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HMS Warspite etch set


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HMS Warspite



1:350 WEM Etch

With the very welcome release of the Academy 1:350 scale HMS Warspite it was only a matter of time before White Ensign Models released an etch set for it. Having recently received this set from WEM, it was good to see the standard the Mad Pete sets himself are as high as ever. The instructions are very clear and give guideance on what parts are required if building a post 1937 refit ship or one from 1944 etc. It will also help to have some good references and/or photographs to help deciding which era to build and which parts to use.

Comprising of two large etch brass sheets, both approx 290mm x 170mm filled with everything you need to make a very detailed model. All the usual parts are included, such as ships railings, vertical and inclined ladders, watertight doors, (both open and closed), anchor chains and separate chain holds, (blakes stoppers). In addition to these standards parts are the exhaustive number of either replacement or additional parts to complement the kit. Sheet A provides single and twin 20mm oerlikon cannon, 4” gun mount fittings, 8 barrelled pom pom fittings, 15 inch barrel tampions, Type 281, 282, 284 and 285 radars plus their associated platforms and accessories, type 86 and 650 aerials, the venturi shrouds for the bridge superstructure, Cradles for the ships boats, turret top ammunition lockers and handrails, searchlight lens fronts and handwheels, flag lockers, deck hatches, skylights and even the slatted bench seats that were dotted around the main deck. The ships Walrus aircraft also get a makeover, with a new prop interplane struts, engine, tailplane and float struts, plus new undercarriage, wing fold detail including separate flaps, Lewis guns and scarf rings.

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Sheet 2 contains the large parts of the set such as the foremast starfish platforms, (both early and late fit), main turret rangefinder supports, funnel caps, 4” gun battery enclosures and splinter shields, ships cranes and crane mechanism assembly, 20mm gun tub assemblies, catapult track, new bridges and side braces, replacement Admirals bridge assembly, WT/Radar office, ( additional item that is missing on the kit), complete replacement of the rather thick kit parts for the Admirals stern walk, which is very prominent on these ships. The ships boats get a lot of additional parts, particularly the 35’ and 45’ Fast Motor Boats, which are not only given a new deck, but completely new superstructure and interior details for the forward, centre and aft seating areas, and their associated handrails, finally, a new skeg, propshaft and rudder assembly is also provided. The other boats are given new gunwales and thwarts with 45’ motor launch given a new aft cabin as well. There is also a replacement foc’sle breakwater with separate braces for the overly thick and slightly inaccurate kit part plus some additional stowage boxes for this area. Finally, the ships nameplates, are supplied as individual letters are provided for the port and starboard superstructure, just forward of X turret. The quirky parts of this sheet is the menagerie, the ships cat, dog and a parrot on its perch, a lovely little touch.

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Conclusion

White Ensign Models have built up a reputation for producing fantastic etched sets for numerous subjects. This set is up there with the best, lots of beautifully etched detail, alternative parts provided to allow the modeller the choice of build era, additional parts to replace those missed out by the kits manufacturer, on top of those little details which can transform a mere model to a masterpiece. Thoroughly recommended for those modellers with a bit of etch experience, a steady hand, fine tweezers and good magnifyers.

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Review sample courtesy of John at

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Can't believe you missed out the ships cat, dog and parrot!

:D

Oh rollocks, thanks for pointing that out. They are actually down in the instructions as menagerie.

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