Imperial Hobby Productions
1/700 HMS Colossus

Reviewed January 2020
by Martin J Quinn
HMS Colossus, the lead ship of her class of aircraft carriers, was commissioned into service in 1944. She departed Glasgow, for the Pacific Ocean in March 1945 with 24 Corsair IV fighers (No. 1846 Naval Air Squadron) and 18 Barracuda II torpedo bombers (No. 827 Naval Air Squadron) on board, arriving in Australia via the Indian Ocean in July 1945. In August 1945, she became the flagship of Rear Admiral Cecil Harcourt of British 11th Aircraft Carrier Squadron. The Pacific War would end before she was deployed for combat duties. In late 1945, she assisted in post-war occupation of Hong Kong and Shanghai, China. In December 1945, she transported liberated Dutch prisoners of war to Colombo, Ceylon.

In August 1946, the ship was loaned to France. Operating under the new name of Arromanches, she participated in the First Indochina War in 1948. In 1951, France purchased the ship. Between 1953 and 1954, she returned to French Indochina. In 1956, she was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea during the Suez Crisis, during which she would launch air strikes against Egyptian targets. After a flight deck reconstruction between 1957 and 1958, she returned to waters off Southeast Asia. She operated as a training carrier for the most part in the following few years. In 1968, she was converted to a anti-submarine helicopter carrier and was reassigned to the French Troupes de marine. She was decommissioned in 1974 and was sold for scrap at Toulon, France in 1978. 

For more information, see her page on the World War II database here, where this information was taken from. 

The IHP Colossus

The Imperial Hobby Production (IHP) HMS Colossus comes in sturdy white cardboard box, with a very nice painting of Colossus and escorts at sea on the box top.   The box is reminiscent of the type of box resin models come in, which isn't surprising, given IHP's roots. 

Inside the box is the two part hull, flight deck and four sprues, for a total of about 150 parts, along with a set of decals and instructions.  The flight deck (with decals) and parts sprues are packaged in a few plastic bags.   Inside one of the bags was the island and the stern of the ship, which is molded as a separate piece.  The model represents Colossus as built, with an open bridge. 

The hull is split into three pieces - two halves and a cleverly designed stern section.    The hull scales out very close to the real thing in length and beam.  There is good detail on the hull, like eyebrows over the portholes, ladders, chocks, combing around the boat pockets and other openings in the hull.   There are pronounced strakes on the hull, which I think are a bit overstated, but should look more subdued under a coat of paint. 

The two part hull is engineered with the "waterline plate" integral to the hull, with tabs that help with alignment.  Very clever.  I also like IHP designed the stern to be a separate piece, eliminating an ugly seam down the center of the stern.  You will, however, probably have to be careful not to lose any detail when you blend the stern into the main hull.   The foc'sle and boat decks are engineered to fit into the hull before the halves are joined together. 

There are some comparison photos below of the IHP hull alongside both the L'Arsenal Glory and the Flyhawk Hermes, so you can see for yourself how this kit stacks up to a resin version of the same class and against the first carrier from one of the top injection molded ship manufacturers. 

There are three decks in the kit - flight deck, boat deck and foc'sle deck.

Flight Deck - The flight deck is the largest of the three decks.  The arrestor wires and crash barrier are molded as raised lines to the deck.   The catapult and elevators are engraved onto the deck.   The splinter shields on the edge of the deck are thin and look good.   There are a few spots on the deck that need to be cleaned up - maybe mold release points? - but they should be easy to remove. 

Boat Deck - The boat deck is the next largest of the decks.   The deck has cleverly been designed to click into the sides of the hull, so it fits perfectly and also supports the hull.   Each boat pocket has detail on the bulkheads and separate plastic inclined ladders. 

Foc'sle Deck - The smallest of the decks is the foc'sle, which has molded on anchor chain.   This part is going to be hard to see through the openings in the sides of the hull, so you won't notice the knock out pin marks on the deck. 

The island is a separate part.   It features good details, with portholes and subtle piping.   The bridge is a separate part, which probably means there are plans for a later, enclosed bridge version.   As with the hull, there are a few comparison photos of the IHP island as compared to the island from the Flyhawk Hermes.    While not quite as fine, the detail on the island from Colossus stands up well against the Hermes kit. 
This largest of the sprues contains sponsons, rafts, the two sides of the funnel and the funnel cap.    Detail is good, especially on the sponsons, with bracing molded on the inside of some of the sponsor splinter shields.  The rafts look good, while funnel cap could stand for a photo-etch replacement. 
Here you'll find the main mast, cranes, antenna, radar, what looks like a deck tractor, the open bridge and other assorted parts.   The mast really good for plastic.  The cranes are good, but like the funnel cap, would probably look better as a photo-etch part. 
There are two of this sprue, which contain the ships boats, the plastic "inclined ladders", searchlights, more antenna and the weapons.   In may injections molded kits, small weapons and boats seem to be the part of the kits that is hardest to achieve fine detail, due to the limitations of injection molding.  These parts are pretty good.   Again, there's a few photos comparing them to some Flyhawk weapons.  I think they compare favorably. 
The small decal sheet has deck markings for Colossus or Venerable in 1946.   The decals are thin and look to be in register. 
The instructions a total of nine pages, including the page for painting and markings.   The instructions are clear and look easy to follow.    The painting depicts Colossus or Venerable in 1946.    Some searching on the internet reveal a nice camouflage pattern on Colossus as built. 
Imperial Hobby Productions has a long history producing resin kits.  Their first foray into the injection molded market is a very solid freshman entry.  Not only is it a unique subject that's previously only been kitted in resin in this scale, but it's a very well done - and cleverly engineered - model.   My only quibble is the somewhat overstated strakes on the sides of the hull.  Otherwise, this model stacks up against kits from most of the major manufacturers.  There were no aircraft included with my sample, but there are injection molded, resin and 3D printed aircraft available.   Highly recommend, especially for fans of the Royal Navy. 

This is Imperial Hobby Productions 1/700 HMS Colossus, kit number IHP-7001.   The kit retails for $53.95, and is available directly from IHP, as well as from some of our other sponsors.    Thanks to IHP 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.