Black Cat Models
1/350 Flower Class Corvette
HMCS Agassiz


Reviewed January 2021
by Martin J Quinn
The Flower-class corvette (also referred to as the Gladiolus class after the lead ship) was a British class of 294 corvettes used during World War II, specifically with the Allied navies as anti-submarine convoy escorts during the Battle of the Atlantic. Royal Navy ships of this class were named after flowers, hence the name of the class.

The majority served during World War II with the Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Several ships built largely in Canada were transferred from the RN to the United States Navy (USN) under the lend-lease programme, seeing service in both navies. Some corvettes transferred to the USN were manned by the US Coast Guard.  The vessels serving with the US Navy were known as Temptress and Action-class patrol gunboats. Other Flower-class corvettes served with the Free French Naval Forces, the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Royal Indian Navy, the Royal Hellenic Navy, the Royal New Zealand Navy, the Royal Yugoslav Navy, and, immediately post-war, the South African Navy. 

HMCS Agassiz  (AG-?-see) was a Flower-class corvette of the Royal Canadian Navy. She served primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as an ocean escort for convoys during the Second World War. She was named after the community of Agassiz, British Columbia.  Agassiz was ordered on 14 February 1940 as part of the 1939-1940 Flower class building program. She was laid down on 29 April 1940 by Burrard Dry Dock Co. Ltd. in North Vancouver, British Columbia and was launched on 15 August 1940.  Agassiz was commissioned on 23 January 1941 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Agassiz had two major refits during her career. The first took place at Liverpool, Nova Scotia from early January 1943 until mid-March. The second took place at New York, beginning in December 1943 and taking until March 1944 to complete. During her second refit, her fo'c'sle was extended

For further information, check out the Wikipedia entries (where this information came from) for Flower Class corvettes here, or for the HMCS Agassiz here

The Black Cat HMCS Agassiz

Agassiz is packaged in a flip top cardboard box, with a nice rendering of the ship underway on the box top.  Inside the box is the hull, resin parts and three plastic clamshell containers with 3D printed parts.  There are 6 resin parts, over 220 3D printed parts and 9 turned brass parts, along with one photo-etch fret and decals.  The model depicts Agassiz in her earlier in her career, with a short-forecastle and minesweeping gear. 

The hull - and all the resin parts - are cast in a light gray resin.   The hulls scales out pretty close to the real ship in both length and beam.   Overall, detail is nice and crisp.  Some clean up will be needed to remove some mold lines on the bottom of the hull.   There is also some thin resin flash you'll need to remove, to open up the scuppers and where the minesweeping gear runs out the stern bulwark.    There are recesses cast into the deck, to accommodate the location of both resin and 3D printed parts. 

The rest of the resin portion of the kit consist of five parts (this is not a big ship). The largest part is the amidships superstructure.   It's nicely cast, with a skylights cast into the top of the deck.   There are cast stairs on either side of the forward portion of the superstructure, but they aren't "Aztec" stairs - they consist of a platform and actually steps.  The photo-etch set has a railing for this part.  I'm not sure they weren't PE, but they look ok. 

The bridge is well cast.  There is nice planking on the top deck, where the 3D printed pilot house will go.    There is nice piping on the funnel, which also features a fairly deep recess cast into the top, to simulated an open funnel.  The forward gun platform is also cast in resin (this will sit on 3D printed stanchions).   Finally, there is an insert that goes between the bridge and the large superstructure part.   This had a door cast into each end.  There is an optional 3D printed version of this as well, so the modeler can find the one that fits the best, and use that. 

3D printing is Black Cat Models bread and butter, so, it's no surprise that these parts really shine.   There are three  clamshell containers, each holding multiple resins printing rafts (or bars, as they are called in the instructions).   Included are everything else needed to finish the model, including, but not limited to: prop, rudder, davits, hatches, lockers, cowl vents, gun tub, depth charge racks, k guns, paravane and what appears to be winches for the minesweeping gear.    There is also gun mounts, gun shields, rafts and ships boats. 

All the 3D printed parts are up to Black Cats usual high standards.  The 3D printed crows nest is especially nice, with a well defined, curved railing atop the part.   I really like the 3D printed pilot house, with open windows.  That's a great touch (wish they had done that on the Farragut!)   

A small bag of turned brass parts are included.  Included is the foremast and main mast, plus a jack staff, yard arms and gaff. 

There is one small fret of PE included. Included are railings, nets, vertical and inclined ladders and platforms for the boats. 

There is one small decal sheet, consisting of pennant and hull numbers, in both black and white. 
The instructions are another plus.  They are in the form of a booklet, with the different parts (resin, 3D printed, brass) all laid out, and shown in different colors, for ease of identification.   The build sequences seem to be fairly logical and straightforward, and should be easy to follow.    As mentioned in previous Black Cat reviews, other resin  manufacturers should take a look at these directions and take note - this is how you do it! 

This isn't the first Flower class corvette in 1/350.  The class has been represented in both resin and injection molded plastic.  I don't think I'm going out on the limb to say this is probably the best Flower-class kit now available. 

Overall, this kit is really well done.  The resin casting is good, the photo-etch and brass parts look good.  As with their earlier releases, itís the 3D printed parts that take this release to another level. Not only are all the 3D printed parts finely printed, but there is everything you need to build a highly detailed model right out of the box.  Highly recommended!

This is Black Cat Models HMCS Agassiz, a Flower-class corvette, with short forecastle and minesweeping gear, kit number 350-009b.  The model lists for approximately $121.00 USD, and is available from many of our fine sponsors, or directly from Black Cat Models, who I'd like to thank for the review sample.  This is an in-box review, your mileage may vary once you commence construction.