1/700 FlyHawk
HMS Campbeltown 1942

Reviewed January 2017
by Timothy Dike
HMS Campbeltown was a Wickes Class destroyer, built in the US in 1919 as the USS Buchanan. In 1940 the obsolete ship was handed over to the Royal Navy Destroyers for Bases Agreement which was in desperate need of convoy escorts. HMS Campbeltown became famous with operation "Chariot", the St-Nazaire raid, thus preventing the Germans from using the dry dock facilities to repair their capitol ships. For the raid the Campbeltown had two over funnels removed and the other two cut at an angle to resemble German destroyers. More about the raid can be read on the The St. Nazaire Society site..

Fly hawk is taken their successful USS Ward kit added a new deck, bridge and many new pieces to capture the look and feel of the each HMS Campbeltown during the raid.

 The kit is a full hull kit with separate lower hull and waterline plate. The upper half is molded using slides to allow for detail on both sides and still produce a one-peice hull. The lower hull fits nicely on the upper part with a nice joint that will need very little work. Notice the last image below shows the parts sitting together, impressive engineering! It is a good thing that the lower hull is included as this ship had to be lightened considerably to clear the channel.  It rode higher in the water than normal.  If you choose to model it after ramming the drydock you're going to need lower hull anyway. Click images
to enlarge
The Propellers, shafts, rudder and some rafts are molded on this sprue. 
The main sprue features a one piece deck that includes realistic camber, a nice touch! Molding is pretty good and the parts look crisp and nicely detailed for this small scale. 
Image of some of the parts cut from other sprues are shown below. Among them are slide molded funnels with open ends, and deckhouses with detail all around. If you look closely you can see rivet details on the 3 inch gun assembly. 
Life rafts also nicely molded and incredibly detailed for the scale.
20mm machine guns are nicely molded but fixed in the horizontal position.  They feature very thin gun barrels.
 Photo etch railings, supports, letters and chain are among the details included here.  They stand to hold full hull version is also included with the ship's name etched on.
During the raid the German flag was flown to confuse the enemy, the British flag was raised during the final run to the target and FlyHawk includes both versions.
Two color sheets are included showing all the parts along with painting guide. These are pretty extensive and should be all you need to build the Campbeltown. 

FlyHawk continues to release important new ships in 1/700 scale.  I'm impressed by both the level of detail and the research that went into designing this kit.  It appears to be a spot on match for the HMS Campbeltown during Operation Chariot.  Highly recommended.

 Thanks to FlyHawk Models for the review sample.

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