Scale HMS Belfast
Review by Ian Wilkins
This kit was first released in 1973 and is one of the most detailed of the Airfix kits along with the KGV and Repulse kits. Most of the components are very well moulded and show some nice detail and the knuckle above the bow is sharp and crisp. The hull is very nicely done and the propeller shafts and struts have a quite thin, scale appearance. Unfortunately, there is no waterline marked on the hull so you have to mark this out yourself. The propellers are fine and carry only the smallest amount of flash.
The deck moulding is covered in a host of finely moulded details with the anchor handling gear and chains being quite delicate. The same level of detail is exhibited on the upper decks as well with some very fine hose reels, winches, and other gear moulded on. There is even a pair of separate hose reels and a set of paravanes to add detail to the decks. The superstructure sides have some very fine doors, scuttles and the like moulded on, and the doors in particular look very effective.
The boats are really nice with only the usual sinkholes between cabins that most plastic boats seem to get. A stack of life rafts is included to populate the distinctive racks along the sides of the vessel.
The fit of parts on my kit was very poor in places and a lot of work will have to be done to get the superstructure looking OK. However, given the high degree of detail and sharpness of moulding, its definitely worth the effort.