1/700 Waterline Kit by B Resina
Reviewed by Rob Mackie
Kit: HMS Belfast WW2 British cruiser (modified Town class)
Scale: 1/700 waterline
Medium: All resin
Strengths: Stunning one-piece hull casting, ease of assembly
Weaknesses: Slight deformity in hull, no torpedo tubes, some small parts a bit rough
Availability (in US): Pacific Front Hobbies, US$68
The HMS Belfast and her sister ship, Edinburgh, were completed in 1939. They were designed both
to improve upon the Town class cruisers (HMS Southampton, Sheffield et al) and as
a response to the Mogami class of IJN cruisers and their fifteen 6 guns. They
were intended to carry sixteen 6 guns in four quadruple turrets. The turret design proved
impractical, and in the event she shipped twelve 6" guns in four triple turrets. The
weight saved was used to supplement her armour protection. The Belfast
suffered serious mine damage in 1939 and she was laid up for 3 years. Thereafter she
participated in the Battle of the North Cape, in which the battlecruiser Scharnhost was
She is now a museum ship moored on the Thames in London. Note that she is displayed in
her post-war 1960's fit (altered bridge structure, lattice masts rather than tripod masts,
modernized radar) rather than the 1943 livery depicted by this kit.
B-Resina is a new name in 1/700 waterline
models. It is a German concern affiliated, I believe, with Doc
Modell, a producer of high quality waterline kits. Open the box and you are
greeted by an extraordinary hull casting. Almost everything short of the masts and guns is
cast integral with the hull. There were no bubbles or flash in this impressive piece of
resin. Even the searchlights and rafts are part of the hull casting. How is this done?
High pressure or vacuum casting? I have no idea but the end result is convincing and makes
for very rapid construction. Just affix the guns, boats, cranes and directors. This is
truly a one evening project for those of you not given to superdetailing.
You are probably asking, did B-Resina sacrifice
detail for ease of construction? No. I compared the hull casting to the profile view in
Raven and Roberts British Cruisers of World War Two. Details generally match both
in location and appearance. I wonder if this represents a trend in 1/700 ships? If the
hull were any more complete, the modeler could skip the construction step entirely and
start painting. The hull appears slightly asymmetrical at the armour belt. The port side
bulges slightly more than the starboard. This causes the kit's beam to scale out to 72'
rather than the correct 66'. This is only noticeable when the ship is viewed from the
underside, and can be fixed by carefully sanding the side belt. The kit's length scales
out perfectly at 613 feet.
Small parts are fair but useable. Consider replacing the barrels with brass rod and the
very rough 20mm guns with PE brass. The resin masts are acceptable, but I suggest you
fabricate your own using brass rod, especially if you plan on rigging your Belfast. A very
nice Walrus floatplane is included, but the kit omits the cruiser's two banks of triple
Instructions are simple but adequate, and there is a useful paint guide.
British WW2 ship camouflage is a subject of endless conjecture. See Alan Raven's
comprehensive discussion in Plastic Ship Modeler and
then consult the camo articles elsewhere on this site for paint mixing instructions.
No etched brass is included. Radar and 20 mm guns are best depicted using PE. Add PE
railing and you will have a beautiful replica.
This is an excellent model for those of you new to 1/700 resin kits. Trust
me, you will have no construction problems. More advanced modelers will also like this
kit. They can embellish the already substantial built-in detail and wind up with a real
crowd pleaser. Highly recommended.