White Ensign Models 1/350 HMS Kelley Kit First Look
By Michael Taylor
|Date of Review||November 2005||Manufacturer||White Ensign Models|
|Kit Number||K3557||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||Excellent castings, engineering, instructions||Cons||Hull fit, pom pom platform|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$126.00 (Approx)|
HMS Kelley was laid down on 26th August 1937 at Hawthorn Leslie Shipbuilders on Tyneside and launched on 25th October 1938. She became the ship of captain (D) Lord Louis Mountbatten in August 1939 and was preparing to serve in the Mediterranean when hostilities broke out. Kelley and the 5th Flotilla initially served in Home and Northern waters, until in late Autumn 1939 Kelley was damaged at the stern by a magnetic mine, when she had to be towed back to the builders yard for repairs which lasted until February 1940.
In may Kelley was hit by a torpedo in number 1 boiler room, which caused flooding in both boiler rooms and nearly resulted in the loss of the ship, but once again she was successfully towed back to the Tyne for repairs which took until December. Kelley and the rest of the 5th Flotilla were finally deployed to the Mediterranean in late April 1941, taking up escort duties there. Kelley became involved in the Battle of Crete in May 1941, then on the morning of the 22nd after carrying out shore bombardments with Kashmir she was caught by a squadron of JU87 dive bombers 13 miles south of Gavdo. Kashmir was hit and sunk, then Kelley was hit just aft of the engine room whilst turning at speed. She capsized and sank after 30 minutes.
Another excellent kit from WEM. All parts are flash free and major resin parts are keyed to fit. As with most 2 piece hull ships the upper hull is slightly longer than the lower. Best way to "fix" this would be to mate the aft hull and feather the bow join. A quick dry fit showed 1 problem-Part #19 the pom pom platform's key to fit its support isn't molded correctly. The easiest way to fix this is to file down the aft support to allow the deck to sit level. Due to the amount and complexity of the photo etched parts I would recommend this kit to someone with some experience with this media.
My sincere thanks to White Ensign Models for this review sample!