Tribal Class Destroyers
Some ideas for a different model
Whilst browsing Starling Models website, I noticed that Flyhawk produced two different sets of etched brass for the same Trumpeter model. The kit concerned is that of H.M.S. Eskimo (05757) which represents the ship in 1941. One etched brass set is to represent the ship as in 1939 and the other as in 1941.
In July 1940 H.M.S. Eskimo was under repair during which time ‘X’ 4.7in gun mounting was replaced by a twin 4in mounting to improve AA defence and her pennant number for visual signalling purposes was changed to G75. I wondered how the sets of etched brass would deal with these changes? – the answer, they don’t! Alternative pennant numbers are available from a number of sources (Eskimo was F75 in 1939). To solve the gun turret problem, the 4.7in gun mountings can be replaced with Flyhawk FH730001 and the 4in mountings with FH730002.
These mountings are both rather ‘fiddly’ each comprising two resin mouldings, two brass barrels, etched brass barrel support, turret floor and external details. They do greatly improve on the mountings supplied in the kit but simpler ones are available from other sources, such as Niko. It would still be worthwhile changing all the mountings as a mixture of Niko and Trumpeter mountings would be noticeable.
The two sets of etched brass each consist of three sheets, one of which is common to both sets. The instructions are very detailed, the first two sheets dealing primarily with the bridge being identical. The other sheets are also similar but sheet 3 of the instructions for 1941 introduces additional 20mm guns, sheets 4 and 5 changes to the mainmast and depth charge arrangements, sheet 6 additional radar on the foremast and sheet 7, dealing mainly with guard rails is almost identical between the two sets. The differences are small but noticeable to the careful observer.
This sample from the instructions (left) indicates the amount of detail on the bridge.
One other change between these two dates which is very noticeable is the paint scheme. In 1939 Eskimo would have still been in her peacetime colour scheme – plain grey but with national recognition stripes on ‘B’ turret because of the Spanish Civil War. This type of scheme is very well illustrated in the Profiles Publication booklet (long out of print) of H.M.S. Cossack. Unfortunately, this illustration has a major error – the pennant number. This should be L03 and not L0Ӡ.
Peter Hodges book (Almark Publications, again long out of print) includes a photograph of Eskimo as in 1942, wearing a white/light blue ‘Western Approaches’ scheme. This same scheme is also included in Malcolm Wright’s book Warship Camouflage of WWII and would make an interesting comparison. This is similar to the one supplied with the kit but much lighter.
For those interested in modifying the kit to represent a destroyer later after WWII, then Starling Models produce etched brass STM13 RN Destroyers which includes a lattice mast as used on Canadian Tribals. Some RN ships were also fitted with lattice masts but note a change to a later date also requires changes to the AA armament.
Hopefully, this article will give a number of ideas for changes so that the modeler can produce his own individual model of a Tribal Class destroyer – arguably the most famous class to ever have been built for the Royal Navy.