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  1. HMS Eskimo detail set 1/350 White Ensign Models It was good to see Trumpeter releasing the 1:350 kit of HMS Eskimo and whilst it is a nice kit overall it does have a number of problems, not all of which can be sorted with just the parts on the single etched brass sheet in this set. That said, this set will enable the modeller to build the ship in any number of forms throughout her career and also provides parts to build a number of her sisters. To really make an accurate model of the Eskimo you will need to change the ships boats, which are of the wrong type, (certainly not British), the 8 barrelled 2pdr Pom Pom also need to be replaced with a correct four barrelled example. Whilst you’re at it you may also like to change the turrets to ones of the correct shape, and the propellers. All these additions are available from White Ensign Models should you want to make one order for the etched set and all the other detail sets. The single sheet is actually quite large but doesn’t appear to have the same number of parts that some other sets have, but, what it does give you is what’s needed. The sheet is up to their usual standard, being finely and cleanly relief etched. Research will be required to ascertain which parts to use for a given build date, but they are all included, such as two types of lattice mast. There are also a couple of types of light AA weapon, the quad 0.5” machine gun mounts and the single 20mm cannon mounts with separate shields. A comprehensive radar fir is also provided, including the Type 286 array, Type 276 antenna, 285 Yagi, 282 Yagi, AA radar Yagi aerials, type 291 Yagi antenna and HF/DF Antenna, just check which ones were fitted and when. The sheet also includes the lattice masts mentioned above, which are completed with further platforms, yardarms and aerials. The alternative tripod mast is assembled from the kits parts, or the modeller can use brass rod, but the yards, aerials and are taken from this set. The bridge receives a new DF antenna, screen, canopy, aldis lamps and stove pipes, whilst the funnels each receive new funnel cap grilles, and sirens. The bridge wings and aft superstructure wings each receive new supports and the carley floats are provided with new bracing structures. A complete replacement searchlight platform will need to be carefully folded before fitting into position as is the quarterdeck mounted depth charge chute and spare charge racks. Each of the ships boats is provided with new davits and there is a new crane for the torpedo loading. As is usual the set provides a full range of railings for the ship along with inclined and vertical ladders, accommodation ladders, anchor chain and anchors. Conclusion This is another superb and useful set from White Ensign Models. It not only provides everything you need to enhance the Trumpeter kit but also helps with correcting some of the shortcomings. If used with the other sets the modeller will be able to build an accurate and highly detailed model. What is more, the instructions are really clear and informative, even showing how to fix the lack of sheer on the fo’c’sle. Highly recommended. Review sample kindly provided be John at
  2. HMS Hood Trumpeter 1:200 HMS Hood (pennant number 51) was the last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1920, she was named after the 18th-century Admiral Samuel Hood. One of four Admiral-class battlecruisers ordered in mid-1916, Hood had serious design limitations, though her design was drastically revised after the Battle of Jutland and improved while she was under construction. For this reason she was the only ship of her class to be completed. As one of the largest and, ostensibly, the most powerful warships in the world, Hood was the pride of the Royal Navy and, carrying immense prestige, was known as ‘The Mighty Hood’. She was involved in several showing the flag exercises between her commissioning in 1920 and the outbreak of war in 1939, including training exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and a circumnavigation of the globe with the Special Service Squadron in 1923 and 1924. She was attached to the Mediterranean Fleet following the outbreak of the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Hood was officially assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet until she had to return to Britain in 1939 for an overhaul. By this time, advances in naval gunnery had reduced Hood's usefulness. She was scheduled to undergo a major rebuild in 1941 to correct these issues, but the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 forced the ship into service without the upgrades. When war with Germany was declared, Hood was operating in the area around Iceland, and she spent the next several months hunting between Iceland and the Norwegian Sea for German commerce raiders and blockade runners. After a brief overhaul of her propulsion system, she sailed as the flagship of Force H, and participated in the destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. Relieved as flagship of Force H, Hood was dispatched to Scapa Flow, and operated in the area as a convoy escort and later as a defence against a potential German invasion fleet. In May 1941, she and the battleship Prince of Wales were ordered to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which were en route to the Atlantic where they were to attack convoys. On 24 May 1941, early in the Battle of the Denmark Strait, Hood was struck by several German shells, exploded and sank. Due to her perceived invincibility, the loss had a profound effect on the British people. The Royal Navy conducted two inquiries into the reasons for the ship's quick demise. The first, held very quickly after the ship's loss, concluded that Hood's aft magazine had exploded after one of Bismarck's shells penetrated the ship's armour. A second inquiry was held after complaints that the first board had failed to consider alternative explanations, such as an explosion of the ship's torpedoes. It was more thorough than the first board and concurred with the first board's conclusion. Despite the official explanation, some historians continued to believe that the torpedoes caused the ship's loss, while others proposed an accidental explosion inside one of the ship's gun turrets that reached down into the magazine. Other historians have concentrated on the cause of the magazine explosion. The discovery of the ship's wreck in 2001 confirmed the conclusion of both boards, although the exact reason the magazines detonated will always be a mystery since that area of the ship was entirely destroyed in the explosion. The Model I think I’m right in saying this is one release that maritime modellers have been really looking forward to. Since Trumpeter started their 1:200 scale product line, the Hood was one ship that was always mooted to be included. Well, here she is in her beautiful, enormous glory. Arriving in a huge box with a great painting of the mighty Hood at sea on the front the sheer size of the box gives a hint at what is inside. Once the lid has been prized away the modeller is confronted with three smaller boxes and a flapped area which covers the single piece hull, the mould for which must be amazing to see. The hull is well protected by two cardboard supports and foam pieces at each end to ensure the delicate bow and stern aren’t subject to transportation damage. Inside the other three boxes are four separate deck sections, three for the main deck and one for the shelter deck, twenty sprues, eight separate superstructures/deckhouses and four separate propellers, all in a grey styrene. There are also seven sheets of etched brass, four metal rods, a length of chain, and a smallish decal sheet. As with most Trumpeter kits the moulding of all the parts is superb, with no signs of flash or other imperfections, which is quite amazing considering the size of some of the parts, although there are quite a few moulding pips which will require extra cleaning up and the propeller blades have a slightly annoying tag on their outer edges, as you will see in the accompanying photographs. Unfortunately, also as with a lot of Trumpeter kits there are some really annoying inaccuracies, which is strange, since they did so well with their 1:350 scale kit. Whilst some are easily handled, like the rubbing down of the rather too prominent hull plates, although the hull itself is generally correct, there are also those which are a bit more difficult to rectify, namely the different sized funnels where they should be the same. Hopefully someone will release a fix for this, or it may be time to try some scratch-building. Over it is pretty accurate though, with a few minor problems, which are best noted in the excellent review by the HMS Hood association, HERE Construction begins with the fitting of the six strengthening braces into the hull; topped off with the fore deck, centre deck and quarterdeck. On the underside the propeller shaft exit glands are attached, followed by the metal shafts, A frames, propellers, ensuring you have the correct propellers on each side as they are handed, and the single rudder. Turing the hull the right side up, six parts of the rear superstructure are attached to the rear of the centre deck, along with four cable reels which are a combination of PE and plastic, followed by a selection of vents, hatches and upper deck supports. The large, single piece shelter deck is then fitted atop of the superstructure parts, also covering the join between the foredeck and centre deck. The lower bridge structure is fitted with bottom sections of the mast supports, a pair of three piece paravanes, six boat booms, four Carley floats and some small platforms, before being glued into position. The shelter deck is then fitted out with numerous ventilator mushrooms, inclined ladders, and derricks, whilst a large boat boom is fitted to either side of the hull amidships. The cradles for the ships boats are then added to the shelter deck, followed by yet more ventilators, chimneys and a pair of large ammunition hatches. The sixteen small ready use lockers and seventeen cable reels are then assembled and glued into position, followed by the thirty five large ready use lockers. On the foredeck, the anchor chain windlasses, four smaller windlasses, and main breakwater are attached, along with the breakwaters either side of B turret. Then more mushroom vents, windlass, lockers and chain pipes are fitted, followed by the large vents around both B turret barbette and the armoured control tower base, which also has three winches fitted to the deck around it. The four piece anchors are then assembled and fitted to the hawse pipes, followed by two lengths of chain and two deckhouses attached to the rear of the main breakwater. The quarterdeck is similarly fitted out with mushroom vents, although not quite so many, winches, large vents around X turret barbette and the prominent inclined ladders either side of the rear superstructure, as well as the square scuttles sited nearby. Back on the foredeck there are several derricks fitted, along with the Jackstaff, cleats, and bollards. Similar fittings are attached to the quarter deck, along with the Ensign staff, as you can see the instructions bounce around a little. The build then moves onto the superstructure, with the assembly of the sundry parts fitted to the rear funnel base, as well as Carley floats, winches and two of the smaller ships boats, a smaller tower structure is attached, and fitted with two, two piece wireless arms. The after tower structure at the end of the shelter deck is a single piece item and is fitted with a number of platforms and their associated supports, the after main armament director, made up from nine parts, two large intakes, two six piece searchlights and one of three, eleven piece AA directors, one large and two small Carley floats. The two structures are then glued to their respective positions. The shelter deck is then fitted with more hatches, intakes and five deckhouses. The four searchlight platforms, two either side of the aft tower and two alongside the aft funnel are fitted along with their searchlights, whilst the aft PomPom platform and two quad machine gun platforms along with their seven piece mounts are glued into position. The base of the bridge tower is attached to the tops of three deckhouses, behind which the four flag lockers are fitted on either side of the forward shelter deck there are two observers binoculars, and aldis lamp, a large signal lamps, a semaphore pole and a quad machine gun mount. Two large and two small directors/rangefinders are also fitted near the signal lamps. The armoured tower and deck structure are then glued into position, followed by the tower roof and the large six piece director/rangefinder. Onto the deck, three deckhouses are fitted, along with four inclined ladders and a vertical ladder. The bridge itself is a single piece part, and is fitted out with sixteen observers binoculars, two AA directors, two searchlights, three further decks the lower mast supports, foremast, the complex PE foremast starfish structure, top mast, lower yardarm, inclined ladders, vertical ladders, and main armament director. The funnels are next on the assembly line, and whilst the rear funnel is the wrong size, most modellers will probably overlook this and build the kit straight out of the box. Each funnel is in two halves, which are then glued to the base, and fitted out with PE hand/foot rails, internal platform, spacers funnel cap and grilles, followed by the numerous uptakes fitted to the outside of each funnel. The main mast is next up and whilst the mast itself is a relatively simple build, the various fittings for the boat crane are PE parts, as is the complex starfish platform. The upper mast is attached to the platform and topped off with the Type 281 radar array. The crane is a single piece jib, PE hook assembly and PE cable assembly. Once complete the funnels, foremast and mainmast assemblies are glued to their respective positions, as are two smaller boat cranes fitted one each side of the rear funnel. There are thirteen large ships boats provided in the kit, a mixture of cutters and motor boats and each is made up from multiple parts, including propellers, propeller shafts, rudders, etc, but strangely the rowing boats are not provided with any oars. They may have been stored elsewhere when cruising, but it would have been nice to have some for interest. The completed boats are then attached to their respective cradles. Finally we come to the armament. There are four, six piece UP mountings, with the option of using PE or plastic parts to build them, six, seven piece four inch secondary turrets, and three, eighteen piece octuple 2pdr PomPoms. The main turrets are very nicely moulded, although perhaps a little deep. Each turret is made up from the turret, turret base, trunnion mounts, and two slide moulded gun barrels. Each turret is then fitted with a four piece rangefinder mounted to the rear, but only B turret is then fitted with a UP mounting platform that sits astride the rangefinder and X turret is fitted with two platforms that are attached to the starboard side of the turret roof. The completed armament is then fitted to the model. To complete the model, a full ships worth of railings is provided in PE, as well as four accommodation ladders, four Jacobs ladders and a pair of lifering quick release racks. Oh and of course the rigging and painting to the modellers taste. Decals For the size of the model, the decal sheet is actually quite small and contains only the ships two nameplates for the rear quarters and a selection of Union Jacks and White Ensigns in different sizes and in straight or wavy form along with two Vice Admiral’s pennants. They are nicely produced and appear to have a nice thin carrier film and to be in register. Conclusion It’s been a little while since this kit has been released, and its popularity has meant that we have only now been able to get hold of it. Overall impressions are very good, with the hull and most of the structure being pretty accurate overall. It’s just a shame that Trumpeter, once again, have snatched defeat from what would have been a great victory with the difference in funnel sizes even without the smaller discrepancies. It’s still a wonderful kit and with a super detail set from the likes of Pontos, who look like they are including a new resin funnel, and Mk1 Designs you can relatively easily produce an amazing, museum standard model. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  3. HMS Arrow Atlantic Models 1:350 The Type 21 Frigate was the Royal Navy’s first privately designed ship taken into service for a long time. The RN had a requirement for a general purpose vessel to replace the Leopard and Salisbury class Frigates that were not very well suited to escort duties due to their diesel power plants. Vosper Thornycroft came up with a modern designed frigate that they claimed was comparatively cheaper than the Leander class frigates already in service. The new ship was all gas turbine powered and was not restricted by having to allow time for boilers to bring up steam for propulsion. The Admiralty ordered eight ships of the new class beginning with the name ship HMS Amazon with all of the remainder of the classes names beginning with A and these were all accepted into service between July 1974 and April 1978. The type was well liked by all those that served in them, but because of their small size and lack of long range radar, there was no prospect of being able to modernise them as they were already close to their top weight limits. All of the class served during the Falklands campaign of 1982 with Amazon being the only one to arrive late in the second group of ships, after the Argentine surrender. Two of the class were lost to enemy fire. Ardent was strafed and bombed repeatedly by flights of aircraft on the 21st May and sunk. Antelope received bomb hits om the 23rd May which failed to explode, but one was set off by the disposal team attempting to defuse it. The resulting fire set off the ships magazines which broke her back and sinking her. HMS Arrow was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd, Glasgow and launched on 5th February 1974 by Lady Raper, wife of Vice Admiral Sir George Raper, Arrow was the fifth Type 21 Frigate to be built and the first to carry Exocet missiles. She was commissioned on 29th July 1976 in Sunderland, the town to which she was affiliated. HMS Arrow served along with all her sister ships that made up the 4th Frigate squadron, during the Falklands campaign in 1982, and was in the first wave of ships deployed. She claimed the distinction of being the first ship to fire on the Argentine shore positions as well as the first ship to be hit by enemy fire after being strafed by a fighter jet. She went alongside HMS Sheffield after the missile attack which disabled her, and helped to take off the survivors. She operated in and around Falkland sound with HMS Alacrity, keeping the seaway open and providing gunfire support to the troops ashore. After Arrow returned from home she went into refit until September 83 after which she headed back to the Falklands as guardship. She also spent time in the West Indies as guardship and carrying out anti piracy patrols. HMS Arrow served in the fleet until 1994 after which she was decommissioned and sold to the Pakistan Navy and re named PNS Khaibar. She remains in service to this day in the Pakistan Navy where she serves alongside the other five remaining Type 21 Frigates that were purchased from the United Kingdom. Model The kit comes in the standard sturdy Atlantic Models box filled with poly chips to protect the contents. The metal, (39 parts), and smaller resin, (20 pieces) parts are contained in to zip lock bags stapled to a piece of card, whilst another, slightly larger zip-lock bag contains the larger resin parts, (4 pieces). The upper and lower hull sections are further protected from damage, by being wrapped in bubble wrap. There is a long envelope found at the bottom of the box containing the large sheet of etched brass, whilst a separate disc holder contains the instruction disc and a sheet of decals. When the hull is unwrapped the first thing that strikes you is the cleanliness of the resin. It is silky smooth, with no sign of deformation, bubbles or other imperfections, Peter must also have the shrinkage weighed off, as when the two sections are joined, (at the waterline) they are a near perfect match, with only the slightest difference at the rear which can easily be sorted with a couple of swipes of a sanding stick. The rest of the resin parts are just as well moulded, although the large sections of the superstructure do appear to have more pour stubs on their undersides than normal. These are needed to ensure that all the superb detail on these quite large sections are moulded correctly. They just need some careful removal with a scalpel blade and a sanding stick. The foremast and most of the smaller parts have some flash, but it’s very soft and easily removed. The white metal parts are the only pieces that have any flash, but again, this will be easily removed and cleaned up. The large etch sheet is what we have come to expect from Atlantic Models, beautiful clean relief etching, great design and lots of parts, and is probably the area that makes these models more for the experienced modeller than even the resin. Before any construction can take place, make sure you clean all the parts in warm soapy water to get rid of any mould release agent that may be attached. Once the parts have been cleaned it’s on with the build, beginning with several sub assemblies, namely the 4.5” gun turret which is made up form a resin turret, white metal gun and four etched parts. The two 20mm Oerlikons are each made up from four etched parts, whilst the single Seacat missile launcher is made from a single resin launcher, four PE guide rails and each of the four missiles from three PE parts. The two Corvus chaff launchers are also of resin and have an etched flare launcher fitted to the two tubes. They are then fitted to the bases, each of which has an etched railing to their rear. The 913 fire control radar can be used as is, a single piece resin part, or, for the more adventurous, the radar dish can be removed and replaced with and etched piece. The two double Exocet launchers are also moulded in resin, and are fitted with the four Exocet canisters and handed etched platforms with railings to the front. If you wish, you can leave the canisters off; as they weren’t always fitted, just check your references. The main radar platform is fitted with PE under panels. The foremast has been moulded with several sensors attached, but since these can be quite brittle, PE alternatives have been provided. The Type 1006 radar platform is fitted with the white metal radar and PE railings, whilst at the top of the mast the Abbey Hill array is attached, followed by the Type 992 platform, with its metal 992 and IFF Interrogator arrays, PE railings and front mounted antenna. The PE yardarms and aerials are then attached to the mast sides, front quarter and forward faces. The compelted mast can then be put aside to dry properly. There is more PE work next with the assembly of the wire antenna collector, small boat stowage, into which the small resin boats are fitted, small boat davit. The main mast can be assembled either as an early or late version. If you’re modelling the late version, you will need to cut the PE DF antenna off eh PE part and glue to the resin section of the later version. Both version are then fitted with the yardarms and their supports. The small boat stowage, Corvus chaff assemblies and small boat davit are fitted to the mid section of the superstructure, whilst he funnel section is fitted with the two resin SCOT platforms, with PE railings, SCOT transmitter house, funnel intake grilles, exhaust grilles, auxiliary conning station and several small PE railings. The main boat davits are next, these are made up from two PE parts each and there are four davits to be assembled, each pair joined by another PE part. The PE life raft racks are then folded to shape and fitted with the metal liferafts, before being located around the ship. The metal anchor are glued into position and the forward railings attached to the foredeck. In B position the missile launchers are attached, along with the RAS post and missile telemetry aerial. The bridge section and 01 deck railings are then attached, followed by the 20mm Oerlikon assemblies. Around the funnel section the intake box supports are fitted to each side, along with the respective railings, two further intake grilles on the aft section of the funnel, the ships boats and their davits, and the two triple torpedo tubes. The hanger section is fitted out with the Seacat launcher and associated radar on the roof, a choice of either early or late shield railings, to each side, flight deck netting, either raised or lowered, flightdeck lighting rig, and hanger door. Since there is quite a bit of detail, which can be further improved by the modeller, inside the hanger, you may wish to cut down the hanger door and depict it in the open position. On the quarter deck there is a rack fitted with a pair of acoustic decoys, another for fuel tanks, a small davit and obligatory railings. If you are building the model full hull, then you would have already fitted the upper and lower hulls together and cleaned up any joins. Whilst the instructions show them fitted last, it may be an idea to fit the two white metal stabiliser fins, rudders, metal propeller shafts, white metal propellers and white metal A frames before beginning any of the topside work. The kit also comes with two helicopters, a Westland Wasp, with resin fuselage and etched flotation gear, undercarriage main and tail rotors. The other is the Westland Lynx, again with resin fuselage and PE rotors, but this time with a separate tail which can be posed in the folded position. The main rotors of both helicopters can be shown folded, the lynx having blade fold poles fitted to the tail sides. Decals The single decal sheet contains the main pennant numbers for F169, F170 and F184, with F185 included int he transom mounted numbers. There individual numbers included to enable the modeller to produce pennant numbers for any ship of the class. To aid with this the ships names for the whole class are also included along with the appropriate flight deck code letters. The flight deck also receives the correct white markings, whilst the hull has the depth marks provided and the helicopters the correct codes for the nose of each helicopter for each ships flight along with roundels and Royal Navy lettering. The decals are very nicely printed, with very little carrier film and are quite thin, although I understand they aren’t as thin as Atlantics own HMS Leopard and HMS Puma kits, which were a little too unforgiving. Conclusion Well, once again Atlantic Models have done it again, producing a kit that has been on the wish-lists of many a maritime modeller for a long time. Not only that, but Peter has produce, in my opinion another winner. The mouldings are superb, the etch amazing and even if you don’t like the use of white metal, there is still a place for it if it helps produce amazing models, which with a bit of care this kit can be done. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  4. HMS Scorpion Atlantic Models 1:350 HMS Scorpion was an S-class destroyer of the Royal Navy, the eleventh of her name, commissioned on 11 May 1943. Initially she was to be named Sentinel, but this was changed following the loss of the Dragonfly-class river gunboat Scorpion in the Bangka Strait in February 1942. Scorpion joined the 23rd Destroyer Flotilla of the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow on 11 May 1943 and was deployed on patrol in the North-western Approaches. On 20 October she joined an escort group of nine destroyers, a Norwegian corvette and two minesweepers which sailed to the Kola Inlet as part of Operation FR, tasked to bring back merchant ships that had been waiting in Russian ports over the summer while the Arctic Convoys were suspended. Covered by dense fog, convoy RA54A arrived safely in Loch Ewe on 14 November, while the destroyer flotilla turned around to escort Convoy JW 54B to Archangel. She returned to Scapa Flow, but was out again on 10 December to screen the battleship Duke of York and cruiser Jamaica which had been ordered to sea to cover Convoy JW 55A. The Kriegsmarine did not emerge and so she sailed with the battleship all the way through to the Kola Inlet, an unusual and risky move that surprised the Russians. Scorpion covered Duke of York as she returned west to refuel in Akureyri in Iceland on 21 December 1943. The Home Fleet left Iceland on 23 December to cover Convoy RA 55A and Convoy JW 55A, alerted of German intentions to intercept one of the convoys by Ultra intelligence. On 26 December the German battleship Scharnhorst, escorted by five destroyers, attempted to attack the ships of Convoy JW 55A, but were driven away by Admiral Burnett's three light cruisers and then cut off by Admiral Fraser's force. During the action Duke of York hit Scharnhorst's starboard boiler room with a 14 inch shell, slowing her briefly to 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) as she attempted to evade the British fleet. This provided the destroyers with an opportunity to attack with torpedoes. Closing from astern, Saumarez and Savage fired star-shell, blinding the Germans to the approach of Scorpion and the Norwegian Stord on the starboard side of the battleship. The two destroyers launched 16 torpedoes, scoring one hit, and driving Scharnhorst into firing range of Saumarez and Savage, which scored two more hits. This crippled the German ship and allowed the slower Duke of York to catch up and sink her. After the battle Scorpion picked up 30 survivors and sailed on to the Kola Inlet, arriving there on 27 December. She returned to Scapa Flow with the rest of the fleet on New Year's Eve. In March 1944 Scorpion was assigned to the "Ocean Escort" force for Convoy JW 58, one of the largest Arctic convoys of the war. All ships arrived safely and Scorpion returned with Convoy RA 58. Scorpion was then assigned to Force S, alongside several other S-class destroyers, part of the Normandy invasion fleet. During May she took part in preparatory exercises before sailing to Spithead early in June. She crossed the channel on 5 June and took up position off Ouistreham to bombard targets in support of Allied landing forces in the Queen Sector of Sword Beach. On 7 June she was assigned to patrol the Eastern Task Force area following the loss of her sister ship, the Norwegian Svenner to German T-boats. On 9 June she was detached with Scourge to reinforce the O-class destroyer flotilla against the threat posed by the German heavy destroyers from Brest. She spent the rest of June, July and August on patrol in the English Channel protecting convoys from E-boats. Scorpion returned to escorting the Arctic convoys in September 1944, screening the battleship Rodney in support of Convoy JW 60 and then Convoy RA 60. In October she was diverted to support Operation Lycidas, screening two escort carriers, Fencer and Trumpeter, as they carried out aerial minelaying around the Norwegian coast. In November, sailing with Savage, she carried Norwegian troops to the Kola Inlet (Operation Freeman), their role being to join Red Army as it pushed the Germans away from Murmansk back into Norway, lending authority to the Norwegian Government in exile. She then joined the escort for Convoy RA 60A on 11 November. Later in the month she supported two more operations with escort carriers off the Norwegian coast near Karmøy on 20 November (Operation Handfast) and then near Mosjøen on 27 November. She escorted Convoy JW 63 over the New Year period, her anti-aircraft gunners accidentally shooting at (and missing) two Wildcats which had been launched to intercept a German aircraft. She escorted four more Arctic convoys early in 1945, RA 63 in January, RA 64 in February, and JW 65 and RA 65 in March. She was also deployed to support three more operations in the North Sea in February, Operations Selenium, Shred and Groundsheet. She continued in service with the Home Fleet until VJ Day in August 1945 when she was placed in reserve. In October 1945, Scorpion was sold to the Dutch Navy and renamed Kortenaer, serving as a destroyer until 1957 when she was converted to a fast frigate. She was broken up in 1962. The Model Originally, this kit was to be released by the old White Ensign Models. Unfortunately they folded before this could take place, or should I say fortunately, as this and her sister kit have been taken up, like many of the old WEM kits, by Peter Hall at Atlantic Models. Issued under the WEM banner of Atlantic Models the kit arrived at BM’s London offices in the standard sturdy cardboard box. Inside the kit was smothered in poly chips, which provide the much need protection when in transit. Once the poly chips have been removed there are two zip-lock bags, one containing the resin parts, the majority of which in held in small zip-lock bags, whilst the other hold the holds the white metal parts and lengths of brass wire which are used to make the propeller shafts and the basis for the early style tripod mast, late main mast and yardarms. There is also a length of plastic rod which is used to make the depth charges from. As we have come to expect from Atlantic Models, the casting of the resin parts is exceptional, with no signs of imperfections, or bubbles, and only a small amount of flash which is very thin and easy to remove. I wish I knew how Peter does the masters, as there are parts that shouldn’t be doable with resin, such as the main section of the forward superstructure, which includes the chimney “sprouting” from the rear underside of the lower bridge wings. You will need to be careful of this when building, as, if you are as clumsy as I am when building, you will knock it off. There are quite a fe moulding points on the underside of each superstructure section, but, once again these shouldn’t take too long to remove and clean up. The hulls are where these kits really shine, and this is no exception, although when mated there does seem to be a slight undercut to the lower hull which will need to be filled and sanded to make the hull section smooth. If you are making the kit as a waterline, then you will not need to worry. The metal parts never seem to be quite as sharp as the resin, but that is the nature of the material, there are still well moulded, just a little fuzzy. Since you will need to clean most of them up, due to flash and material excess, you can give them a quick swipe with a sanding stick to sharpen them up. Construction begins with the assembly of the main gun turrets. The open turrets will need the gun opening to be cleaned out as they are flashed over out of the box, the metal guns can then be slid into position on their trunnions. The twin 40mm Bofors mount is also assembled at this point, and consists of a resin mounting and metal guns. To the Bofors mount the seven etched parts and a small section of 10thou plastic are attached. The twin 20mm Oerlikon mounts are next, each made from a metal mount and metal guns. Two Oerlikons are fitted to the superstructure mounted just aft of the funnel, this is also fitted out with a platform onto which the main searchlight is fitted along with the appropriate length of railing. The Bofors platform, fitted between the two torpedo tubes is fitted with the Bofors gun, two Carley racks and their floats. With the superstructure sections fitted to the hull the four main turrets can be glued into their respective positions. To the Bridge structure, the main director, director access platform, Type 285 Yagi aerial array, DF aerial, signal lamps and DCT Control tower are all attached, along with the bridge screen and optional bridge awning. The forward superstructure section is fitted with another pair of Oerlikons, lower wing support braces, two Carley float racks, plus floats. There is an option of early or late fits of foremast, the early is made up from the lengths of brass rod, etched braces and yardarms, which can be strengthened with more brass rod, and a white metal crows nest. The mast is usually free from top fittings, but can be fitted with the Type 291 aerial. The later mast is a lattice type, with the PE sections glued together and topped off with a platform with railings. The platform is fitted with a weather vane frame and the cheese slice style radar antenna. The yardarms are then attached, along with the topmast which can be fitted with either a Type 291 radar antenna or an MF/DF antenna. To the foreward end of the rear superstructure an optional single pole past or lattice mast with optional Type 291 or MF/DF antenna is fitted, along with a long length of vertical ladder stock. The Oerlikon platform is fitted with a small mast or wire antenna spreader, basically a length of brass wire with a PE yardarm. The funnel is fitted with a pair of platform braces/handrails, funnel cap and siren bracket, whilst the ships boat davits are folded to shape and attached to the ships boats, the cutter being fitted with the PE thwarts and gunwhales. Each of the depth charge throwers are made of PE and once folded to shape fitted with a length of plastic rod cut to size and fitted with PE end caps. More depth charges are need for the PE stowage racks and stern rails which are fitted with a TSDS gantry. With the superstructures glued to the decks, the two torpedo tubes can be attached, along with their respective cranes. Alternatively you can use the white metal parts for the throwers, with charges mounted and the the separate charges for the racks and stern rails. The ships railings can then be glued into position, along with the PE anchor cables and anchors. The two torpedo deck catwalks, each made from three PE parts are glued between the respective superstructure sections over the torpedo tubes. If you are building the model full hulled, the two lengths of brass wire used to make the propellers shafts are slid into the A frames and glued into position, followed by the propellers and finally, the rudder. Conclusion This has got be another winner from the hands of Peter Hall, the release of this and its sister ship, HMS Vigilant fills another gap in the maritime modellers wish list. The superb moulding and detailed parts, resin, metal and in particular the etched brass will go towards making a wonderful model of an important yet mostly forgotten class of destroyer. Very highly recommended Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  5. In case those of you in the UK haven't heard yet, I have started an online shop based in the UK for small scale ship modellers. Currently in stock are resin kits and accessories from Combrig, Samek, AJM, Orange Hobby, L'Arsenal, Niko and North Star, with etch from Lion Roar, Flyhawk and my own brand Starling Models. Other accessories in stock include 3d Modelparts, Master Barrel and Uschi van der Rosten's excellent rigging thread. Also in stock are kits from Flyhawk, I will be importing all of their new releases this year, all at very competitive prices. In time I hope to release some kits, some of these will be those formerly released under the Fine Waterline label with some upgrades. It is still very early days so in time I will hopefully be adding to the list of brands in stock but for those of you in the UK who are finding it difficult to get those much needed kits and accessories, stop by and have a look. http://www.starling-models.co.uk Mike
  6. Introduction Time for my first WIP-contribution to this forum. It regards a 1/350 HMS Dreadnought by Zvezda, with aftermarket stuff from Pontos and WEM. Scratchwork beside the aftermarket stuff will be plentiful. For reference purposes I mainly use John Roberts' magnificent book "The Battleship Dreadnought - Anatomy of the ship" featuring hundreds of drawings. Beside that I use old photographs from a Dreadnought photo DVD that can be purchased and Kagero's 3D-book and drawing, although the latter are not a reliable source. My impression of the kit Zvezda have done a great job on some aspects such as certain detailing, not so good of others. The biggest problem is that Zvezda have copied the port and starboard sides of the hull: to be exact, the starboard side is mirrored onto the port side. This is thoroughly incorrect as the layout of ports and side scuttles ('portholes') on respective sides are anything but symmetrical. The only thing differing the Zvezda port from starboard is the single hawsepipe (port) vs. the double hawsepipe on starboard. By the way if you think that's a good reason to choose a Trumpeter Dreadnought, think again; that kit has exactly the same flaw. Quite the coincidence, obviously. The problem that Zvezda faced when they were engineering this kit must have been that there are no drawings available of the ship's port side. Plenty of pictures though and on pages 79-87 of the Roberts book there are very precise drawings showing the position of the side scuttles and ports on both sides. My impression of the literature Roberts' book is simply excellent in almost every way. One should use this as a primary source of reference if desiring to scratchbuild this ship. I have not seen any obvious mistakes in the book thus far. Kagero's book is very nice but not for recreating the hull. Like Zvezda and Trumpeter, they have not based their drawing on Roberts' drawings but, rather, seem to have made estimations based on pictures. Comparing Roberts' drawings and Kagero's book to real photographs, it is understandable that certain mistakes were made by Kagero, but still it's a shame (also for their own efforts) because they have done such an amazing job on the 3D-rendering. I recommend using both books (Kagero's to a certain extent as mentioned) and I also recommend purchasing the picture DVD. It features more than 50 photographs of HMS Dreadnought I had not found via Google. This topic I usually take a lot of pictures and describe almost everything I do. I know some of you will like that, others will not. As this is my first WIP-topic on this forum I'll just try to design this topic as I usually do and see what you'll think of it. If my elaborateness is not much desired I'll keep it more compact next time. I started building this ship about a year ago but not much visual progress was made due to the above-mentioned problems. Actually, the only visible progress is 'going back to basic' as I sanded the two hull sides flat. Of course, at first I didn't see Zvezda's errors. Then I followed Kagero's plans, then I found out that also Kagero's plans are faulty, etc. etc. Other builds have also interfered with this one. Many, many mistakes were made and corrected. I always describe my own errors, hoping that others will learn from them. Time spent on the Dreadnought before the following picture was taken: 97 hours. Number of pictures taken and described until then: 117. Let's start from that point! Oh yes.. as a non-native speaker mistakes in language can be made. I'd very much appreciate it if you guys correct me if I use certain terms incorrectly. The build 118. Originally I didn't know how to make the cone-shaped relief at the hawsepipe. So I decided to move that relief a few millimeters. Starting by drilling a hole. 119. Removal of the part by using a microsaw and a sharp hobby knife. 120. After the amputation. 121. Filing the plastic a bit towards the designated position, then glueing both parts together (some pieces of Evergreen are added, not yet installed when the picture was taken). 122. Gluing the brass sheet onto the polystyrene. Secure with a plastic modeling support. 123. Making the next piece of brass sheet (toward 'P' barbette). The impressions are where the side scuttles should be drilled (1 mm.). 124. Holes are drilled into the plastic. 125. And then I started anew (yet again), because the two pieces of brass sheet didn't connect / align. Something just wasn't right... It obviously had something to do with the troublesome mathematics involved in calculating the sizes and lengths. Without the use of a 3D-model the lengths are virtually impossible to calculate for someone with limited math skills such as myself. A hull has two curvatures: horizontal and vertical. Because of that, calculating the lengths of sheet or distances between side scuttles is almost impossible. On top of that, certain horizontal lines which I thought to be dead straight turned out to be slightly curved. Time to say goodbye to (some) calculations, as on 1/350 a deviation of merely a tenth of a millimeter is visible. After some deliberations I decided to try to tackle this in a different, more thorough, way. I followed the following step by step-plan: 1) Sideview drawing: measure distances flying deck -> sea level, every 5 resp. 10 millimeter along the hull, accuracy 1/100th of a millimeter. 2) Sideview drawing: measure distances high deck -> sea level, every 5 resp. 10 millimeter along the hull, accuracy 1/100th of a millimeter. 3) Sideview drawing: measure all distances regarding armor plates (4 lines horizontal along the full length of the hull, 4 lines vertical). 4) Draw all other objects such as side scuttles, ports, hawsepipe etc. and measure their heights as well as horizontal position from bow. 5) Multiplying all values *1,097 (scale 1/350) and adding 2,75 millimeter due to raised height -> Zvezda apparently added 2,75 millimeters to the sea level line along the length of the hull. 6) Top view drawing: measure distances of all side scuttles (port side), top row and bottom row. Multiplying by 1,097. 7) Positioning the brass sheet onto the model and scratching every individual spot into the brass with an electronic marking gauge. This way, a sort of puzzle evolves, which needs to be carved out and on which holes are to be drilled. Hereunder I illustrate these things through photographs. To start, I attach the brass sheet and measure it. 126. Working with two rules simultaneously. 127. Scratching the lines. Where there were height differences between two impressions, scratching was performed, for example, by moving the gauge from left to right and at the same time lightly and gradually rotating the gauge. 128. Due to copyright reasons I cannot show (parts) of the drawings featuring measurements. Quite of few of them are present, it was a lot of work. 129. Interim score: a couple of lines were drawn. 130. I don't often need my outside caliper, but now it comes in very handy! Using it, the contours of the bow could be perfectly scratched into the brass. 131. The construction on the following picture needs some explanation. I used it to mark the horizontal position of the side scuttles and ports on the brass sheet. 1) Ruler is attached by tape to table, perpendicular to table ('work bench') side. 2) Hull is also on table, along table side so perpendicular to ruler, also taped to the table. 3) Electronic marking gauge (I'll hereinafter call that simply 'gauge') is used parallel to the ruler on one side and equal to the ruler on the other side. That way, a 'sideview-straightness' is created. 4) If according to the drawing 100 millimeters behind the bow a side scuttle is present, that number must be multiplied by 1,097. The gauge is extended to 109,7 millimeter and is positioned over the ruler (which is taped onto the table). Where the extended arm of the gauge touches the hull, I mark a little dot using a 0,3mm. fineliner. 5) Using a folding knife (see photo) or ruler, a vertical line kan be drawn. Somewhere along that line the side scuttle will be drilled. The height will be determined later. 6) To keep an overview of the situation, I number the side scuttles and ports. This makes for a precise measurement as ruler and ship are perpendicular and solidly taped to the table, plus all measurements are based on the Roberts' drawings. 132. Marking with the fineliner. 133. Current status. 134. Markings are where the side scuttle holes should be drilled: simply measured on the drawing, multiplied by 1,097 and 2,75 millimeters added. 135. And this is what it looks like after -finally- the brass is detached from the hull. Beside measurements, it took about 5 hours to prepare this piece for carving and drilling. Very excited and slightly nervous... I can't make any mistake now or I have to restart yet again! 136. Meanwhile I have learned how to make a cone shape in brass... by using a 0,5mm. metal drill on a Boschhammer machine ! I tried to drill a hole but it just didn't work. Everytime I tried I got a cone. At one point I thought... hey, wait a minute! This is exactly what I need! Still, practice is necessary. To make a nice round cone I had to practice a couple of times, scrapping quite a bit of brass sheet . 137. The scratches will be deepened and thereafter bent back and forth, so that the sheet will eventually break along the fold lines. 138. Drilling was done -as you can imagine- extremely carefully. I really couldn't afford to make any mistake. 139. On the next picture (don't mind the bent cone) you can see the peculiar way the heights of the side scuttles vary. Only by the curvature of the hull and the sheet (when attached to the hull), it will appear straight. But this result I could never have attained by calculating only... 140. Filing the backside of the brass in order to make it nice and flat, makes for two accessory advantages: it creates grip for the glue to 'bite' and it nicely precurves the sheet. 141. This time it (logically) fits. Nevertheless for me it is marvelous to see this result after so much work (most of which is not discussed in this first post). 142. To demonstrate the size, in comparison with a 1/24 scale Krupp Titan-engine, see the next picture. Also the reinstated cone is visible here. Spent time thus far: 113.
  7. HMS Illustrious R-06 Eduard 1:350 The Airfix 1:350 HMS Illustrious kit has been out for some time now, in fact it was first released in 2010. It’s only since the sad demise of White Ensign Models that Eduard have finally decided to release some etch sets for the kit. There are three sets in total providing everything the modeller needs to superdetail their kit. (53136 Superstructure) This two sheet set contains one large sheet and one small one. As the set name suggests this set is purely to add detail to the island superstructure and will make for a very busy and detailed area. Before adding any etch a lot of the moulded kit details have to be removed, so study the instructions carefully, as it’s probably best done before anything else. Apart from all the watertight doors, hatches, vertical ladders the set contains new air intakes, goofer deck railings, otherwise known as 02 deck, and 05 deck railings, along with numerous small fixtures and fittings. The Type1022 radar is all but replaced with PE with only the bottom mounting and IFF aerial kept from the kit part. The funnels receive new yards, complete with their associated aerials, plus the upper hand/foot rails, whilst the main and fore masts are also fitted out with new yards, supports, platforms, complete with railings and aerials. A completely new platform and its supports are fitted just aft of the rear funnel, in fact there appears to be quite a few new platforms contained in this set, each with their supports and railings. The Satcom dishes and several other aerials are replaced with complex etched parts which will need some careful rolling to get the correct shape and there are new bases for most of the other kit aerials and radars. Whilst the individual floodlights from the kit are used, some careful cutting will be required for these; the support frames are completely replaced. Around the Flyco area of the bridge there is some new netting and beneath, the landing light arrays and their support frame are attached. At flight deck level there are seven new hose reels to fold and fit. (53137 Flight Deck) This single large sheet set contains not only lots of detail for the flightdeck, which includes the catwalks but also for other areas. As with the previous set there is quite a bit of kit detail that needs to be removed first, before the etch can be aded. The watertight doors on the quarterdeck and each of the boat deck openings and included, along with the two accommodation ladders, one for each side and all the railings that are pre cut to fit into their respective opening. Along both sides of the ship there are large air intakes and these are replaced with etched parts. On the inboard side of the ski-ramp the set includes a length of netting, two hose reels and three hatches, whilst on the foredeck new closed chocks, and mooring platforms are fitted and a selection of hose reels are fitted in the catwalks. The next bit will require lost of careful cutting out as all the kit catwalks are replaced with the exception of the outer bulkheads. The bulkheads are then fixed to the new perforated etched parts before being attached to the hull and all the angled supports fitted. Lastly the ships crane is provided with new lifting wires, guides, rollers and a hook, whilst the ships boats all have new handrails, guardrails and helm wheel fitted. (53138 Safety Nets). As the name suggests this set contains a full ships worth of safety netting is supplied on the one smallish sheet. Well, everything that wasn’t included in the set above. Conclusion It’s nice to see Eduard finally bringing these sets out as with the loss of WEM modellers were unable to detail their HMS Illustrious kits to the extent that other models could. Now this has been rectified I wonder if we’ll see more models being built and seen on Britmodeller and at shows. Review sample courtesy of
  8. HMS Cleopatra Atlantic Models 1:350 The Leander class was the UKs most successful frigate design. This design combined operational flexibility with excellent sea-keeping in affordable ships that were adaptable to new requirements. Leander s were very active with Royal Navy aircraft carrier task forces and in other operations. This section covers the RN ships as built. A separate section covers these ships as modernized. In the late 1950s the naval construction directorate added air conditioning and a helicopter facility to a Rothesay (Type 12) design intended for New Zealand. Features brought forward from the Type 12 design included the hull shape, the engineering plant, and part of the armament. Elimination of deck-mounted tubes for the cancelled Mk 20E heavy torpedo permitted a larger superstructure while still leaving paths on deck for underway replenishment. In a new seawater-compensating fuel system, fuel tanks once emptied of black oil could be refilled with seawater to maintain proper trim. This eliminated the Type 12's separate water-ballast trim tanks and permitted the relocation of heavy equipment in their stead low in the ship. Both diesel electrical generators were relocated from the forecastle to a lower location forward of the boiler room. Their exhaust vented through ducts in the foremast, which was stepped further forward than in the Type 12. With the resulting increased stability margin and the additional internal space, the designers added a large operations center, the helicopter facility, variable-depth sonar (VDS), long-range air-search radar, more-capable communications, a centralized galley, active stabilizer fins, and provision for Sea Cat missiles for close-range air defence. The Admiralty, greatly liking this design, ordered conversion to it of an authorized Type 61 frigate and of three Type 12 frigates on the building ways. These became the first four Leanders. The Leander class never had a frigate type number, in particular not Type 12M. Type-numbering of new designs was functionally irrelevant after the RN abandoned the mobilization strategy in 1954. During the 10-year construction program the installed armament varied.. The Canadian-developed combination of variable-depth sonar and a ship-based helicopter was intended to equalize the fight against fast submarines. With VDS, the helicopter, and the improved operations room, Leanders could engage submarines at longer range, which improved the probability for detecting submarines and gave more time to engage. Seven of the first 10 ships mounted imported Canadian SQS-504 VDS as Sonar Type 199 and four later ships mounted British-built licensed copies. Other ships carried the hoisting gear for the VDS but never received transducers. The first ten ships retained the Y-100 steam propulsion plant of the Type 12 and Type 14 frigates. The next six, Phoebe through Danae, had a Y-136 improved propulsion plant. The final ten ships mounted the same armament as the preceding ships but featured a Y-160 automated propulsion plant and a wider hull for modernization. The RN built 26 Leanders and other navies built 18. This total of 44 set the post-1945 record for construction to one design among frigates and larger warships outside the United States and Russia. Elaborate finish was arguably wasteful but perhaps good appearance contributed to foreign naval orders for Leanders. Exclusive of weapons, in the mid-1960s construction cost about the same per ton as for the contemporary USN Knox-class (DE/FF 1052) frigates. The Leander program reportedly bolstered American political enthusiasm in the 1960s and 1970s for frigates, although the U.S. Navy designs had no technical connection with the British ships. Newer warships derived from the Leander design have included HMS Bristol, the RN Type 22 frigates, and the Indian Godaviri and Bramhaputra classes. HMS Cleopatra, was the last ship of the first batch of the Leander class and was laid down at HM Dockyard, Devonport on 19th June 1963. She was launched on 25th March 1964 and commissioned into service on 4th January 1966. Cleo as she became known joined the 2nd Destroyer Squadron of the Far East Fleet to where she was deployed for the first part of her career. This also involved taking station off the coast of Mozambique on the famous Beira patrol, which was designed to prevent oil from reaching the landlocked Rhodesia, who had unilaterally declared independence. During 1969, HMS Cleopatra was one of the 5 ships escorting HMAS Melbourne when the Melbourne was involved in the catastrophic collision with the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans and became involved in the subsequent rescue operation. Early 1972 saw Cleo on escort duties for Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philips tour of South East Asia, then in 1973 she was assigned to the North Atlantic area to protect British trawlers from the Icelandic gun boats during the second Cod War. HMS Cleopatra then began her mid life refit, during which she had her twin 4.5 Mk6 Turret removed and replaced with a bank of four Exocet missile box launchers. She and HMS Penelope were the only Batch 1 Leanders to have this modification, as the other eight were converted for Ikara. In 1982 saw Cleo in refit again having the large Towed Array Sensor equipment fitted to the stern and the superstructure modified with the larger hangar to accommodate the Lynx helicopter that was replacing the Wasp on all small ships. The mortar well was plated over to make a larger flight deck for Lynx operations. She continued to carry out her duties through the 1980s though she was starting to show her age by the early 90s. On January 31st 1992 HMS Cleopatra was decommissioned and sold for scrap the following year. The Model After the magnificent release of HMS Glamorgan Peter Hall has now released what is probably one of the most sought after classes in 1:350, the Leander Class frigate HMS Cleopatra. The model comes in the standard sturdy cardboard box with a picture of HMS Cleopatra on the top. On opening the modeller is confronted with a sea of polystyrene chips. Carefully emptying the box will reveal two ziplock bags, one with the metal parts in and the other with the resin parts. Well wrapped in bubblewrap is the main superstructure, and hull, which is in two parts, split at the waterline so that either a full hull or waterline model can be built. At the bottom of the box are the etched brass sheet, which is quite large considering the size of the kit, a CD containing the instructions and the decal sheet. As we have come to expect from peters work, both with Atlantic models and the greatly missed White Ensign Models the casting of the resin hull is superb with no sign of even a pinhole bubble. The amount of detail on the upper hull has to seen to be believed and must have taken the moulding to the edge of what is possible or casting defect. There are some small moulding pips, all on the join of the two hull parts, so easily removed without damaging any of the detail, and a quick test fitting showed that the fit between upper and lower hull is pretty darn good, considering the problems that different shrink rates can cause. That said you will probably need to do a little bit of fettling to get a perfect fit and to remove the join line. The lower hull is moulded with the propeller shaft fairings moulded into the stern, and also a pair of very fine strakes either side pluse what look like two sonar domes, one a lot shallower than the other. The main forward superstructure is also beautifully moulded with some very fine details and includes pretty much all of the fixtures in place. The resin fittings provided include the funnel, hanger roof, with director mount, twin 4.5 turret, foremast, mainmast, chaff launcher enclosures, 27 Whaler, 25 Cheverton motor boat, Gemini inflatable, punt, although in the review example two have been provided, mortar mounting base, Limbo mortar, forward director mounting and a lovely looking Wasp helicopter fuselage http://www.britmodeller.com/reviews/atlanticmodels/cleopatra/bridgejpg The metal parts look pretty good and are well moulded, but theres still the problem of having quite a bit of flash. This shouldnt put the modeller off as they are easy to clean up and do really look the part. The metal parts provided are the two 4.5 gun barrels, Corvus chaff launchers, GWS22 Directors, aft director tub, Seacat launcher, 993 radar array, 978 radar array, VDS body, Liferaft canisters, a choice of either early or late foretop mast array, anchors, propeller shaft A frame supports, searchlights, rudders, Stabiliser fins, and aft deck windlass. Etch Sheet The large single sheet of relief etched brass is packed full of the finer details that go to make these models a delight to view when built. As well as a full ship set of railings, the sheet contains items such as the liferaft canister shelves and racks, the stays, plates, panel and screen for the 965 bedstead radar array, boat davit support frame and upper section, single 20mm Oerlikon mountings, Dan buoy, glidepath indicator light, bridge roof davit, chaff launcher flare guns, propeller blades, early and late mast top arrays, main mast gaff, anchors, should you not want to use the resin ones, prop guard buffers, sword and shield antenna, RAS gantries, Seacat missiles and launch rails, ships nameplates, foremast and main mast yards, platforms, foremast DF antenna, fuel can stowage racks, vertical ladder stock, anchor chain stock. The prominent Variable Depth Sonar parts include the body side fins, gantry pit head wheel, pit head stays, side arm, body cradle, and centre bracing, whilst the Wasp helicopter is fitted out with undercarriage parts, main and tail rotor blades, main rotor control linkages, and flotation device pods. Decals The decal sheet is very nicely printed, and its a pleasure to see a kit like this come with decals. Apart from the obligatory Union Flag and White Ensign, the sheet includes enough numbers to produce any of the class pennant numbers for both sides and stern. Also included are each of the ships names for the port and starboard quarter, their code letters for the flightdeck plus the other flightdeck markings which include two types of landing circle and finally the depth markings for the ships sides. The Wasp helicopter is also provided with decals, and these include the roundels, Royal Navy titles, and the helicopters specific number, which changed when changing ship and for which there is a very useful list of what serials went with what ship. You will need a good pair of magnifying glasses to read which number is which though. Conclusion It has been a long time coming, but at last we have a Leander class frigate in our midst, and what a blinder it is too. Peter is a one man band, but his craftsmanship and attention to detail on these cold war classics is second to none. Of course it does help a little that he served his time in the RN/FAA when these ships were in service so hes got no excuse to get things wrong, (I say this as an ex-FAA man myself, although with a memory thats obviously fading quicker than his). These arent throw together kits, but they are well designed and with a good dose of patience and quite a bit of care they shouldnt cause too much trouble for anyone of intermediate skills and above. What you will get at the end of a rewarding build is a super model of a wonderful ship. The idea of having the instructions on CD is good as it does mean that you can blow them up to make them easier to read although if you need to, you can get a paper version on request. Peter is already working on modifications for the Ikara fit and may even release another of the Exocet and Seawolf fits, so theres more Leanders to look forward to, I cant wait. Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of
  9. Hi, before I start I have no affiliation with this company what so ever. I just thought that any builders of 1/700 US or RN warships should take a look at this site. http://www.3dmodelparts.com/ship-accessories/?sort=featured&page=2 I received my order of octuple pom pom's today and am totally amazed at the quality of the parts. These are 3D printed in acrylic resin and are very fine, they are much easier than photo-etch and have 3D barrels. They can also be set at any elevation, so are ideal for diorama's. I hope that some one finds a use for these as I think they are amazing. There are several different weapons and a few structure parts available. Mick ps, I have been chatting to the owner and he is asking for suggestions on his new items.
  10. HMS Portchester Castle White Ensign Models 1/350 History The Castle-class corvettes were an updated version of the much more numerous Flower-class corvettes of the Royal Navy, and started appearing during late 1943. They were equipped with radar as well as ASDIC. The Admiralty had decided to cease Flower-class construction in favour of the larger River-class frigates as the Flower-class had originally been intended for coastal escort work and were not entirely satisfactory for Atlantic convoy service. In particular, they were slow, poorly armed, and rolled badly in rough seas which quickly exhausted their crews. However, many shipyards were not large enough to build frigates. The Castle-class was designed to be built on small slipways for about half the overall effort of a Loch-class frigate. The Loch-class frigate was similar to a River, but built using the system of prefabrication. The appearance of Castle-class corvettes was much like the later "long forecastle" variant of the Flowers and they were a little larger (around 1,200 tons about 200 tons more than the Flowers, and 40 ft (12 m) longer). The most obvious visual difference was the lattice mainmast instead of the pole version fitted to the Flowers. There was also a squarer cut look to the stern although it was still essentially a cruiser spoon type; this difference was only visible from abaft the beam. The armament was similar except that the depth charge fitment had been replaced by one Squid anti-submarine mortar, with Hadleigh Castle receiving the first production Squid mounting. The propulsion machinery was identical to the Flowers, and experienced officers felt that they were seriously under powered, having a tendency to turn into the wind despite everything the helmsman could do. The fact that Squid attacks required a fairly low speed (compared to depth charge attacks) only made matters worse. Most of the Castle-class corvettes had been discarded by the end of the 1950s, but a few survived a little longer as weather ships. The last Castle was the Uruguayan training ship Montevideo, originally HMS Rising Castle, which was scrapped in 1975. Most were operated by the Royal Navy, but twelve were transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy before completion and one to the Royal Norwegian Navy. Three Castles were sunk through enemy action, and Castles participated in the sinking of seven U-boats. HMS Portchester Castle named after the castle that stands at the entrance to Fareham Creek was laid down on 17th March 1943 at the Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson yards at Wallsend on Tyne. Launched on 21st June 1943 and completed on 8th October 1943. One of the fastest builds of her class. Portchester Castle was one of the first of the Castle class corvettes to be commissioned, and she completed her trials and work up by the end of December 1943. It isnt clear what the ship was doing during January 1944, but in February she was allocated to the B7 Escort Group on Trans Atlantic Ocean convoy duty. She remained with that group until April, when she was transferred to the B4 Escort Group, escorting convoys to Gibraltar. Later in the year there were enough Castle Class corvettes available to make up single class escort groups that would provide anti submarine patrols and convoy escorts in the Western Approaches and around the coasts of the UK. HMS Portchester Castle sank U-484 near Tory Island. This was the first occasion that a submarine had been sunk entirely by a ship using squid mortar unit. Two months later she and other members of her escort group sank the U-1200 off Cape Clear. The ship was taken in hand by the dockyard for a lengthy refit from January until the 1st of May 1945 and saw no further action. Later, in June 1945 she was transferred to the West African Command where she performed Air Sea Rescue duties until October. During her time in West Africa she was involved with the sinking of the Edinburgh Castle that had been used as an accommodation ship in Freetown. To avoid the cost of returning the ship to the UK she was towed out to sea and sunk using gunfire and depth charges. From there HMS Portchester Castle moved to Gibraltar to perform similar duties until early 1946 where she was withdrawn from service and laid up in Harwich. In April 1951, HMS Portchester Castle was brought out of reserve and re-commissioned for service in the 2nd training squadron based at Portland. While there she took on one of her most famed roles as the fictional frigate HMS Saltash Castle in the film the Cruel Sea. She continued to show her pennant number F362 during the filming, which was done at Portland and the English Channel. She was again withdrawn from service in June 1956 and laid up until 1958, when she was sold for scrap. She resisted to the last, breaking away from her tow from the tug Brigadier on the night of 15th-16th May, but having re-established the tow HMS Portchester Castle arrived at Troon on 17th May 1958 for breaking. The Model Moulded in their customary cream resin, the kit comes in White Ensign Models standard sturdy top opening cardboard box, with the kit details and colour drawing of her starboard side. The hull comes in two parts allowing the kit to be modelled either waterline or full hull, and measures out at 220mm or just under 83/4. There are a number of moulding pips on the undersides of each part with need to be sanded down so that they fit snugly. There doesn't appear to any shrinkage between the two parts, but a little filler may be required around the waterline. As usual there are no apparent air bubbles or other faults on these parts. Be careful of the sides of the rear hull along the quarterdeck, the mouldings are very fine and easily broken from the upper hull. Fortunately they should be easily repairable. The rest of the resin parts make up the lower main superstructure, bridge, AA gun platform, funnel, 4 gun shield, anchor windlass and the three ships boats. All these parts are crisply moulded, but as can be seen with the boats there is some flash that will need to be removed, but its very thin so shouldnt take too long to clean up. The majority of smaller parts are produced in white metal. Again they appear nicely done, but some require more cleaning up of flash than others. Those items still on their pouring sprue include the 4 gun, two twin Oerlikon mounts, four cowl vents, squid barrel cluster, squid mounting base, crows nest, searchlight, six Carley floats, the rudder and propeller. The etched fret is well up to the usual standard set by White Ensign. Along with a complete compliment of ships railings, inclined ladders, ships anchors, and the stock lengths of vertical ladders and anchor chain the sheet also provides the lattice mast assembly along with the mast top platform, mast top DF antenna, top mast pole base and top mast array. Then there are the Type 25/M aerial, Type 242 antenna, Type 277 aerial, single and twin Oerlikons, ESM antenna for a later fit, the funnel cap grille, yardarms, flare rocket launchers, superstructure side platforms, depth charge rails and rail frame, gun platform cross braces, radar lantern assembly. Carley float racks. For the single depth charge throwers there are loading davits, the throwers themselves, as well as items for the ships boats, including oars, davits, thwarts for the 27 whaler and the ships nameplates. Construction is relatively straightforward, particularly if you have some experience of working with resin, etched brass and white metal. If the model is to be made in full hull configuration, the its best to fit the two hull parts together at the beginning, this way any gaps or overhangs can be sorted out early. Once this is done the upper and lower hull, main deck and boot topping can be painted as it will be a lot easier to do it now rather than when the kit is complete, there is a nice coloured painting guide at the rear of the instructions. The forward superstructure, bridge, funnel and AA platform are fitted to the main deck. Once again it may be best to paint these items before fitting. From then on its building up the sub assemblies, such as the 4 gun, complete with gun shield and flare rocket launchers, the two twin 20mm Oerlikons, single Oerlikons with options for early or late positioning, the squid mortar assembly, and the folding of the two ships anchors. The 4 mount and the squid mount, along with the mortar bomb loading rails are then fitted into position with the 4 surrounded by railings. On the foredeck the anchor windlass is fitted with the anchors slid into their hawsepipes. The supplied anchor chain can then be cut to length and fitted between the two. The bridge antenna and platforms are now assembled and glued into place, along with the 20mm Oerlikons, searchlight, and the bridge inclined ladders. One of the more complex tasks is the folding of the octagonal radar lantern around the affixed roof before gluing to the base. Its a similar story with the lattice main mast, which once folded to shape is fitted out with the top platform, platform supports, pole mast bracket, platform railings, ensign gaff and the crows nest, which will require a small oblong of plasticard to be fitted just under the top platform for it to sit on. The pole mast, made from the length of brass rod provided, is fitted with the four piece yardarm near its base and the FH4 antenna to its top. The Type 242 array and Type 25M antenna are shaped then fitted just beneath the crows nest. The radar lantern assembly is then glued onto the top mast platform. If you are building the ship in a later fit then parts are included to allow this and include a differently shaped top mast platform, yardarm, top pole mast with DF aerial at its top, Type 277 radar and ESM aerial. Once the mast is complete it can be fitted into place at the rear of the bridge structure. If required the two loading booms can be fitted to the lower superstructure in either folded or extended poses. The funnel cap is now fitted as are the twin Oerlikons onto the previously fitted platform along with the PE antenna spreader. The davits for the ships boats are assembled and fitted to their positions on the main deck along with the boats themselves. The carley float racks can also be fitted now and the floats fitted to the racks. The depth charge throwers are now folded to shape and the depth charges, made up of lengths of styrene rod, (provided), glued onto the throwers. The single depth charge rail is folded to shape, as is the rail frame and filled with more depth charges from the styrene rod. The throwers and rail are now glued into position on the quarterdeck along with the thrower loading davits. The four vent cowls are now glued into place around the AA platform followed by the inclined ladders from the quarter deck to the main deck. The ships railings can now be attached and lastly, if the ship is full hull, the propeller and rudder are fitted. Conclusion This is another lovely kit form White Ensign, and one that really fills a gap in the maritime modellers collection. The added interest of being able to produce HMS Saltash Castle from The Cruel Sea gives the modeller another excuse to watch the film, (not that you should need one). The kit is certainly not for beginners, but even an intermediate modeller should be able, given care and time, to build a really good looking model. Unfortunately there are no decals with the kit, but they can quite easily be sourced. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of John at
  11. HMS M2 ROP os 1/350 History HMS M2 was a Royal Navy submarine monitor completed in 1919, converted in 1927 into the world's first submarine aircraft carrier. She was shipwrecked in Lyme Bay, Dorset, Britain, on 26 January 1932. She was one of three M-class boats completed. Four M-class submarines replaced the order for the last four K-class submarines, K17-K21. Although they were similar in size, the M class was an entirely different design from the K class, although it is possible that some material ordered for the K-boats went into them. In any event, the end of the First World War meant that only three were completed. M2 was laid down at Vickers shipyard at Barrow in Furness in 1916, and launched in 1919. Like the other members of her class, she was armed with a single 12-inch (305mm) gun as well as torpedo tubes. The Mark IX gun was taken from spares held for the Formidable-class battleships. The M-class submarines were very large for the time at 296 feet (90 m) long. They were designed to operate as submarine monitors or cruisers. They displaced 1,600 long tons (1,600 t) on the surface and 1,950 long tons (1,980 t) when submerged. Two 12-cylinder diesel engines producing 2,400 hp (1,800 kW) drove them on the surface; underwater, they were driven by electric motors producing 1,500 hp (1,100 kW). After the accidental sinking of M1 in 1925, M2 and her sister M3 were taken out of service and reassigned for experimental use. Her 12-inch gun was removed, replaced by a small aircraft hangar, the work being completed in 1927. This could carry a small Parnall Peto seaplane, specially designed for the M2, which, once its wings had been unfolded, could be lowered onto the sea alongside by a derrick for takeoff. On landing, the aircraft was hoisted back onto the deck and replaced into the hangar. In October 1928, a hydraulic aircraft catapult was fitted, to enable the seaplane to take off directly from the deck. The submarine was intended to operate ahead of the battle fleet in a reconnaissance role, flying off her unarmed seaplane as a scout. The concept of a submarine cruiser was pursued with X1, but was not a success and was later abandoned. The submarine currently lies upright on the sea bed at (50°34.6′N 2°33.93′W). Her keel is about 100 ft (30 m) below the surface at low tide, and her highest point at the top of the conning tower at around 66 ft (20 m). She is a popular dive for scuba divers. The wreck is designated as a "protected place" under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. After the loss of M2, the Royal Navy abandoned submarine-launched aircraft, although other navies experimented with the concept in the inter-war years and with Japan producing some 42 submarine aircraft carriers both before and during the Second World War. The Model The kit was handed to me whilst visiting EDay by one of the co-owners of ROS os, a chap who came across as very enthusiastic and, as will be seen in this review, rightly proud of their achievements. Naturally I was very pleased to see they were designing and releasing British submarines in 1:350 as they have been sorely under-represented by the mainstream manufacturers. The kit comes in a sturdy top opening cardboard box with a couple of photographs of HMS M2 preparing to launch and launching the Parnell Peto aircraft. On opening the box you will find the single piece hull, complete with tower/hanger and catapult, three packets of smaller details, a pair of very nice pedestals, a small etch sheet, (etched by Eduard), a small decal sheet and a small paper sheet. The resin parts have been beautifully moulded, with no sign of imperfections or pin holes and is silky smooth, particularly on the hull. The smaller parts are attached to resin moulding blocks by just a fine web which will make removing and cleaning up nice and easy. As can be seen in the following pictures the wings of the aircraft have come adrift, such is the tentative nature of their attachment. Some of the propeller shafts and periscopes do look a little warped, so some careful persuasion in warm water will be required to straighten them out. Perhaps in future these could be made out of metal, especially the prop shafts, but can easily be replaced should the modeller wish. Also included in the box is a colour photograph of the parts, one of the completed model and the small instruction sheet consisting of just a plan of the complete submarine, and aircraft, so parts placement will have to be judged by comparing the kit with the plan and completed model photo. Perhaps another area that could be improved in future releases. Construction is relatively easy, but with such fragile parts, particularly for the aircraft, great care will be required when handling and fitting. The model comes with the hanger door closed, which is a little unfortunate as this should be open the whole time the aircraft is on the deck. Due to the nature of the moulding it would be very difficult to rectify this so some artistic license will need to be taken. The resin parts to be fitted to the submarine include the fore and aft hydroplanes, gun platform, gun mount, and gun barrel. The tower is fitted with three periscopes, and a flag staff. There is an aerial mast at the end of the upper casing, whilst the Ensign staff is fitted on the stern. Above the hanger, the large aircraft handling derrick is fitted. Along with the resin propeller shafts, there are also the A frame supports to be fitted and the rudder on the underside of the stern. If using the pedestals then two holes of corresponding size to the pedestal spigots will need to be drilled out. The etched parts for the submarine include the boats railings, hydroplane supports, rudder support, propellers, plus there is a small derrick just aft of the gun platform. The aircraft handling derrick is fitted with an etched part that represents the traversing platform on which the derrick sits. Lastly the aircraft catapult cradle is folded and fitted along with the ladder shaped catapult support at the front of the catapult rail. Included on the etched fret are twenty one small discs which I presume are hull access covers. These aren’t shown on the completed model picture, but are on the plans so remember to keep referring to the two. The tiny Parnell Peto is constructed from resin fuselage, floats, wings and horizontal tailplanes. The wing and float struts are etched brass and extremely fine. Fitting these will probably be the most taxing area of the build. To finish the aircraft off, the tiny two bladed propeller is attached. Decals The small decal sheet provides the boats number and a name plate which could be used on one of the pedestals or a separate plate the modeller will need to create themselves. The paper sheet contains just the two White Ensigns. Conclusion All in all this is a very welcome addition to the submarine modellers build list. Certainly quite a surprise to this modeller as it’s been on my wish list for years. The quality of the mouldings and etch makes it even more of a must have, and although the instructions could be improved I won’t be complaining too much if this company keeps producing much need British submarines, which, having chatted to them seems to be their intention. This kit is probably not for the beginner but shouldn’t cause too many problems for intermediate or higher modellers who have some experience in working with resin and etched brass. Very Highly Recommend. Review sample courtesy of ŘOP o.s.
  12. Noted today on Hobby easy site Orange Hobby have got a number of new kits coming out. HMS Cornwall Type 22 batch 3 frigate and Pegasus class Hydrofoil plus a Tug and a number OF helicopter and armour sets.
  13. Hi, I built HMS Norfolk (F230) Type 23 Frigate Royal Navy from WEM (1/700 scale resin model) about 6 years ago and now that I resuming building 1/700 model warships, I noticed that the hull looks like a "banana" shape. Any suggestions to fix this problem? Thanks in advance. Regards, Ayala Botto Facebook: "Ayala Botto Model Trains" http://www.facebook....100140160133220
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