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  1. HMS Glamorgan Atlantic Models 1:350 HMS Glamorgan was one of eight ships of the County Class Guided Missile Destroyers that were designed for the Royal Navy around the Sea-Slug missile system. Laid down in September 1962 at Vickers- Armstrong’s shipyards on the Tyne, she was launched two years later on 9th July 1964, by Lady Brecon. Commissioning day was Friday 14th of October 1966 at Tyneside, when she was accepted in to the Royal Navy. A lengthy period of trials followed by work ups to get all the ships systems working and the ships company settled in and familiar with their new surroundings, after the long period in temporary accommodation whilst the building was in progress. Finally in May 1967 HMS Glamorgan was given her first foreign visit to Denmark and Holland. Also in May 1967 her first helicopter flight was formed at RNAS Portland with a Westland Wessex HAS1 anti-submarine helicopter which worked up and joined the ship in April 1968 for her first deployment to the Far East via the Caribbean, USA and the West Coast of Canada after transiting the Panama Canal. From there she transited the Pacific Ocean calling in at Hawaii and on to Singapore, The Philippines and Australia before starting the homeward leg across the Indian Ocean to South Africa. It was then back up the Atlantic Ocean to Barbados and Puerto Rico before arriving back home to complete the circumnavigation of the globe in 355 days. In the period between 1977 and 1979 Glamorgan had a major refit during which time B turret was removed and a quadruple bank of Exocet missile launchers were added. She also had her middle pair of boats removed and a triple STWS torpedo launcher fitted to the main deck on each side in their place. A large platform was added to the front of the main mast that spanned across the entire width of the ship to which was added a pair of SCOT radomes for long range communications. In 1982 HMS Glamorgan became well known in the media for her contribution to the Falklands campaign, during which time she survived a direct hit from an Exocet missile. Sadly 14 of her crew were killed and many more injured, but the ship herself was temporarily repaired and got back home after the Argentine surrender. HMS Glamorgan spent the rest of 1982 in refit, but was back at sea again in early 1983. Her last deployment was off the coast of Lebanon assisting peacekeeping forces there in 1984. In 1986 she was de-commissioned and sold to the Chilean Navy and renamed as the Almirante Latorre. She served with the Chilean Navy until 1998 when she was finally de-commissioned and laid up. On 11th April 1995 she sank in the South Pacific whilst being towed to the breakers. The Model The model comes in a sturdy and quite large cardboard box with a picture of HMS Glamorgan on the top. You don’t realise how big the Glamorgan as even in 1:350 she’s a sizable ship. As is the way with Atlantic models kits, on opening the box the modeller is confronted with a load of polystyrene chips. On top of the poly chips is an envelope with the etch sheet inside. Carefully emptying the box will reveal three ziplock bags, one with the metal parts in and the other two with the resin parts. Well wrapped in bubblewrap is the gorgeously moulded main hull, which is in two parts, split at the waterline so that either a full hull or waterline model can be built. There tow other parts wrapped in bubblewrap, these are the main parts for the fore and aft superstructures. At the bottom of the box are the instructions and a small decal sheet. The casting of the very large hull parts does have to be seen to be believed. There is not one sign of any flash, pin holes or even any sight of where a casting block was situated. It’s just silky smooth creamy resin and the only thing it needs is a good wash to remove any release agent. Peter Hall has a real talent for creating the masters for these ships. The sheer from the bow to amidships is nigh on perfect, and what deck furniture is pre moulded is wonderfully fine and well moulded. Fortunately on this ship there isn’t too much deck equipment which will make painting so much easier. The fore and aft superstructure sections are just as well moulded, although they do have some casting block debris and casting pips on the underside that will need to be removed to allow a snug fit to the deck. The detail is as good as the rest of the ship with the small exception of the windows for the bridge and those beneath the bridge which could have been a little more distinct to aid painting. Unlike the HMS Leopard/Puma kits there are no decals for these windows. The aft superstructure incorporates the ships hanger and has full internal bracing and other details pre-moulded. This is a very nice touch as the hanger on these ships was something of an oddity and exclusive to the class. The other resin parts are also really well moulded, although some do have small amounts of flash that will need to be cleaned up. The parts included in the first bag are the fore and aft funnels, gun direction platform, foremast and mainmast, and the Exocet missile mounting. There are also the Exocet blast shields, Sea Cat Director platforms The Wessex helicopter is another great piece of master making. Depicting a Wessex HAS 3 it is obvious by the instructions that this was originally going to be produced in white metal. Fortunately the change to resin has produced a much neater model. The only area some purists may find fault is the undercarriage where the main struts are solid, but in this scale it is forgivable. The second ziplock bag of resin includes the 4.5” turret, scot platform, Type 909 radar dish yolk, Type 909 radar dish, sonar dome, and 27” Whaler. The rest of the resin parts seemed also to have been made in white metal but were changed instead to resin, and these include the Fairey Huntress power boat, two Cheverton motor boats, the two SCOT radomes and the four Exocet missile box launcher. The metal parts also very well moulded, but there is quite a bit more flash than seen on the resin parts. A lot of the parts will also need to be removed from their casting blocks but there’s nothing to taxing about that and should be cleaned up pretty easily and quickly. The metal parts include the two propellers, two lengths of brass rod for the propeller shafts, two propeller shaft A frames, two rudders, eight stabiliser fins, two anchors, two 4.5” guns, SCOT comms deckhouse, and two Type 903 Director domes. In addition to that lot there is the Sea Slug Missile launcher yoke, Type 992 radar antenna, Type 1006 radar antenna, three Mk4 Fire Control Directors, two Sea Cat launchers, a deck winch, eighteen liferafts, two ECM arrays for the mainmast, two triple STWS torpedo launchers and two Corvus Decoy launchers. Etch The list of what the two large etched sheets contains would be rather long as you see in the pictures below. Now this kit is quite an intensive build when it comes to the etched parts. Get down to the pharmacist for some extra large bottles of patience and care, as you will need them. One of the most distinctive features of these ships was the huge Sea Slug missile launcher on the quarterdeck. This massive piece of girder work, with the exception of the mounting yoke is entirely made of etched brass. The launcher is a kit within a kit and due the very nature of the real item it is surprisingly complex. The other complex etched part is the equally massive Type 965 AKE-2 double bedstead radar that is sited at the top of the mainmast. This assembly features all the upper and lower antenna screens, front and rear faceplates, then tied all together with tie bars, lower mounting counter frames and the optional mounting turntable. Time taken with these two items will reap benefits in how the completed model will look as they are so distinctive. Decals True to his word Peter has continued to supply decals for his kits. This small sheet provides not only the pennant numbers for four ships, but the flightdeck markings and identification letters. The names of every ship in the class are also provided, but the modeller will have to make up the numbers of some of the class by chopping and changing the decals provided for the pennant numbers. The Wessex gets national markings and identification letters for each ships flight helicopter. There are also depth markings for the ships hull, a large and small White Ensign depending on whether the model is depicted in harbour or at sea, and a large Union Jack. Conclusion A model of the County class destroyers has been on the wishlist of many maritime modellers for many years. It is really pleasing to at last see one released which captures the wholes shape and essence of these great and good looking ships. The craftsmanship of the masters and the beautiful moulding of the resin, not to mention the large and well executed etched sheets will surely go toward making the model truly outstanding. As mentioned above, plenty of time, care and patience will be needed, and it certainly is a kit for perhaps the more experienced modeller. But at long last we can say that we have a County in our collection. Very highly recommended Review sample from my own collection
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