ESCORT                                                       ISSUE 117



H.M.C.S. Snowberry

1:144 scale accessories

When Revell first released their half-size (1:144 scale) model of the Flower Class Corvette, it was well received; the general opinion being that it was a significant improvement over the original Matchbox kit, which Revell had marketed for a number of years.  Recently, three dedicated accessory sets have been released to improve the model further.

First was three etched brass sheets from the Czech manufacturer, Eduard.  The ‘armament’ sheet includes many details for the guns, including a new shield, deck mounting details and flare launcher rails (if required) for the 4” gun, depth charge rails and details for both the Hedgehog launcher and the depth charges.  The ‘superstructure’ sheet includes details for doors, hatches, vents, funnel, mast, cable reels, navigation lights, boats and Carley floats.  The third ‘railings’ sheet includes exactly what it says and includes supports for the overhanging 20mm gun platforms.  The instructions suggest the use of cigarette paper to represent the canvas screens.

The second set comes from the French manufacturer L’Arsenal and consists of a number of resin ‘replacement’ parts – two dinghies, a 4” gun, a pair of depth charge rails and charges, a 2pdr gun, sixteen depth charge stowages for alongside the superstructure, a Hedgehog mortar, four Lewis guns and four DC launchers and two 20mm Oerlikon guns (see below).  The instructions begin with the assemblies of these items and then follow with diagrams showing the location of the replacement parts.  The titles of these diagrams are in English but then the references to the Revell instructions are in French!

The dinghies each consist of a resin moulding with a small sheet of etched brass representing the thwarts and the tiller arms.  The 4” gun is in resin with a brass barrel and etched brass handwheel and gearing.  The depth charge rails are in etched brass, each with a full complement of resin depth charges.  The 2pdr gun is in resin with an etched brass shield and handwheels, whilst the depth charge stowages and launchers, and Hedgehog launcher are all resin.  Finally, the Lewis guns are in resin with etched brass shields.

There is obviously some duplication between these two sets but the modeler can choose what suits him best – e.g. a resin shield for the 4” gun or a bent etched brass one?  The resin depth charges will create a significant improvement and are a lot easier to use than sticking two etched brass ends (as in the Eduard set) to the end of each of the Revell depth charges.

These three sheets contain a tremendous amount of detail and great care will be required to fit all the parts.  I hope the photos give some idea of the extra detail provided.

Above right: The dinghies - note both the internal and external detail on these mouldings.  The associated sheet of etched brass also includes the handwheel and gearing for the 4” gun and the shield and other details for the 2pdr gun (see immediately above, left and right respectively).

In addition to the dedicated set, L’Arsenal also produce a pack of six 20mm Oerlikon cannons, the base and main section of the gun being in resin with metal for the screen, operating handles and other details as well as the narrow section of the gun barrel.

Some may think these two sets a little expensive, particularly considering the duplication, but a combination of both will certainly offer the modeler the prospect of an award winning model.

Left, top: The depth charge racks and depth charges.

Left, below:  The Hedgehog mortar and its bombs.

The most recent set is some more etched brass - this time from Starling Models.  It is not intended that this should compete with the Eduard set, but complement it - and this it certainly does.

It includes a number of items that are missing from the Eduard set - perhaps the most surprising being the Maple Leaf emblem that was worn by Canadian ships on both sides of the funnel.  Other items are porthole covers, 4” gun netting, ‘wooden’ bridge decking and the captain’s chair(!) and many smaller items.

There are also nameplates, alternative bridge wing supports and forecastle shields for R.N. ships, including that for H.M.S. Bluebell, the vessel originally featured when Matchbox first released their 1:72 scale kit.