The Real Thing
The Spanish corvette "Cazadora", her name meaning "huntress" was laid down in 1979 and entered active duty in 1981. She was the fifth vessel of the Spanish designed "Descubierta" class. Six corvettes were built to this design for the Spanish Armada, two for the Egyptian Navy and one for the Royal Moroccan Navy. With nine ships built, it is one of the most prolific classes in Spanish shipbuilding history. Although inspired by the German designed, Portuguese "Joao Coutinho" corvettes, three of them built in Spain, the "Descubierta" class corvettes were the first modern surface combatants to be designed in Spain, ending a too long "travel of the desert" for the once and now again, top rank Spanish shipbuilders. All six Spanish vessels have very recently been downgraded to become OPVīs, being too small to be considered up to date fleet combatants. They have lost the AAW and ASW weaponry, retaining the 76 mm OTO DP gun. Egyptian and Moroccan vessels are still fully operational as light multi-role frigates. While rather small, the "Cazadora" and her sisters are, or we should better say were, quite heavily armed. Unfortunately they lack a flight deck.

Cazadora(1)LC.JPG (116536 bytes) Cazadora(2)LC.JPG (79588 bytes) Cazadora(4)LC.JPG (96241 bytes) Cazadora(5)LC.JPG (110111 bytes)

 

Cazadora Statistics

Displacement: 1,640 ton full load: Dimensions: 88.9 x 10.4 x 5.2 meters (291.5 x 34 x 17 feet): Propulsion: 4 diesel Bazan-MTU 16V956 16,000 shp, 2 shafts, 24 knot: Crew: 115: Radar: DA-05 air: Sonar: DE-1160B hull: EW: Elsag Mk-1000, Ceselsa DENEB & ELNATH, Inisel CANOPUS, SLQ-25 Nixie: Armament: 8 Harpoon SSM, 1x8-cell Sea Sparrow / Aspide (24 missiles, manual reload), 1x76 mm OTO DP, 1x20 mm/120 AA, 1x375 mm ASW mortar, 2 triple 12.75-inch torpedo tubes.

 

The Model
There is no commercial kit for these ships. Well, there is NO commercial kit for ANY Spanish vessel short from the well-known "Juan Sebastián de Elcano"), so I had to build my tiny "Cazadora" from scratch. The hull and decks are made of polystyrene sheet (0.25 and 0.5 mm). Quite luckily, most of her armament is standard western hardware, so I used Revell Harpoons, OTO Melaras and Sea Sparrows from my spare parts box. The exotic Bofors ASW mortar and DA-05 radar were scratch-built. I used generic Aber 1/700 railing and 6/0 black silk for a very simple rigging. I include a couple of pictures of the "Cazadora" alongside an incomplete Oliver Hazard Perry frigate for comparison of size. The model is 12 cm long. Being my first model posted, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I enjoy yours. And if some model company "Big Fish" reads this... Come on, people, there are some interesting subjects in the Spanish Armada you could work on.

Cazadora(6)LC.JPG (96870 bytes) Cazadora(3)LC.JPG (82781 bytes) Cazadora(7)LC.JPG (92760 bytes) Cazadora(8)LC.JPG (68926 bytes)

Luis Crespo

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