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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:02 pm 
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Flyhawk Model's newly released 1/700 kit of HMS Naiad sets new standards for injection molded kits in terms of quality and value. The kit offers waterline and full-hull options and consists of about 250 molded plastic components, a fret of photo-etch parts (including very fine ship rails), flag decals, and detailed instructions.

The kit is carefully packed in a decorative cardboard box which doubles as a display base, a sturdy inner cardboard box which protects nearly all of the kit parts, and a clear plastic box that protects the extremely finely molded foremast and mainmast assemblies. All kit components are packed in separate plastic bags or, in the case of delicate pieces, sturdy clear plastic display boxes. The plastic parts are finely and crisply molded, and there were no visible sink marks or flash on any of the parts.

Each deckhouse component is molded as a single piece—there are no multicomponent deckhouse assemblies to be put together. They are packed separately in a clear plastic box, and because they appear to have been created in a slide mold, they do not need to be removed from a sprue tree or cleaned up prior to assembly. This will greatly expedite assembly of the kit. Particularly noteworthy is the bridge, which has nice representations of wind baffles molded in place. All portholes on the hull and deckhouses have fine, in-scale eyebrows. Molding of the deck details and planking is delicate and the overall effect is outstanding.

The kit measures out exactly to scale in length and beam (222.9mm long overall, 21.99mm wide). I compared the various kit components to resized (1/700) drawings of HMS Euryalus from Alan Raven and John Roberts British Cruisers of World War II and HMS Argonaut from Norman Friedman’s British Cruisers: Two World Wars and After, and all major components (hull, deckhouses, stacks) conformed precisely, dimensionally and shapewise, to both sets of drawings.

I dry fitted the hull, decks, and deckhouses, and they all fell perfectly into place. The main assembly challenge will be the plethora of small parts, including deck details, ammo storage boxes, directors, and main and secondary armament.

There are only a few very minor faults I can find with the kit: 1) the knuckle line starts where it should, just below the bow hawse pipe, but instead of running parallel to the portholes, it gently slopes downward toward the waterline. This can be corrected with some sandpaper, but given the attention to detail in this kit in every other respect, it comes as a bit of a surprise. 2) the hull is a bit thick aft of the forward breakwater and the bollard baseplates are perhaps slightly oversize, though the ship rails should obscure both; 3) the instructions show the camouflage as a three tone, light grey, green, and brown scheme. This is the color call-out for the scheme in Alan Raven and H. Trevor Lenton, Ensign 2, Dido Class Cruisers, which was published in 1973, though in Alan Raven’s Warship Perspectives: Camouflage Volume 1, Royal Navy 1939-1941, published in 2000, he states that the scheme was light grey (AP507C), medium grey (AP507B), and black. Alan has confirmed to me that the latter is in fact the correct color call-out (though my own interpretation of photos of Naiad are that the dark color is more likely AP507A, rather than black).

Several of the early Dido class cruisers were nearly identical sisters, so you should be able to use this kit to build several other ships in the class—Bonaventure, Dido, Euryalus, and Hermione—without major modifications (except, perhaps, removing or relocating the fine degaussing cable molded onto the hull). Argonaut, Cleopatra, and Phoebe either had quad 40mm guns in the C turret position, or portholes instead of the rectangular open gallery on either side of the wheel house on the bridge, so to model those ships, a bit more work would be required.

In sum, this is an outstanding model that sets new standards for injection molded kits, and at $25 plus postage from overseas distributors, it is an outstanding value. We can only hope that Flyhawk will continue to release WWII era Royal Navy subjects and maintain their extremely high standards. Well done!

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Last edited by Mike E. on Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:31 am 
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Thanks for the review, Mike.

I've just ordered the kit and can't wait for it to arrive :)

Cheers

Dave

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Currently on the workbench: Tamiya USS Enterprise; Airfix 1/1200 Ark Royal


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:25 am 
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I have the Derfflinger and a couple of Wards and have the Naiad on pre-order, and would order any model by Flyhawk, no matter what navy or era, they're that good! Their PE is a bit fiddley, but looks better than most others. :wave_1:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:56 pm 
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Mine turned up today, very impressed on first glance, will have a further look shortly. Hopefully more RN Cruisers will follow!

thanks
Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:31 pm 
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Thanks for pointing out those differences. Will need to add some styrene then for Cleopatra.
Attachment:
bridge2.JPG
bridge2.JPG [ 179.99 KiB | Viewed 3860 times ]

Attachment:
bridge4.JPG
bridge4.JPG [ 69.29 KiB | Viewed 3860 times ]


I agree with your comments so far. I did have some problems in getting the funnel steam pipes to seperate form the sprue gate and broke on of them in three pieces. OTOH it means I only had to build one steam pipe out of stainless steel rod instead of all of them as they are really thin - about 0,3 mm.
Mike E. wrote:

Several of the early Dido class cruisers were nearly identical sisters, so you should be able to use this kit to build several other ships in the class—Bonaventure, Dido, Euryalus, and Hermione—without major modifications (except, perhaps, removing or relocating the fine degaussing cable molded onto the hull). Argonaut, Cleopatra, and Phoebe either had quad 40mm guns in the C turret position, or portholes instead of the rectangular open gallery on either side of the wheel house on the bridge, so to model those ships, a bit more work would be required.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:30 pm 
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Mike, thanks for a great preview. It's really that good, eh?
Looks like I need to bump both Ward and Naiad up on my want list.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:39 pm 
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Pieter/Alcon:

And here are some links of An Chu's wonderful modifications of the WEM kit of HMS Dido to make some other ships of this class (Naiad, Argonaut, and Sirius). The latter two builds show how you need to modify the bridge to represent the ships of this class without the open port and starboard galleries. You can see some of the mods he made prior to applying paint, in the photos for Argonaut:

http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... /index.htm

http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... index.html

http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery ... index.html

Enjoy!

Mike E.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:25 pm 
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Thanks Mike. I've just realized that I should have seen this bridge detail on the IWM site - many pictures of the Dido's are online now. Note that contrary to what's mentioned in Raven & Roberts Cleopatra still had .5in machine guns when she entered service (picture A7062).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:54 pm 
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My Naiad arrived today :woo_hoo:

Enough said!

Cheers

Dave

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Currently on the workbench: Tamiya USS Enterprise; Airfix 1/1200 Ark Royal


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:30 pm 
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I just received mine from Lucky Model! :woo_hoo: Gotta love them - under $27 US, and no shipping charge! Even at just under $33 CAN it's still a bargain! Maybe I'll drop everything (as I usually do when something new comes around) and start a build log. Pictures at 11:00! :big_grin:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:10 am 
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For those who asked for some photos of this kit (my apologies, but my skillset in this area is not great), you can't do better than this review on a Polish modeling website:

http://www.mikromodele.fora.pl/modele-i ... ,3766.html

Enjoy!

Mike E.

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