The 115-foot Fairmile D motor launches were the Royal Navys answer to the formidable German S-Boats.  The Fairmile D type was the most successful design that evolved from the initial 110-foot A type.  It possessed the speed and strong armament capabilities to take on the German vessels.  During the war, 228 Fairmile D boats were constructed in various configurations (MGB, MTB, Air-Sea Rescue and General Purpose launches). White Ensign Models MGB 660 kit is one of several Fairmile D variants offered under their Narrow Seas range of coastal and small combatants.  While it is a very small kit, measuring just under 4 inches, it has all the hallmarks of larger WEM kits: well detailed castings and photoetch parts.

This kit came bagged and not boxed like the other Fairmile D and the S-Boats kits I purchased earlier. The main resin part is of course the one-piece full hull.  Integrated into the casting is the bridge/cockpit, various small and delicate cowl vents, gun platforms, pedestals for the 20mm Oerlikons, roll-off depth charges and what appears to be a pair of smoke generators fitted on aft part of the deck.  The casting captures the attractive lines of the Fairmile D hull design, from the sleek sharp bow to the squared off stern.  There were some minor bubbles in some of the vents and deck fittings which were carefully filled.   The smaller resin parts include various gun mounts (the base for the twin Oerlikons, a 6-pdr Hotchkiss and a Mark XVI 2-pdr), a pair of Carley floats, a dinghy, a binnacle and the ships wheel mount.  Somehow I lost the latter two parts and did not have them when I scanned the small parts.  I apologize for the fuzziness of the resin part images, the scanner I used was not that good and it doesnt do justice to these parts.

MGB660Ifb.JPG (11780 bytes) MGB660Jfb.JPG (17227 bytes) MGB660Kfb.JPG (13260 bytes) MGB660Lfb.JPG (84146 bytes)
MGB660Mfb.JPG (131781 bytes) MGB660Nfb.JPG (140044 bytes) MGB660Ofp.JPG (93819 bytes) MGB660Pfb.JPG (94626 bytes)

The brass photo-etch set is WEMs general purpose fret for all of their Fairmile D MTB and MGB kits, so you get more than you need for this kit which is an added bonus for the spares box.  In fact I used one of the etch gun platforms for another project.  The relief-etching provides a lot of detail but you really need to be careful when removing some of the parts, particularly the railings, because the brass is very, very fine.  I nearly mangled the forecastle railings beyond repair trying the cut them from the fret.  So handle with kid gloves! The instructions are superb and at 4 pages total, impressive for a kit this small.  The detailed plan and profile diagram on the last page show exact placement for the various resin and photo-etch parts.  The full color painting guide with proper Royal Navy color references (and corresponding WEM Colourcoats matches naturally) is extremely helpful.  I need to point out a typo on page 2 of the instructions the part number reference for the mast should be 13 and not 14 as printed.  I already alerted John Snyder of this is it will be corrected going forward.

I basically assembled this kit right out of the box and it went together well and without any major issues other than the need to be extremely careful when working with some of the photo-etch parts.  While I appreciate the attempt to get an appropriate scale effect, I would personally have preferred a little thicker brass to facilitate handling.  I placed the model in a seascape and added LArsenal crew members, fine wire for the rigging and the white ensign from the Gold Medal Models flag decal set.  I used Microscale black lettering decals for the hull pennant markings.  The correct markings would be black outlined in white like modern Royal Navy pennants.  A small generic strip of decals would have been a nice addition to the kit as there is really no alternative that I know of available.

MGB660Afb.JPG (64040 bytes) MGB660Bfb.JPG (81715 bytes) MGB660Cfb.JPG (85232 bytes) MGB660Ffb.JPG (67506 bytes)
MGB660Hfb.JPG (69011 bytes) MGB660Dfb.JPG (75765 bytes) MGB660Gfb.JPG (64046 bytes) MGB660Efb.JPG (71296 bytes)

This was a fun build and I look forward to building the other Fairmile D kits in WEMs Narrow Seas line.  While it is a fairly simple subject I would not recommend it to a novice builder and the delicacy of the photo-etch would be intimidating to a newbie.

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