Trumpeter 1/350 HMS Repulse 1941 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||May 2009||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||HMS Repulse 1941||Scale||1/350|
|Kit Number||5312||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice details, waterline or full-hull construction||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$169.95|
HMS Repulse was a Renown-class battlecruiser that was launched and commissioned in 1916. The ship entered service at an awkward period for capital ship construction - it came too late for the Battle of Jutland. It could neither contribute to the outcome of that famous naval engagement nor benefit from engineering changes that were learned the hard way during that battle. Nevertheless some enhancements were made to the ships weapons fit and armor in 1918, 1924, and in the mid-1930s, to enhance its effectiveness and survivability.
While HMS Repulse was an active participant during the opening stages of World War Two, it found itself in support roles away from many of the early combat actions at sea. By 1941, HMS Repulse was gradually moved out of the action in the Atlantic and eventually in the Pacific to engage Japanese forces.
As part of Task Force Z in December 1941, HMS Repulse took part in operations to seek out and destroy Japanese invasion forces at sea. On the 10th of December, HMS Repulse was caught in a major Japanese air attack and while managing to evade 19 torpedoes, the Repulse was finally caught by five torpedoes in rapid succession and sank within 20 minutes of the attack. HMS Repulse became the first capital ship to be sunk via air attacks alone.
Trumpeter has released its first installment of the Renown-class battlecruiser, this being the HMS Repulse circa 1941. While I am no naval combatant expert, from what I can glean from photos and various web sources, the kit appears to be representative of its configuration in its final months of service.
The packaging of this kit is still impressive, with cardboard frames holding the massive hull parts from shifting around in transit. The engineering that goes into Trumpeter's kits is quite nice.
The kit is molded in the usual Trumpeter light gray styrene and presented on twelve parts trees, plus the upper hull and three deck sections packages separately. In addition, the standard red styrene lower hull and waterline hull provide the option for full or waterline display options.
Should you go with the full-hull Repulse, a black styrene display base/cradle is also included. Two trees of clear parts are provided which make up the two Supermarine Walrus floatplanes that were assigned in 1941. The kit is rounded out with three frets of photo-etch details, one with cranes, ladders and other fittings around the ship, the other two are the railings (only one fret of railing is shown).
As with any of the Trumpeter 1/350 scale battleships, this kit has LOTS of parts (662 according to the specs) but there do not appear to be any really challenging assemblies. Given the number of small parts in this kit, I wouldn't recommend this project to young modelers, nor any modeler without some experience in more complex kits.
As mentioned earlier, the kit offers an option for waterline hull or full hull and display stand.
Trumpeter has been releasing its aircraft molded in clear in its 1/700 scale releases, while they've done some creative mixing of styrene colors on the same sprues for the 1/350 aircraft. With this release, the Walrus is molded completely in clear, which will have no effect on your paint scheme, but will allow you to mask off the windows to provide the illusion of an interior after painting and the masks are removed. Nice touch.
Markings are provided in the form of roundels and fin flashes for the embarked aircraft, and your choice of straight or wavy flag.
This kit adds another installment in the growing series of 1/350 scale battleships and I would not be surprised to see this released in the future in 1/700 scale as well. This is a beautiful model, just like the other releases from Trumpeter in this scale. If you're an AMS modeler, you'll have a jump-start with this release given the photo-etched details included in the kit - you won't have to wait for the aftermarket folks to catch-up.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!