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HMS Kelly 1940

White Ensign Models
1:700 Scale Waterline Model

In-the-Box Review
Ken Summa

The HMS Kelly was a K Class destroyer built prior to World War 2. Commissioned August 23, 1939 and commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten, she was the leader of the 5th Flotilla assigned to the Home Fleet. Damaged early in the war by a magnetic mine exploding near her stern, she was repaired and damaged again in a collision with another destroyer. In May 1940 an E-boat launched torpedo struck her. She made it home after a heroic 91-hour struggle. Transferred to the Mediterranean in April 1941, her luck ran out on May 23rd. A flight of Junkers 88’s attacked and sank both Kelly and her sister ship HMS Kashmir.

Kelly photo.jpg (23469 bytes)The White Ensign Models kit depicts HMS Kelly in her 1940 configuration. Resin parts comprise most of the kit, with the smaller details rendered in photo-etched brass. Both brass and plastic rod (necessary for the fabrication of masts and flagstaffs) are also included.

White Ensign’s 8-page instruction booklet is superb. The first page contains a short history and some helpful construction tips. The next three pages contain illustrations of photo-etch and very clear mast assembly diagrams. There are also instructions for assembling multi-part photo-etch subassemblies. One page of the booklet is devoted to written instructions for those who prefer them. There are three nicely executed drawings (one of which is an exploded view and another a full colour painting guide) showing all necessary assembly information. WEM puts considerable effort into their kit instructions and it shows.

The resin castings are beautifully executed. The waterline hull is dimensionally accurate and adorned with much surface detail, though it does have a few sub-surface air bubbles. These are to be found on superstructure bulkheads but are covered by a thin resin film. Since these areas require no sanding, paint should conceal these bubbles. There is, however, a casting gate at the bottom of the stern that will require removal. The rest of the resin parts - and there are some very small ones – are of similar high quality. Some of the smaller parts such as the superstructure and main gun shields have casting gates needing removaWEMDido_Quad_Pom_Pom_small.jpg (1418 bytes)l. These are small and shouldn’t pose any significant problem, but be careful to avoid removing too much excess resin. The modeler can choose from either resin or photo-etched pom-poms and 0.5" machine guns. The resin guns are impressive one-piece castings (click on the penny photo for a cloer look at the quad pom-pom). The photo-etch versions may be more "in scale" than the resin parts, but they are comprised of fiddly brass parts that may scare off less experienced modelers. The choice is yours. The model will look fine either way.

The photo-etch fret contains all parts necessary for super-detailing, including rails, ladders, aerials et al. Everything is realistically thin and well organized. It should be mentioned that the bow railing has the proper shear for easier application. Although there are enough brass parts to satisfy even the most demanding modeler, the kit can be built into a handsome replica using only a minimum of photo-etch. Even if you use only the etched brass boat davits and depth-charge racks, the kit will still look better than most 1/700th scale plastic kits. Again, the amount of detail to be added is up to you.

The White Ensign HMS Kelly should build into a beautiful and accurate model. With its excellent instructions, it should not be a difficult build. The model looks like it could go together in a matter of hours and should make a great weekend project. The HMS Kelly sells for 23.79 BPS, or about US $39, and is available directly from White Ensign Models or from Pacific Front.

Click thumbnail photo to view full size picture

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Hull plan & profile views
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Smaller resin parts
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Deck house
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Etched brass
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Colour guide
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Layout diagram
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Narrative instructions
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Exploded view
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Tripod  layout

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