In 1982 the Royal Navy decided to expand its presence in Asian waters. The lack of any naval presence in the South Atlantic had been an important factor in the decision of the junta of Argentina to snatch the Falkland Islands earlier that year. The expensive
losses to the Royal Navy in money, men and material, might have been avoided if there had been some presence, rather than recalling the
HMS Endurance to save money. One way new construction could be funded was with an arrangement with one of the
few remaining colonies of Great Britain, the Crown Colony of Hong Kong.

Prior to World War One the Royal Navy had done something similar by getting some members of the Commonwealth to fund warships for the Royal Navy, such as the battle cruisers
Australia and New Zealand or the battleship Malaya. Hong Kong needed a
naval presence as the People’s Republic of China was insisting on the colony’s return to China. As one of the major ports in Asia, Hong Kong had a need for patrol vessels. Hong Kong agreed to 25% of the costs of building a new class of five patrol vessels.
They would be part of the Royal Navy but operate out of Hong Kong. The class was named after the first vessel laid down,
HMS Peacock.
Hall, Russell and Company was chosen as the builder. During World War Two they had built Flower Class Corvettes and River Class frigates. All five ships, which were classed as Patrol Corvettes, went into service between 1983 and 1984. They had
multiple roles from being a Royal Navy presence in Asian waters to Search and Rescue, and training in Seamanship, Gunnery and Navigation. They also worked with the Hong Kong Police to enforce the excise tax and catch smugglers in the role of the old
revenue cutter. A side light of these duties was to look for smuggled narcotics and illegal immigrants. Purposely built to serve in tropical Asian waters, the crew quarters were air-conditioned. The five ships were
HMS Peacock P239, HMS Plover P240, HMS
Starling
P241, HMS Swallow P242 and HMS Swift P243. Peacock was laid down and launched  in 1982 and commissioned on December 1, 1982.

Their length was. 205.4 feet (62.6m), beam of 32.8 feet (10m) and draught of 8.9 feet (2.7m). Displacement was 763 tons full load. The prime armament was a 76mm Oto-Melara dual purpose automatic cannon with a range of 10 miles. The gun was remotely
controlled from the CIC. The automatic cannon had a tremendous rate of fire of 80 rounds in 60 seconds on fully automatic but at that rate would exhaust her magazine of 450 rounds in a matter of minutes. Secondary armament was four 7.62mm machine guns
and the ships were also equipped with a ten man Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) and two Avon Searaider 5.4m 30-knot boats for their various duties.
Propulsion came in the form of two APE-Crossly SEMT Pielstick 18 PA6 V280 diesel engines. The engines developed 14,188 hp turning twin screws for a maximum speed of 25-knots. Range was 2,500 nm (4,600 km) at 16-knots. Additional propulsion came
in the form of a drop down Schottel S1D3 LSVEST shrouded propeller used for loitering and maintaining station while stopped or at low speed. It was decided that five ships were too many and the two newest ships were sold to the Republic of Ireland in 1988.
Swallow became LE Ciara P42 and was commissioned into Irish service on January 16, 1989 and Swift became LE Orla P41. The current status can be seen in the Irish Defenses web-site (http://www.military.ie/naval-service/fleet).

In 1997, when the United Kingdom ceded Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China, the
raison d’etre for the Peacock class ceased to exist. The British government could have transferred the ships to another station but instead decided to sell them to save
money. The last three ships were decommissioned from Royal Navy service on August 1, 1997. They were sold to the Philippines and were commissioned into the Philippine Navy on August 4, 1997.
Peacock became BRP Emilio Jacinto PS-35, Plover
became
BRP Apolinario Mabini PS-36 and Starling became BRP Artemio Ricarte PS-37, where they are known as the Jacinto Class. Given the hundreds of islands, which for the Philippines, the ships are well suited for service in Philippine waters.
They are still in service with the Philippine Navy.
In the saloons of the Chinese Coast, in the waters of the South China Sea, mariners whisper about a legendary, mythical apparition, occasionally seen on foggy nights. The whispers talk about sightings of Peg-legged Pirate Pete of the South China Sea.
Always in search of booty, of one form or another, there are various descriptions of
Pirate Pete that vary from one event to another. Sometimes with a black patch over the right eye, sometimes the patch is over the left eye and even occasionally with a patches
over both eyes but no one has figured how that works.  There are clues available to those who see, as to the identity of
Pirate Pete. From time to time the Dungeon Master of White Ensign Models permits Mad Pete an exercise period, letting him have a
break from his normal task of producing new brass photo-etch sets for
WEM.

Well, apparently they have allowed him too much time.
Mad Pete has snuck off and created his own company. That’s right, Peter Hall, AKA Mad Pete, is the sole proprietor of Atlantic Models. Atlantic Models dares to go beyond the fringe, beyond the
horizon to undiscovered countries in naval modeling. Subjects for
Mad Pete in his own Atlantic Models are too radical and unusual for the more conservative White Ensign Models. To the point is this model, the HMS Peacock, patrol ship. At first glance it
may appear that producing a kit of a class of vessels that were conceived to show the flag in Hong Kong, to operate with the Hong Kong police, to enforce excise duties and catch smugglers may appear to be very esoteric. But there is reason to this madness.
Think of the options available to the modeler in building this kit and the dioramas available. This is not just for dioramas of the ships catching smugglers in Hong Kong waters but also for littoral patrol in Philippine waters. Furthermore, where else can you find
any model in any scale of a ship in the Irish Navy. You don’t have to be a redhead to see the options there.
The Atlantic Models is a multi-media kit with resin and white metal components with an extensive brass photo-etch fret. Not surprisingly the resin casting appears to be from the same producer as resin the castings in White Ensign Models kits. Although a
small kit in 1:350 scale,
Atlantic Models still gives the modeler the option to build a waterline or full hull version of the kit. A lot of detail has been integrated as part of the hull casting, such as the anchors. Cast on deck detail includes bollards with deck
plates, life saver canisters, a bow deck house and breakwaters, ventilators and windlass. The bilge keels cast as part of the lower hull are a bit thick but this in turn prevents damage in shipping. For a seamless mate between the upper and lower hull, both hull
parts will have to be smoothed where they mate. Two additional resin parts are parts for the superstructure and bridge. Detail on these parts is very good with stack detail, square widows and superstructure deck fittings. Bridge windows are outlined. Minor
cleanup will be needed to remove a small amount of resin flash from the superstructure castings.
Ten white metal parts are include for the weapons and equipment, including gun mount, boats, derricks, propulsion struts mast, windlass and director. As with almost all white metal parts they require cleanup to clean. Quality is serviceable
but spun white metal parts can never attain the level of fineness as that of cast resin parts. Now we come to the signature item of Mad Pete, AKA Pirate Pete, brass photo-etch. After fret after fret of intricate brass detail for
White Ensign
Models
brass frets, did you think that Mad Pete would short sheet his own Atlantic Models? Of course not you swab. Everything is there, lattice masts, yards, doors, curved railing, name plates, Hong Kong Squadron funnel badges,
cable/hose reels, platforms, buoys, signal lamps, racks, propellers, boat tackle, rudders, detail parts for director, boats …. Oh well, you get the picture. It is not just the quantity of the brass parts. The brass fret is of first line quality with a
heavy use of relief-etching. Instructions also follow the
White Ensign Models template, i.e., superb. Everything is presented in a modular format with text and drawings. It is clear, concise and easy to follow. It starts on page one with a
parts laydown in which each resin, white metal and brass part is identified by picture and text. Page two has modules for assembly of superstructure, superstructure fittings, masts and gun director. Page three has modules for boats, boat
crane, bridge, running gear and aft deck fittings. The last page has a fill color plan and profile and painting instructions.
If you are looking for the exotic and the unusual, whether for the Hong Kong Squadron, Irish Armada or the Philippine Navy, the Atlantic Models 1:350 scale HMS Peacock from Pirate Pete, is the kit for you. Top quality parts
combined with outstanding instructions, make this kit a winning combination.

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