Airfix HMS Warspite
1/600 British Battleship

Reviewed By Len Roberto
History:  One of the most appropriately named battleships with a service record to match, the Warspite had a storied career:

>From the excellent Warships of the World (see reference section below for url):

Queen Elizabeth Class Battleships
Quite possibly one of the best British battleship classes built. These ships saw service through two world wars and performed  admirably in both. They were extensively modernized before WWII and were quite handsome in appearance. 

Builder- Devonport Naval Dockyards 
Laid Down- Oct.31/12
Launched- Nov.26/13
Commissioned- Mar./1915

Operational History:
minor collision with HMS Barham Dec.1/15
took part in Battle of Jutland May.31/16
rudder jammed during fight and received 15 major caliber hits
repaired at Rosyth by Jul./1916
major collision with HMS Valiant Aug.24/16
repaired by Sep.28/16
minor collision with HMS destroyer Jun./17
partial modernisation Nov./1924-Apr./1926
drydocked and paid off Mar./1934 at Portsmouth for complete modernisation
completed by Mar./1937
RECOM Jun./1937 in Meditereanean Fleet as Flagship
narrowly missed shelling a passenger liner 1937
accidently fired into city of Valetta with pompoms 1937
supported Norweigian campaign Apr./1940
took part in Narvik Fjord Battle, shelling German destroyers
returned to Medittereanean Fleet after campaign
took part in Battle of Calabria Jul.9/40 hitting Italian battleship Giulio Cesare at a range of 26,400 yards
took part in Battle of Matapan 
with force of Valiant, Barhama and HMS destroyers destroyed 3 Italian cruisers Mar.28/41
severely damaged May.22/41 by 500lb bomb at Crete 
remained in action and returned to Alexandria May.24/41 for temporary repairs
near missed by 1,000lb bomb at Alexandria
left for USA May.25/41
repiared at Bremerton Aug.11/41-Dec.28/41
joined Eastern Fleet Jan./1942
returned to Meditereanean Fleet Jun.17/43
took part in Operation Husky at Sicily
escorted surrendered Italian warships to Malta Sep.10/43
took part in Salerno landings and was severely damaged by 3 German guided bombs Sep.16/43
temporarily repaired at Malta 
partially repaired at Rosyth Mar./44
participated in landing at Normandy
sent to Rosyth for regunning after landing
hit magnetic mine after repairs at Portsmouth Jun.13/45
patched up once more at Rosyth 
carried out bombardments against Brest, Le Havre andf finally Walcheren in Nov./1944
placed in Category C Reserve Feb.1/45
sold for scrap Mar.12/47
left Portsmouth Mar.12/47 but broke tow Apr.23/47 on way to breakers
ran aground in Prussia Cove off Cornish coast
scrapped where she lay 1947-1956

Click images
to enlarge
The Kit: 

This kit was picked up at an antique tag sale and shows its age.  It appears to be an early boxing.  Despite its age, the kit shows very nice detail on the flight deck, island, and hull. 

The kit is molded in a dark grey plastic and also includes a couple sprues of Japanese naval aircraft including Zeroes and what appear to be Kates and Vals.  This is a nice size kit and will allow the builder sufficient room for adding brass details for enhancements Gold Medal Models set # 700-14 $12.00 is a good choice).  This kit is still in production (it was for sale on a few of the bigger online retailers.) 

In short, this is a kit long on the shelves that offers fine detail out-of-the-box and with strategic photo-etched brass details added will produce an excellent replica of a ship with a long service record- not to mention the role it played in the Pearl Harbor raid and the decisive Midway engagement. 


Editors note: Len writes the Naval Corner column over on Modeling Madness, a great general modeling site that is definitely worth a look.