HMS Repulse 1941

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The HMS Repulse was one of the Renown class battlecruisers built during the first world war. She completed after the Battle of Jutland, but saw action at 2nd Battle of Heligoland Bight in November 1917. During the battle Repulse scored a hit on the SMS Königsberg. The following month Repulse was involved in a collision with the HMAS Australia but was repaired in time to be present for the surrender of  the High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow  in November 1918.

After the war Repulse was modernized twice first loosing her turret flying off platform, and later gaining a midship catapult and hanger for two Fairey III seaplanes. Armor and anti aircraft were substantially upgraded to help deal with the modern threats.

When the second world war broke out, Repulse was part of the Home Fleet and operated in the North Sea as a deterrent to German Raiders. She sortied in response to the sinking of the HMS Rawalpindi by the German Battleship Scharnhorst. Rough seas forced the ship to return to port for repairs. She escorted a convoy of Canadian troops to Britain and helped search for other German blockade runners. 

As war loomed on the horizon in the Pacific, Churchill sent Repulse to the area to protect British interests in the South East Pacific area. She rendezvoused with the new battleship HMS Prince of Wales and sailed to Singapore. They were not there long when the Japanese unleashed their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and Allied bases though out the Pacific. The next day Prince of Wales, Repulse, and destroyers Electra, Express, Vampire, and Tenedos, were organized into Force Z. They were sent to destroy Japanese troop convoys heading toward the area. Unfortunately the force was sighted by Japanese subs in the area and they turned back after nightfall. When word of the Japanese landing at Kuantan reached them  Force Z instead turned to intercept them. The Japanese were intent on finding these ships and sent numerous Reconnaissance aircraft to find and track them. They were found and a group of Mitsubishi G3M Nell's attached them at 11:13 am. Hit once in the hanger the Repulse had to shove their seaplanes over the side. Repulse managed to evade 19 torpedoes and several bombs while damaging 5 of the attacking bombers. However the Japanese  persisted and caught the Repulse in a pincer attack by no less than 17 of the Nells and at was hit at least 4 times causing extensive damage. The Repulse managed to shoot down two of the bombers and damaged 8 others, but rapid flooding caused her to list and she rolled over and capsized with heavy loss of life. The escorting destroyers rescued the survivors from Repulse and also the Prince of Wales which had been also been sunk. The loss of these two ships left the Allies exposed to attack and unable to effectively defend themselves in the waters North of Australia. The loss also proved the devastating effect of air power over capital ships. 

The Trumpeter version of the Repulse is intended to portray her in her WW2 fit at the time of her loss. 

The hull is in two parts with the now familiar red styrene lower hull. Molding on these parts is pretty good and the fit looks to be OK. Portholes are molded with rain gutters along the hull sides. The hawsepipe openings are a little shallow and the modeler may want to drill these out. The lower hull looks pretty good overall with molded on bilge keels and rudder mount. Click images
to enlarge
The deck parts are molded in three parts. The bow insert is split where it joins breakwater and the middeck. This will help hide the seam a big plus. The anchor chain is molded on the deck and is somewhat shallow and ends before entering the hawsepipe opening on deck. It would have been better to leave the chain off as now modelers will have to scrape it off and replace it. 
The planking is well done on all decks and the bits look pretty good for being molded on. The catapults and storage rails are molded to the deck. Many of the deck details are supplied as separate parts which make it easier to upgrade the kit with aftermarket parts.
The sprue has some of the upper deck levels with molded on boat cradles and the second turret base.
This sprue includes more deck levels, some walls, one of the funnel grills and other parts. I like the open funnel grills. 
More of the superstructure walls  are included on this sprue. They include some molded on detailing. Ships boats are molded in two parts and look pretty good in shape, but lack any real surface detailing.
More deck levels and the ship nameplate are on this sprue. More ship boats are included on this sprue as well. 
The other funnel grill is molded open on this sprue as well. More of the platforms and superstructure walls are included. Some of the parts such as the funnel piping and grills are nicely molded. The float plane crane rigging and hooks is oversimplified, but model modelers will probably replace these with photo etch. 
More deck levels and the funnel sides are included on this sprue. The funnels are molded in two halves. Some of the deck levels have underside bracing and gussets.
The main gun barrels are included on this sprue and feature open barrel ends thanks to slide molding. The are molded in two styles, one fixed with blast bags and the other without but with the ability to elevate.   More ships boats and light weapons are included on these two sprues.
More weapons, turret bottom, and ships boats are included on this sprue. The medium anti aircraft guns are pretty well molded. The rest of the crane parts are included here and are not bad for plastic, but you will definitely want to use the included photo etch versions. 
The main gun turrets are molded using three slides to allow for a one piece top with pretty good detail all around. Raised rivets and armor plates stand out on the parts.  The machine guns are just the opposite and are a one piece part with stand, barrel, and shield all molded together.
Two Submarine Walrus seaplanes are provided molded in clear plastic. The shape is pretty good and the panel lines are molded as recessed, but the wing struts are molded as solid slabs and most modelers will want to replace them with photo etch. 
A full hull display base is provided if you choose not to build your ship as waterline. 
Two different brass photo etch frets are provided. The first with replacement crane assemblies, and funnel grills. There are also a number of inclined ladders included. 

There are also two frets of 3 bar railings.

A simple decal sheet is included with different types of  flags and aircraft markings. These are sharply registered.
The instructions are an extensive easy to follow 16 page booklet with all kinds of exploded views. They are step by step and cover all the assembly steps. A large 11" x 17" folded color camo guide shows the colors in detail.
Questions or comments about this review can be found on the forum. 

I am not an expert on Royal Navy ships, but this looks like a very buildable kit. Detail is pretty good overall with some exceptions. It is good to see the addition of photo etch and the option of having blast bags on the main guns or not. With a little TLC, this will make a nice part of your Force Z fleet. This is kit #TSM-5312  1/350 HMS Repulse WWII British Battle Cruiser 1941 with a suggested list price of $148.95.

Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample. They are the exclusive importer for Trumpeter kits in the US. If your hobby shop does not carry Trumpeter kits have them contact Stevens International or try their Hobby Shop Locator to find one.