Trumpeter 1/350 HMS Monmouth Type 23 Frigate Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||July 2014||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||HMS Monmouth Type 23 Frigate||Scale||1/350|
|Kit Number||4547||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice details, new Merlin||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$69.95|
HMS Monmouth is the sixth of 16 Duke-class frigates and the seventh ship to be so named. Commissioned in 1993, the HMS Monmouth has deployed to the Gulf region as well as anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean. While the Type 23 was originally designed as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) frigate, the type's weapons and sensor fit provide the Duke-class with versatility in surface warfare, anti-piracy and task group escort duties as well. The compliment of 32 Sea Wolf missiles and countermeasures gear provide the Type 23 with protection against air and missile threats as well. The hangar and flight deck on the Type 23's stern will accommodate one embarked Merlin or Lynx helicopter.
Trumpeter has released the another installment of the Type 23 frigate in injection molded styrene and the kit looks nice. The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on 10 parts trees plus the main deck and hull. Unlike previous releases, this kit does not have provisions for waterline display but a display stand is provided.
The kit appears to be a straightforward build with a limited amount of photo-etch to represent details on the masts and antennas. The AMS modeler may want to add railings which are no doubt available as aftermarket detail sets.
Unlike the previous release we examined, this release features a Merlin HM1 molded in clear with options for stowed or flight-ready main rotor. Since the hangar bay door is molded separately, you can pose the door open with the Merlin stowed inside.
I've been looking forward to getting my hands on one of these, not to do a Royal Navy Type 23, but to build the namesake of the Captain featured in the movie Master and Commander. The book and movie of the same name which presented the main character as Captain Jack Aubrey (the lesser of two weavels) but in fact was representing Admiral Thomas Cochrane, a Royal Navy officer whose exploits at sea led to several books.
After leaving the Navy, Cochrane had mixed success in business and politics before using his expertise to organize the Chilean Navy. He spent nearly four years as an Admiral in the Chilean Navy and his forces were able to defeat the Spanish Pacific throne in Peru which led to the successful war of independence from Spain. Since that time, the Armada de Chile has had five warships named in honor of Admiral Cochrane, the current one being the Type 23 formerly HMS Norfolk. I had the privilege of standing on her bridge and touring the vessel several years ago. With a little work, it won't be difficult to reconfigure the Trumpeter kit to represent the Almirante Cochrane.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!