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HMS Naiad 1940 Kit

Flyhawk 1/700 HMS Naiad 1940 First Look Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2015 Manufacturer Flyhawk Models
Subject HMS Naiad 1940 Scale 1/700
Kit Number 1112 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Advanced MSRP (USD) $79.95

First Look

HMS Naiad 1940 Kit
HMS Naiad 1940 Kit
HMS Naiad 1940 Kit
HMS Naiad 1940 Kit
HMS Naiad 1940 Kit

The HMS Naiad was a Dido-class cruiser in Royal Navy service during World War II. Laid down in 1937, the Naiad was launched in early 1939 and commissioned in mid-1940 as the Royal Navy was struggling to keep the vital shipping lanes open despite the best efforts of German raiders and submarines. HMS Naiad served in Home Fleet duties as well as convoy escort duties to the south. By mid-1941, HMS Naiad served in the Mediterranean supporting resupply efforts to Malta and engaging targets of opportunity. In March 1942, HMS Naiad was torpedoed by U-565 south of Crete and sunk with 77 crewmen lost.

Flyhawk Models has released the first Dido-class cruiser in 1/700 styrene and what they've produced is stunning. First, the packaging of this kit is nearly bulletproof. The colorful outer box contains a heavier cardboard box that has most of the kit parts inside with the exception of an array of small parts trees that are card-mounted and inserted into another protective plastic box that sits alongside the cardboard box.

Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on 20 parts trees plus 16 separately packed parts, one fret of photo-etched details, and one metal ballast bar. While this release is focused on Naiad, you can easily replicate the sister ships of the Dido-class as well.

Among the kit's features and options:

  • Amazing detail in this scale
  • One-piece deckhouses with great details molded on the sides
  • Choice of full-hull or waterline display
  • Full range of deck armament and fixtures
  • Outstanding full-color instructions providing clearly illustrated assembly steps

I've marked this release with a skill level of Advanced only because of the number of really tiny parts that are nicely molded but will require care to remove from the parts trees.

It is simply amazing how the state of the art of injection-molding has evolved to be able to replicate a subject like this with such fine details. Being able to mold those fine surface details on the top and sides of each part is really quite impressive. The same can be said for the accompanying photo-etched fret as I don't think I've seen railing etched so finely.

If you're looking for a masterpiece in a box, this kit from Flyhawk is just what you're looking for.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!