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IBG Models HMS Badsworth

The Royal Navy’s Hunt-class destroyer escorts, like HMS Badsworth, served from the East Indies to South Africa and Malta and escorted Murmansk convoys. The little ships could be built quickly and 86 were completed before the end of World War II. More than a dozen were transferred to free Greek, Polish, Norwegian, and French navies. Twenty-one were lost during the war.

The kit comprises six sprues and a PE fret; nearly 100 parts are added to the 4.8" waterline hull.

The decks fit perfectly and appear accurate when compared with overhead photo views. Anchor chains molded on the deck meet fine PE anchors.

Splinter shields and the bridge structure are finely molded as near to scale as possible. Recessed portholes with rain gutter eyebrows are featured throughout the hull and deck houses. I was impressed with the smokestack, a single-piece molding with a recessed interior.

The balance of the parts includes PE railings, boat davits, ladders, smokestack screen, aft mast, bridge-wing supports, and life-raft frames. Easy to work with, the PE parts fit perfectly and enhanced the model.

The instructions feature excellent, clear drawings showing bends for the PE. The plastic parts needed no cleanup, so the build progressed quickly. I pre-painted the camo as I went, because there are just too many tiny parts in the way otherwise.

I ran into two trouble spots. First, it was difficult to remove the fragile twin barrels for the 4" cannons from the sprue, and the large attachment points are hard to clean up. The barrels are a little big; I recommend replacing them with brass rod.

Second, the pair of 20mm guns tried my patience; the tiny PE parts needed 90- and 180-degree bends that were nearly impossible.

Thankfully, the fret included six parts; after three failures I aligned the two. The best sequence was to bend the shoulder mounts 90 degrees while the parts were on the fret. Next, I cut the barrel section loose and bent it nearly 180 degrees with the base splinter shield still attached to the fret. Remove it at that point and finish the last 90-degree and 180-degree bends. Just do not sneeze or blink!

A full page of the instructions was devoted to rigging, another to painting and decals. I painted the camouflage with Testors Model Master Acryl dark RN gray and RN light gray, and Humbrol slate gray.

The decals are thin, and care must be taken to directly transfer from paper to model or they will curl. The sheet features markings for six ships as well as flags for the Royal Navy, Free French, and Polish navies. Stretched sprue from the kit was used for the rigging.

This excellent kit covers a rare subject previously found only in resin. With the fine detail of PE, it builds into an impressive, if tiny, replica.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the November 2016 issue.

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