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IBG HMS Ithuriel

Build review of the 1/700 scale destroyer ship kit with excellent PE
RELATED TOPICS: SHIPS
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Operational for just eight months in 1942, the British I-class destroyer, HMS Ithuriel served in the Mediterranean and Atlantic.

IBG’s Ithuriel is unique in 1/700 scale for using integrating photo-etched metal (PE) into basic construction rather than as add-on or replacement features. The 76 PE parts take the basic kit to its full potential with scale-thin splinter shields, davits, ladders, racks, and RDF antennas. Cleanly printed instructions include rigging diagrams and color camouflage diagrams.

The waterline-only hull features well-defined portholes including “eyebrow” rain covers.

Assembly starts with the armament, including the four 4.7-inch main guns and six 20mm antiaircraft weapons. The latter are entirely PE, but the instructions clearly show the required three 90- and one 180-degree bends. I made the barrel and shoulder harness bends while the parts were still on the fret, then finished the gun shields after the rest was done. The good news is there are extra guns on the fret so you can practice.

Moving forward, the diagrams give clear instructions for folding and attaching splinter shields and railings for the gun decks, and forward superstructure. Creating the tiny RDF antenna proved challenging as I launched it into near oblivion while removing it from the fret. 

In Step 10, I diverged from the instructions and rigged the main stays inboard of the davits. The rigging diagrams show them outboard, but they would run afoul of the ship’s boats.

Moving aft in Step 13, be sure to attach the PE ladders to the forward superstructure before adding the boat davits and boats. The remainder of the build went without a hitch, but I did leave the railings off until the final step to minimize damage during painting and final assembly.

This was an accurate and entertaining kit that required steady hands, needle-point tweezers, and bifocals for 6+ decade eyes, but comes at a reasonable price. Fit is excellent and the engineering outstanding, making it easy to add this important class of ship to your World War II naval collection.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the February 2020 issue.

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