Copyright 1997, Ian Wilkins
Revell 1:500 HMS Royal Sovereign
An In Box Review by Ian Wilkins
This kit is a reissue of the old Frog Revenge kit. After Frog went out of business the
moulds wound up in the Soviet Union where the kit was produced for several years. Now
Revell have the moulds and have re-issued the kit as Royal Sovereign.
The kit is really much more accurate for HMS Revenge that Royal Sovereign. I checked it
against photos and drawings in R A Burt's British Battleships of World war One, which has
excellent plan, profile, and inboard profile drawings for this class. In the 1930s several
members of this class had tripod legs fitted to their mainmasts including Royal Sovereign.
As fas as I have been able to tell Revenge was not so fitted and the kit does not include
these tripod legs. It also has the correct pattern of long base rangefinders on B and X
turrets for Revenge. I'd say the kit represents HMS Revenge as she appeared early in WWII
with radar and some small calibre AA weapons added.
For an old kit that's been through a lot Revell's Royal Sovereign is in surprisingly
good shape. There is a bit of flash about but the mould alignment seems good and all the
parts are useable. What follows are a few comments based on a survey of the components and
Strangely the 4 inch mounts have an extraneous stem on the underside that the
instruction sheet says must be cut off before attaching them to the deck. The barrels for
these are way to short and will need replacing with wire. There are also some heavy mould
lines that will need sanding off. The pom-pom mounts are simple but cleanly executed, and
in this scale a lot of extra detail could be added. the 15 inch turrets are fairly
accurate in shape and the barrels useable, though these will need a bit of cleaning up.
The 6 inch casemate mounts are a bit disappointing, there being large gaps that will allow
you to see right out the other side of the hull. blanking pieces cut from plastic card
will be needed here along with some good references to get things looking right.
The hull looks accurate in outline and is well moulded with no sinkmarks or warpage.
The massive bulges that were fitted to this class after construction are OK in shape but
there is little hull detail apart from some faintly moulded scuttles. Pictures show a
variety of details that could be added to the ship's sides. The hull scales out accurately
in beam and length. The markings for the boot topping are wrong leaving the vessel with
too little freeboard. The upper line should be lowered by 2 millimetres and the lower one
raised by 1.5 millimetres for a more correct appearance. You will also have to add your
own bilge keels.
The decks seem to fit neatly into the hull but there is very little deck detail.
Checking references will be necessary to liven up this area of the model. Deck planking is
shown as lightly raised lines and looks quite acceptable.
The bridgework is made up of quite simple pieces and the funnel is closed over on top
and will need cutting open. At any rate some modellers will want to construct the proper
clinker screen here. The boats are good, there's a little flash, but no sinkmarks. The two
pinnaces look especially good.
Finally, the instuctions offer two colour schemes, one of which is a camoflage scheme
and the other an all over light grey scheme. The camoflage is probably more accurate for a
radar equiped ship.
This kit is in a good big scale and has a lot of potential for conversion projects and
super detailing. It would be easier to construct other Royal Sovereign class vessels from
this kit than say building other Queen Elizabeths from the Airfix Warspite kit.
Considering what the moulds have been through the kit is in fantastic condition.