Trumpeter 1/350 scale
Type 23 Frigate
by Steve Pritchard
Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster
Trumpeter 1/350 Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster Item No:04546
Infini Model IM-535019R1 Detail Up Set
Mr. Color C308 for the light grey and C331 for the decks. Tamiya LP-3 Flat Black and LP-18 Dull Red for the waterline and lower hull
This is my first ship model since the 1970s. I have vague memories of building the Airfix Leander Class Frigate and the QE II kits in that decade, but both have sunk without trace.
I decided to complicate this build and increase the cost considerably, by adding the incredible Infini detail set. My conclusion from using this much photoetch and superglue is that a lot more time is spent either gluing parts unexpectantly to the workbench, or fingers to each other. Thank heaven for acetone nail polish remover, a saviour.
The detail on the photoetch is superb, but some parts proved too small for me to use – the surrounds to the doors, with microscopic latches is one example. Also, I realised halfway through attaching the ladders that I was supposed to be folding them so they sit proud of the superstructure. Never mind, I tried with the few remaining ones with various degrees of success. I did find that Microscale Kristal Klear works well to secure railings where the risk of using superglue and marring the surface is too high. Any excess Klear can easily be removed with a damp brush.
The Trumpeter parts were generally a good fit – I had to be careful to avoid too much paint build up on the superstructure parts as they were a tight fit on the deck. The main deck fitted well, though I fitted the extreme rear part early on and filled the join line before attaching to the hull.
Now, what colour should I paint it? It appears to this primarily aircraft modeller that ships have a stealth paint finish designed never to appear the same colour in any collection of photos. The instructions suggest Mr. Color H57/C73 – I had some C308 (FS36375) left over from my recent Kawasaki T-4 aircraft build and thought it looked okay. I also had some C331 Dark Sea Grey from my Hawker Hunter build so this went on the decks.
I found that due to the sharp angles between deck and superstructure sides little masking was needed if the airbrush was angled carefully. I attempted to give the impression of the oil or tin canning effect often seen on warships – this was done by simply masking off the initial Tamiya primer coat with thin strips of tape in small rectangles. Then the topcoat followed leaving just a suggestion of dents near the bow and the stern.
I bought some Tamiya Dull Red – I didn’t have my glasses with me and thought it said Hull Red – looks okay to me though. Once the few decals were applied, a flat coat of Wattyl Estapol Matt Polyurethane followed to dull everything down. A little weathering with oil paints and orange-coloured pastels completed the finish.
Overall, an enjoyable if fiddly build. I am quite pleased with the overall look of the model – I wouldn’t say it would stand close scrutiny from a ship modelling expert, but it adds some variety to the model cabinet. Would I do another ship? Well, those Type 45 Destroyers look pretty sleek, and don’t have as many railings.
One last thing, how am I going to get it into a bottle?
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2021 by Steve Pritchard
Page Created 23 June, 2021
3 July, 2021
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