The Royal Navy was playing catch-up as World War Two approached. The politicians, as is there wont throughout the world, had come up with a wonderful piece of whimsy called the Ten Year Rule. Every year when it came to defense funding the world situation would be examined. If they could see no threat of war in the next ten years the defense appropriations were low. The Royal Navy had made a dramatic change from its status before WWI to the status between the wars, a change that would be even more marked after WWII. In 1910 the Royal Navy was mistress of the waves but had mere equality with the USN after the Washington Treaty of 1923. The Royal Navy had invented the destroyer as a type and had produced some superb destroyers during WWI. The V/W class of destroyers were significantly better than their contemporaries of the USN flush-decker classes. While, the USN was in a decade slumber from new destroyer designs, the RN was still producing new destroyers. Starting with the A class, a basic design emerged, which led to succeeding classes receiving improvements on the original design all the way to the H class. These classes were being produced long after the Imperial Japanese Navy came out with their obviously superior Special Type destroyers. By the mid 1930s both the IJN and USN were building large destroyers, which were far more impressive, at least on paper, than the RN designs.
The Tribals were large destroyers mounting eight 4-7-inch guns but were weak in torpedo armament. The follow up fleet design established a new standard. The K class packed six 4.7-inch guns in three twin turrets. The J through N class destroyers followed this design. However, with the arrival of World War Two the Royal Navy needed many more destroyers and it took too long to build the standard design. A simpler new design was prepared that carried a lighter gun armament with single guns rather than the complex twin mounts, which were in short supply and a bottle neck to production. These were the Emergency Program War Built destroyers of the O to Z classes. One of the most famous of this group of destroyers was HMS Onslow. Launched March 31, 1941 Onslow was in many actions. Probably the height of her career came exactly one year after her launch. Early on December 31, 1942 Lutzow, Hipper and six destroyers assaulted Russian convoy JW51B. Onslow was the flagship of Captain Sherbrooke with a command of five of the O class. In the Battle of the Barrents Sea the British destroyers held off the heavier German squadron until cruisers Sheffield and Jamaica arrived. Hipper knocked out the forward guns of Onslow but she continued to fight until the German ships retired.
Lion Roar produces a brass photo-etch set for HMS Onslow, which of course can be used for other ships of the multiple war built destroyers. The set, LE700101 contains two brass frets. For a set for a 1:700 scale destroyer, there are a huge number of parts with a great amount of relief-etching. These details are grouped in a number of areas. Most of the weapons systems are upgraded. For LA guns you get gun shields, gun breeches and gun platforms. The HA gun gets a circular gun platform with anti-skid tread and side bulkheads, gun mount, gun breech and crew platforms. Light AA comes in two forms. One is the quad pom-pom, which is all brass and the other is in the form of 20mm Oerlikons. Lion Roar provides two pom-pom mounts and five Oerlikons. ASW includes depth charge throwers and stern racks. Another major group of parts details the superstructure. An entire navigation bridge with windscreen, treadway, frame and canvas cover. Two side platforms are also included for the bridge. Lion Roar provides a lattice foremast with yardarms and radar and the main mast gets a platform and radar. Gun platforms are heavily covered with splash guards, bulkheads, supports, and some deck grids. Other superstructure detail is included with stack grates and platforms, doors and platforms. A full Yagi radar array is provided. Other detail includes boat davits, solid deck bulkheads, railing, inclined ladders and vertical ladder.
Although designed for the O class destroyers, the Lion Roar 1:700 scale brass detail set for HMS Onslow LE700101 has parts that are equally applicable to any Royal Navy destroyer. This large photo-etch set provides an impressive number of high quality parts.