was built at Yarrow, Scotland in 1915 for the Japanese Navy. While still
on the ways, the Italian Navy purchased her as a replacement for the
sunken destroyer Audace. As
built her armament consisted of one 120mm gun, four 76mm and four 18Ē
torpedo tubes. Subsequent to WW1 Audace's gun armament was changed
to seven 102mm guns, two 40mm and four machineguns. In the 30ís all of
her armament was removed and she was used as a control ship for the target
vessel San Marco. During WWII she was rearmed with two 102mm guns;
three 20mm and four 18Ē torpedo tubes. The Germans seized Audace
at the Italian surrender and used her until she was sunk in a November
1944 gun battle with two Royal Navy destroyers.
The 629 ton Audace measured 283' long and 27' in the
beam according to Jane's, and had a top speed of 31 knots. The L'Arsenal
kit, mastered by Falk Pletscher, measures 4.9" long x
.5" wide, just slightly oversize if we assume Jane's is correct.
The box top has a black & white line drawing of Audace's
starboard side in camo rig circa 1942Ė43. There are two double-sided
pages of instructions. Page 1 has a brief history of the ship, a few lines
of general instructions, and a sketch showing numbered parts on sprues and
photo etch. The assembly instructions are on the second page and consist
of plan/profile views, with resin parts indicated by squares &
photo-etched parts with circles. The drawings are oversize and clearly
show the location of all parts.
Page 3 shows the port, starboard and overhead color
schemes circa 1942-43. Colors are identified by Humbrol paint numbers. The
2 tone splinter camouflage is Humbrol #79 & a 50-50 mixture of
Humbrol #128 and white. The forecastle has the distinctive red & white
aircraft identification stripes common to Italian ships of this period,
with a #27 main deck. I donít know enough about Italian and Humbrol
colors to comment on the accuracy of these color instructions.
The 4th page is comprised of two line drawings, the
upper one showing Audace with all rigging and railings as arranged
1942-43. The lower one shows the ship prior to 1941 when she still carried
seven 120mm guns. The instructions discuss changes needed to backdate the
model to a 1941, but the extra 102mm guns required are not included.
The decal sheet has the ďADĒ needed for the
prewar model, plus German crosses for the post Ď43 version. There are no
instructions for placing the Kriegsmarine markings.
The resin parts consist of the waterline hull casting
mounted on a thin full-length keel sprue. Detaching this sprue from the
finished model should be easy, but donít do it until youíve finished
your Audace. It makes for a very convenient holding device while working
on this small ship. Both casting quality and detailing are excellent
throughout. The superstructure, funnels, vents, and gun tubs are part of
the hull casting, which reduces building time considerably. Portholes are
inlet into the hull and the anchors are cast in place. The bulwarks are
thin and ďin-scaleĒ, and there were neither bubbles nor casting
defects anywhere to be found. Other resin parts consist of:
mainmast and 4 boat davits cast into a thin wafer backing. Exercise
care in removing these parts from the carrier film.
identical sprues with containing a paravane, small rangefinder in a
tub,2 unshielded 20MM cannon, and a 120MM gun.
sprues, each of which includes three life rafts and a twin torpedo
single sprue with two boats and a searchlight.
All parts are
cleanly cast in tan resin, and removing them from the sprue shouldnít
pose any problems. Part numbers corresponding to the instructions are cast
into the sprues, a nice touch. Iím not familiar enough with the Regina
Marina to know if the stubby little 120mmís or the blocky 20mmís are
the correct pattern.
The brass photo etch sheet has 3-bar railings, boat
davits, flag/jackstaff, propeller guards, ladders, mizzenmast, and
topmast/yardarm for the mainmast. The etching is well done, with
thin delicate looking railings. There are locating holes cast in the deck
for the boat davits, but the modeler will have to measure and drill his
own locating holes for the masts and armament.
I like this kit. Itís a simple subject, and with
itís short forecastle and high narrow bridge decidedly odd looking. I
recommend the LíArsenal Audace to modelers building a first resin kit.
There is no resin overpour to complicate matters, the instructions are
clear, buildup is straightforward, and extra parts are included.
Experienced modelers will enjoy it too. Itís a well executed model of an
lesser known subject.