ModelKrak "General Pueyrredon"

Argentine armoured cruiser
reviewed by Michel Baartmans
When I saw this kit announced, I knew I had to have it. An armoured cruiser is always a fine addition and, with the navies of South America grossly underrepresented in this hobby, this one certainly can be called exotic. After some research I learned that the General Pueyrredon was built in Italy, part of a class of ten ships sold to the navies of Italy, Argentina and Japan. Originally built in 1898, she was to serve until 1954 with the Argentine Navy as a training ship. Designed as somewhat of a cross between a battleship and a cruiser (but calling her a battlecruiser would be stretching that definition) she was armed with 2 10" guns, 10 6" guns and 6 4,7" guns (excluding smaller calibre). Later in life she was partially rebuild, receiving a new bridge, a large tripod mast and quite possibly a change in armament. The kit displays the ship in the early days of her career. As a ship from a large class, this probably allows Modelkrak to do what kitmakers have been doing since time immemorial: putting out the same kit under different names: two sisterships in Argentine service are also available, as well as the Japanese cruisers Nisshin and Kasuga (who differ in main armament). Modelkrak is somewhat notorious for supplying the modeller with the basics and letting him figure out the rest. In this their kits are more like craftsman kits, requiring substantial scratchbuilding to create a kit. Modelkrak kits can *not* be built out-of-the-box.
The kit consists of a hull and a bag of mixed small parts. The hull, upon closer inspection, can easily stand toe to toe with other brands. I cannot vouch for accuracy in dimensions, but it certainly looks very good. The casting is sharp with a lot of details like bollards, skylights, scuttles, cable reels and nice plank detail. Some other noteworthy features are: no aztec stairs. Modelkrak supplies seperate stairs and although they are best replaced by photo-etch, this spares us the labour of removing them. The boarding ladders are cast onto the hull however, something we rarely see in resin. They are easily removed but are fine enough to remain for those of us who want to. Anchors and chains are also cast,with the anchor chain actually raised above the deck. This looks nice, altough it is clearly not chain but wound metal strands. For superdetailers this may be a problem, I personally can live with it and the good 3d effect it gives. The hull is further covered with portholes, hatches and covers, which may appear a little thick and without the detail PE can give.
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Next to the hull Modelkrak unceremoniously drops a bag of small parts. There are  two bridges with thick splinter shields (best cut off and replaced with PE), smokestacks that are OK and the main turrets which also look decent. The smaller 4,5" guns are cast without the barrels but capture the shape well. The aforementioned ladders are here, and searchlights, but these are very very basic. Circular platform are also here, with the (single) fighting top already containing small mounts for the small-callibre guns up there, a nice touch. Air vents are generously supplied, as well as tapered gun barrels, but nothing tops the large pile of assorted ships's boats, enough it seems to outfit two whole ships. All these are of average to decent quality. No photo-etch, masts or decals are supplied.
The kit instructions (if you can call them that) are of the typical Modelkrak minimalism: some Polish instructions, a barely adequate exploded diagram and a side drawing. You'll definately more infoermation then this.
This is a typical Modelkrak offering: a somewhat exotic subject, a well-cast and well-detailed hull and a mixed bag of small parts added. For the persistent and experienced modelbuilder who is not shy of some scratchbuilding, I can certainly recommend this kit.

This kit is listed on Pacific Front Hobbies website for $36.00 US.