Trumpeter 1/700
HMS Renown 1942

Reviewed by Sean Hert

HMS Renown and Repulse were 2 battlecruisers of the Renown class built for the Royal Navy in 1916. The Renowns were a built from a mish-mash of elements, utilizing aspects and parts from Revenge/Royal Sovereign class battleships and influenced by the battlecruiser HMS Tiger and the "success" of the Invincible class battlecruisers. When they joined the Fleet after Jutland, the reputation of the battlecruiser was forever destroyed.

It wasn't too long before a long series of refits and rebuilds began. Her forward stack was increased by six feet in height and her searchlights were rearranged in new, vertical control towers. By the early 1920s, large external bulges had been added for torpedo protection, and her sides beefed-up by new, nine-inch armor belts left over from a converted Chilean battleship.

By the beginning of WW2, Renown's appearance had dramatically changed from her original fit. Her superstructure was completely rebuilt, a cross-deck catapult fitted abaft two new aircraft hangars amidships, and her secondary armament radically altered by the addition of 10, twin, power-operated 4.5"/45 QF Mk I and III dual-purpose guns with upgraded fire control. In addition, her power plant was replaced with all-new turbines and boilers, her main gun elevation had been increased, along with a host of other changes. She had an additional refit in late 1942 (October), in which her catapult was removed and the area utilized for boat stowage and added additional AA armament.

Renown enjoyed a long, full career, staying busy throughout World War II. She served in all the theatres of the war; Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific, and she took place in the hunts for both the Graf Spee and the Bismarck. After serving in a training capacity after the war, she was scrapped in 1948, the last remaining Royal Navy battlecruiser.

Renown's Dimensions:

  • Length: 794' (242m)
  • Beam: 90' (27m)
  • Draught: 31.75' (9.68m)
  • Displacement: 32,000t

The hull is molded in the waterline style; a single upper hull piece, with both a lower hull and a waterline plate in dark red plastic as options. The hull has fairleads which are molded closed, which can be opened with little trouble. There is a slight fit between the upper and lower hull pieces, but assembly should force it into shape. The upper hull fits well against the waterline plate.

The main hull piece is crisply molded, with a twin row of scuttles with finely molded brows (2 rows being a discerning characteristic of Renown). There are molded on square doors which are left over hull mounted torpedo tubes from Repulse, (there seems to be some issue with what tubes Renown had at what time) as well as notches port and starboard that will need to be cut out from the hull (shown in step one of the instructions) to allow for the double ended aircraft catapult. The upper edge of the torpedo bulge is too sharp; Renown should not have a visible armor belt.

The lower hull half has typical Trumpeter mold marks to be sanded smooth and is hogged slightly. The forefoot of the bow comes to too sharp an angle, but a second's swipe with sandpaper will round it properly. The shape at each end of the bulge is too rounded off; sanding may be able to solve this problem, but whether there is enough plastic is a question.

The upper hull measures out at a waterline length of 13.56", with a beam of 1.53" at the deck and 1.63" at the waterline bulge-just about right. The lower hull has a max length of around 13.75" and a max beam of 1.69".


Sprue H has three of the primary deck pieces, and so falls under the "Deck" category. These parts make up 75% of the deck, with a part from the L sprue for the remaining aircraft handling area. Each deck seam as been designed to be obscured by either the breakwater or the superstructure. All 3 parts are well molded, with deck planking and good details. The planking has no line to differentiate between planks, just scribed lines for rows. There are finely molded on anchor chains on the foredeck. The aft deck piece has plenty of deck details, vents and such, but some seem slightly out of place.


This sprue is a sprue from the previously released Repulse kit. It has a number of common parts; the props, 15" gun barrels, the famous 8 barreled 40mm "Pom-Pom" is here, ships boats, cranes, anchors and a slew of 20mm guns. The searchlights look good, as do the pom-poms. The closed aircraft hangar doors are also here, with no apparent open door option.


The main superstructure parts are included on this sprue. Detail is pretty good throughout, with some open porthole details. The 01 level deck piece has more of the same planking detail where appropriate, but the front of the barbette for "B" turret has a decent mold line- which is something Trumpeter often has an issue with on parts like this. It also looks like there is a watertight door and some ladders missing from the 01 level of the bridge/superstructure piece.

The "B" turret is also present here, and has some issues- the shape looks wrong, like the turret is too thick, and has the wrong "slope" of the plates from rear to the front of the turret. Renown's turrets were given increased elevation by notching-out the turret roof and adding the mantlets. They need to be open all the way up to the joint between the mantlet and turret roof.


Sprue L has a few more platforms and bulkheads, including the catapult deck and the neat elevated pom-pom platform that is placed between the stacks. The two deck pieces both have the same planking detail as seen elsewhere in this kit.

The double ended catapult is quite interesting, and is well molded. The track, supports and turntables are all quite detailed, and will be a real attention getter on this kit.

The kit's nameplate is also on this sprue.


Sprue M contains a few more superstructure parts, the main prop shafts, the bow breakwater and some pieces of the 2 aircraft hangars. It is interesting that Trumpeter has chosen to provide detail inside the hangars; with some modification, they could be modeled with the doors open.

One of the hangar internal bulkheads is slightly misshapen, as if the plastic had not yet cooled enough before removal from the mold.


This sprue has numerous gun directors and range finders, as well as the ships rudder, parts for the rear funnel, the funnel caps and the classic Royal Navy starfish.


The final sprue, sprue R, has the remaining weapons of Renown. The other two main turrets "A" and "X" are each here, as well as the twin 4.5" HA guns in the unique Mark II mounts. There are some remaining parts, nestled life rafts and the quad .50" Vickers as well.

Supermarine Walrus Mk 1

Two Supermarine Walrus Mk1 biplane flying boats are included, both on a single sprue. The instructions imply there is only one Walrus included- or needed. There is no option to build either one in a stowed configuration. Wingspan and fuselage length are spot on.

A display base is included.

A decal sheet is included with ensign and jack, in both a static and "blowing" shape, as well as roundels and tail markings for one Walrus.


A 12 page instruction book is included, using Trumpeter's standard construction order and methods. Not many options to decided upon in this kit, other than full hull vs waterline.

A full color poster showing the painting steps (with Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol colors). The camo shcme on the starboard bow is shaped incorrectly. Builders will want to check references before following the scheme shown here. The colors selected also seem duller that the ones used, but that could be the limitations of the ink used in printing. Always test your paint colors!


A well molded kit, with some sharp details and execution, but not without errors. The hull will take some work for those wishing to build as full hull, and there are missing radars (present on the box art) and other errors that fixing will certainly intimidate some. This model will be a great base for many aftermarket companies to improve upon.

Thanks to Stevens International for the review sample. It is listed as #TSM-5764 1/700 HMS Renown 1942 with a retail price of $39.95 US. Stevens is the exclusive importer for Trumpeter kits in the US. If your hobby shop does not carry Trumpeter kits have them contact Stevens International or try their Hobby Shop Locator to find one that does.

Thanks to Dan Blackburn and Martin Quinn for their help with this review.