HMS Naiad was a Dido-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy which served in the Second World War. She was sunk in action on 11 March 1942 south of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea.
She was launched on 3 February 1939, and commissioned 24 July 1940. She initially joined the Home Fleet and was used for ocean trade protection duties. As part of the 15th Cruiser Squadron she took part in operations against German raiders following the sinking of the armed merchant cruiser Jervis Bay in November 1940. In December and January she escorted convoys to Freetown in Sierra Leone, but at the end of January 1941 was back in northern waters where she briefly sighted the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau south of Iceland as they were about to break out into the Atlantic (Operation Berlin). By May 1941 Naiad was with Force H in the Mediterranean on Malta convoy operations, and flagship of the 15th Cruiser Squadron. Naiad participated in the Crete operations, where she was badly damaged by German aircraft. She subsequently operated against Vichy French forces in Syria, where, together with the cruiser Leander, she engaged the French destroyer Guépard. For the remainder of her service, she was in the Mediterranean, mostly connected with the continual attempts to resupply Malta.
In March 1942 she sailed from Alexandria to attack an Italian cruiser that had been reported damaged. This report was false, and on the return, on 11 March 1942, Naiad was sunk by the German submarine U-565 south of Crete. 77 of her ship’s company were lost.
As far as I can tell this is the only kit of HMS Naiad. There were 2 resin kits of sister ships produced, but this is the first time a plastic kit has been made. Flyhawk released the base model of this kit in 2015 and this box contains that same kit with some extra items to make it a Limited Edition. There will be only 1000 of these limited edition kits made.
The box is a top opening box, except the box top is 2 pieces of card that fold open to make a waterline display base. Most of the parts are then packaged inside a separate sturdy cardboard box with some extra prts again in their own separate boxes. Basically everything is packaged inside it’s own box, inside the main box. The extra PE sheets are laid flat on backing card on top of the inner box. In case that gets a bit confusing, have a look at the video, but the packaging is excellent.
So, inside the boxes we have:
- 240 plastic parts approx.
- 390 PE parts on 3 frets
- 48 brass parts
- 1 length of Uschi rigging thread
- 2 pages of instruction leaflet
- 1 page extra PE instructions
Th instructions are in 13 steps on 2 long pieces of double sides, colour, glossy paper. These 2 sheets cover the basic kit, which is the plastic and one of the PE frets. There’s also a third smaller piece of paper showing the fitment of the the 2 PE frets and brass parts that make this the limited edition kit. You will have to look at this sheet to know what changes to make to the standard build process shown on the 2 larger sheets of paper. Some of the 13 steps are broken down into sub-steps and colour coding is used to make things clear. The diagrams are large and clear and should present no problems.
The instruction steps are laid out pretty clearly, as below. Throughout these steps some parts will be replaced by the extra PE and brass parts.
- In step 1 you choose whether to make the kit waterline or full hull and add the 2 piece deck and some superstructure.
- This step adds some PE to the fo’c’s’le, bulds the 5 turrets and adds more detail tot he forward superstructure.
- Adding small parts and railings to the aft superstructure.
- Adding more forward superstructure and small parts.
- Adding the first funnel and surrounding small parts.
- This step is pretty small and involves getting the piping around the forward funnel correct.
- Step 7 adds the funnels and parts in that area.
- Step 8 starts with some small assembly and PE sub steps before adding parts aft of the funnels.
- Step 9 adds the aft turrets and other small parts in that area.
- Step 10 is about adding PE to the top of the main mast
- Step 11 adds the depth charges.
- Step 12 adds the propellers, shafts and rudders.
- The final step adds railings and few final small parts.
With this limited edition kit though you also have several places where plastic is replaced by PE and brass parts. So far that, just the same as with any other PE set you buy, you have to note which bits are to be replaced. I like that they also provide photos of the extra PE fitted to the ship so you can see exactly where it needs to go and what it needs to look like. The only thing I can see missing is a rigging guide for the supplied thread. Other than that the instructions are very good, clear and use colours to avoid confusion.
The level of detail in this kit is exceptional. The basic kit was as good as they get, but adding another couple of hundred of PE and brass parts takes it to the next level. There’s even a sprue containing binoculars! it doesn’t get much more detailed than this kit. What is a really nice touch is that a lot of the sprues have raised corners to protect the delicate parts. When you put the sprue down the raised edges keeps the actual parts from touching the bench.
The colour scheme is shown in colour diagrams and the paints are called out in Mr Hobby and Tamiya.
Decals are provided for 2 large ensigns and 2 small, one of each as if furling in the wind and 2 sticking straight out.
This kit is currently available at HobbyEasy for $69.70. It is a limited edition, so if you want it you had best get it soon.
This is one of the best 1/700 I’ve seen. Loads of fine detail, lots of extra. The only down side for me personally is the small parts. Highly recommended.
Many thanks to Flyhawk for sending along the kit for review.