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Shar2

HMS Exeter detail set. 1:350

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HMS Exeter

1:350 Etch Set

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With the release of the Trumpeter 1:350 HMS Exeter is was only a matter of time before White Ensign Models brought out an etched set. As per usual the set has been designed by Peter Hall of Atlantic Models and sold on the Toms Modelworks website, as well as a large, well known emporium in Lowestoft. If you’ve used WEM’s sets before then you pretty much know what you’re going to get. A great selection of brass parts to really enhance your model of this famous ship. Some kit parts will need to have their detail removed before the brass can be added others are completely replaced by brass and there are parts that Trumpeter missed out, but have been included on this sheet.

 

This very comprehensive set comes on a single large fret which is 290 x 195mm with about 113 different parts squeezed onto it. As well as a full ships set of railings, including specially shaped parts for the fo’c’sle there are a host of watertight doors, some of which can be posed open should the modeller desire, deck hatches, vertical ladders, inclined ladders and support braces for all the smaller platforms that get missed in the kit.

 

The main gun turrets are provided with new rear access doors, while the 4” secondary mounts are provided with new railings, hand wheels and sights. The 0.5” quad machine gun mountings are completely replaced with brass parts with each mounting consisting of four parts, two of which will need some careful folding. The paravanes are also heavily modified with most of the plastic detail removed leaving just the body. The fins, fin support, tail and wire cutter are then added.

 

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One of the most interesting features of HMS Exeter at this period of her career was the twin fixed catapults. The kit pieces are completely discarded and replaced with much more detailed items complete with the two extending sections for each catapult. Please note that only one catapult could be extended at a time as they would clash if both extended. This set also included new aircraft launch cradles one for each aircraft in the kit. There is also an aircraft access platform which was mobile to access either catapult. The aircraft crane is also extensively modified, or if the modeller wants completely replaced. You can either add some detail to the crane base cab, and just replace the jib or you can replace the cab as well. Both of which will require some careful folding, but the finished crane will look so much more realistic.

 

Each funnel is provided with a new internal walkway and funnel cap, while the fore funnel is also provided with two new sirens and their respective platforms. The various Carley flots need to have the internal gratings removed as these are replaced with brass parts giving them a much more accurate look. The floats are also provided with paddles. Some of the kit parts are themselves made of brass, but I find the Trumpeter brass to be too thick, thus, items such as the depth charge rails are replaced with the thinner brass in this set. If you want to load up the rails you will need to make the depth charges from 1.5mm styrene rod cut to 2mm lengths.

 

Items such as the boat support frame and boat cradles are also provided on the sheet completely replacing the kit plastic parts, with the exception of the davits. The boats themselves are given new gunwales, thwarts, and rudders for the open boats, and new interior cabins for the motor boats, which is also provided with a seat for the coxswain, boats wheel, windscreen and hand rails and light mast for the cabin roof. Moving onto the aircraft, there are parts for each type, with the Supermarine Walrus receiving replacement struts for the mainplanes, horizontal tailplanes, engine mounted struts and floats. The Walrus also gets a new engine mount, propeller, scarff rings, wheels, landing gear legs and two Lewis machine guns. If you wish to pose the Walrus with wings folded, there is also an option for that in the shape of the wing hinge fold and inner rib faces. The Fairey IIIF has fewer parts to replace, but these include the interplane struts, Lewis gun, float struts, and propeller.

 

For the rest of the ship there are new baffles and gratings for the bridge, a completely new WT office and aerial house, much finer signal platform supports that you could possible produce in plastic, anchors, and new boiler room vent boxes in two different styles. The two masts are provided with new yardarms, complete with footropes, while the foremast is also given a new DT aerial and platform, new lower platform and two TBS antenna. The rest of the sheet includes wardroom window hatches, washdeck locker hatches, 4” ammunition locker doors, leadsman platforms, flag lockers, bridge semaphores and aldis lamps.

 

Conclusion

It’s great that the fine name of White Ensign Models has been saved by Toms Modelworks and having great detail sets released under that name. The set itself is well up to the usual standard we have come to expect from Peter Hall and will help produce a wonderfully detailed model of this great ship. While it may not be as comprehensive as the detail sets from other manufacturers it’s still up there with the best, and if you are on a limited budget then this is the set to go for.

 

 

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Review sample kindly provided be Richard atspacer.png

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