Airfix 1/600 Scale HMS Manxman
Review by Ian Wilkins

 I think I have one of the first issues of this kit which first came out in 1971. The kit comprises 86 parts most of which are small and delicately detailed. There is a good deal of moulded on detail such as doors, ladders, liferings and so on, and these are all done quite delicately. The mine handling cranes, boats, and shaft struts are crisply and finely done. There is a good level of detail on the deck moulding and all is again quite finely done. I'd situtate this kit somewhere just below the excellent Airfix kits like Repulse, KGV, Prinz Eugen, and Belfast, but a little bit better than the Narvik class destroyer. The hull measures out exactly to 1/600 scale. Oddly, the instructions state that the deck should be painted brick red, which sounds a bit unusual. If any one out there knows if this is right or not could they please let us know?

 The ship is kitted in an as built appearance so those wishing to build the ship late in her war career will have to do a bit of research to find out where to stick all the extra AA. There is an article on HMS Welshman (sister ship) by M.W. Williams in the August 1983 issue of Army and Navy Modelworld, which includes a detailed 1/600 scale profile drawing of the vessel in her 1942 appearance, a simple camouflage scheme, and a photo of the kit built straight from the box. The excellent box art also provides much information on extra details.

 The kit could easilly form the basis for an excellent model if some references are used to get the details in the right place. Addition of 1/600 scale railing and ladders would set it off nicely. Alternatively, if you like to built from the box this kit will give a nice result quite able to stand alongside other more recent kits.

Click on thumbnail for a full-size picture