1/600 Scale Spica Class Italian Escort Destroyer Kit
Review by Felix Bustelo
The Italian Navy built two classes of escort destroyers or torpedo boats, the Spica and the Ariete classes. These classes differed only in the armament carried.
PT Dockyard, a cottage-firm that manufacturers 1/600 scale resin coastal craft for war gaming, has issued a kit of a Spica class ship. This kit, along with their Ariete class, is the largest attempted by PT Dockyard and can be considered a departure for them. Since the ships are nearly identical, they are basically the same kit but with different main and secondary armament. The kit comes with a waterline one-piece hull casting with deck housings, two lifeboats, and other details. Additional parts include a one piece bridge- superstructure and stack assembly, the rear superstructure, the upper bridge complete with a gun director, 3-3.9" turrets, 4-single 20mm guns, 2-twin 20mm Bredas with a white plastic disk to serve as the gun tub floor for one of them, and 4-single torpedo tubes. The casting of this model is the best so far for PT Dockyard, but it still requires some clean up and some filling of pinholes and seams. The delicate guns require trimming from their casting sheets and must be handled carefully.
There is a one-page set of hand-drawn assembly diagrams that are simple to follow. It shows the proper placement of the supersturctures and the placment of the armament. The sheet also includes basic painting instructions with a line drawing showing the camouflage scheme used. Instructions point out where to paint the red and white stripes typically found on Regia Marina ships. Specific colors are not provided, but it is apparent that the camouflage scheme comprised of a standard warship gray and a dark gray. Some color tips for painting the deck would have been helpful. However, the assembly instructions are much improved over past kits that I have seen.
One must bear in mind that this model was made for war gaming and lacks some of the fine details that some folks are used to seeing with the more expensive resin kits. But the Spica is among the best casting that I have seen from PT Dockyard to date. I like this kit and, as with all subjects in their line, they can be made into a very nice model with some photoetch. PT Dockyard kits are available via direct mail order, so follow the link above for a price list and ordering instructions.