The HMS Chester is available from White
Ensign Models for £38.25 (approx US $62.50). Worldwide shipping
free. Pacific Front Hobbies also carries the kit
Excellent Imperial War Museum photo showing HMS Chester's Jutland battle damage
Length: 456 ft.
Displ: 5,200 tons
Performance: 31,000 HP, 26.5 knots
Guns: 10 5.5", 1 3"
Torpedos: 2 21 in.
HMS Chester etched brass
Exploded view diagram from instructions
light cruiser HMS Chester and her sister
ship HMS Birkenhead formed a distinct group
within the WW1 "Town" Class. These were generally regarded as the finest
cruisers of the First World War, and Chester was arguably the best of the class. She was
faster due to her being entirely oil fired, and she shipped the superior 5.5inch gun, a
more rapid firing weapon than the 6inch armament carried by her sisters. Chester and
Birkenhead, originally intended for the Greek Navy, were taken over by the Admiralty and
launched at Birkenhead in 1915.
HMS Chester joined the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet and saw
action at Jutland on 31st May 1916, where she was badly damaged. Among her
numerous casualties was 16 year old Boy 1st Class John Cornwall. Mortally
wounded, he continued to man his gun, and was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his
The White Ensign Models kit
displays Chester in her 1916 Jutland fit. The bubble-free hull casting is flawless, there
being no cleanup required whatsoever. Although deck planking should not be visible in
1/700th scale, we modelers love a teakwood deck, and this kit rewards us with
planking of great delicacy. Let me suggest that you paint the wood deck with an airbrush.
Lacking that, apply thinned paint brushed on in multiple light coats. It would be a shame
to mar the exquisite detail with a heavy handed paint job.
Speaking of deck detail, every bit and piece seems to have been cast into the hull. The
density level exceeds that of some 1/350 models. Nevertheless, a number of resin pieces
remain to be attached. They include the bridge, searchlight and AA platforms,
searchlights, 5.5" guns, rafts, dinghies, 27 whalers, 30 gig, 30
and 34 cutters and the 35 motor boat. And lets not forget the main mast.
Being very thin and resin cast, it was warped. Finally I had found something to criticize!
But to my surprise White Ensigns extensive and well-detailed instructions
anticipated this problem and explained how to fabricate a replacement from the included
brass rod. And the instructions also include an attractive colour plan/profile view
painting guide, a portion of which is reproduced above. Good job!
Peter Halls very complete brass fret is delicate, but still sturdy enough to let
you handle the tiny parts without bending them. Let me recommend a tool I find
indispensable, the Xuron Micro Photo-etch Shear.
It enables one to detach any part from the fret without bending or destroying it. And
heres what you will find on the brass fret: boat davits, jackstaff, semaphores,
funnel caps, boat chocks, stowage rack, stovepipes, binnacle, bridge and searchlight
platform support girders, vent pipes, 3 pdr AA guns, yards, rangefinder, anchors,
lifebuoys, funnel siren platform, blast shields, searchlight platform braces, anchor
chain, ladders, watertight doors and hatches, and of course deck railing. I hope that I am
able to affix all this fine brass detail without losing my sanity.
This is an excellent kit of a beautiful and important World War I warship. It is complete
and well engineered. I highly recommend it. (See pics of the kit