounting with the fitting of the two guns to the resin mounting along with the separate sighting and laying frame. Two single Oerlikons, each consisting of the barrel with sights attached and which have to be folded to shape, the two sides of the breech section and the gun shield. These are then attached to the moulded pintles on either side of the bridge The 6pdr mounting resin part is fitted with the sight and armoured top box before being glued into position. With the weaponry fitted to their respective positions, the bridge is fitted with the windscreen, the anchor is mounted on the foredeck and the mast glued into position and fitted with the small yardarm and upper mast section with gaff attached. The ships wheel is fitted as is the hatch aft of the bridge, along with its associated railings. The rest of the ships railings can then be fitted in their respective positions, and that is pretty much it, unless you are going to mount the model in a display case, in which case the four propeller shafts, propellers and two rudders can be fitted. Since there are a number of Fairmile D versions being re-released the etch sheet does have quite a lot of spare parts which can be used to modify this kit into the boat of your choice according to the references you are using. Conclusion This is another great re-release, and Peter Hall should be thanked for bringing this wonderful little kit back on the market. As usual the resin moulding is superb with absolutely no sign of defects such as pin holes etc, only the tiny bit of moulding stub needs to be cleaned up. It is also another great kit for those new to resin and etch which lends itself to a whole raft of different scenarios for a diorama or vignette. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  12. 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
  13. 73ft Motor Torpedo Boat Atlantic Models 1/350 Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) 379 was the prototype of a new Royal Navy design for a 73-foot fast attack flush decked wooden MTB combining torpedo and heavier gun armament. Chief designer was Commander Peter du Cane, Managing Director of Vosper Ltd, Portsmouth, UK. Power was provided by three 1400 horsepower Packard petrol engines. Top speed was 39 knots at full power. Armament was four 18-inch torpedo tubes, one 20mm Oerlikon gun and two twin Lewis .303 machine guns. Sixteen of this Type 1 design were built as MTB 380-395 and five Type 2 boats were built as MTB 524-527 featuring a six-pounder gun. MTB 379 was ordered in 1942 and built in early 1943 with the other boats being built thereafter. These MTBs were widely used in naval operations in the English Channel and along the coast of occupied Europe until 1945. The Model The kit arrives in a small, ziplock poly bag, complete with single piece hull, a small resin block and a small etched brass fret. The main hull, which is around 1.5 inches, (37.5mm) long, and is a beautifully moulded item, although the review example had two very small defect on the starboard side lower hull, near the chine and a slight moulding stub on the bow and stern, but these are all below the waterline so when using in a diorama they may well be ignored, unless the modeller is really picky, even then they will easily be removed with a sharp scalpel or a few swipes of a sanding stick. The rest of the hull and "superstructure" is very clean and nicely done. Another small bag contains the rest of the resin items, these are the four 18” torpedo tubes and four ventilator cowls, although the review sample only came with three as one seems to have been knocked off the moulding block and it definitely wasn’t in the bag. These items have a small amount of soft resin flash and pour stubs which are readily cleaned up. Otherwise they are once again nicely moulded. The rest of the parts are contained on the single, smallish etched brass sheet. These include the mast assembly, which is folded together to make the complete mast, with the radar antenna already in place. Just the anemometer and yardarm to attach and it’s ready to glue into position. The forward mounted twin 20mm cannon mounting consists of the guns which need to be folded into position, the separate sight, pintle, which isn’t actually needed on this kit as the pedestal is pre-moulded on the hull and shield. The bandstand railings are then carefully rolled to shape and glued in place. The rest of the brass fittings include the boats wheel and windshield for the bridge, two liferings, three deck hatches, jackstaff, anchor and railings for the bow and stern. On the forward pair of tubes there is a rocket projector, each required to be folded to make the complete part. On the rear tubes there are a pair of twin Vickers machine guns, which like the Oerlikon also need to be folded to shape along with the pintle and each gun fitted with a drum magazine. If required the model can be fitted with the three propeller shaft skegs, propellers and rudders, but as these kit will most likely find themselves in a diorama or vignette then they can be left off. Conclusion It’s great to see this and other narrow seas boats being re-released by Atlantic Models, having been lost to the modelling world since White Ensign went down. This is a great little kit and would be a good starter piece for those not used to working with resin or etch. Look forward to seeing other boats in the range being re-released as well as number of new kits which are or the drawing board. The instructions show the paint scheme for MTB 379 using Colourcoats paints, but if you wish you can paint it for whatever boat you wish to depict as there are no decals to worry about. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  14. USN Radar of WWII Eduard 1:350 This single sheet set of relief etched brass continues Eduards policy of releasing useful sets to add detail to parts of a model that seems to be forgotten. This set, for US WWII Radars is really quite comprehensive. The radars included are:- CXAM Early made up from only two parts, but needs a piece of styrene rod for the base. YE Aircraft homing beacon, also made from two parts and requiring a styrene pole to be fixed on. Mk3 Main battery fire control radar, made from five parts and also requiring the styrene base. 2 x Mk4 Secondary battery fire control radar, made from eight parts. SC-1 Surface search radar array, made from nine parts and utilises the kit base. CXAM-1 Surface search radar made from twenty five parts and requires a styrene base. SC-2 Surface search radar array, very complex twenty two piece unit which uses the kit base and transmitter probe. 2 x Mk22 Height finding radar for detecting low flying aircraft, made of three parts and a piece of styrene rod to attach it to the Mk4 or a Mk12 director array. 2 x Mk12 Secondary fire control radar, a seven piece unit which requires some complex folding and shaping. Fitted to the top of a Mk37 director from 1944 onwards. Conclusion This is a very useful set as it covers the entire selection of radar arrays used throughout the war. All you have to do is carefully build each array and fit to your model. Of course you will need to do some research to determine what array was fitted when on your particular subject. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Type III Hunt Class Destroyer L’Arsenal 1:350 The Hunt class, of which eighty six hulls were completed, were modelled on an escort sloop HMS Bittern from 1938, she was 262-foot in length and of 1,190 tons with 3,300 shp on geared turbines for 18¾ knots. She had an armament of three twin Mark XIX mounts for the QF 4-inch gun Mark XVI. The guns were controlled by a Fuse Keeping Clock AA fire control computer when engaging aircraft. The Hunt class was to ship the same armament, plus a quadruple QF 2 pounder mount Mark VII on a hull of the same length but with 8 feet less beam and installed power raised to 19,000 shp to give 27 knots. The first twenty were ordered in March and April 1939. They were constructed to Admiralty standards, as were contemporary destroyers, unlike the frigates, which conformed much more to mercantile practice. The Hunts posed a major design challenge. They would be too short and narrow and of insufficient range for open ocean work, being restricted to the North Sea and Mediterranean Sea. This sacrifice was accepted to give any chance of meeting the requirements. The demanding specifications in an overworked Admiralty design department resulted in a major design miscalculation. When the detailed calculations were done the centre of gravity was lower than expected and the beam was increased. As the first ships were being completed it was found that the design was as much as 70 tons overweight, top heavy, leaving them dangerously deficient in stability. The first twenty ships were so far advanced in construction that it was necessary to remove the 'X' 4-inch gun mount and add 50 tons of permanent ballast. These ships became the Type I group, and had the multiple 2-pounder gun relocated from behind the funnel to the more useful 'X' position. The design deficiency of the Type I was rectified by splitting the hulls lengthwise and adding a 2½ foot section, increasing the beam to 31 ft 6 in and the margin of stability sufficiently for the designed armament to be shipped. These ships became the Type II group, and also had a revised design of bridge with the compass platform extending forwards to the wheelhouse face. Under the 1939 Emergency War Programme 36 more Hunts had been ordered; three of these were completed to the original Type I design. Depth charge stowage could also be increased from 40 in the Type I to 110 in the Type II. For the 1940 building tranche, torpedoes were deemed necessary. The next 27 ships were completed to a revised design, the Type III group, and were intended specifically for Mediterranean work. They sacrificed 'Y' gun for a pair of 21-inch torpedo tubes amidships, the searchlight being displaced to the aft shelter deck as a result. The Type III Hunts could be easily identified as they had a straight funnel with a sloping top and the foremast had no rake. Fourteen of them had their stabiliser fins removed (or not fitted in the first place) and the space used for extra fuel oil. The Model The model, which depicts one of the twenty seven Type III Hunts is packed into a brown cardboard box with a picture of the model on the front. Inside there is the single piece hull, nicely wrapped in bubble-wrap, along with several Ziploc bags containing the rest of the resin parts, and one containing the propellers which look like they’ve been 3D printed. There is also a bag of turned brass parts, produced by MASTER models, a fairly comprehensive sheet of etched brass and a nicely printed decal sheet. Most of the resin parts are still attached to their moulding block, although many in the review sample had come off the blocks and were loose in the bags, so be aware when you remove them. The moulding is very nicely done throughout, although the hull has a large seam that needs to be removed from the whole length of the keel. There also appear to be some areas where the resin has splashed that will need some careful cleaning up. Other than removing the small parts from the moulding blocks, some will also need to be cleaned up of flash, particularly the large items such as the torpedo tubes and main gun shields. The splinter shields on the main deck and superstructure sections is some of the thinnest resin I’ve encountered so care must be taken in not breaking them as the build progresses. Due to the way that the parts have been moulded, the hull can be cleaned up and painted before any other parts need to be glued to the deck, great for those of us that use an airbrush. The separate parts can then be painted and fitted in accordance to the instructions. The assembly begins with the fo’c’sle with the bitts, cleats, capstans, anchors the hawse pipe onto which the Jackstaff is attached and a ventilator. Aft of the breakwater the ready use lockers for A turret are fitted, along with a cable reel, and seven ventilators. The twin 4” gun turret is assembled from three resin parts, the mounting, breeches and gun shield and two turned brass barrels. The bridge structure is assembled next with fitting of two flag lockers, two signal lamps two PE watertight doors at main deck level, two PE life raft racks onto which the resin life rafts are then attached, a PE frame fitted to the front of the bridge, onto which a separate anemometer is attached. On either side of the flag deck, one on either side of the ship is a 20mm Oerlikon mount, each made up from one resin and two PE parts. Aft of the bridge is the main gun director, made from four resin and eight PE parts. The instructions show the director access ladder running from the flag deck to the director access hatch. This doesn’t look right as the director rotates and the ladder would prevent this, so check your references. The completed bridge can then be glued into position and the various bits of deck furniture fitted, these include cleats, ventilators, intakes, inclined ladders and tall deckhouse with PE door and the two PE wing support frames. Aft of the bridge, the foremast is assembled from six PE parts and one resin part; this is then glued into position. Between the main deck and fo’c’sle are two inclined ladders and on the bulkhead there are two more intakes. Just aft there are two more deckhouses, to which two cable reels are attached along with four large intakes, two of which have a support frame between them and four PE access hatches on the deck. There are two more cable reels just forward and outboard of the intake structures. The funnel is a single resin part to which three chimneys are attached along with a PE walkway facing aft. The assembly is then glued into place just aft of the mast supports. The intake structure mentioned earlier also acts as support for the PomPom deck, accessed by two vertical ladders from the main deck and fitted with a four barrelled PomPom made up from six resin parts. The two ships boats are then assembled, each with a separate PE rudder and supported by PE davits, the whaler is then fitted on the starboard side and the motor boat on the port adjacent to the PomPom deck structure. Aft of the PomPom is the twin torpedo tube launcher and the deck is fitted with more cleats, bitts, ventilators, a cable reel and a small crane. The central superstructure block is fitted with a cable reel each side, a vertical ladder and a resin searchlight. The assembly is then glued into place. The aft superstructure is fitted with the second 4” gun turret, several ventilators, four ready use lockers, a short mainmast with brass yardarm, watertight doors, cable reels, five depth-charge reloads on one side and three reloads on the other, plus two intakes per side. Once complete the assembly is glued into position. The quarter deck is then fitted out with more cleats, bitts, and ventilators, along with another cable reel, a capstan, three smoke generators per side, plus two depth charge rails, each made from a resin part and a folded PE frame before being attached to their positions on the stern. Just aft of the aft superstructure is a bandstand for a 20mm Oerlikon mount and either side of this there are two depth charge throwers with stands for three reloads each and their associated cranes. Since this kit has a full hull option only there are parts for the lower hull to fit, these include the two brass propeller shafts, resin A frame supports/bearing shafts and two beautifully rendered 3D printed propellers, along with the rudder aft, whilst forward there are the two stabiliser fins, one each side and the ASDIC dome forward. The decal sheet provides enough numbers and designation letters for any of the 27 Type III’s, but there are no nameplates or any other markings included so you will need to source these yourself should you really want to. Conclusion This is my first look at a full kit from L’Arsenal and I am quite impressed. Yes it’s a little rougher than those from another company that deals mainly with British subjects, and will take little more work to clean up and build, but at the end of the day it is a Hunt Class in 1:350 and we should applaud L’Arsenal for releasing it. I know it has been selling very well for them, as it took quite a while for a review sample to be made available. Highly recommend to the more experienced modeller. Review sampled courtesy of
  16. Royal Navy Signal Flags Eduard 1:350 Quite a few maritime kits these days provide a selection of flags and pennants that are printed on paper. These can look ok, but generally always have a tired well worn look, like they’ve been left in the sun for a few months. Eduard have now countered this look with the release of this pre-painted steel set, which supersedes the etched brass set previously available. The forty five flags and ten pennants are beautifully painted and will look great either as a coded message from a halyard or two or even on a ship dressed overall, although it would have to be modelled for a calm day as, even though the metal is quite thin I doubt you’d be able to replicate a flapping flag too easily. To use, just cut the chosen flag from the sheet and wrap it around your favourite rigging material. Conclusion This is a very nice and easy to use set which would add a dash, or even a lot of colour depending on how many you use. Please note however these flags are based on the 1937 Royal Navy signaling Handbook so for use on ships from that time up until the new, revised handbook was issued during the war, where the flags for P and Q were swapped over, and is where the phrase “Mind your P’s and Q’s” comes from. So, research is your friend when it comes to modelling. Review sample courtesy of
  17. This build has changed, instead of it being a conversion of the Heller kit the plan will be to scratchbuild the model without using any parts of the kit. On the real rebuild of HMS Victorious, from wartime fleet carrier to a modern angled-deck carrier of the jet age, the whole ship was completely cut down from the flight deck to the hangar deck. More to follow in due course, unless my medications run out! Mike
  18. SMS Dresden and Emden Revell 1/350 During the FIRST WORLD WAR - two of the Imperial German Navy's "light cruisers", SMS Dresden and SMS Emden waged a trade war against British ships far from home. The Dresden initially operated off the East Coast of South America and the Emden in the Indian Ocean. In order to avoid British Warships the Dresden made its way into the Pacific to join the German East Asia Squadron. In the first naval battle of the First World War, a Royal Navy Squadron was able to narrowly avoid defeat in an action in which two British Warships were sunk. The subsequent attack on Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands failed however and all the German ships except the Dresden were lost. Crippled the Dresden hid in bays around the South of Chile until 14 March 1915 when she was discovered by three British warships and fired upon. The Captain decided to scuttle his ship. The Emden however, cleverly avoided enemy contact and was thus able to destroy the Oil Storage Unit at Madras. During later actions, two small British cruisers and many merchant ships also fell victim to the Emden. The Emden was however, rendered unfit for action whilst under fire from the Australian cruiser Sydney on its way to the Coco Islands (early in November 1914). The captain was forced to run his ship aground in order to prevent her sinking. Later as a special commendation, all surviving crew members were permitted to bear the additional title "Emden". The model Originally released on their own, the SMS Emden in 1994 and the Dresden in 1996, both were well regarded kits at the time. Since their original release they have been re-popped a couple of times, but this is the first time that they have been released together in a kind of box set. Inside the deep end opening and rather feeble box you find two poly bags each with a complete kit inside. There is no other protection for the parts but they don’t seem to have suffered any damage, just a few parts have come adrift from the sprues. The 4 sprues, two hull halves and separate main deck part of rather odd greeny grey styrene appear to have been well moulded, with no sign of flash, but with quite a few moulding, (overrun), pips on the smaller parts. Detail is nicely done with some very fine engraved plate lines and open portholes, which could need some backing to avoid see through issues. The wooden decks though are a little disappointing in that they seem way out of scale, with the grain looking something more akin to the wooden dashboards you find in some cars, so probably best to get a nice real wood deck from the likes of Artwox or Pontos. The rest of the parts look good and even the gun barrels are nice and slim, but you could always change them for brass items should you wish. Apart from the lower rear hull around the props there isn’t any discernible difference between the kits, so if you were to waterline the hulls, the parts used would be exactly the same. If displaying them in full hull configuration then you would notice that the Dresden has four screws whilst the Emden only has two. With that fact now known the build described below will be for the Dresden, but can easily be used to describe the Emden build with the only difference being the colour scheme. The build begins with the fitting of the longitudinal bulkheads onto the main deck structures foreward and amidships along with the addition of the capstans, bollards and deckhouse vents. The bridge consists of two halves, which when joined together are fitted to the single piece bridge wing section and topped off with the roof and binnacle. Each of the gun turrets are also in two halves, with the gun barrel incorporated into one half and just need joining together to complete. Each of the three funnels are made up of port and starboard parts along with a separate funnel cap. The gun turrets are then mounted onto their main deck positions and held in place with a small washer from beneath. The same goes for the single piece unshielded guns. With the guns in place the bridge is now fitted. Before the main deck is attached to the hull two more open guns are fitted to separate decks parts in their casements beneath the main deck. The hull is then fitted with the bilge keels and the two propeller shaft panels, (as mentioned above, the only area that is different between the two ships), along with the propeller shafts, propellers, shaft supports and single rudder. With the main deck and hull structure assembled it’s on to the fitting out stage. Starting at the bow the ensign staff is attached, followed by the two anchors, breakwater, boat booms, complete with Jacobs’s ladders, casement hinged doors, which can be posed either open or closed up with the judicious use of a sharp knife, and finally the cleat boards for the halliards. The funnel assemblies are then glued into position and the amidships raised gangway attached to the port side of the funnels. An additional binnacle is fitted aft near to the emergency steering position and two vents are fitted amidships. The eight ships cutters and single steam pinnace, (with separate funnel/boiler section), are now shipped along with their respective davits and cradles, three boats each side amidships and one each side aft on the quarterdeck. Revell have kindly provided an accommodation ladder for those that will waterline the model and incorporate it into a diorama. There is another binnacle in a tub which sits on top of a four legged tower just aft of the rear funnel and the two ships wheels are joined together and mounted at the emergency steering position. The final section of the build is the construction of the two ships masts. The foremast is fitted with a platform on its foreward face about a third of the way up. This platform is then fitted with two searchlights. The main mast is of similar construction, but has a second platform half way between the searchlights and the deck. Each mast is stepped in position and the two ladders fitted between the main platforms and the deck. Each model is provided with two display stands, one of which is fitted with a plaque plate onto which the decal with the ships name is attached. There are a pair of very well drawn and clearly illustrated rigging plans provided, but I wouldn’t recommend using the black thread that Revel include in the kit, you really need something a lot finer and less furry. Decals The small decals sheet has the name of each ship to be fitted to the plaque plate along with the crests for bow and stern. There are some decal windows, presumably for the bridge and the ships name boards are also provided. The Dresden is also provided with one large ensign, whilst the Emden has one large and one battle ensign. The decals are nicely printed, with very little visible carrier film and in good register. Conclusion Nothing seems to have changed over the intervening years since these kits were first released and that includes the nice clean moulding. They are still very nice looking kits to build and should build up into good looking display models. There are a number of aftermarket etched sets and wooden decks should you really want to go to town on them and i think they deserve it. It would be great to see them displayed together in their different colour schemes. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. 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  19. USS Enterprise CVN-65 Part 2 Eduard 1:350 With part 1 released last month and reviewed HERE, Eduard have now released Part 2. Flight Deck Equipment and Aircraft, (53-224). This single sheet set covers a lot of the deck equipment that comes with the kit, plus a lot of additional detail for each of the aircraft. Some of the deck equipment is completely replaced with PE vehicles, whilst others require quite a bit of surgery. The modeller is also required to provide plastic rod of varying thicknesses. The new equipment includes two gas bottle trolleys, two fire trucks and four fork lift trucks. The modified vehicles are the eight tow/starter/fire vehicles and the massively modified Jumbo crane of which only the rear box section and axles remain from the kit vehicle. Each of the fixed wing aircraft are provided with the very fine details that couldn’t realistically be done in plastic. These include undercarriage bay doors, arrester hooks, pylons, and replacement nose wheels. The S-3’s also receive a new sonar buoy panel, while the A-6’s get an extended aft electronic bay, plus a new ventral spine aerial for the F-18’s. Conclusion Since the ship is being given the Eduard treatment, then why can’t the air wing and deck equipment. This set, while being extremely fiddly will really add that pizzazz needed on the flight deck or hanger if you’re really going to town on the kit. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Project 685, (Mike Class), Submarine Mikro Mir 1:350 The Project 685 was an advanced submarine developed to test advanced submarine technologies. The design was initially developed in the 1960s, but the first unit was not laid down at Severodvinsk until 22 April 1978. The submarine K-278 Komsomolets was launched on 09 May 1983 and commissioned in late 1984. The hull was of double-hull configuration, divided into seven compartments: Torpedo room, Accommodations, Control room, Reactor compartment, Electrical motors, Turbines and Auxiliary mechanisms. The inner pressure hull was titanium, light and strong, making her the world's deepest diving submarine, and her operating depth below 3,000 feet was far below that of the best American submarines. A personnel rescue sphere was fitted in the sail to enable the crew to escape in the event of an underwater emergency. On 07 April 1989, while the Komsomolets was submerged at a depth of 500-1,250 feet, a fire erupted in the aft compartment when a high-pressure air line connected to the main ballast tanks, which allow the submarine to control its depth, burst a seal. A spray of oil hit a hot surface, and a flash fire began which soon spread through cable ways despite closed hatches. The emergency system to protect the nuclear reactors from overload kicked in, and the propeller shaft stopped. The boat managed to surface eleven minutes after discovery of the fire, but the rupture in the main compressed air system fed the fire further. The crew fought the fire for several hours before the submarine flooded and sank. Of the 69 crew members, 42 were killed in the accident, most dying in the water of hypothermia. The Komsomolets sank 180 km southeast of Bear Island off the coast of Norway in 1,500-1,700 meters of water. The Komsomolets was carrying two nuclear torpedoes when she sank. Two investigations, one by a state commission and another conducted independently, failed to fully account for the magnitude of the accident, though the independent commission suggested that Komsomolets had construction flaws. Others have claimed that the crew was not properly trained to operate the submarine's equipment. The site of the accident is one of the richest fishing areas in the world, and the possible leakage of radioactive material could jeopardize the local fisheries, valued at billions of dollars annually. Several underwater submersible missions to the site revealed that sea water was corroding the casings of the warheads and the hull of the submarine, a process accelerated by the rapidly shifting currents. On 24 June 1995 work began on sealing parts of the hull, and the objective was achieved at the end of July 1996. The hull was said to be safe for at least 20 to 30 more years. The Model As with the other kits from MikroMir that I’ve reviewed recently, this one comes in the standard top opening box with a painting of the boat in its natural habitat. Inside the parts are held in a easy opening poly bag, containing two sprues of grey styrene, three if you include the stand, a small sheet of etched brass and a small decal sheet. Construction begins with the joining of the two hull halves, split horizontally, rather than vertically of the previously reviewed releases. To this the four piece sail is attached, to which the modeller has the option of fitting up to eight masts and periscopes. The horizontal hydroplanes are each made up of upper and lower halves, which when glued together are fitted to the hull and two small PE propeller blades attached to the pod on the ends of each. The upper and lower rudder sections are then glued into position as are the forward hydroplanes. The propeller is made up of a central boss and eight PE blades, four at the tip and four forward of the first, much like a contra-rotating prop. The hull is then fitted with four large two piece reverse teardrop shaped pods, two on each side roughly amidships. These look like water intakes for the reactor cooling/steam generation, but if any of the BM massive knows exactly what they are I would love to know. There are four square aerial like shapes fitted two each side on the upper hull, midway between the sail and the rudders, and a strake like shape on the lower hull aft. Decals The small decal sheet provides quite a lot of markings for the submarine. These include the bollard locations, but also for the escape/access hatch which is provided as two parts to improve the opacity of the white sections. There are also depth marks for the bow, amidships and stern. Conclusion It’s reviewing models like this one that tells me I don’t know half as much about Submarine classes as I thought, as I’d not heard of this one or its fate. As they say at work, everyday is a school day. This is also why I like MikroMir models so much, they really do release not only the famous boats, but the more, somewhat obscure subs. They are also willing to receive ideas as to what to produce next, just as long as there are plans available. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Pravda Class Submarine Iskra, (Spark) Mikro Mir 1:350 The Pravda Class or P class submarines were built for the Soviet Navy in the mid-1930s. They originally served as training ships, then later served in World War II for mainly transport duties. They were intended to operate with the surface fleet but failed to meet specifications, particularly for surface speed. The initial design envisaged 130mm guns for surface action. These boats had a long building time, being laid down in 1931 and completed in 1936. They were double hull boats with 8 compartments. Their main shortcomings were underpowered machinery, a long diving time and poor sea-keeping. Weakness in hull strength had to be remedied by stiffening and weight cutting. Yakubov and Worth state that these were the least successful Soviet submarines of this era and were relegated to secondary duties on completion. The two surviving boats had their conning towers re-built to resemble the later K class. 3 boats were built by Ordzhinikidze Yard Leningrad. All served with the Baltic Fleet. P1 Pravda (Truth) - Launched 3 January 1934 - sunk off Hango, Finland, 17 September 1941 P2 Zvezda (Star) - Launched 1935 - Broken up 1956 P3 Iskra (Spark) - Launched 1934 - Broken up 1952 A fourth boat was planned but not laid down. The Model The variety of submarines that Mikro-Mir release is what makes this company so great. They don’t rely on just German or American submarines, but also the more unusual and rarer types. This is the case with this kit of the Russian Pravda class submarine Iskra, (Spark). The kit comes in the standard style cardboard box with a painting of the submarine leaving a Russian harbour. Inside, the kit is tightly packaged inside a poly bag complete with etch, decals and a simple instruction sheet. The grey styrene is quite soft, but the details are very finely done with no flash or other signs of imperfections. Construction begins with the assembly the large tower. The tower sides are glued together with the deck in between. There are six periscopes and aerials glued to the deck along with two hatches which have PE hand wheels. The aft section of the deck is fitted with a four piece gun mounting. Two more mountings housing large guns are fitted fore and aft of the tower, each mounting consisting of two halves, the gun which is fitted with a PE elevation wheel The next assembly is the hull, made up from two halves split vertically, and the separate main deck to which is fitted with two strakes adjacent to where the tower is attached. The stern planes are glued into position, as are the propeller shafts, PE propellers, with plastic boss, separate rudder, and fore planes. The tower assembly is then glued into position on the deck and detailed further with the attachment of PE handrails. The deck is fitted with two PE cranes and the four piece stand assembled to display the completed model. Decals The small decal sheet provides markings for the boats name, main and secondary identification numbers and two Russian ensigns, one straight and one fluttering. Conclusion This is another great looking submarine, even if the class wasn’t entirely successful, it’ll be something different in your collection. Long may Mikro-Mir continue releasing more great subjects. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Project 628 Submarine Mikro Mir 1:350 In 1952-1953 design efforts began on Project 628, an updated Soviet XIV series (K-class) submarine configured to conduct experimental launches of the 10XN Volna (wave) subsonic cruise missile. This missile – developed by Chelomei's design bureau – was powered by twin ramjets; the missile was launched from a ramp with the aid of single booster rocket. Initially though the tests were conducted using Russian built versions of the German V-1 flying bomb in a similar way that the US Navy was also using this missile. Although Western intelligence reported launchers installed near Leningrad and Vladivostok for this missile, it did not enter ground or naval service. It was rejected for naval service because of guidance limitations, the high fuel consumption of available ramjets, and the ongoing development of supersonic missiles. Versions of the 10XN did enter service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1953. The Model Mikro-Mir seems to be cornering the market for weird and wonderful submarines, and they certainly don’t shy away from any submersible subject. This kit comes in the standard style cardboard box with a drawing of the sub overlaid onto photograph of the real thing firing a V1 off its ramp. Inside the kit is tightly packaged inside a poly bag complete with etch, decals and a simple instruction sheet. The grey styrene is quite soft, but the details are very finely done with no flash or other signs of imperfections. Construction is very simple and begins with the assembly of the conning tower and hanger. The two tower halves are glued together sandwiching the conning deck to which two periscopes have been attached. The hanger comprises of two halves and the main door, which gives the option of the modeller posing it open and detailing the interior. Two PE ladders are then glued to the tower. One on each side along with the PE window frames for the front of the tower. The two hull sections are joined together, followed by the separate main deck, and extreme aft section of decking. Each propeller shaft and rear dive plane are moulded as a single piece, to which a support strut and PE propeller are added before being glued to the hull, along with the forward dive planes and tower assembly. There is an addition deck section fitted to the rear of the hanger which provides the support for the aft end of the ramp. The three piece ramp is then assembled, this includes the elevation actuator. The ramp assembly is then glued into position. The tiny V1 flying bomb comes with in two parts witht eh ramjet separate, ones assembled it can be fitted to the ramp. The kit is then finished off with the addition of PE DF aerial and safety line supports before being attached to the supplied stand. Decals The small decal sheet provides markings for two submarines, K3 and K21 along with four bollard location markings, but there are no mention of any markings on the painting guide. Conclusion Well, this is certainly an unusual one to have in the collection and great to see MikroMir taking it on. With the colourful red and white squares on the V1 body to add a bit of colour to the standard grey and read of the hull it will stand out from the crowd. Review sample courtesy of
  23. HMS Resolution Mikro Mir 1:350 The Resolution class was a class of four nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) built for the Royal Navy as part of the UK Polaris programme. Each submarine was armed with up to 16 UGM-27 Polaris A-3 nuclear missiles. The class included Resolution, Repulse, Renown and Revenge. They were built by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow-in-Furness and Cammell Laird in Birkenhead between 1964 and 1968. All four boats were based at HM Naval Base Clyde (HMS Neptune), 40 km (25 mi) west of Glasgow, Scotland. The Resolution class was the launch platform for the United Kingdom's strategic nuclear deterrent from the late 1960s until 1994, when it was replaced by the Vanguard-class submarine carrying the Trident II.The design was a modification of the Valiant-class fleet submarine, but greatly extended to incorporate the missile compartment between the fin and the nuclear reactor. The length was 130 metres (430 ft), breadth 10.1 metres (33 ft), height 9 metres (30 ft) and the displacement 8,400 long tons (8,500 t) submerged and 7,600 long tons (7,700 t) surfaced. A Rolls-Royce pressurised water reactor (PWR1) and English Electric Company turbines gave them a speed of 25 knots (46 km/h) and they could dive to depths of 275 metres (902 ft). Sixteen Polaris A3 missiles were carried, in two rows of eight. For emergencies there was a diesel generator and six 533-millimetre (21 in) torpedo tubes located at the bow, firing the Tigerfish wire-guided homing torpedoes. The submarines put to sea with a crew of 143. The first to be completed was Resolution, laid down in February 1964 and launched in September 1966. After commissioning in 1967 she underwent a long period of sea trials, culminating in the test firing of a Polaris missile from the USAF Eastern Test Range off Cape Kennedy at 11:15 on 15 February 1968. Resolution commenced her first operational patrol on 15 June 1968, beginning 28 years of Polaris patrols. The class were part of the 10th Submarine Squadron, all based at Faslane Naval Base, Scotland. All four of the class underwent conversion during the 1980s so that they could be fitted with the Polaris AT-K missile which was fitted with the British-developed Chevaline MRV system. As the newer Vanguard-class submarines entered service, the Resolution class was eventually retired and all boats laid up at Rosyth dockyard with their used nuclear fuel removed. The Model This kit has been out for a little while now but this is our first look at it. The kit comes in the familiar coloured top opening box, inside of which the kit parts are safely held in a poly bag. Considering the size of the completed model, there are very few parts, making it a great kit to start with if you thinking of making a selection of submarine models. The grey styrene is not as soft as some short run kits I’ve come across and the moulded details, such as the silo doors, are very nicely moulded. The two hull halves are cut vertically rather than the standard horizontal seen in most other kits. This makes the modelling of a waterline diorama a little harder, but most submarine models I’ve seen have been full hull. The two halves are glued together and the join line filled and sanded as necessary. The single piece silo section is then glued to the upper hull, followed by the four part sail assembly, consisting of two sail halves, sail top and internal floor, being attached to the forward end of the silo section. The sail is provided with no less than nine periscopes and antenna/radar masts, so it can look a bit crowded if the modeller was to fit all of them. To the front of the upper casing a sonar blade is glued into position and just ahead of that there is a another protuberance which I have yet to identify. The bow planes each come in inner and outer sections allowing the modeller to pose the outer sections folded up should they so wish. The upper and lower rudders and the aft dive planes are then attached to the rear of the hull, followed by the etched propeller. With the boss in place, the blades must be twisted carefully to shape, which is shown in the instructions, but you might get better results by finding a photograph of them on the internet or your library. There is just a small decal sheet providing just the depth marks, two types for the bow and two types for the stern, the kit also comes with a small stand to display it on. Conclusion As with the other boats released in this scale, this is great looking kit and even though it’s short run, it does build into a really nice model, as can be seen in the Ready For Inspection section on this very forum. Mikr Mir should be congratulated for releasing this important class of British boats. Review sample courtesy of
  24. USS Enterprise CVN-65 Eduard 1:350 The Tamiya 1:350 CVN-65 USS Enterprise was released as far back as 1984. It was the first aircraft carrier in 1:350 I had seen, so had to buy it, only a week after it was released, the first model I used an airbrush, and I still have it, although in a rather poor condition, this was also the year I joined the Royal Navy, and it became the centrepiece for many a Captains rounds, distracting the inspecting party from doing any actual inspecting. For some reason it has been ignored by Eduard, but they have finally released the first of a number of sets for the venerable old kit. As usual, there are many small parts and a number of kit details that will need to be removed before the PE parts can be added. Ships Boats and Liferafts, (53-223). This single sheet set contains an awful lot of parts, but for only a couple of areas, namely all the emergency liferaft canisters that are hung around the edges of the flightdeck and the ships boats. The Liferafts in the kit come as runs of anything between two and five rafts, these will need to be separated and cleaned up of the joints. The racks are then folded to shape and glued to separate backing plates, before the liferafts can be added and the whole assembly attached to the model. The backing plates are joined together by a thin length of PE and come in sections of two, three, four and five plates. With the number of liferafts in the kit, this could get rather laborious, and certainly time consuming; but the effect will be worth it. The ships open boat will need to have its centre section hollowed out carefully before the new engine casing, control lectern and wheel can be added, as well as the waist thwart that goes around the inside of the boat, followed by the fore and aft decking, and gunwhales, which are as one piece, is attached. The pinnace is also modified, with eh removal of all the top hamper, then opened up, the new, carefully folded PE is then glued into place and additional details such as the railings, windshield, propeller skeg, propeller and rudder are attached. Conclusion It’s about time this fabulous kit got the Eduard treatment, I know other companies have released etch for it, mostly before I even knew PE existed, but I find some companies PE rather too fragile and thin. I look forward to the next releases as they might give me the impetuous to take my old kit and give it a good refurbishing, and hope the skills I have learnt in the intervening years will be put to good use. Review sample courtesy of
  25. USS Saratoga Big Ed Set Eduard 1:350 The Trumpeter 1:350 USS Saratoga has been out for a fairly long time now, in fact it was first released in 2005. So it seems rather strange that Eduard has only just decided to release some etched sets for it. This being the BigEd set, it comes in a stiff cardboard sleeve pack. Inside there are three sheets of relief etched brass and a set of flags in etched steel, each in their own separate packs. The set is up to the usual standard set by Eduard and as such is full of very small parts, where a good pick-up pencil wouldn’t go amiss. Some of the kit parts need to be modified or removed by the modeller before the etched parts can be fitted. Sheet 1, (53-216) This sheet contains parts for the island and funnel, and includes new skins as well as complete replacement parts for the various decks and island sections. The new platforms and mast mounted control position. All the platforms are provided with quite complex support structures and/or individual braces. The rear of the bridge deck is fitted with replacement flag lockers and supports, while the mast receives new yardarms, and what looks like an anemometer arm. The funnel is fitted out with new vertical ladders, walkways, inclined ladders, funnel inserts and caps. The superstructures for and aft of the funnel are replaced with PE parts and yet more support structures. All the decks for the bridge and funnel sections are provided with railings. Sheet 2, (53-217) This sheet contains parts which are used mainly to enhance the four 8” gun-houses. Each turret receives new front plate, access doors, access platforms, vertical ladders, sight boxes, roof railings and numerous other parts that I cannot identify without having the kit instructions in front of me. There is a new rangefinder/main armament director, saluting guns, and railings. The 5” guns are provided with ne trunnion mounts, railings, mounting plates, elevation hand wheels, traversing hand wheels, crew seats, elevation arc and sights. The mountings are also provided with ready use lockers for each position as well as access ladders to the flight deck. The ships crane is fitted with a completely new jib, cable wheels, cables, hook, and weather vane. Lastly the boat deck along the starboard side of the island is provided with new railings, davits, and cable reels, Sheet 3, (53-218) This sheet contains what looks like a lot of parts, but they are mostly for the ships railings and deck edge netting. All the moulded netting needs to be removed first, and the areas cleaned up in preparation for the etched parts to be glued into position. The railings are for all the weather deck openings, gun positions and catwalks. There are also a few railings that are fitted at flightdeck level when not at flying stations, including one just forward of the round-down at the stern and on the very bow section of the flightdeck. There are also a few platforms and inclined ladders that allow the crew to vacate the flightdeck and enter the hull on 2 deck through a side mounted watertight door. The rest of the sheet is dedicated to details for the ships boats. The four standard motor boats are fitted with replacement engine covers, new thwarts and gunwhales, new gratings, rear mounted railings, rudder and propeller, these boats are then mounted on new etched cradles. The smaller motor boats are also fitted with new gunwhales, rudder, complete with tiller and new propeller. They are the hung on replacement davits which are also fitted with new eye clamps which affix to the hull. Lastly there are three pinnaces, and these are detailed with the addition of new railings fore and aft, rudder, skeg, propeller and hatch. These boats are also provided with new cradles for them to sit on. (53209) US Ensigns WWII – Another single sheet with three very large pre-painted US Ensigns, so large in fact I had to check they weren’t 1:200 scale. Probably to be used on Battleships, Fleet Carriers and perhaps Large Cruisers. Conclusion You either love or hate brass etched detail sets, but for me they are almost vital, if you wish to produce as detailed a model as possible. Eduard are pretty much the kings of mainstream maritime etch at the moment and their release schedule seems inexhaustible, even though they seem rather late to the parade with this, big set for the old Saratoga. This set will certainly give the old kit a new lease of life with some great looking details. If you have the kit lounging around in your stash, get it out and start building, as the etched parts will make a great addition to your build.
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