Naval Models 1/350 HNLMS Friesland

KIT #: 350-02
PRICE: @ 105 EUR
REVIEWER: Frank Spahr

Naval Models PE set 350-02 RL , Price @ 19 EUR. Machined brass barrels Master SM 350 053 (6 EUR), PE inclined ladders, Saemann  # 3065 (2.40 EUR for a set of 4 ), UNI caenis 20 den monofilament rigging thread.


The eight vessels of the Friesland class were commissioned by the Royal Netherlands Navy between 1956 and 1958. This second postwar class of destroyers was roomier than the preceding Holland class. Its armament was provided by Swedish manufacturer Bofors. For the powerplant,  the systems used in American Gearing class destroyers were built under licence. The ships served throughout a big part of the cold war and received limited upgrades only. The namesake Friesland was scrapped in 1979, the remaining vessels were transferred to Peru in the early 1980s.


 Dutch manufacturer Naval Models offers a range of resin or multimedia  kits of mainly Dutch vessels. This kit is one of their earlier offerings. It comes with a dedicated PE fret, wire and decals. The complementing additional PE fret further details the model and provides alternative parts for some of those included in the kit. The resin is reasonably well cast, yet not exceptional, with more casting blemishes and larger casting plugs to be removed than usual with the best products on the market. The kit instructions are very well thought out and actually represent a building sequence that makes sense, instead of the rather theoretic sequences you will often find, especially with injection-moulded kits.


I started with cleaning up the resin parts, doing some repairs with putty and drilling the (fortunately round) bridge windows deeper.

 In building a waterline model, the one-piece hull will either have to be laboriously reduced or the full-hull model be embedded in a waterline block. I prefer doing the latter, so I made a cutout in a fitting piece of foam board, sanded it to accept the hull as good as I could, which left varying gaps. After insulating the hull with vaseline, I applied white acrylic caulking from the hardware supermarket to the base and fit the hull into the cutout, sculpting the acrylic caulking in the process as desired. After two days curing time, I was able to remove the hull and clean it up with lighter fluid prior to further work. The base was further sanded and sculpted, and then painted in my usual method using white wall paint for the desired surface structure and then various shades of acrylic model paints. All that fully cured, the base received several coats of a high gloss solvent-based clear coat, followed by some drybrushing with white artistīs oil paint. It was then set aside for the final process of mating ship and base.

Returning to the ship, I continued identifying subassemblies, cleaning parts up, assembling them and painting them. On the whole, this model was built straight out of the box, save a few exceptions. Firstly, I much prefer machined brass barrels to resin items, they simply better look the part to me. Sadly, the rather peculiar 120 mm Bofors gun barrels are unavailable as brass items. So I spent quite some while looking up photos of the original guns and sifting through the aftermarket offerings to find something that matched to a reasonable extent. Finally I settled for Masterīs 140 mm barrels for the IJN cruiser Nagara. Each barrel received a piece of .2 mm brass wire to what I assume this was a coolant pipe in the original gun. For the 40 mm AA guns, I only found barrels for the earlier model from WW 2. After some filling with CA glue and the addition of a small piece of styrene stock, they looked enough alike to feel I could get away with it.

 Further additions concerned the shipīs boats. I added leftover PE oars from my PE folder. I have a normal A4 folder in which I collect the remains of any used PE sheet in clear plastic binders, to store them safely and to easily find out what I can use for a new project. In this case, I found some leftover PE combos of keel / propeller / rudder which fit nicely under the motor boats. I also replaced the PE handrails atop the two windlasses by more delicate Saemann PE items. Saemann  also provided PE inclined ladders which were more detailed and delicate than the kit PE items.

 Most of the parts fit quite well, and - as I already mentioned - the instructions were helpful and user - friendly. The most tricky items were the complex inclined ladders aft the bridge, especially how to bend them correctly. The PE gratings / walkways around the aft funnel did not fit as I would have liked them to, and needed some tweaking. The PE deflectors for the ASW rocket launchers were easily shaped after some annealing. The parts are sturdy enough to withstand the heat, so this was the easiest method for me.

 The railing provided by Naval Models was easy to work with and sufficient for my needs.


 The model was primed with solvent-based primer from the rattle can and then sprayed with appropriate acrylic shades of, um, grey. A number of shades in the single digits did suffice, though.

The model was given only limited weathering, as reference images had showed well-maintained vessels throughout.

I ran into trouble decaling, though. The stern hull number folded and tore irreparably, so I was forced to rename my model from D 812 Friesland to D 814 Limburg - luckily the decal sheet includes markings for all eight vessels of the class. Despite the name, the project was completed on time and within the projected budget (look here). I did not use the decals for the warning circles around the gunhouses. Instead, I engraved circles and used white paint in the engraved lines.

 Limburgīs crew was provided by the excellent 3D printed NorthStar sailors.

 The model was rigged using the trusty UNI Caenis 20 den monofilament line. Sadly, the tension was enough to deform the rather flimsy topmasts and yards, so I had to try my hand at correcting something Iīd rather not touch more than once. A Dutch flag was painted on cigarette paper and glued to the flagstaff with clear acrylic gel.

 After a final flat coat to hide as much embarrassment as possible, the model was placed into the cutout prepared in the base. It fit well. Any remaining small gaps were closed with clear gloss acrylic gel. The model was glued to the base using caulking silicone.


 The Friesland destroyers were the epitome of WW2 destroyer development, with perfected radars and ASW equipment, but just before the momentous change the advent of guided missiles would bring to warship design. Building this resin kit had its challenges, but should be no problem for experienced modelers. The resulting model depicts a ship with beautiful lines and a welcome example of a vessel developed by one of the smaller navies during the cold war.

Frank Spahr

March 2015 

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