This is my build of the AJM Models 1:350 scale HMS Ascot kit, which I reviewed for Steel Navy (AJM Models HMSAscotl). I decided to build it as HMS Melton to
use the pennant number decal provided with the kit. There are a few notes on the build I would like to mention. First off, while the kit gives you the option to build a
waterline model, which is my personal preference, the photo-etch paddle wheels need to be trimmed down to remove roughly one quarter of the part to accommodate
this option. Otherwise the model will not sit flush with the base. This was my first experience working with a wooden deck and the laser cut parts fit perfectly with
the exception of the quarterdeck, which had to be sanded down a little at the front end for a good fit. I first attached the paddle wheel housings to the hull (some filler
and plastic strip shims were needed to fill some minor gaps) and painted the hull before attaching the decks. I masked off the areas where the wooden decks would
go before painting and I used slow setting two-part epoxy to glue the decks to the resin hull, using small clamps to hold the decks in place while the epoxy dried. I
really don’t like railings with individual stanchion ends as I find them a bit of a pain to work with, but the kit’s railings were actually not too difficult to attach. I think
this was due to the photo-etch being relatively sturdy but still thin enough to be just right. I broke the minesweeping frame trying to remove the resin film, but I
managed to glue it back together while fitting the part in place.

I used Master Models turned brass yardarms to complement the kit’s turned brass masts. I added
White Ensign Models photo-etch oars to the boats and a mix of L’
and North Star Models figures for the crew. For the rigging, I used .005 inch Nitinol wire cut to size. I painted the model with Colourcoats WW1 #2 Grey
and #3 Grey (my thanks to
Martin Quinn for answering my plea on the Steel Navy message board when I ran out of #2 Grey and selling me a tin) The seascape was
done using artist’s acrylic gel and paints.
Overall the HMS Ascot kit by AJM Models in 1:350 scale, built as HMS Melton, was a fun build which I would recommend to more experienced modelers. The
subject matter is certainly unique and stands out among my other builds on the shelves.
Felix Bustelo