Trumpeter 1/350 HMS Montrose

KIT #: 4045
PRICE: 40 Euros
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Frank Spahr
NOTES: Includes p.e. fret


The type 23 is currently the backbone of the Royal Navy, with thirteen out of sixteen built still in service and scheduled to remain for quite some while. The vessels are named for British dukes and are commonly referred to as the Duke class. It is a multipurpose frigate equipped with a 4.5 inch gun, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, a VLS for AAW, close-range guns, and a helicopter for ASW work. Some stealthy features are included in the design, but by far not as many as in later classes of ships. This pretty well-balanced design emerged from a long and convoluted design process that originally aimed at a cheap single-mission unit fielding a towed sonar array to patrol the GIUK (Greenland-Iceland-UK) gap against Soviet submarines. Luckily so many changes were made that in the end a ship was built that actually still had a mission, because the first unit was commissioned on time for the end of the cold war. The type 23 has been and is deployed globally, and step by step refits and upgrades are being incorporated, so here are notable differences between individual units. Externally most distinguishing is the angled, stealthy Mk 8 Mod 1 „Kryten“ gun turret. The vessels are able to operate the Lynx as well as the larger Merlin helicopter.

HMS Montrose was commissioned in 1994 as the eighth ship in class, her home base is Devonport/Plymouth. She has been deployed world wide during her career, from the South Atlantic over the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean. She is named after the Scottish dukedom of Montrose.


This model was built from the 1:350 injected plastic kit by Trumpeter. It is a very nicely produced, well-fitting kit, with some (rather uber-delicate) PE, and builds really well. There are some glitches, though, most notably the absence of the new style „Kryten“ gun turret, even though shown on the boxart. The 30 mm guns are the older style, too, so basically this is the original HMS Kent kit issued in 2012, with different markings only.



I was lucky in not just having a number of good images of Montrose taken in 2011 by a friend of mine during a harbour cruise at Plymouth /Devonport, he was also in possession of a spare Kryten turret from the fine WEM kit, and willing to part with it. I also obtained the excellent WEM PE set (which proved to be easier to work with than the extremely delicate Trumpeter items) and built the kit. I did some very limited detailing, for instance I drilled some tie-downs into the helo deck, added some shelving inside the hangar, did some detailing of the RAS stations, and covered the old-style 30 mm´s with „tarps“ made from cigarette paper soaked in floor polish. For the helicopter´s rotor, the kit part was used, as it had more structure to it than the PE item. I had to sand the brittle clear styrene down to a few stray microns of its life to get a decent thickness, though. It took some time to saw open all the bridge windows, but I was pleased with the effect and prefer it to just painting them.


The model was painted mostly in Vallejo paints, after some de-greasing and priming with automotive primer. Only limited weathering was done using artists oils. A number of the excellent North Star resin figures was used to bring life to the ship. The vessel was rigged using UNI flyfishing thread gauge 8/0, glued with CA glue.

The base was made very early in the project, using a piece of 40 mm insulation foam board, cut to size and a cutout provided for the hull. The base was then carved into the approximate wave and wake pattern, sanded, puttied and sealed with white wall paint, applied in a stippling motion. Green and blue acrylics were sprayed to get the proper shades. After a thorough curing time, the base was sealed with solvent based clear gloss spray paint from a rattle can. That cured, some drybrushing with white artist´s oil paint and some effect with clear gloss acrylic gel completed the project. I plan to yet add a machined brass barrel to the gun once available.


All in all very neat and affordable model kit of a very god looking modern warship in my book, but you need to be aware of the above mentioned glitches and consult your references.

Frank Spahr

April 2014

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