Scale HMS Nelson
Review by Ian Wilkins
You can see this model in the Photo Gallery
HMSs Nelson and Rodney were probably the most unusual looking capital ships built in the 20th century. I suppose opinion will always be divided as to whether their three triple gunhouses forward looked outlandish or purposeful. There have been only two kits made of these vessels, a 1/700 scale one by Tamiya, and this 1/600 scale version by Airfix. This kit represents Nelson in her late war appearance when she carried greatly enhanced AA armament.
The Airfix kit is all of 38 years (!) old now and, to be fair, I suppose it shows it. My example is very old and possibly a first issue as it does not have the familiar Airfix logo anywhere on the box top. The instructions comprise only three construction sequences each with a complex exploded diagram, but there are written instructions too - something from another era I feel. Also quaint is the little soft plastic vial of glue - something which hasn't been seen for a long time!
In terms of length overall of the kit appears to be quite accurate being on 3mm (six scale feet) short. This small amount is negligible. Beam appears to be spot on as well. Overall the kit is basic but well moulded. Mine has almost no flaws and all the parts are sharp and crisp. Some of the screens are a bit on the heavy side but these can be easily replaced if you desire.
This kit has featured in a number of articles in the modeling press of the past with the stand out article being Mike Williams' article on backdating the kit to represent Nelson in her as built appearance in the November 1988 issue of Marine Modeling Monthly. In this article the author reccomends that the 16" and 6" gun houses be raised by adding plastic card to the undersides and I agree with this fully, they look way flat otherwise.
In general I like this kit and it is on the soon to build list (i.e. the next three years!). I suppose it does not have a great deal of conversion possibilities (though I will be building mine as launched) but the scope for super detailing is immense. I got my kit from Hobbyweb at a very reasonable price