Combrig Models
1/350 HMS Earnest


Reviewed December 2018
by Martin J Quinn
As a follow up to the “27 knot” destroyers built for the Royal Navy, in August 1894, the Director of Naval Construction requested bids for new destroyers, with a contracted speed of 30 knots, from Thornycroft, Yarrow and Laird.   One of fourteen "30 knot" destroyers built by Laird at Birkenhead, Earnest was launched on November 7, 1896.   She served mostly in the Mediterranean, until 1907, when she returned to home waters, where she stayed through World War I, until being scrapped in 1920. 

For further information, check out the Wikipedia page for her here, or consult Norman Friedman's "British Destroyers, From the Earliest Days to the Second World War". 

The Combrig Earnest

Earnest is packaged in a thin, white cardboard box, with a photo of the real vessel on the box top.  Inside the box is the upper and lower hull, a bag of over 80 parts and a photo-etch fret wrapped in plastic, all secured with packaging peanuts.   As with some of their recent releases, this was another well packaged kit from Combrig.  The upper and lower hulls are package separately in a split plastic bag, with each hull halve taking up one half of the bag.  The small parts, while all still jammed into a single bag, did not suffer any breakage. 
The hull is a two piece affair.   According to the measurements I found for Earnest, the hull scales out close to size in length, and pretty much perfectly in beam.   The upper hull is very well cast with lots and lots of good detail. There a small pour on the bottom of this part, but if you are building waterline, that won't be a problem. 

The casting captures the unique shape of the turtleback, while the deck appears to have camber.   There are delicate bollards, nicely done portholes, and coaling scuttles.  The bulkheads aft of the break of the turtleback are thinly cast, and look in scale.  The lower hull has no casting defects.  There is some flash you will have to remove where it joins the upper hull. 

This is not the same hull as found in the previous Banshee release - this hull is longer, with different arrangements and details than the hull of the 27 knotter. 

There are nine resin runners in the box. This is where you will find the funnels, guns, torpedo tubes, vents, boats and anchors, along with other small parts.     All these smaller parts are excellent, the casting is terrific.   The funnels and vents are crisply done, as are the boats and the torpedo tubes.   The guns, davits and anchors are especially well done - the latter two items are thin and delicately cast.   The only negative is that all these small and delicately cast smaller parts are once again shoved into once bag. 

While there are common parts with the Banshee, there are parts that are unique to Earnest, like the runner with the funnels, which are wider and taller than those found on Banshee

There is a decent sized photo etch set with the kit.   It has common parts for both Banshee and Earnest, as well some parts dedicated to each ship.  The parts include gun platforms, ladders, props, rudder, thwarts for the boats, anchor chain and railing.  The railing is the individual stanchion type. 

There are no masts included with the kit, but, as per usual Combrig practice, there are drawings showing dimensions of the masts, yards and propeller shafts. 

The instructions are typical Combrig fare. There are four sheets of paper, with instructions on every side, save one. There is one page cataloguing the parts, the rest of the pages have exploded views showing where to place the parts.  There is no plan and profile view of Banshee included, nor do the instructions show where to place the railings. 

There are no color callouts or painting instructions, but the box, and period photos, seem to indicate she was painted in overall black.    While these are better than instructions in some previous Combrig's kits, there is still room for improvement.

This is another excellent little kit of one of the earliest British attempts at a Torpedo Boat Destroyer, which were the fore runners of the modern destroyer.  It's small size and smaller part count may make this a good candidate for those who want a change of pace from larger kits.   This kit is highly recommended, especially for fans of small combatants, and/or fans of the 19th century British warships.  Let's hope that more early destroyers are on the way from Combrig. 

This is Combrig’s 1/350 USS Earnest, kit number 35111.  The model lists for $63.99 and is available from many of our fine sponsors.  Thanks to Combrig Models for the review sample.

This is an in-box review.  While the model seems to compare nicely to photos and drawings found in books and online, your mileage may vary once you commence construction. 

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