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Ultracast 1/700 HMCS Haida

Scale: 1/700
Manufacturer: Ultracast, P.O. Box 20005, Woodlawn Postal, Guelph, ON N1H 6H6, Canada, fax 519-823-1160
Price: $24.95 (plus $7.95 shipping)
Comments: Multimedia, 114 parts (64 resin, 46 photoetched, 1 plastic rod, 3 brass rods), decals.

HMCS Haida was one of four Tribal-class destroyers built in England for Canada in 1942. It saw service in World War II and Korea, then became a training vessel, and now serves as a museum in Toronto.

Ultracast's resin parts are superbly cast with both raised and recessed detail molded along the superstructure and hull. The photoetched nickel/steel parts are crisp and delicate, but tough to cut from the frets. Duplicates of tiny easy-to-lose parts are included, and a full set of rail and ladder etchings is provided.

The instructions include a brief history, parts list, construction notes, color-copy pages showing the parts with labels, shots of the model being built, and pictures of the finished model. They come in handy as no step-by-step sequence or color notes are included. Hull-number decals are included for both a camouflaged and a gray scheme.

I assembled the model from bow to stern following the photos in the instructions. I recommend viewing the two pages of parts photos and drawings side by side with the assembly photos.

I had no problems with assembly, but carefully studied the parts and assembly photos since many parts were going on a small model (only 6 1/2" long). I appreciated the raised and depressed part locators, something not usually found on resin ships. Templates for the masts and staffs were also a bonus.

Since no paints or colors were recommended, I tried to match the color illustration of a Tribal-class ship in The Encyclopedia of the World's Warships, my main reference. I primed with Floquil gray, then hand brushed the superstructure, hull, and weapons Polly S camouflage gray (FS 36622). I painted portions of the deck khaki or ocean gray (FS 36176), and used flat black for the stack tops and masts. Ultracast's decals are printed with a continuous clear carrier so you must cut out each hull number. They went on fine without a setting solution.

The tiny destroyer scales well to my reference. After only 10 hours, my Haida was done. Its small size and trouble-free assembly make this kit ideal for a first-time multimedia ship project.

Phil Kirchmeier

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