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Paul A H

HMS Scorpion 1943 S Class Destroyer - 1:700 White Ensign Models

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HMS Scorpion 1943 S Class Destroyer

1:700 White Ensign Models


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The S (and related T) class of destroyers were part of the War Emergency Programme which eventually produced over a hundred destroyers based on the earlier J, K and N classes. HMS Scorpion was the third of the S Class of destroyers to enter service at the time of her commissioning on 11 May 1943. As with the other S Class destroyers, HMS Scorpion was fitted with Quick Firing Mk. XII 4.7 inch guns which were encased in the then-new Mk. XXII mounting which allowed greater elevation than had been possible in previous classes.

HMS Scorpion displaced 1730 tons when commissioned and was armed with four of the aforementioned 4.7 inch guns, as well as eight 21 inch torpedo tubes and a mixture of 40mm and 20mm anti-aircraft guns. Fitted with twin Parsons geared turbines, she was good for over 36 knots if required. Upon being commissioned, the ship joined the 23rd Destroyer Flotilla of the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow and was set to work covering the Arctic convoys. In was in this theatre of war that HMS Scorpion helped to write history by participating in the Battle of the North Cape and helping to sink the German Battlecruiser Scharnhorst. After the end of the War, Scorpion was sold to the Dutch Navy. She continued to serve under the name Kortenaer until the early 1960s.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that an S Class destroyer has been kitted in 1:700 scale (not counting the WWI-era S Class ships produced by HP Models). The model arrives carefully packed into a very sturdy corrugated cardboard box, with a colour profile of the subject printed on the lid. If youve ever bought a White Ensign Models product, youll know that they are usually extremely well-packed. This is essential when dealing with fragile materials such as resin and photo-etched brass, and this kit is no exception. The component parts are individually packed in bubble wrap, while the photo etch parts and brass rods, from which the masts are to be constructed, are packed into re-sealable plastic pouches.

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The compact and slender hull is cast as a single piece of resin with a couple of deck structures cast in place . The forward superstructure and bridge are cast in two parts, while the 4.7 inch gun mountings are made up of a separate gun and gun shield which fit into pre-marked holes on the forecastle and forward superstructure. Moving aft, the 40mm Bofors platform and 20mm Oerlikon platform are also cast from resin, but with photo etched railings and extra details such as life rafts to help bring them to life. The main parts of the model will require relatively little cleaning, so you could assemble the basic structure of the kit in a matter of minutes if you were so minded. The quality of casting is excellent, with no noticeable flaws on my example. The rendition of fine detail ssuch as the surface texture of the deck and the doors and port holes is really rather excellent.

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Apart from the hull and main deck structures, other parts cast in resin include the funnel, the ships boats and the anti-aircraft gun mountings. The barrels for the 20mm Oerlikon guns are provided on the brass fret, while a choice of resin or photo etched barrels are provided for the 40mm Bofors guns. Other resin parts include the torpedo tubes and depth charges, the searchlights and searchlight platforms and various small details including the crow's nest and the HACs Mk.3 anti-aircraft fire control director. As with the other resin components, these parts are nicely cast and feature crisp, sharp detail.

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The remaining fine details are provided on a fairly large fret of photo etched brass parts. Photo etch brass is usually seen as an aftermarket accessory, but with high-end resin kits such as those from White Ensign Models, they are an integral part of the kit itself. The comprehensive fret includes a full set of railings, ladders and stairways, details for the masts, parts for the radar and radio antennas, the funnel cap grilles and the flare rocket rails for the main gun shields. Also included are a whole host of smaller parts, including the fittings, oars and rudders for the boats, anchors and anchor chains, depth charge stowage racks and much, much more.

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The painting diagram is printed in full colour and shows HMS Scorpion in two different schemes. The first shows her has she would have appeared in 1943, finished in the Admiralty Light Disruptive scheme. The second scheme shows Scorpion a year later, finished in the Admiralty Intermediate Disruptive Scheme. The arrangements for the masts are completely different in each scheme (tripod foremast in the case of the 1943 scheme, lattice foremast for the 1944 scheme) so you'll need to pay close attention when building the model in order to ensure you end up with the correct configuration. A basic rigging diagram is provided. Paint references are given using the official RN designations as well as the equivalent paints from WEM's own range of enamel paints.

Conclusion

This is an accurate and nicely detailed kit of an important destroyer which played its own part in the history of the Second World War. It will make a valuable addition to any collection of Royal Navy warships and will make a nice change from the usual battleships. You will need to take your time when building the kit, particularly with the delicate photo etched parts and the different masts, but your patience will be rewarded with an excellent model. Recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of John at logo.jpg

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Wow, that does look nice. Can't believe how they've moulded the smaller parts in resin, brilliant.

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