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Leander Class Frigate. 1:600


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Leander Class Frigate

Atlantic Models1:350


Peters HMS Cleopatra in 1:350 shown as a guide

Although the Airfix 1:600 HMS Leander hasnt been re-released since 1992, there are still a few available on the internet and Im sure a fair number lurking away in the stashes of BM members. Well, nows the time to get them out of the stashes and start building them with the beautiful etched brass detail set from Atlantic Models. The set comes in a white envelope with a card insert to prevent the sheet from being damaged in the post and some very descriptive instruction sheet.
The single sheet measures 146mm x 97mm and contains over eighty parts to add that much needed fine detail to the kit. Aside from a full complement of ships railings, each shaped and sized to fit their specific positions, although some will need to be bent to fit, there are also a full set of flightdeck and hanger roof netting which can be positioned folded or upright. Some scratchbuilding is still required to bring the kit up to the correct standard of weapons fit and this is particularly shown with the need to build the Corvus chaff launcher enclosures. The set includes a base and two templates for which to shape the 20thou plastic card needed to build the enclosure up. Slightly less intensive is the modification of the kits Seacat launcher which is clearly explained in the instructions and which are further detailed with the four etched Seacats and the launchers guide frames. The two 20mm Oerlikons are also provided along with the Corvus launchers. The foremast upper pole section will look great when assembled, but will be quite fiddly in this scale, what with all its antenna. The rest of the foremast is also fully detailed, with a complete array of yardarms, platforms, platform railings and aerials, whilst the funnel is also fitted out with a pair of yardarms.


The set also includes the dan bouys that were always carried, along with the liferaft racks and davits for the ships boats. The main mast is also given the full treatment with a complete array of yardarms, platforms, and aerials. Talking of aerials, ok radar arrays the Type 965 bedstead array is a complicated and tricky build in 1:350, well the same can be said for this one, only more so. A nice touch is that if you want to build a Dutch Leander then the set includes the Hollandse LW-02 radar array, which, it has to be said that its a lot easier to assemble. The two SCOT domes are provided with new platforms, and depending on the type of Leander you are build the SCOT domes were replaced by whip aerials, for which you will have to fashion out of styrene sheet. To the rear of the ship, the hanger is provided with a new door and floodlighting bar. The Variable Depth Sonar, (VDS), well is fitted with three cable drums, the frames of which are included, you just provide the styrene rod, or sprue to make the drums. The VDS itself is scratchbuilt to the dimensions given in the instructions and fitted with the etched cradle, while the VDS frame with its pit head cable gear is all provided. The paravane derrick is also included and fitter to the port side of the quarterdeck. Lastly the Wasp helicopter is provided with new undercarriage legs and wheels, stabiliser, plus main and tail rotors.

This set is exactly what we have come to expect from Peter Hall of Atlantic Models. Comprehensive, detailed and very delicate, just what the Airfix kit has been crying out for to bring it bang up to date. As usual, care and patience are the order of the day when using etched brass, but itll be worth it. Very highly recommended


Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of logo.gif

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