Monday, 25 September 2017

Trumpeter 1/350 H.M.S. Eskimo (as H.M.S. Cossack)

Continuing my foray into warships, I was asked to create a 1/350 model of HMS Cossack, appearing as at the 2nd Battle of Narvik, 1940.

The nearest kit out there is this, the HMS Eskimo, a sister Tribal Class destroyer of the Cossack. I have built many Trumpeter kits in the past, and this one lives up to all the good and bad points of the others.

On the positive side, as with all Trumpeter kits, the moulding is excellent, crisp and flash free, and everything fits together beautifully. But on the other hand, true to form, there are a number of "in your face" inaccuracies that will need to be dealt with.

They key points that must be addressed are fourfold. Firstly, the bow shape is completely wrong. Trumpeter have the deck flat at the bow, when there should be a noticeable upward sweep. This is not as hard to correct as you may think at first, although it is still not for the fainthearted. Secondly, the "pom pom"  AA gun is represented in this kit as an eight gun mount - totally wrong, should be only four. Thirdly, the deck boats are all wrong in the kit, they appear to be German boats. And finally, the kit propellers are four bladed and they should be three.

To correct the bow shape, I added some packing plastic at the very tip which resulted in the deck piece being lifted up about 3mm to provide the correct sweep. The resulting gaps were filled with Milliput and sanded to shape. Unfortunately to be strictly accurate, the forward portholes and hawsepipe need to be moved, which entailed filling the existing ones and re-drilling.

The pom pom gun was fixed simply by throwing away the kit part and replacing it with the rather wonderful (but incredibly fiddly to make) Big Blue Boy etched brass version.

The deck boats were replaced with a set from Shapeways and the kit propellers replaced with the white metal set from WEM. WEM also provided a full tribal class etch set to add some sparkly detail to the whole build, along with brass gun barrels from Master, brass depth charges from Rainbow and a few other nice after market touches.

The paints used were from Lifecolor, primarily because they offer the correct shades of Admiralty grey which saved me the usual frustration paint mixing exercise. I'm not a big fan of Lifecolor acrylics, they are really hard to spray with, although they brush on beautifully, and indeed this is how I ended up painting the decks.

The kit itself went together very well, although adding the etch parts in this scale is always a challenge. I'm really starting to enjoy the warship work that is now coming my way. It is very fiddly (especially the rigging) but all the more rewarding for it.

I hope you enjoy the photos!