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HMS Arrow. 1:350

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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.

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.

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.


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 logo.gif

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Well, well, well. HMS Active is old ships, it looks excellent so maybe my Christmas list is being shortened.

Thanks for your excellent review.

I wonder if there's a discount for old hands?

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A long time ago when I was a Sea Cadet we were TS Active. Been for a few visits on the HMS variety. Severely tempted by this one.

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HMS Ardent :poppy: was our escort going to the Falklands and, during the conflict, I witnessed the moment that the UXB detonated onboard HMS Antelope :poppy: so this kit is a must for me and have it on pre-order.

Another good review Dave. :thumbsup:


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Minor factual error in your excellent review. Ardent was sunk in Falkland Sound on 21 May, and Antelope exploded and sank on 23 May (hit in the Sound, bomb went off and she sank inside San Carlos Water).

The model looks right up to Peter's amazing standards; I have a County DLG, Ikara Leander and a Ton in my stash...

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Thanks for that, duly amended.

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Minor factual error in your excellent review. Ardent was sunk in Falkland Sound on 21 May, and Antelope exploded and sank on 23 May (hit in the Sound, bomb went off and she sank inside San Carlos Water

It is amazing how time affects one's memory; thanks for reminding me of the timeline. We went ashore, from Canberra on 21st May and yet it felt like days later that I saw Antelope's UXB explode. This must have been the next day then, on the afternoon of 22nd because the ship broke her back in a big explosion in the early hours of the morning after.

The sequence which I watched was:

Afternoon - still daylight; Antelope arrived in Bomb Alley; then the UXB exploded. I went out to the ship in a rigid raider to look for survivors.

Darkness fell and we couldn't see anything, we almost got run down in the darkness by a frigate that came to give aid.

We left the area then, still that evening, in the raider and went North, back to Port San Carlos, about 10 miles away

Before we reached PSC, there was a mighty explosion which lit up the sky. We found out later that this was only the Sea Cat magazine and the ship was still afloat.

Overnight there was another massive explosion (the one shown in the UK papers) which was the Sea Dart magazine and the one that broke the ships back. This must be the explosion mentioned happening on the 23rd.

All this must have happened within 24 hours of my unit deploying ashore on the 21st and yet it seemed days later, probably because so much was happening and we didn't realise the timescale of events.

Peter has confirmed that my order has been despatched and I am really looking forward to receiving it; especially after reading Shar2's review.

**Edit** just checked and it appears that Antelope was attacked and received the UXB's on the 23rd, with one of them detonating later that day; but the explosion which broke her back did not occur until the following morning of the 24th.



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OOps - before the FAA contingent correct me - there was also a Air weapons magazine with torpedoes but that is at upper deck level so presumably unlikely to have caused the ship's back to break if/when that went up.

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Type 21s had a Seacat magazine and a 4.5" magazine plus a small arms store so can only assume the second explosion was the 4.5"

Hi Francis,

I apologise for such an error on my part. For some reason I got the ship types mixed up. By the time of both explosions, I was back at Port San Carlos which is out of sight of Antelope's position and so I was only getting updates over the radio. Whichever magazine went up first, it was reported as the 'lesser munitions' with the heavier stuff causing the major explosion later.

My kit has arrived!! :thumbsup: whoop whoop!!

Seeing it here, on the bench, it is just as Shar2 reported in his review, that it really is a beautifully mastered model. It is larger than I expected with a length of 330mm (I've always considered the Type 21 as a small ship) and this means more model to build and detail etc. This is not a mass-produced plastic kit but a short run, exquisitely mastered resin model, and I would add my recommendation to 1:350 ship modellers to obtain this kit whilst it still available


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