|Several years ago Combrig has released a 1:700 scale model of Huascar. At the time I emailed Combrig asking if a 1:350 scale kit was being considered. The reply
was that there were no plans to do so. Now several years, my wish came true. Out of the box, you can build Huascar as she appeared in her final battle against the
Chilean ships after her tripod foremast was landed. However, you can also backdate her a bit and add the foremast. The kit is comprised of resin and photo-etch
parts. The model comes as a two-part hull giving you the option of either a waterline or full hull model. The upper hull casting is overall well done with a good
amount of detail: skylights, deck comings for the access ways below deck and coaling scuttles. There are recesses to fit the turret, funnel and octagonal conning
tower. Missing are chocks and mooring bitts but based on photos I have seen of the ship in her restored state I didn’t see evidence of any. The deck has wood
planking, however there are no butt ends. There are some smaller locater holes to accommodate vents, capstan and the masts. There is one major issue with the hull.
There is a gun port at the stern of the ship which is not present in the kit. The kit instructions show that a cannon is to be placed aft under the upper deck but it
essentially points to a bulkhead. To correct the omission, the modeler with have to cut away at a lot of resin to open this area up and then drill and shape an opening
at the stern. This is a fairly serious oversight in my opinion. The lower hull is good and captures the ram bow shape. If you decide to join the two hull sections for a
full-hull model, some filler will probably be needed to hide the joint. A thin resin casting wafer contains the stern deck, the bridge deck and two mast platforms. The
second platform can be used if you add the tripod foremast. Again the wood planking lacks butt ends.
The next largest parts are the prominent Cole’s turret, the funnel and the conning tower. The latter are on casting runners. The bottom of the turret has some excess
resin that will need to be removed so that it can sit flush with the deck. A total of five boats are provided. Each boat has cast in thwarts and bottom planking detail
but lack rudders. The smaller resin parts include the cannon barrels and separate carriages (you get parts for five cannons when you only need three), the propeller,
rudder, and rudder skeg, cowl and pipe vents, 10-inch gun barrels, capstan, anchors, belaying pin rails, bridge fittings and boat davits. Also included are a pair small
caliber deck guns which are not referenced in the instructions. The parts are generally very well cast, need little, if any, clean-up and must be carefully removed from
the casting runners. The davits are flimsy and some are a little warped. These should have been done in photo-etch brass; while they would be flat and two-
dimensional they would be sturdier. Making your own with brass wire will be tedious. A small photo-etch brass fret, produced by North Star Models, is provided
which contains ship specific parts. The modeler will have to use after-market photo-etch railing. There are part numbers etched into the fret but they are not
referenced in the instructions. The parts include the 24 collapsible bulkheads and support braces that line the edge of the deck. Other parts include ratlines for the
main mast, inclined ladders, accommodation ladders, anchor chain and the twin helms. The etch is fine and delicate with some relief-etching.
The instructions come on three pages and are in the common Combrig format. The first page has a small plan and profile drawings of Huascar in full sailing rig as
delivered to Peru. The ship’s history and specifications are written in English. Page two has the standard resin parts layout and an image of the photo-etch fret. This
leaves only one page with assembly diagrams. There is a general assembly diagram supplemented with smaller insets which focus on certain sub-assemblies. One
inset provides the metric dimensions for cutting the masts and yards for the main mast. If you wish to add the forward tripod mast you can refer to the drawing on
the first page or other references. Unfortunately there is no final illustration of the fully assembled model and the placement of the different types of boats is omitted.
The instructions were printed double-sided so this left a blank fourth page which could have easily accommodated a final view.