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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:10 pm 
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Click image for In-box review:
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Flyhawk 1/700 HMS Hermes 1942 In-box by Martin J Quinn

Mikes comments on the kit are below:

Flyhawk has once again set a new standard with its kit of HMS Hermes (1942). The kit, which offers both waterline and full-hull options, consists of over 200 plastic parts in mid-grey plastic (many produced using slide mold technology), a single PE fret (including delicate guardrails, a crane, and funnel grills), and decals (including carrier deck stripes and air wing markings). The kit is complete as is; no aftermarket details sets will be needed. In terms of quality and completeness, it is the epitome of the modern kit manufacturer’s art.

Dimensionally, at least in terms of Length Overall (LOA) and Beam WaterLine (BWL), the kit is spot on, based on the figures published in Norman Friedman’s British Carrier Aviation: The Evolution of the Ships and their Aircraft (pp. 365-366).

I lack reliable plans to compare the kit to—so the following comments should be considered provisional—but I eyeballed the kit while comparing it to a large number of photos of Hermes that I found online and in my own library, and could find no major errors. Overall the kit’s shape and proportions look good, the galleries and 5.5” gun platforms all appear to be in the right place and at the right level (though I could find only ambiguous photographic support for the location and configuration of the flight deck level antiaircraft gun platforms); the deck hump just forward of the round-down is there; hull plating is finely done, appears in-scale, and looks to be correct (including the angled steps in the plating fore and aft, and the gentle upsweep of the plating by the stern); portholes are finely rendered and in the right place with eyebrows that can only be seen with a magnifying lens (though at least one photo suggests that some of the portholes depicted on the kit might have been plated over by 1942); anchor stowage recesses are correctly located on the port and starboard of the hull just above the waterline, and on the transom. The 5.5” guns are two piece affairs, with a single-piece wrap-around splinter shield that is as fine as modern molding will permit. There is a choice of a plastic or PE windscreen and crane, for those who don’t like working in PE. The kit also includes 8 Fairey Swordfish aircraft, each with folded and extended wing options, and PE propellers and struts.

I have dry-fitted the deck to the hull, and the hull to the waterline plate as well as the hull bottom, and the engineering and fit is superb.

It appears that Flyhawk may have used Profile Morksie’s HMS Hermes monograph as one of their references. (Disclosure: I do not own this publication, and could only refer to the monograph's color plates that show profile and plan views of Hermes and which can be viewed online, including on the publisher’s website at http://profilemorskie.home.pl/FreePDF_%20HERMES.pdf.) I do not know if, overall, it is an accurate reference in this case (the series has an uneven reputation when it comes to the accuracy of drawings and plans), although the Profile Morskie painting of Hermes provides a credible depiction of her 1942 fit that is generally consistent with the few available photos and written sources, as well as Alan Raven’s “as built” drawing of Hermes in the aforementioned Friedman book (p. 82).

The Flyhawk model corresponds closely to the Profile Morskie depiction of Hermes in a number of areas where reliable documentation seems otherwise lacking—for instance, the antiaircraft fit and the configuration of the flightdeck level AA platforms. And while Norman Friedman and David Brown speak of Hermes ultimately mounting two quad 0.5-in machineguns and several 20mm Oerlikons, the Profile Morskie artwork and the kit have her mounting one quad 0.5-in machinegun, one quad pom-pom, and 6 x 20mm Oerlikons.

Likewise, Flyhawk’s recommended stowage arrangement for the liferafts on the starboard side of the island seems to follow the arrangement depicted in the Profile Morskie color plates (which follows that shown in the aforementioned Alan Raven “as built” drawing), although a photo of Hermes from near the end of her career (see below) shows a different stowage arrangement for the liferafts; I would have gone with the photograph. On the other hand, the Flyhawk model does not replicate one of the errors in the Profile Morskie color profile, which is the erroneous location of the anchor recesses, which the kit correctly depicts at just above waterline level. Also, the pole mast supporting the homing beacon atop the spotting top seems to be taller than that depicted in Profile Morskie’s color plates, but not as tall as the mast depicted in the aforementioned 1942 (?) photo of Hermes (below). Whenever possible, one should use photographs as references. But most of these issues are easily rectified.

At any rate, published sources and the available photos of Hermes right before she was sunk are not definitive regarding her final antiaircraft fit and configuration. I am aware of only three relatively close-up photos:

http://modelbuilderinternational.com/wp ... 2/1122.jpg

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/302403/

http://www.hmshermes.org.uk/wp/wp-conte ... inking.jpg

If anyone knows of any more close-up photos of Hermes in her final fit, please do let the rest of us know. Likewise, it would be nice to have more definitive information about her antiaircraft fit and arrangement before her loss. But the kit provides a plausible interpretation of the available information and the ambiguous evidence.

This kit is not for beginners. It is a complex build, and there are a profusion of tiny plastic and PE parts that will need to be carefully removed if they are not to be damaged or lost. The instruction sheet is very detailed, and will require careful study prior to starting and as the assembly progresses.

While a lot of care was put into the packing of this kit (the PE fret comes in a sealed plastic wrapper with a cardboard stiffener to protect the parts, and many of the smaller plastic parts come on stackable trees to ensure they are not damaged during shipping), three major components arrived with minor damage. The bow of the thin waterline plate arrived with a compound bend in it, as it was not adequately protected during shipping, though this was easily fixed through gentle manual manipulation. Likewise, the forward tip of the carrier deck seems to have broken off in transit. Fortunately, the broken piece was still in the sealed bag, and it should be a relatively simple matter to glue it back in place. However, both of these problems could have been avoided by wrapping the bow pieces in some kind of protective medium, like Trumpeter does with its ship kits. Finally, one of the two very fine bilge keels had a couple of bends in it, which probably occurred as a result of rough handling when it was removed from the mold. Again, this was fixed with gentle manual pressure, but as I plan to build this kit as a waterline model, this is not an issue for me. I hope, however, that Flyhawk will rectify these easily corrected problems in the future.

At any rate, this is a remarkable, state-of-the-art kit that is perhaps as close to modeling perfection as one can hope for. I suspect that many who are not fans of HMS Hermes will get this kit just to build such a detailed and well-engineered 1/700 scale ship model.

Flyhawk has once again set new standards with its superb kit of HMS Hermes. Highly recommended.

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Mike E.


Last edited by Cadman on Sat Sep 10, 2016 3:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Added image and link.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:10 pm 
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:woo_hoo: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:23 pm 
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Mike E. wrote:
It is a complex build, and there are a profusion of tiny plastic and PE parts that will need to be carefully removed if they are not to be damaged or lost. The instruction sheet is very detailed, and will require careful study prior to starting and as the assembly progresses.

So complex, apparently, that Flyhawk has seen fit to post the linked page on their site. If you don't follow the "prompts" in order, you're dead meat :big_grin:

http://www.flyhawkmodel.com/html/Flyhaw ... /1796.html

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:53 am 
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Wouldn't want to forget to put in the interior! :big_grin:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:45 am 
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Mike E. wrote:

If anyone knows of any more close-up photos of Hermes in her final fit, please do let the rest of us know. Likewise, it would be nice to have more definitive information about her antiaircraft fit and arrangement before her loss. But the kit provides a plausible interpretation of the available information and the ambiguous evidence.




Mike, thank you for the review. I can suggest a copy of Rex Morgan's "The Hermes Adventure" if you can find it. I do not know if it is still in print, having received a copy as a child. It has the author's father's incredible photos taken on the deck of the sinking Hermes as well as other superb earlier shots, and an almost complete history of the ship written by the men who served on her. A description of the finding and initial dives on the wreck is included.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:48 pm 
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Thanks Jack for your response and for the info on The Hermes Adventure. I was not familiar with the book previously. I will hunt this down.

Best,

Mike

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:35 am 
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Jack G wrote:
I can suggest a copy of Rex Morgan's "The Hermes Adventure" if you can find it. I do not know if it is still in print, having received a copy as a child. It has the author's father's incredible photos taken on the deck of the sinking Hermes as well as other superb earlier shots, and an almost complete history of the ship written by the men who served on her. A description of the finding and initial dives on the wreck is included.


Yes, Jack, thanks; sounds like a must read. Finding it looks to be problematic, as you say. Amazon UK shows one copy at 60 quid. Amazon USA shows it as unavailable. I see none on eBay at the moment.
For those in the UK, perhaps a library copy might be the way to go.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:18 am 
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Mine is still on pre-order with jp1999 so I can comment on the kit yet but the NMM website has some good drawings of the ship in 1919 online. Search for 'Hermes' under collections and click on the 'Hermes1919' link right below once you have found one . For some reason some plans only show up that way and not through direct searching . This may help you in verifying the basics such as hull lines and original flight deck shape. Hermes was not rebuild very much after her original commissioning, the only alterations were adding arrestor wires and light AA.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:00 pm 
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Pieter:

Be careful. I don't think those are "as fitteds" as generally understood--but rather the initial design for Hermes which reflected here intended appearance at the time of her launch in 1919, to which additional numerous changes were made by the time that Hermes was completed in 1924, and which changed her appearance in a number of important ways. So they are not of use for assessing the accuracy of the model.

Best,

Mike E.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:27 am 
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There are both 1919 and 1924 as fitted drawings online but for a review the sheer drawing is most important. The basic hull form of Hermes did not change after launch and a fair number of kits feature nice details but hull lines that are way off. Both Trumpeters and Tamiya 's efforts with Yorktown class are a nice example of this.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:49 am 
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Well, mine has just arrived... it's absolutely incredible. The moulding of detail, thinness of plastic. Just wow. I don't think I've ever seen a 1/700 kit as good. Time to chase down the Aurora and Naiad!

I've had my heart set on 1/350 modelling much of the WW2 RN for some years now (and been happily surprised with Repulse, Academy's Warspite and the new Ark Royal) - but maybe it's time to delve into the smaller scale with these full hull beauties.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:10 pm 
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https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&an=morgan&tn=The+Hermes+Adventure&kn=&isbn=

The Hermes Adventure listed on Abe Books for $71.99 USD (copy in Australia).

Jack


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:07 am 
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The FlyHawk 1/700 HMS Hermes 1937 Coronation Fleet Review by Randall Shoker can be seen here.

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