Combrig Models
1/700 HMS Ajax

Reviewed September 2016
by Martin J Quinn
HMS Ajax was the fourth and last ship of the King George V class of battleships. built at Scotts' shipyard at Greenock on the River Clyde, she was laid down in February 1911, launched in March 1912 and commissioned in October 1913. She and her sisters were present at the opening of the Kiel Canal in 1914. Minus Audacious, which was sunk in late 1914, the sisters fought at the Battle of Jutland as part of a division of ships with HMS Erin. Ajax was decommissioned and broken up in 1926. 

For more on Ajax, see her Wikipedia page.

The Combrig Ajax

Combrig has released the four ships of the King George V class in 1/700. This kit represents Ajax, last of the four completed. The kit comes in Combrig’s standard soft white cardboard box with a picture of the ship on the box top. Inside the box you’ll find over 130 parts and a small PE fret. 
If my calculations are correct, the hull scales out a little short (around 7 scale feet) in length, but is perfectly in scale on the beam. The hull is beautifully cast. The scribed recessed decking, while probably technically over scale, is very impressive - the best I've seen on a Combrig kit. The details on the hull are well done – chocks, bitts, coaling scuttles, doors, hatches, and skylights all look good.  There is more detail on this hull than on previous Combrig releases, including some nice watertight doors on the bulkheads.  There are even slots cast into the boat deck for the photo-etch boat cradles to fit into – nice touch! 

The bottom of the hull has a very thin trace of resin over pour. If you are depicting your Ajax is a  seascape, this won’t be an issue. 

The forward superstructure looks good, with recessed vision slots cast into the conning tower, doors and openings for the 4 inch guns.   There is a second superstructure piece for the bridge, which is also well cast.   The aft superstructure has the same openings for the 4 inch guns and some doors cast into it.  The only problem I can see is that some the splinter shields on my sample are damaged and will need to be repaired. 

The rest of the superstructure decks and other platforms are on a thin resin wafer, all of which will need to be sanded off. 

The funnels are smooth with no cast on details, but well done. Although the funnels “skirts” or “aprons” are damaged due to the way the parts were packaged. The is a small recessed opening on the top of the funnel to represent the insides of the funnel. 

The turrets are well cast with sighting hoods and rangefinders. The barbettes are of the typical Combrig style. The two in this kit are on a thin casting wafer. 

There are 14 ships boats and two punts included with Ajax.   The quality is the usual high standard found in Combrig's kits.   However, some of the launches had broken parts, due to the way Combrig packs its parts. 
The Ajax has a different spotting top than the other two surviving members of the class, and this part is cast separately on a big casting block. It has openings cast into it to look like windows (you'll find the spotting top for her sisters on the superstructure resin wafer). 

The small parts are all nicely cast – some are very, very small! – but again, many were broken off the runners and loose in the one plastic bag they came in. The main battery barrels are fine, though I'll probably upgrade to brass barrels. 

One of the best features of the kit is the stump mast between the funnels. This, instead of just being a plain pole mast, has the pulleys cast into the mast, giving it much needed detail. The associated boat boom is also cast as a separate piece, and is very well done, with detail at both ends that look like a (much) smaller version of the real thing. Very impressive!  All the other small parts - at least the ones that aren't broken - are all sharply cast. 

There is a small photo-etch set included with the kit. It featured the railing and top of the stern walk, funnel caps, inclined ladders, boat cradles, platform supports and very, very small name plates – one for each of the class, which appear to be relief etched. There are no railings, torpedo net booms or masts included with the kit, though you will find measurements for the masts and yards in the instructions. 
The instructions are typical Combrig – line drawing on the front page, a page with all the parts, and then two pages of instructions, with an exploded view showing where all the parts go. 

There are no color callouts or painting instructions.  Instructions continue to be one of the weaker parts of Combrig's kits. 

The casting is first rate, and some of the features – the engraved decking, the details cast onto the stump mast and boat boom, the name plates on the PE fret – really jump out at me. It really seems that Combrig dialed it up for this kit, and it shows. 

On the other hand, aside from the hull being a few scale feet short in length, there are no railings or masts (you have to supply these yourself) my sample had quite a few broken and loose parts in the box. As mentioned in the body of the review, Combrig really needs to do a better job packaging their kits.

That being said, overall, this is a very impressive kit of one of the best looking class of battleships to come out of the First World War.  This may be the best kit Combrig has ever done.  Highly recommended!

This is Combrig’s 1/700 HMS Ajax, kit number 70477. The model lists for $79.95 and is available from many of our fine sponsors. This is an in-box review, your mileage may vary once you commence construction. Thanks to Combrig Models for the review sample.

This is an in-box review showing the kit contents. We welcome your input and comments in the review section of the forum especially if you can share details about fit, ease of assembly and accuracy. Click the logo on the right to join in the discussion.