The C class was a group of Royal Navy destroyers built as part of the Wartime Emergency Program. A total of 32 ships were built between 1943 and 1945 in four
flotillas of 8 ships each. Each group were sub-classes known as the “Ca”, “Ch”, “Co” and “Cr”, ordered respectively as the 11th, 12th 13th and 14th Emergency
Flotillas. The 15th Emergency Flotilla, to be known as the “Ce” sub-class, was cancelled in favor of the
Weapon class destroyer. The sub-classes were derived from
the first two letters of the names of the ships. The C class was based on the hull and machinery of the pre-war J class, but they incorporated whatever advances in
armament and naval radar were available at the time. The ships in the “Ca” sub-class saw service in the Home Fleet as the 6th Destroyer Flotilla. After the end of the
war in Europe, they were transferred to East Indies Fleet in the Pacific but arrived too late to see any action against Japan. The ships in the other groups were either
commissioned too late to see service in the war or after the end of the war.

The "Co" ships were generally a repeat of the preceding Z class, and as such had a main gun armament of four QF 4.5 in (114mm) Mk. IV guns on Mk. V mounts,
which could elevate to 55 degrees to give an anti-aircraft capability. Close-in anti-aircraft armament generally consisted of two twin 40mm Bofors Hazemayer mounts,
supplemented by four single 2-pounder "pom-pom" anti-aircraft guns on power operated mounts. The ships were fitted with the new Mk. VI HA/LA gun director
instead of the Mk I Type K director of the Z and “Ca” classes and remote power control (RPC) gun laying equipment. The additional weight of the new fire control
equipment and the powered mountings for the 4.5-inch guns meant that only one quadruple torpedo mount was fitted rather than two. In addition, the depth charge
armament was reduced from 70 to 35 depth charges. Late delivery of the Mk VI directors delayed completion such that only HMS Comet was commissioned before
VJ Day, in June 1945, though too late to see action.
The different sub-classes were reconstructed in the 1950s and early 1960s to be modernized for anti-submarine warfare and to serve as fast fleet escorts. The "Co”
ships were given a less extensive modernization, with one 4.5 in gun being replaced by a pair of Squid triple-barreled anti-submarine mortars, a modified fire control
system and a close in anti-aircraft armament of one twin and four single Bofors guns. The aft superstructure was modified to accommodate the Squids.

HMS Consort was launched on October 19, 1944 and commissioned on March 19, 1946. She served mainly in the Far East and on China Station. Her career would
have been most likely rather mundane had she not been there amid the Chinese Communist Revolution, which began in 1945. While berthed at Nanking,
HMS
Consort
was attacked by Communist Chinese forces and suffered 49 casualties. She suffered further losses during the Yangtze Incident, when she attempted to tow
the sloop
HMS Amethyst from a mudbank. HMS Consort took 56 direct hits from the Communist Chinese, causing casualties of 10 dead and 23 wounded. As
result of the damage she received, she was forced to retreat and head back down the river for repairs. Later, she received her limited modernization refit.
HMS
Consort
was paid off in 1957 and placed in reserve. She was eventually sold for scrapping to the Prince of Wales Drydock Co, Swansea, Wales, arriving there on
March 15, 1961.
Atlantic Models release of the HMS Consort kit adds an early post-war modernized ship to its catalog. Based on the decal sheet, the kit could be used to build any
ship in the “Co” class as well as the “Ch” ships and a couple of “Cr” destroyers, though I will admit that I am not certain if anything else needs to be done.
Obviously, some research will be required to model the ship of your choice. The information on the box and instructions state that the model is of
HMS Consort as
she appeared in 1955. Like all
Atlantic Models kits, you get a mix of resin, white metal and photo-etch parts with a complete decal sheet.

The two hull sections are clean semi-hollow castings with very good details. The upper hull has no housings except for some that sit underneath the forward deck at
the break. The upper hull has such items as bitts, capstans, the breakwater and some storage lockers cast into it. The walkways are clearly defined as slightly raised
areas on the deck. Locater pins and openings are present to accommodate the superstructures, funnel, 4.5-inch gun mounts and AA gun platforms. The lower hull is
nicely done with the bilge keels and shaft fairings cast into the part. An opening is provided to attach the rudder.

If you plan to build the model full-hull you will see corresponding pins and holes at the bow and stern and midway on the lower hull you will see tabs to help align the
upper and lower hulls when gluing the two parts together. Before joining the two halves you will have to sand down several bumps where appear to be the resin
equivalent injector pin marks. Some putty will probably be required to fill in the joint.
The larger resin parts include the forward and aft superstructures, bridge, funnel and AA gun platforms. The casting is excellent with a minimal amount of excess
resin needing removal on some of the parts. Watertight doors, lockers and other details are cast into these parts, eliminating the need to apply photoetch parts. The
vent pipe broke off the forward superstructure part, but it can be easily reattached. The single 40mm Bofors platform (resin part 6) will need some modification for
this build. Some sections of the bulwarks will need to be removed to accommodate photo-etch catwalks and the 40mm Bofors mounts. In addition, the searchlight
platform support in the center will also need to be removed.

The smaller resin parts include the 4.5-inch gun mounts, torpedo tubes, twin 40mm Bofors mount, the Mk. 6 director control tower, 27’ whaler, 25’ motor cutter
and 16’ dinghy. The casting is very good with some minor cleanup of excess resin in some spots. The 4.5-inch mounts have resin film blocking the openings in the
housings for the gun barrels.
A common feature of Atlantic Models kits are white metal parts, which include the 4.5-inch gun barrels, rudder, single 40mm Bofors, the twin 40mm Bofors
barrels, 293 radar, parts for the Squid mortars, Carley rafts, propeller shaft “A” frames and the propellers. The white metal parts require a little more cleanup and are
not as refined in my opinion when compared to the small resin parts but they acceptable. White metal is malleable so be careful when handling any of the gun barrels
as they can be easily bent. A replacement turned brass barrel set for the 4.5-inch guns is available separately from
Atlantic Models (ATBAR 35003).

As with all
Peter Hall designs, the photo-etch brass is excellent with beautiful relief etching. The brass includes several lengths of stock and pre-measured railings
including a section for the foc’sle deck with an upsweep curve. Other parts include inclined and vertical ladders, parts for the lattice mast, various radar antennas,
boat davits, boat details, catwalks, shield and Hazemeyer fittings for the twin 40mm Bofors, anchors and chain, funnel cap grill and sirens, Squid motor rail tracks,
Carley float racks, several platform supports and other smaller detail parts.
The decal sheet has the hull and stern pennant number for HMS Consort as well as single digits if you wish to build another ship for which ship names are
provided. Those ship names include all Co ships as well as Ch ships and a pair of Cr ships. Squadron numbers for the funnel are included. The decal sheet also has
bow and stern draft markings and the White Ensign and Union Jack.

A total of eight pages of assembly instructions are provided in the familiar format seen with
Atlantic Models and White Ensign products. The instructions
continue to be among the best out there and provide numerous illustrations to aid in assembling this model. The first page provides a brief history of this ship and an
inventory of the smaller resin and white metal parts. The following page has an inventory and keyed image of the photo-etch fret and some additional assembly
notes. The remaining pages cover the various assemblies and sub-assemblies. The last page has a painting and decaling guide in color for the ship with references to
Colourcoats paints as well as generic colors for some of the smaller details.
The HMS Consort kit is a top notch offering from Atlantic Models that will build into an excellent model of a post-WW2 modernized destroyer. These ships were
a stepping stone to the modern Royal Navy ships that were launched in the late 1950s and 1960s. I am pleased that
Atlantic Models released this kit, but I have to
wonder if perhaps there is an
HMS Cavalier kit is in the future?
Felix Bustelo
New York

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