The Resin Shipyard 1/350
HMCS Kootenay

Reviewed by John Collins

I had known that a kit of the HMCS Kootenay existed since I bought Armadaís HMS Vega kit, but by the time I had bought Vega, Armada was defunct. Still, I kept my ear to the ground, hoping perhaps the second hand market might turn one up. Strangely though, while following a Canadian naval link I came across one for The Resin Shipyard and, behold, the HMCS Kootenay. Needless to say, I ordered one.

The Resin Shipyard is at Darren Scannellís yard in Bowmanville, Ontario. He has picked up the line previously marketed under Armada. The kit credits Jon Warneke as the master builder and Ted Paris as the photoetch designer, with casting by The Resin Shipyard (RSY).

The Kootenay (ex-HMS Decoy) was a D Class fleet destroyer launched in 1932. Decoy was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy in April 1943. She had an eventful career and assisted in the sinking of three U-boats in the summer of 1944. She was paid off in October 1945 and sold to breakers in 1946.

Edgar Marsh in his British Destroyers describes D Class as repeat Cs. The following E and F Classes were also repeats. Thus, the addition of this kit will allow intrepid modelers a choice of 34 ships based on this general design.

The kit consists of a full hull, separately cast forward deckhouse gun platform/pilothouse, aft deckhouse gun platform, funnels, other platforms, assorted small parts, six trees of parts and a fret of photoetch parts. There are six pages of instructions including a color diagram of the ship in a 1944 Western Approaches camouflage scheme. A nice addition provided by RSY is a Hawk Graphics decal sheet of WW2 RN/RCN/RAN destroyer/frigate hull numbers.

The Kootenay is offered in a full hull configuration with the fore and aft deckhouses integral to the deck. The main deck itself is nicely detailed especially the foredeck. Various lockers, hatches, vent covers are molded onto the deck. The deckhouses include lockers, fire hoses and watertight doors. There are also some depressions in the deckhouse (crewís galley, I believe) right aft of the break in the hull again on the starboard side. It looks like gaps improperly filled during construction of the master. The gaps will require some deft handling to fill and repair. The hull shows the vertical ribs used to form the structure except where sanded off by RSY joining the original hull top and bottom; they will have to be sanded off. There is a blemish on the hull, port side just forward of the break of the hull; more sanding.

Ken Summa, in another in-box review of Armadaís Kootenay, states that there are errors under the hull. Specifically that aft hull bottom where the bottom rises to the fantail is full rather than flat. And as Mr. Summa writes, itís an easy fix. The position of the bilge keels is too low on the hull on the Armada kit. RSY removed the bilge keels entirely and provided plastic replacements to allow proper placement.

The separate pieces: The forward deckhouse gun platform/pilot house unit looks cast in a two part mold, and is a really fine piece of work. Bridge detail is exquisite. However, my example had bumps on the gun deck near the gun mount. I not sure of the cause, but I would guess itís a one-off casting error as the aft deckhouse gun platform, a more delicate piece, suffers no similar faults. I think the bumps would be a right bugger to repair. I will probably opt to have the part replaced; RSY will replace faulty parts as necessary. It is a nice policy for someone as ham-fisted as I seem to be lately.

Mr. Summa mentions that these parts were cast on blocks that would require careful sanding to remove. RSY parts do not have these.

The remaining platforms are cast on wafers. Nice looking casts, too. The rest of the small parts are quite fine with the exception of the ships boats. The whaler has no benches, and I canít tell whether there is a canvas cover or a cabin on the motor boat. To be honest, I donít know which way it should be either. The shape of the casting, I would guess it is a cabin with windows or portholes. With a little research, the solution should be easy.

Parts on trees: In general there are good parts in there; it will just take a bit of work to get them out. Care will need to be taken to remove the parts from the casting gates. The thin film around some parts presents no clean-up problems. The 20mm gun tubs will need a more vigorous clean-up with files and sandpaper. The torpedo tube mount has a deep gap between the central tubes that is not replicated between the outer tubes. The other problems are main guns. I can only guess that the master was broken and repaired at the second barrel sleeve as a result the gun tube is misaligned with the breech. As a result all clones are imperfect. This is a big fix. The gun mounts themselves will need care cleaning-up.

The photoetch is pretty good, not as fine as some aftermarket brass. It is sturdy and serviceable. I especially like the brass gun shields for the main guns. Hand rails seem a little heavy.

The inclusion of the Hawk Graphics was an unexpected bonus; it sure beats having to make oneís own. The sheets included letters and numbers in black or white in a variety of faces and sizes. Draught marks are also included.

This is a very good kit of a historically significant Canadian warship, which can be modified, with a few references and some good work, to be any one a large number of other significant ships. It is certainly worth the 110 Canadian dollars I paid for it. I wonít comment on accuracy as I donít have the references, but the parts look right in comparison to photos. Iíve built kits by Warneke and Paris (aka Iron Shipwrights). They are usually jewels in the rough. I worked hard and had outstanding results with those I built. There is nothing to suggest that The Resin Shipyardís HMCS will not turn out equally well. Possibly with a little less work as I believe that RSY casting is, in general, superior to ISWs. Quality control seems better as well. Great customer service after the sale is great, but there is nothing to compare to getting it right the first time.

Perhaps, the highest praise I can give any kit is when a kit makes me want to build it right now. And so, I begin.

Resin Shiyard lists this kit at $110.00 CDN, and is available direct.