Item #: 350801& 350802
Item name: Flower Class Corvette HMS Zinnia& HMS Anchusa
Review type: Inbox preview
Over the years, Mirage Hobby of Poland has launched a lot of ship kits in 1/400 including ships of the Polish Navy before and during World War Two and an impressive collection of German U-Boats.
After two kits of the Type IX U-boat they released two kits of the Flower Class Corvette in the more common 1/350 scale.
The class itself need no detailed introduction. Designed originally for escorting convoys in coastal waters, the majority was used during the Battle of the Atlantic.
The design itself wasn’t changed much during the war, but of course there were lots of modifications in armament and other equipment. So the kits offer the basics for modifications and conversions, if the necessary reference material is at hand.
The surface armament consisted of one 4in BL Mk IX gun on a raised platform, Secondary armament consists of a pair of Lewis guns in the bridge wings and a 2-pounder (40 mm) “pom pom” gun on a platform on her aft superstructure. Later refits saw the Lewis guns replaced by six 20 mm cannon on single mounts installed. Underwater armament consisted of up to seventy depth charges, at first mainly in single or multiple chargers and on later built ships a special “split” hedgehog-thrower was installed on both sides of the 4in platform.
Both kits represent one of the earlier ships of the class. Already with the longer forecastle, which improved the seaworthiness a little bit and offered more room for the crews, both ships have their mainmast before the bridge, on the later built ships it was placed after it.
Both of the original ships were from a batch originally laid down for the French Navy and taken over by Great Britain after France had fallen.
There are only a few differences between both kits, mainly in the shape of the bridge and the equipment.
In the box are 189 parts on three grey plastic sprues, decals, colour drawing/plan and instructions. Two of the sprues are identical in both kits. The third one contains the different parts.
The model measures out well to within inches in both length and beam. The hull has the plating very well done with raised and recessed plating along with portholes and other openings for sea water to drain away from the decks which was frequently washed in anything but calm weather. The deck comes in two pieces and is cambered which by the way is not overstated and joins at the forecastle break amidships. As the kits represent ships of earlier batches, the deck in front of the 4in platform and the roof of the charthouse are planked with “wood”. As the wooden planking was omitted in later ships, you have to sand it down, if you want to convert the kit. There are plenty of small pieces to add activity to the deck and superstructure with the addition of small chocks, reels, winches, k launches and derricks the 4” while not great it’s better than the Lewis guns (well that’s what they are supposed to be took awhile to work out) these are IMO the only things which need to replaced.
So what are the main differences between the kits?
- Bridge wings. One is rounded, other is square. Of course, what’s being moulded as bulkheads should be railings with canvas covering and mattress shielding. It is a pity that the manufacturer hasn’t tried to make a better reproduction of the canvas. This wouldn’t be easy, but is this larger scale it would have been worth a try.
2. Searchlight platform above/aft/port of the compass bridge: one is rounded, the other is squared.
3. Depth charge area: the “Zinnia” has two derricks, one on either side of the racks – I suppose to work the minesweeping equipment because to sweeping paravanes are included too. Here the modeller the modeller has to cut a small part of the railing. The Anchusa has a single derrick in between the racks. The life-raft arrangement differs too.
4. Trapezoidal vertical bulwark extension near the K-guns: one has them, the other does not.
5. Galley stovepipe: one has it coming from midship between funnel and bridge, the other does not appear to have it at all.
6. Features on midship structure between funnel and bridge: the bumps are arranged differently.
The painting guide proposes an “Admiralty Disruptive-Scheme” (G20, 507C + 507A) for “Zinnia” and the famous “Mountbatten-Pink” for “Anchusa”. I am not sure, if the schemes are correct, because I do not have enough referential material to check it. In the “Man O’ war Booklet” on the Flower-Class a photo of the “Anchusa” is classified as “possibly Mountbatten Pink” but I do not have seen a photo of “Zinnia” yet.
Overall theses kits are a nice and welcome additions, with scope for converting to other ships and open to the aftermarket folks to make later bridge structures and so forth.
Many thanks to Mirage for the review sample!
Review by Peter Willicks via Thomas Voigt for Primeportal
Copyright © 2011