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Shar2

HMCS Snowberry, Flower Class Corvette. 1:144

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HMCS Snowberry, Flower Class Corvette
Revell 1:144


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The Flower Class Corvette is probably one of the best known Escort Ship of all time, purpose built for the task and based on merchant design to enable it to be constructed in merchant ship yards. Designed as an all weather depth charge platform they carried only rudimentary surface and AA weapons. Although intended to act as coastal escorts they were actually used in both the Atlantic Theatre and the Russian Convoys.

Snowberry was ordered by the Royal Navy (RN) 22 January 1940 as part of the 1939-1940 Flower-class building program. She was laid down by George T. Davie & Sons Ltd. at Lauzon on 24 February 1940 and launched on 8 August 1940. She was commissioned into the RN on 26 November 1940. She sailed to the United Kingdom in February 1941 and was completed at Greenock in April 1941. On the 15 May 1941 Snowberry was one of ten corvettes loaned to Canada. She could be told apart from other Canadian Flowers by her lack of minesweeping gear and the siting of the after gun tub amidships. During her career she had three significant refits. The first took place at Charleston beginning in December 1941 and taking six weeks to complete. Her second overhaul took place again at Charleston from March 1943 until 14 May 1943. In late March 1944 she went to Baltimore, Maryland for a five-week refit

After completing at Greenock and working up at Tobermory, Snowberry was assigned to Western Approaches Command. In June 1941, she sailed for Newfoundland after being loaned to the Royal Canadian Navy. Upon her arrival in Newfoundland in June 1941 she joined Newfoundland Command as a convoy escort between St. John's and Iceland. From July to October 1941 she was deployed as such. She departed for a short refit and upon her return in February 1942 she was briefly deployed as an ocean escort once again.
In March 1942 Snowberry transferred to Western Local Escort Force (WLEF). In June 1942, after the U-boats had begun attacking oil tankers sailing along the North American coast, she joined the newly formed Tanker Escort Force. In September 1942 she was placed under American control escorting convoys between Guantanamo and New York.

She returned to service after her second major refit in August 1943, when she was assigned to Royal Navy controlled escort group EG 5. On 23 August 1943 Snowberry as part of the 5th Support Group, was deployed to relieve the 40th Escort Group which was undertaking a U-boat hunt off Cape Ortegal. The warships of both groups were attacked by 14 Dornier Do 217s and 7 Junkers Ju 87s that were carrying a new weapon the Henschel Hs 293 anti-ship guided missile. Several sailors were injured and killed in HMS Bideford (40th EG) but Snowberry escaped damage. Two days later, the 5th SG was relieved by the 1st Support Group and the warships of both groups were again attacked by 18 Dornier Do 217s also carrying Hs 293 weapons. Athabaskan was heavily damaged and HMS Egret was sunk but Snowberry again escaped damage.

On 20 November 1943 Snowberry, along with Nene and Calgary, depth charged and sank U-536 northeast of the Azores at 43° 50N, 19° 39W.
When the group replaced its corvettes with frigates in March 1944, Snowberry departed for her final refit. After workups she was briefly assigned to WLEF again but transferred to Portsmouth Command in mid-September 1944. She remained with them until she was decommissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy. Snowberry was paid off from the RCN on 8 June 1945 when she was returned to the Royal Navy at Rosyth. In 1946 she was used as a target ship off Portsmouth. Her remains were sold for scrap and in August 1947 she was broken up at Middlesbrough.

The Model
Having re-released the big 1:72 scale kit of the Flower Class about three years ago, Revell have now produced an all new kit of HMCS Snowberry in 1:144, which matches quite a few submarine kits out there. Rather than just reduce the 1:72 kit, this is an all new moulding, and completely different layout. The kit comes in the standard flimsy end opening box, which I thought Revell might be getting away from, with a nice representation of the ship in a moderate sea. Inside there are nice sprues and two hull halves in a medium grey styrene, a small decal sheet and a reel of thread. All the parts are really nicely moulded, with the only sign of flash being on the sprues, not the parts, although there are numerous moulding pips which will mean more cleaning up than should be necessary. There are no other apparent moulding imperfections and the detail is pretty good, particularly the hull plates which whilst still pronounced, they are not as bad as the kits bigger sister. The plastic used appears quite glossy and is not as soft as some Revell kits, Whether the gloss is mould release agent I cannot tell, but it's good practice to clean all parts in warm soapy water just to be on the safe side.Revell also seem to have done some more research for this kit as the deck is much more accurate for the ship it is depicting. What is nice, is that they are using the full colour instructions, on better stock, rather than the recycled toilet paper of old.

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Construction begins with the transom and the fitting of the two depth charge doors, each of which can be posed open or closed. The two hull halves are joined together, with the propeller shaft and rudder post sandwiched between, and the transom glued to the stern. There is a large internal bulkhead glued near the midpoint of the hull giving some rigidity and a attachment point for the main deck and quarter deck. The two dck sections are fitted next, followed by the propeller, bilge keels and if required the stand is also assembled at this point. With the model upright in the stand, the deckhouse on the foreward portion of the quarter deck is built up. The two stern mounted depth charge racks are assembled, as are the smoke pot racks. The depth charges are assembled and fitted into the racks, with the smoke pots fitted the top of the rear section of each rack. More detail, in the shape of separate cleats, bollards, crane, vents and hatches are fitted to the quarter deck, whilst along each side of the deckhouse the depth charge throwers and spare depth charges are glued into position. Two twin Vickers machine gun mounts are built up, each from four parts, whilst the single 2pdr Pom Pom is made up from eight parts and four large ventilators, each of two halves are also assembled.

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Moving forward from the quarterdeck The deckhouse roof is fitted out with two winches, the two Vickers machine gun assemblies, and a locker. The skylights are fitted with their frames and clear window parts before being glued into position. The PomPom pedestal is also attached to the roof, along with the eight supports for the guns bandstand mounting and director tower, along with the four large ventilators. The deckhouse roof isw finished off with the fitting of the guard rails. The three piece funnel is assembled, as are the two, four piece carley floats. The floats are fitted to two three piece racks that are fitted to each side of the deckhouse, as are two depth charge handling cranes. The funnel base is the fitted where the deckhouse joins the foredeck and the funnel assembly glued to the base and fitted out with a vertical ladder, four more ventilators, ready use lockers and steam pipes. The chartroom in front of the funnel is then assembled and fitted with a skylight, chimney, and railings. The ships boats, each made up form seven parts are fitted to the moulded cradles and the four davits glued to the deck.

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The bridge structure is assembled, and includes internal rooms which are a scratch builders delight with so much potential. The supports for the upper bridge are glued into position along with two lockers and a deck hatch. The bridge deck is then glued into position and fitted out with support braces on each side and three support beams to the front. The compass binnacle, bearing sight, voice pipes and surrounding bulkheads are attached to the deck, along with the large bridge front, bridge screen. The modeller has a choice of with a large or small aldis lamp fitted in each bridge wing. The two 20mm Oerlikons are assembled, each from five parts are fitted to their mounts on the bridge. The Hedgehog mounting is also assembled, from four parts and fitted to the starboard side, just in front of the bridge. Numerous other parts are added to the bridge, such as life rings, lockers, splinter shields, with separate splinter mattresses, and navigation lights. The radar lantern is built up form eleven parts and fitted to the radar room roof. Three large lockers are fitted to the foredeck, just in front of the bridge, on the port side, in front of which there is a large shield with supports angled from the bridge front above which the DF aerial is fitted.

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The four inch turret is made up from six parts and again is crying out for the super detailer. The gun sits on a large circular mount, which in turn sits on a pedestal, mounted to the deck. The mount is fitted with stanchions, which are then joined together to make railings using the thread provided. The fo’c’sle is then kitted out with two small winches and one large four piece anchor winch, along with the two chains, plus the usual bollards, cleats, shields, railings etc. The pole mast is fitted just behind the bridge and is made up with separate yardarm, vertical ladder and crows nest. The Jack staff is then glued into position and the rigging, again from the thread provided, although it’s a bit furry, thus finishing the build.

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Decals
There is a single sheet of decals which are nicely printed, in good register in a matt finish. There are markings for just HMCS Snowberry, its pennant numbers for bow sides and stern, depth markings, ships nameplates, and a Donald Duck cartoon for the turret. The carrier film on the larger decals, such as the ships numbers is a lot less prominent than normally found, and should bed down nicely on a gloss coat, before being finished with a matt varnish.

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Conclusion
Its great to see Revell release all new kits, and this one is a little corker. Great for all maritime modellers, even those who don’t have too much room, as at around 439mm it’s not too large to be displayed. For the particular colours used on the ship, you might want to try the new Akan paints reviewed HERE. Highly recommended.

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit logo-revell-2009.gif

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Looks good. Went to get one in Plymouth today but alas, sold out.

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Looks nice; very tempting. May just well seek one our when back in blighty.

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Might just get this one, always wanted the 1/72 one but it was too big.

For anyone looking for inspiration we have a walkaround of the last surviving Flower Class Corvette HMCS Sackville: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234987388-flower-class-corvette-hmcs-sackville/

Julien

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Looks good, just wondering if they are likely to bring out a RN variant, considering they have done similar with their U boats but then again would it be different enough to warrant it?

Thanks for the review Shar2

Mick

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Oh no, I feel wallet strain coming on. I'm seriously tempted by this, it is just perfect for this scale.

I've got the 1:72 version 95% complete....must.... finish... it.

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Thanks for the review Shar 2. I've taken a couple. It's a pleasant surprise. The separate stern is intriguing teasing at the possibility of a true HMCS boat. Its's shame there are only 2 large Carley floats and the 4 inch gun is not sloped as for most RN vessels. I'm hoping that someone will produce some etch to replace the railwork. I understand that Martin at Coastal Craft will be producing alternative decals.

I think Revell have delivered a winner

Rob

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I would think in 1/144 that a good alternative for the railing would be to do indvidual stanchions in thicker brass so that they can be 'rigged' with something appropriate? Etch on its own would look too flat in this scale.

I don't have the kit yet, anything else on it crying out for etched attention?

Mike

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I agree Mike. Some details on the main gun and PomPom would be nice I guess. Oh, and something for inside the wheelhouse.

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Good review - i'm a wings and props man - but this is very tempting.

One of these just may have to come home with me.

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