White Ensign 1/700
HMS Coventry 1941

Reviewed by Sean Hert
March 2014

HMS Coventry was laid down on 4th August 1916 at Swan Hunters Shipyard on the Tyne. She was launched on 6th July 1917 being completed on 21st February 1918. Her first year of service was with the 5th Light Cruiser Squadron based in Harwich until 1919 and then she served as flagship of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron in the Atlantic.

After various periods of service in the Atlantic and Mediterranean fleets she was reduced to reserve in 1936. Due to the reductions in numbers of cruisers being allowed by the Washington Treaty, Coventry and her sister Curlew were taken in hand as prototypes for conversion to Anti Aircraft Cruisers.

All of her original armament was landed and replaced by ten single 4" MkV mountings together with two 8 barrelled 2 pounder AA mountings. Two HA control positions were also fitted. The after 8 barrelled 2 pounder mounting was removed in 1939 because of a shortage for newer larger ships being built. It was replaced with two quadruple 0.5 inch machine gun mountings that were not so effective. In September 1939, Coventry was serving in the Mediterranean again, but not for long. She was reassigned in early 1940 to serve in the Norwegian campaign. In August 1940 she was back in Gibraltar as part of the formation of Force H before she went on to the eastern Mediterranean and based in Alexandria. During the remainder of 1940 Coventry participated in the attacks on Bengazi and was on escort duty for the Malta convoys. On 13th December 1940 she was torpedoed by an Italian submarine and damaged, but she was not out of commission for long.

During 1941, Coventry continued her service escorting the convoys to Malta for the most part and also participating in the covering of the troop convoys to Greece, and their subsequent evacuation. She also covered the evacuation of Crete and the Syrian campaign. In 1942 she was again. employed on convoy duty, escorting supply runs to Malta, but later in September whilst covering the Tobruk raid, Coventry was attacked by aircraft and badly damaged. She was evacuated and finally had to be scuttled by HMS Zulu.

History from WEM's instructions

White Ensign's kit of HMS Coventry consists of a single waterline hull, three sprues of resin parts, one sheet of photoetch and some random brass and plastic rod.


HMS Coventry's waterline hull is well-detailed, with very finely cast splinter shields molded to the deck. The hull is very flat, with no signs of warpage, twists or overpour. The hull sides have a fantastic armor belt with some very finely etched lines, but the hull is marred with many pinholes and both hull and armor belt have a texture from the mold release applied to the original 3D printed master. Great care will need to be exercised to clean up the pinholes without destroying the incredibly fine details on the outer hull.

The deck has regular planking detail applied along its length, with recesses for the placement of the superstructure. The fo'c'sle has hawse holes, anchor chain plates, windlasses and wildcats. The bow has molded on anchors, but WEM has also included a photoetch replacement option. The deck edges are detailed with bollards and open chocks, and the hull features a deck-edge ledge for attaching the railing.


The first of the three frets of resin parts has the superstructure / deck houses for Coventry. Each of these four parts is shaped to fit into the recesses on the hull, and presents with splinter shields, watertight doors and other details. These parts are marred, however, from the parting line of the mold.

Next, this sprue of parts has the assorted platforms for Coventry, and the small details like binoculars, signal lamps and searchlights, and the two HACS directors.

This last sprue of parts has eight 4" HA/LA guns, two quad 0.5" machine guns, one 8-barrel Pom Pom, radar office deck house, the two funnels and four ships boats. The machine guns and Pom Pom have photoetch replacement alternates.


The included relief-etched fret is made thin brass, with WEM's usual talent and skill. This brass fret features many relief-etched parts, including the replacement 0.5" quad machine guns, 8-barreled Pom Pom's, and anchors.

  1. Railings 3 Bar Standard
  2. Railings 2 Bar Platform
  3. Splinter Shields (Quarterdeck Aft)
  4. Splinter Shields (Quarterdeck Fwd)
  5. Splinter Shields (Aft Gun Deck)
  6. Splinter Shields (Fwd Gun Deck)
  7. Splinter Shields (Mid Gun Deck Port)
  8. Splinter Shields (Mid Gun Deck Stbd)
  9. Splinter Shields (Fo'c'sle)
  10. Fore Mast Platform Starfish
  11. 8 Barrelled Pom Pom Assembly
  12. 0.5" Quad Machine Gun Assembly
  1. Funnel Sirens
  2. Accommodation Ladder Rails
  3. Accommodation Ladders
  4. Fo'c'sle Breakwater
  5. Tripod Mast Braces
  6. Breakwater Braces
  7. Fore Mast Yardam
  8. 32' Cutter Thwarts and Rudder
  9. Searchlight Lens Cross
  10. 279 Radar Antenna Assembly
  11. Mast Top Platforms
  12. Range Finder Sight
  1. Ensign Staff
  2. Jack Staff
  3. Aft Funnel Cap Grill
  4. Funnel Siren Platform
  5. Aft Boat Davits
  6. Searchlight Platform Brace
  7. Forward Boat Davits
  8. Anchors
  9. Main Mast Yardarm
  10. 25' Motor Boat Cradles
  11. 32' Cutter Cradles
  12. Forward Funnel Cap Grill
  1. Compass Platform Supports
  2. DF Antenna
  3. Signal Platform Supports
  4. Aft HACs Director Supports
  5. Semaphores
  6. 27' Whaler Thwarts & Oars
  7. Vertical Ladder Stock
  8. Anchor Chain
  9. Main Mast Starfish
  10. Accommodation Ladder Davits
  11. Inclined Ladders
  12. 27' Whaler Rudders

There are no decals included in this kit.


The 7 page instructions has the standard WEM layout- with the standard, excellent WEM instructions. The last page has a color chart and painting guide, for Coventry in both 1940 and 1941 appearances; 1940 with a false bow wave, 1941 in a disruptive splinter scheme.


A kit that would make for a good model for many; but could prove too complex for a beginner. The White Ensign Models 1/700 HMS Coventry 1941 Ref: K 756 is priced at 46.75 or about $65.00 without the VAT.

Thanks to White Ensign Models for this review sample. White Ensign models are available direct from WEM

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