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ORP Błyskawica

Mirage 1/400 ORP Błyskawica Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2014 Manufacturer Mirage
Subject ORP Błyskawica Scale 1/400
Kit Number 400001 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $27.95

First Look

ORP Błyskawica Kit

The ORP Błyskawica was the second destroyer in the Grom-class, produced for the Polish Navy by the J. Samual White shipyards in the UK in the mid-1930s. The Grom-class were among the fastest and most heavily armed destroyers by the start of World War II. In accordance with the Peking Plan, the Błyskawica, Grom, and Burza withdrew to the UK two days before the start of the war. Błyskawica and Grom served with the Royal Navy's Home Fleet and in 1939, attacked a U-Boat marking the first probable combat between the allied and German navies in WWII. Błyskawica and Grom took part in the 1940 Norwegian Campaign attacking German positions though Grom was bombed and sunk in that action. Shortly afterwards, Błyskawica took part in Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Dunkirk.

Błyskawica was refitted with British 4 inch guns to make her compatible with available Royal Navy ammunition logistics and spent the rest of the war as a convoy escort in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, most notably for escorting the RMS Queen Mary because Błyskawica was one of the few combatants that could keep pace with the speedy liner. In 1942, Błyskawica was back at Cowes in the Isle of Wight where she was built undergoing an emergency refit. One night, the Luftwaffe attempted to bomb the shipyards and the town and Błyskawica provided anti-aircraft fire against the bombers and laid a smoke screen to obscure their targets. While the damage was bad, Błyskawica was credited for reducing the effectiveness of the German raid. By the end of World War 2, Błyskawica returned to Poland where today she is a floating museum in Gdynia.

Mirage Hobby has reissued their ORP Błyskawica kit in a special edition commemorating the vessel in its 1943 and restored 2012 colors during its service with the Royal Navy. This kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on two parts trees. The skill level is noted at 'experienced' due to the really small parts that provide some nice detailing to the model. While this kit has been available in a number of previous boxings, this release is a limited edition which includes a collector's coin commemorating the ship's World War 2 service 1939-1945.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!