Models 1:600 Parts
by Felix Bustelo
Ship modelers, like myself, who are fans of the Airfix Models line of 1/600 scale ship line all feel that these kits are diamonds in the rough. These kits are a product of an era when models were considered to be more of a toy than a serious hobby and as a result they lacked certain details and the molding of some parts were a bit heavy-handed. Recently, there have been a slew of photoetch detail sets and upgrades to help Airfix modelers bring out that stunning model buried deep in that old kit. This latest set of upgrade parts from Atlantic Models is a fine example of the options now available to modelers.
Atlantic Modelsis brand name used by Peter Hall, who is no stranger to ship modelers. Peter does all of the photoetch design work and a good part of the master building for White Ensign Models. Peter had originally envisioned a set of upgrades to help modelers detail the fine Airfix kit of the King George V and provide parts to convert this model to some of the later sisters, the Anson, Howe and Duke of York. At this time the conversion sets have been placed on the proverbial back burner but production of the more general sets went forward. These five sets are cast in white metal, which is a departure from the usual resin.
Set ATC6002 contains the parts to assemble eight 5.25"/50 (13.4 cm) QF Mark I turrets. These dual-purpose guns were the secondary armament on the King George V class of battleships and the main guns on the Dido class of light anti-aircraft cruisers. The gun barrels are cast separately and need to be glued into place in the turrets. A slight disadvantage to using white metal, which is a soft malleable material, is that some of the barrels became slightly bent during shipping. These can be straightened out carefully and I would prefer bending these back into shape than having a brittle resin version break-off. Some minor clean up is needed to remove some casting overpour. Enough mounts are provided to fit one of the KGV class ships. These guns will hopefully also be included in the much-anticipated 1/600 scale resin kit of a Dido class cruiser that is in the planning stages from Peter and White Ensign Models.
Set ATC6006 contains four HACs Mk.V fire control directors. These white metal replacements are an improvement over the typical Airfix part and they also require a little bit of clean and light sanding. Technically, this type of director was fitted only on the Anson, Howe and Duke of York and enough directors are provided to equip one of these models (they had two fitted on the front tower and two fitted aft). However, I guess that you could cheat a little and use these to replace the plastic directors on some other Airfix kits if you feel that they are close enough visually.
Set ATC6007 provides ten 20mm circular gun tubs and is a great time saver to update just about any 1/600 scale World War II ship kit to later war fits, when 20mm Oerlikons were fitted in just about every nook and cranny. These tubs are cast in pairs and need to be removed from the thin white metal casting film and then lightly sanded to remove any rough spots. If you need some semi-circular tubs, you should be able to cut these to size and then use some styrene strip to close off the open end of the tub. I wish I had these when I was building my Airfix HMS Ajax model. Since I was building her in a 1941 fit, some 20mm guns were fitted and I had to scratch-build four tubs for some of the emplacements.
Sets ATC6010 and ATC6011 are respectively large and small Carley floats, with 10 each to a packet. These sets are also a great help to 600 scale modelers who will need some additional floats in order to model a particular fit. Again, I wish I had these for my Ajax build as she had several fitted in 1941 and the kit did not provide any. As a result, I had to take some from one of my Belfast kits. These require a little more clean up than the other sets since the casting plug as to be removed and a little bit of a spur has to be trimmed off each float. There is a very good amount of detail cast into each float.
Overall, these sets are a very welcome addition to my set of 1/600 scale accessories and will add a nice touch of detail to your model. I do hope that at some point Peter will proceed with the production of the KGV conversation sets and I am sure that if the demand is strong enough then he will do it. I would like to extend my thanks to Peter Hall for providing these review samples.