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Shar2

HMS Ledbury

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HMS Ledbury



1/350

White Ensign Models latest release in their 1/350 scale catalogue is of the Hunt Class mine countermeasures vessel, HMS Ledbury.

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History

HMS Ledbury (M30), the third ship of the name, is a Hunt-class minesweeper of the Royal Navy. She was launched on December 1979 and commissioned on 11 June 1981, the second ship of her class. She cost £65 Million at time of building, which was the most expensive cost per metre for any class of ship built by the Royal Navy. Most of this cost went into the research and development of Ledbury's Glass Reinforced Plastic Hull.

She is currently attached to the Second Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCM2), based in Portsmouth. Ledbury underwent a docking maintenance period, commencing Jun 2009, to fit the new 'Seafox' Mine disposal equipment. This new equipment (replacing the French built PAP RCMDS) is a significant improvement in both mine detection and disposal technology.

The Model

Moulded in their customary cream resin the kit comes in their standard sturdy top opening cardboard box, with the kit details and drawing of the ship on top. The instruction are nicely laid out, very clear and concise in both parts layout and guidance text. The painting guide is in full colour with notes and codes for White Ensigns' own Colourcoats paints.

The hull comes in two parts allowing the kit to be modelled either waterline or full hull, and measures out at 175mm or just under 7”. There are a number of moulding pips on the undersides of each part with need to be sanded down so that they fit snugly. There doesn’t appear to any shrinkage between the two parts, but a little filler may be needed at the bow. There are no air bubbles other faults on these parts. Be careful of the sides of the rear hull along the quarterdeck, the mouldings are very fine and easily broken from the upper hull. Fortunately they are easily repairable.

Hull%20Side%20View.jpg

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The rest of the resin parts make up the lower superstructure, bridge, mast/deckhouse, funnel, well deck and lastly a very nicely moulded sweep deck roof with moulded supports. All these parts are crisply moulded with only the minimum of cleaning up required, in most cases just a minor pour stub.

Resin%20items.jpg

The majority of smaller parts are produced in white metal. Again they appear nicely done, but some require more cleaning up of flash than others. Those items still on their pouring sprue include the ships weapons, radars, winch spindles, anchor and towing winches, crane bases, liferafts, ROV’s and large gas cylinders. The separate items are a pair of Gemini inflatable boats complete with moulded flooring, 3 parts of the main sweep gear winch, three paravanes and the two prop shafts.

Misc.jpg

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Paravanes.jpg

Weapons.jpg

Winches.jpg

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The etched fret is well up to the usual standard set by White Ensign. The majority of the smaller parts seem to go towards making up the numerous winches and cranes for the ships main role of mine countermeasures. There are also parts such as upper and lower yardarms for the ships mast, inclined and vertical ladders, the ships rudders and propellers along with various sizes of watertight doors and hatches. Some of the smaller items provided include Dan buoys, buoy stowage, liferaft stowage, DF aerial plus the Jack and Ensign staffs.

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Conclusion

This is a lovely model of a very important class of ship. It’s nice to see a company produce something other than front line warships and White Ensign should be commended for releasing a ship from this almost forgotten arm of the Royal Navy. My only gripe might be the lack of decals included in White Ensign kits, particularly for the aerial/gun danger circles and ships pennant number.

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Review sample courtesy of John at

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That looks great! One of these days I'm going to have to treat myself to one of their 1:700 models.

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If you want one of these, best act quickly, as WEM are doing a final run of 10 kits, once they are gone there will be no more.

And as I've just got one that means there's a maximum of 9 left.

Happy modelling.

Ant

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