Matchbox 1/700 HMS Kelly

reviewed by Jorit Wintjes
My personal favorite among Matchbox' ships. Crisp moldings, excellent fit and good detail must have made it one of the best kits when it originally came on the market. You get the usual Matchbox four part hull, two parts for the hull sides, another one for the deck and a fourth one closing the waterline hull. Superstructure parts are well detailed and broken down quite conventionally (three parts for each deckhouse - two sides and a deck). The 4.7 inch twin mountings are quite nice too, although careful alignment of the parts is necessary to avoid gaps here. Naturally, especially smaller parts like the 0.5 quads or the 2pdr pompom will benefit from additional detail. The best option really is to go for WEM's Kelly PE set which provides everything you need (including straight and inclined rails), even multi-part PE 0.5 quads - they are devilishly difficult to put together, but look great (after a weekend of blood, sweat and tears or so...). You have the option to replace the after quintuple tube with a 4 inch AA gun, which compared to Tamya's O class kit, where the 4 inch mount is molded onto the hull, is definitely the better solution. 
Important Note: You can only build three of the 24 J/K/N class destroyers out of the box (bear this in mind when buying resin kits that are merely copies of the Matchbox kit...). The kit originally meant to depict HMS Kelly, which was one of the leaders of the class, the others being HMS Jervis and HMS Napier. In these ships, the after deckhouse was longer in order to accommodate the flotilla leader's staff, which in turn meant that there was no space for the TSDS minesweeping gear on the quarterdeck. For the remaining 21 destroyers you have to shorten the after deckhouse and add that minesweeping gear. 
Conversion Note: As the Q and R class ships were based on the hull and machinery layout of the J/K/N class, converting the Matchbox kit into one of these later ships is the obvious choice. Apart from reshaping the after deckhouse you have to provide four 4.7 inch guns, e.g. from Tamya's O class kit. 
Conclusion: Simply an outstanding kit. Together with WEM's PE set you can make a true gem of a model; moreover, conversion into other J/K/N destroyers as well as Q/R ones is fairly easy. If you are interested in WWII destroyers and still happen to find one of these kits, GET IT!!!!!!!!!