by Martin J Quinn
The Acheron, or I-class, destroyers, were one of the "standard" type of destroyers build for the Royal Navy in the years leading up to the First World War. The 20 ships of the class were to be repeats of the previous Acorn, or H-class. In the end, 14 would (basically) be repeats, while six would be "specials", which were built by three different yards (two in each yard) to some variations to the Acorn design. The most noticeable difference between the proceeding class was one less funnel on the Acherons. All saw service in the First World War, with Attack and Phoenix being sunk by submarines during the war.
For more on the class, see the Wikipedia article here. Photo top of page, NNT website.
NNT Acheron Class Destroyer
The Acheron-class destroyer comes in NNT's familiar sturdy white cardboard box, with a photo of the completed model on the box top, in lieu of artwork. Interestingly, while the box top announces that "railings are not included", the completed box-top model has railings.
Upon opening the box, you’ll find a one-piece resin
hull, tightly wrapped in protective bubble wrap. There are also six small
resin sprues in a plastic bag and a small set of stainless steel photo-etch,
all surrounded by another piece of bubble wrap. Also in the box are two
sheets of instructions and a decal sheet.
|The hull is very well cast, with mostly sharp details – there are nice bollards and vents, hawse pipes and deep portholes (which line up fairly straight). There are molded on anchor chains that are ok - these may have been better served as PE. My sample is 4.25 inches long. According to my math, the hull on a standard Acheron class should be 4.21 inches long, so the hull is slightly over scale, but it scales out perfectly on the beam.|
|As mentioned above, there are six
resin sprues/runners included with the kit. Two are identical, and have
guns, torpedo tubes and ships boats on them. Another sprue has the masts
on it, which on the others you’ll find the bridge, gun tubs, shields, funnels,
and other small parts.
As explained in the instructions, you have the choice to build multiple (almost all) ships of the class, with either the original short or later raised forward funnel, all of which are included.
The casting is generally very good. The guns, torpedo tubes and open ships boats (the bottoms have planking detail!) are especially sharp. The barrels on the guns are very thin and delicate. While the cast resin masts look good, I’d be worried about the strength – you may want to replace them with brass rod. The kit includes an optional covered boat as well as the aforementioned open boats.
|A small photo-etch set is included with the kit. There are no railings included (this is prominently stated on the box top), but you will find davits, gun shields, inclined ladders, flag and jack staffs, funnel caps, anchors and small torpedo handling cranes. There is relief etching on the davits, which fold together to give them more depth.|
|There is a small decal set included, with RN and RAN flags, in different sizes, included.|
|The instructions consist of 4 pages on two sheets of paper. In both German and English, you’ll find a general history of the type, a list of which ships you can build from this model, a photo and a list of parts, a photo and a list of the photo-etch parts, a photo of the decals, and finally an exploded view drawing for the one page instructions. The exploded view drawing is large and neatly drawn, so most modelers shouldn’t have any trouble following along. However, a plan and profile view of the ship would have been a nice addition.|
with the lack of railings – which is apparently an NNT marketing decision,
as they feel many modelers don’t use railings in this scale – and the slightly
over scale hull length, this is a sharply cast kit of a class of
ship that has not been kitted until now. Hopefully this is the first of
more Royal Navy World War I destroyers. If you need to protect
your Grand Fleet Battleships on patrol, you’ll want to add this standard
type destroyer to your scale model fleet as an escort. Definitely Recommended.
This is NNT’s Acheron Class Royal Navy Destroyer, kit NNT70006. The kit retails for $40 USD, and can be purchased from many of our fine sponsors, as well as directly from NNT, who I'd like to thank for this review sample. This is an inbox review. Your mileage may vary once you start putting pieces together.