Heller 1/400 Scale HMS King George
The King George V class is accredited by many historians to have saved Britain from certain annihilation by the Kreigsmarine during WWII. The first ship, KGV, was ordered in 1936, during the reign of HM King George V. Completed in December of 1940, she was involved in the Bismarck Chase. She escorted an allied raid to Norway in late 1941. During 1942 she acted as long range escort for Russian-bound convoys. In early 1943 she took part in Operation Torch, the invasion of French North Africa and later that year, KGV escorted the invasion force to Sicily for Operation Husky. Lastly, in 1943, she took part in the occupation of the Italian port of Tarranto. In 1944 she transferred to the British Pacific Fleet and took part in the bombardment of Japan until í45. She returned to Britain in 1946 and was placed in long term reserve. She was decommissioned in 1950 and scraped in 1958.
The Heller kit is a nicely molded model. It represents King George V in early 1942, during the long-range escort of the Russian Convoys. I plan on backdating to kit to May 1941. It contains more than 200 parts, and measures 22 inches when finished. The hull halves have a moderate amount of detail including portholes. The deck is molded in one piece and has some detail, which appears slightly overscale. The gun turrets are okay, although no rivets are molded on. The gun barrels are molded onto a piece of styrene rod that you must slip into the turret. The KGVs didnít have blast bags, but flanges that rise when the guns elevate. To model these you can slip a piece of sheet styrene above the gun barrels, inside the turret.
The ship's boats are decent, but have a few sinkholes. The AA 20 mm Oerlikons are average, and have overscale splinter shields. The 2pdr pom-poms will do, but Iím looking for resin upgrades for them. The decal sheet comes with a Battle Ensign, the Union Jack, and Adm. Sir John Toveyís flag. The waterline boot is also a decal. The kit includes actual chain for the anchors.
The superstructure is comprised of a number of smaller assemblies that are stacked onto each other. The superstructure has average detail including portholes and simple watertight doors molded on. Gold Medal Models watertight doors would dress the superstructure up well. The masts appear a bit overscale. The superstructure has only a few windows and searchlights as details. Iím sure more skilled modelers could greatly improve the decks.
The ship, overall, is a good kit that I would recommend to anyone. Experienced modelers can probably make this into an award winner, but the average modeler can still make a nice display piece. I would recommend the Gold Medal Models 1/400 Watertight Doors and Tom's Modelworks 1/400 King George/Prince of Wales detail set to fit out this kit. I would also recommend V.E. Tarrantís book King George V Class Battleships as a reference.