Review: AJM Models 1/700 HMS Springbank


We have this kit for sale in our shop. We keep our pricing as competitive as we can.


Completed in May 1926 as motor merchant Springbank for Andrew Weir & Co, London. In November 1939 requisitioned by the Admiralty, converted until October 1940 to the auxiliary anti-aircraft vessel HMS Springbank and commissioned on 25 November. The armament consisted of four twin 4in gun turrets and two 2pdr Quadruple (Pom Pom) guns. In March 1941 converted to a fighter catapult ship (FCS) of the Pegasus-class, a predecessor of the CAM-ships and carried a Fulmar fighter (804 Sqn FAA) on a cordite powered catapult amidships.

At 02.09 hours on 27 Sep 1941, U-201 fired the stern torpedo at a steamer in convoy HG-73 but missed, so the U-boat turned around and fired a spread of two torpedoes at the same ship at 02.11 hours. Lookouts on HMS Springbank observed a torpedo passing close by her, shortly before she was hit on the port side by two torpedoes. One officer and 31 ratings were lost.

Kit History

I’m not aware of anyone doing a kit of HMS Springbank in plastic or resin before. All I can find is a 1/1250 scale 3D printed model from Shapeways. It’s a very basic design to say the least.

Inside the box:

  • approx 88 resin parts plus a solid resin hull
  • 1 PE sheet with approx 300 parts
  • 1 small PE sheet with 4 parts
  • 1 decal sheet
  • assorted brass rods of various diameters
  • 4 sheets of double-sided paper giving
    • 1 page of the parts layout and painting guide
    • 6 pages of build instructions over approx 60 steps

The box is a top opening cardboard box and all the parts inside are bagged and wrapped in bubble wrap. The smaller resin parts are tightly packed in 2 small resealable bags so they can’t be damaged. The packaging is good.

This kit builds the ship as she was between March 1941 and when she was sunk in Sept 1941.

The resin parts are very nicely detailed and some of the smaller parts are just that, very small. Care will be needed when removing the smaller parts from the pour stubs.

The PE frets are made from very thin PE and again, some of the parts are very fine and will need care. The level of detail made possible by the PE is very high and will make for an excellent model.


The instructions are good and lay things out well. The first page of the 6 pages is a parts layout so you can find the parts you need. It’s handily laid out starting with 1 at the top left to the highest numbered parts at the bottom right. There’s a painting guide on the bottom of this page. In the numbering system, numbers in round boxes are PE and numbers in square boxes are resin. That’s the other way round to previous kits form AJM.

Page 1 of the instructions covers steps 1 to 28 although I can’t see steps 18, 19 and 26. This page has you put together several subassemblies such as masts, the fulmar, turrets, ship’s boats and a few other smaller parts.

Page 2 has steps 29 to 37. It builds the aircraft catapult from PE, adds some deck amidships and builds the main fore and aft superstructure assemblies.

Page 3 has steps 36 to 45 and is mostly about adding PE railings and a few smaller resin parts.

Page 4 has steps 46 to 53 and builds the central superstructure as one unit adding the funnel, fulmar and catapult and other parts.

Page 5 has steps 54 to 59 and builds the bridge from several subassemblies and resin and PE parts.

Page 6 has just steps 60 and 61where you put some of the major assemblies onto the hull.

Paint & Decals

The colours are called out in Life Colour paints and also named. There areĀ  2 colour images of the ship and these are good enough to show you all you need to know to paint the ship.

There is a decal sheet for the ship that contains Royal Navy ensigns and draft marks.

This kit is not for beginners because as it’s a resin kit and you need to take care to avoid inhaling the dust. Also, it has many small parts and a high PE part count for a ship of this size. However, this is a nicely detailed kit and you will end up with a spectacular model of HMS Black Swan that you will not see anywhere else.

The kit is available from our online store here.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
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