|The HMS Gorleston was a Banff Class Escort
Sloop originally acquired from the US Navy under the Lend Lease program
of 1941. The sloop was built as the Coast Guard cutter Itasca commissioned
in July 1930. One of ten new Lake Class cutters, it was an improvement
in earlier designs and were better suited for the rough North Atlantic.
In spite of this Itasca found herself in the tranquil waters of the Pacific
early in her career.
Itasca was one of the ships involved in the tracking and later search for Aviator Amelia Earhart in June 1937. In 1940 Itasca was involved with the Coast Guard "Good Will Cruise" to Central America. When war broke out in Europe and the Lend Lease program was initiated, Itacsca started receiving her new crew of Royal Navy sailors. She operated for a time with a mixed crew before being painted in Royal Navy colors. On May 31, 1941, the USCG Itasca was turned over to the British and renamed HMS Gorleston.
Gorleston was first tasked with convoy escort duties to and from West Africa and through Gibraltar. Gorleston operated as far as the West Indies up until 1943 Transiting the Suez Canal on many occasions. After a refit she was deployed to the Far East where she escorted ships from the canal zone to supply troops fighting the Japanese in the Pacific.
After the war she was returned to the United States on 23 April 1946. She was not re-commissioned and was sold for scrap in October 1950.
This new ship from White Ensign adds yet another important escort of World War Two. This kit can be used to build any of the ten ships of this class. It can also be modified slightly to build the USCG versions.
|The hull features some sharp detailing. The deck has scale width planking and plenty of deck details. There is a bit of flash at the base, but this is not a problem for a waterline kit. My hull has a slight warp in the center that needs to be taken out as well. It is nice to see mounting holes to help with parts placement on a resin kit. I really hate having to measure where everything goes.||Click images
|The superstructure parts are cast on resin sprue. The parts are attached to the runner in the most inconspicuous locations. This means there will be little chance of damaging the part when removing it. This method is superior to casting on a wafer and I wish more manufacturers would adopt it.|
|The detail on these parts is very good, with sharp window
frames around the bridge and nice top side detailing.
|WEAPONS, BOATS, AND MISCELLANEOUS PARTS|
|The main guns are very well done on resin sprues. Depth charge throwers, .5 Vickers quads, cowl vents, and quite frankly all the other parts on this sprue are exceptionally well cast.|
|The resin appears to be less brittle than I am used to.
So these parts will be a lot easier to work with.
|A brass photo etch fret is included for railings, gun shields, platforms, and other detail parts. Relief etching is used to give the parts a 3D appearance. Some of the parts are a little fine for those of us with big thumbs, but you don't have to use them all to build a really nice ship. Brass rod is included for the masts.|
|The instructions are six pages with history, stats, bill
of materials, and step by step views showing assembly. They are very well
written and also include a color chart and painting guide for 1943.
Conclusions: Another unique subject captured in resin by White Ensign Models. This is kit #K 743 1/700 HMS GORLESTON 1943 Banff class sloop for £25.49 or about $39.50 US. That's a nice price for a well cast kit with first class photo etch. Combine that with the easy to follow instructions and you have a lot of modeling value.