Peter Hall, world famous medical archaeologist and brass rock star is known for breathing new life into older plastic kits and bringing them back to life with brass
relief-etched resuscitation procedures. With his headquarters in the famed
Atlantic Models laboratory in scenic Durham, United Kingdom, Peter is prone to go on
expeditions to forgotten stashes of kits in the far reaches of the Amazon rain basin or the towering peaks of the Himalayas. Once upon a time in the United Kingdom,
there were two major manufacturers of plastic models. Everyone was heard of Airfix, the giant who is still in production. However, many have never heard of Frog,
a much smaller producer than Airfix. Although there was some duplication of topics between Airfix and Frog, Frog concentrated on more unusual topics. I still
remember when I saw Frog kits at my local hobby store for the first time. They were unusual and exciting. Before Frog there was no Skua or Barracuda kits in 1:72
aircraft. For ships Frog for the most part used a standard scale of 1:500. I still remember building the
R Class HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Exeter. However,
Frog also built some off scale topics and one of these was the modern British light cruiser,
HMS Tiger. HMS Tiger, HMS Lion and HMS Blake were light cruisers
laid down during World War Two, that were suspended during construction and never finished during the war. After the war, they were completely redesigned.
Frog produced a kit of
HMS Tiger in 1:415 scale. After Frog died, the molds drifted to Russia and Novo reissued the Frog HMS Tiger and the kit can still be found
on e-bay. Pete has brought new life into the Frog/Novo
HMS Tiger with this relief-etched brass photo-etch fret, designed specifically for the kit. The use of this fret
on the old Frog kit will give the build new heights of detail that was unimaginable when the kit was brand new.
It is impossible to overstate the difference the Atlantic Models brass photo-etch fret will make on the Frog Tiger. The three major items alone are worth the price of
admission. The class had large lattice masts, which can,t be adequately portrayed in plastic today, much less in a kit that was created half a century ago. Both masts
have multiple platforms, radar arrays (types 277, 293, 294,  and 960), yards and railings, all of which you get on the
Atlantic fret. In addition to the two lattice
masts, the third large item on the fret is the boat crane, which is another item that can not be adequately replicated in plastic. There is a significant amount of
relief-etching in this fret. First are the name plates for all three ships in the class. Other relief-etched parts are deck hatches, cable reels, boat davits, gun turret
windows, anchors and 57 water tight doors that can be assembled open or closed. Ship's boats get oars, thwarts and rudders. Other ship specific parts are hawser
reels, and funnel cap grates. Customized inclined ladders and accommodation ladders have safety railing and trainable treads. For generic parts the fret has four long
rungs of three bar railings with stanchion supports, five long runs of three bar railing without stanchion supports, two long runs of two bar railing, three runs of
vertical ladders, and two runs of anchor chains. The instructions are two back-printed pages, presented in the excellent
Atlantic Models/White Ensign Models
format.
White Ensign Models and now Atlantic Models have the best instructions to be found. This based upon their comprehensive nature. Everything is
presented in a modular format in drawings and text. Page one has the fret laydown with every part identified by name and number. Page two has the assembly
modules for the Type 960 radar array, main mast assembly, main mast fittings, Type 277 radar array and the Type 293 & 294 radar arrays. Page three has modules
for assembly of the fore mast, boat crane, accommodation ladders, aft superstructure inclined ladders and anchors. Page four concludes with assembly modules for
the open boats, cable reels and water tight doors.
The Atlantic Models relief-etched brass photo-etch fret in 1:415 scale is an essential addition to the Frog/Novo plastic kit of the modern British light cruiser of the
HMS Tiger Class. You can not find a better addition for this kit, as the Atlantic Models fret multiplies the detail with superb brass parts and instructions.
Steve Backer
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