Airfix 1/600 Scale HMS Fearless
Review by Stuart Robottom

 Now, this model is a bit strange. I examined the 119 components in the box prior to construction and was amazed that some pieces could be well represented while others are so poor. 

The well deck is quite detailed for a model of this scale, with a good representation of the wood protecting the internal sides of the hull in this area. I also liked the working stern door. The deck detail in this area is also worth highlighting by painting properly. I removed the crane though, as I saw Intrepid (Fearless' sister-ship) in the flesh, so to speak, in the Heavy Workshop at Portsmouth, and the kit's part didn't do it justice. The flight deck has the tie-downs represented; at least I assume that is what those lumps are. This high level of detail contrasts with the Sea Cat launchers, which are of poor quality and raises the question: How many ways can these launchers be represented by Airfix? I replaced these with more accurate Skywave fittings. The same could be done for the AA guns on the bridge wings. The forecastle is also well detailed and can be painted to highlight this detail. Overall it appears that the bow and stern are well detailed but the superstructure leaves a bit to be desired.

 The model came together quite easily. It was a shame that the superstructure details didn't match those found in other areas of the model, otherwise this would be a very nice model kit. I waterlined my model, utilizing a knife, to allow it to be put it in a sea diorama. This was my first attempt to do this and unfortunately, the results were less than fantastic. The hull pieces are quite nicely molded. There was no flash and no warp. The bow knuckle is sharp, and there are two projections to prevent the stern door from swinging down too far. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the latter but they are indicative of the quality I am talking about.

 The superstructure details are also strange. On some pieces, such as those at the weather deck level at the aft end of the superstructure, there are some scuttles and ladders represented. However, on the superstructure front pieces there are only basic squares. This is somewhat disappointing. However, the landing craft stowed abreast the superstructure hide this lack of detail to some extent, and again, if painted well can become a 'busy' area to attract attention. The bridge pieces and masts are simple pieces but they surprised me when they were fitted with their final look.

 This kit is one of the better Airfix kits I have obtained. As I mentioned there are some points that are in its favor and some that really let it down. I enjoyed the ease with which it came together and how some areas were really well detailed. Considering it was an Airfix kit, I was not expecting too much and this model did manage to surprise me.

 Webmaster's Note: Photoetch replacements for the crane and other parts for the Fearless are available on White Ensign Models new Ultimate Modern Royal Navy Sets #1 and #2. The parts below are from an older release of this kit.

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