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HMS Belfast

Trumpeter 1/350 HMS Belfast Cruiser 1942 Kit First Look

by Mike Benolkin

Date of Review September 2013 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject HMS Belfast Cruiser 1942 Scale 1/350
Kit Number 5334 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch
Pros 100% new tooling, great details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $109.95

First Look

HMS Belfast
HMS Belfast
HMS Belfast
HMS Belfast
HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast (C35) was a Town-class British light cruiser that was the first Royal Navy ship to be named after the capital of Northern Ireland and was launched on Saint Patrick's Day, 1938. Commissioned in August 1939, the Belfast entered service shortly before World War II and was part of the blockade force against Germany. The Belfast struck a mine in November 1939 and was laid up for over two years undergoing repairs. When she returned to service in November 1942, the Belfast had been upgraded with radar, additional armor and armament.

During the remainder of World War II, the Belfast saw service in the Arctic waterways, took part in the sinking of the Scharnhorst, supported the landings at Normandy, and even deployed to the Far East before the end of the war. The Belfast saw combat once again in support of the UN in Korea before she would serve a much quieter decade prior to her decommissioning in 1963. Today the Belfast is a floating museum in London on the river Thames.

Here is Trumpeter's first installment in the Royal Navy's Town-class cruisers with the HMS Belfast in her 1942 post-refit configuration. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 16 parts trees plus two trees of clear parts and one fret of photo-etched parts. According to the specs, this kit is 463 parts in its construction and the kit looks to be a straightforward build. As with similar kits released by Trumpeter, the hull is full-hull with no waterline option. The hull interior has seven structural bulkheads to provide the completed model with the strength to be handled without hearing that awful 'snap' sound when a seam pops loose from flexing plastic. The full hull is supported with a display stand to allow for the viewing of the four screws and rudder at the stern.

Despite the straightforward build, the majority of the parts in this kit are small details which is why the recommended skill level is Experienced for a kit of this type. A little extra skill and patience will be required to make this model into the beauty that it can be, plus an AMS modeler will want to add photo-etched railings to the kit as well. The photo-etched parts provided in this kit are for various ladders, antennae, and stack frames.

The kit has two trees of clear parts which represent the two Supermarine Walrus flying boats that are embarked aboard the Belfast and launched from a single catapult.

This kit will build into a great replica of the HMS Belfast and will be a colorful addition to the shelf wearing its Admiralty camouflage colors.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!