Oil had many advantages. It lessened the strain on the personnel when steaming at high speeds, when every once of coal had to be shovelled into the furnaces; reduced the numbers of men necessary in the boiler-rooms; and made the task of
refueling much easier. In the older method of ‘coaling ship’ every pound of coal had to be dug out of the hold of a collier, shovelled into bags, and then hoisted on board the ship and tipped down into her bunkers. It was a laborious,
exhausting business, which took much time. In a ship burning oil fuel, however, she merely goes alongside an oiler, connects up a few hoses, and the pumps do the rest.
” Comparison of the Beagles, later G Class, destroyers, the last coal fired
RN design with the
Acorns, later H Class, destroyers, the first oil fired RN destroyer design, printed in Taffrail. (Hard Lying by Peter Smith, Naval Institute Press, 1971, at page 115)

When sail gave way to steam the nomenclature of the types of warships changed. Ships of the line, whose function was to serve as the primary battle platforms of the world’s navies, became ironclads and then battleships. Frigates, sloops and brigs,
whose primary duties were to serve as scouts, messengers and in waters where a ship of the line was not warranted, became cruisers of various types. However some new types of warships evolved based on a specific mission. At the end of the
century the torpedo boat became the rage, especially among the opponents of the Royal Navy. Due to the invention and development of the self-propelled torpedo, lesser navies had the opportunity to build small, cheap warships with the ability to sink
expensive battleships. This type threatened the Royal Navy most of all, whose power rested on the large, expensive battleships.
One of the earliest proponents of the torpedo boat was Alfred Yarrow, who started with fast steam launches and then went to spar torpedo boats before going on to torpedo boats carrying the Whitehead self-propelled torpedo. In 1877 Yarrow was
constructing two torpedo boats for Russia but Russia was at war against Turkey and the British government refused to allow Yarrow to sell the boats to Russia. Instead, the Royal Navy agreed to buy the boats but Yarrow would have to pay a penalty
if the Yarrow boats didn’t reach 18-knots, the same requirement imposed on the first torpedo boat ordered for the Royal Navy from Thorneycroft in 1877, which became the
HMS Lightning. Yarrow agreed to the speed clause as long as he received
a bonus for speeds above 18-knots. Since no one in the Admiralty believed this was possible, they agreed. The London Times reported the results in their coverage of the 1878 Naval Review. “
One of the features of the Review was the performance
of two long double-funnel torpedo-boats, built by Yarrow, which have realized the extraordinary speed of 21 knots. The manner in which these malevolent-looking craft rushed up and down the lines and round the ships was the astonishment of
all beholders.” Malevolent was indeed the adjective to be applied to this new type by the Admiralty. As First Sea Lord, Lord Northbrook stated, “The torpedo would be the most powerful weapon of offence, and would be able to dispose of the
most formidable ships in the service of this or any other country.

What was the answer to this new threat? Secondary guns were put on battleships but there were no fast firing (QF) guns yet developed. Torpedo nets were developed to stop the torpedo or prematurely explode it before it hit the hull of the warship.
However, these nets added weight t the ship and had a huge negative impact on the speed of the ship when they were deployed. However, Sir Nathaniel Barnaby, the Director of Naval Construction, thought he had the answer, the Torpedo Boat
Catcher, as this new type was named. The firm of Laird was contracted to build this new type of vessel, which became
HMS Rattlesnake and was launched in 1886. The Rattlesnake certainly had the armament with one 4inch and six 3-pdr QF guns
and also carried four torpedo tubes on a displacement of 525-tons. However, Barnaby was off in his speed requirements. He stipulated a maximum speed of 18.5-knots, which was too slow for catching the constantly improving torpedo boats. In tests
in April 1887 against British torpedo boats, the
Rattlesnake failed to catch any in any sort of seaway. The new DNC, Sir William White, came up with a new class of Catcher, the Sharp Shooter Class of Catcher with a speed of 21-knots under forced
draught. Displacement rose to 735-tons and armament rose to two 4.7-inch QF guns and five torpedo tubes. This class failed as average trials speed was 19.5-knots. The improved
Rattlesnakes of the Alarm Class of 1890 of the Catcher type were
again flops. These were up to 810-tons but could manage only 19.5-knots, except for one, the
HMS Speedy, which hit 20-knots, as she alone used water tube boilers instead of locomotive boilers. Rather admit error in the use of locomotive boilers,
the Admiralty compounded their error in building a final class of Catchers, the five catchers of the
Dryad Class of 1,070-tons but with only a top speed of 19.7-knots under forced draught. Clearly the Catchers couldn’t catch a cold, much less a
torpedo boat.
In 1892 Alfred Yarrow went to the young 3rd Sea Lord, Rear Admiral John “Jackie” Fisher to report on what the French were developing. Torpedo boats of up to 26-knots, while the German yards were achieving 27-knots. The threat was real.
France had 220 torpedo boats, while Russia had 152 boats and Germany 143. Yarrow said he had the answer to the torpedo boat, unlike the failed Catcher type. In June 1892 the Admiralty contracted with Yarrow for two boats of the new type. They
were much smaller but much faster than the Catchers, so what should be called? “
Fisher asked Yarrow what they should be called. ‘That’s your job,’ replied Yarrow. ‘Well,’ said Fisher, ‘we’ll call them Destroyers as they’re meant to destroy the
French boats’, and their original name of Torpedo-Boat Destroyer’- TBD - was in due course abbreviated to ‘Destroyer’ and has so remained.
” (Hard Lying, by Peter Smith, Naval Institute Press 1971 at page 21)

There were six prototype destroyers ordered, two each from three specialized firms. The Admiralty wanted boats able to achieve 27-knots but initially 26-knots was acceptable without a penalty and armament able to destroy foreign torpedo boats.
They didn’t even try to build to these specifications from Royal dockyards, as it was considered that they couldn’t even come close to meeting the requirements. Yarrow of London was first off the mark with the
Havock and Hornet, which became
the world’s first destroyers.
Havock was launched in October 1893 and underwent trials on October 28, 1893. With a displacement of 240-tons and length of 180-feet, Havock was one fourth the displacement of the later Catchers. Yarrow gave her a
turtle-back forecastle and armament was one 12-pdr and two 6-pdr guns and three torpedo tubes. Her mean speed on trials was 26.7-knots with two locomotive boilers. The
Hornet used eight water tube boilers and had four funnels because of the
additional boilers and on March 19. 1894 averaged 27.6-knots over three hours to become the fastest ship in the world. Thorneycroft of Chiswick on the Thames built the
Daring and Decoy, which were slightly larger than the Yarrow boats and were
launched in August 1894. As with
Hornet, this pair used water tube boilers. Daring hit a mean speed of 28.65-knots, while Decoy hit 27.64-knots without forcing the engines. The two Laird Brothers boats were built at Birkenhead and at 195-feet in
length and 280-tons displacement were the largest of the six prototypes.
Ferret was launched in December 1893 and Lynx followed in January 1894. Their machinery spaces were arranged differently with engine rooms between two boiler rooms.
Normand boilers were used to compare them with the Yarrow and Thorneycroft boilers.
Ferret hit 28.25-knots and Lynx 27-knots. All of the prototypes were fine tuned for the trials and ran light, without armament. They did not achieve 27-knots in
active service. Nonetheless, these six were called 26 knotters.
The Admiralty was so pleased with the results produced by Yarrow, Thorneycroft and Laird that over the next two years fourteen firms were awarded contracts. Yarrow discovered that each of the other firms had copies of the Yarrow plans and put
out a reward to discover the culprit who had stolen and sold the Yarrow plans to her competitors. The Admiralty was the culprit and eventually gave Yarrow credit but not compensation. After the initial six prototypes the
27-Knot Class boats were
ordered with 36 boats coming from 14 different firms. Size, weight and appearance varied from boat to boat as their only commonality was their 27-knot speed. Later, on August 30, 1912, all of the destroyers were placed in a letter class. The
was renamed the A Class Destroyers. Because the boats were so cramped the officers and crewmen were much closer to each other than on the cruisers and battleships of the fleet. The Admiralty recognized that serving on a destroyer was
uncomfortable and crewmen were paid extra “
Hard Lying” money. As completed the A Class was painted in Victorian livery of a black hull and white upper works. The coal fired A Class would soon cast soot all over the decks and minimal
superstructure aft of the funnels.

As the Estimates for the 1894-1895 program were being worked up, it was decided to have a new class of destroyers constructed with higher speed than the
27-Knot Class. No less than 30-knots was desired, so the next, huge class of destroyers,
were initially called the
Thirty Knot Class. In 1912, when the 27-Knot Class became the A Class, the Thirty Knot Class were assigned to three different classes. Those with four funnels became the B Class, those with three funnels the C Class and
those with two funnels the
D Class. On August 14, 1894 the DNC invited Yarrow, Thorneycroft and Laird to submit designs in three months. Main characteristics were a top speed of 30-knots, a displacement of between 280 to 300-tons with a 30-ton
load, bunker capacity of 80-tons compared to 60-tons of the 27-knotters and crew of 60 compared to the 50 of the 27-knotters. After discussions about a mixed armament of 12-pdr, 6-pdr and machine guns, it was decided to use the same armament
as the
27 Knot Class. All three firms came back with designs exceeding 300-tons and were turned down. They were asked to resubmit but with a 300-ton limit. This was done and eight boats were ordered, four from Thorneycroft and four from Laird.
This limit was later removed. Yarrow was not awarded a contract because of their higher price. The 1895-1896 program had orders for 21 with the 1896 to 1897 orders for 16 more. There was a cutback to six in the 1897 to 1898 program but in 1899
the last of the class were ordered for nine and eight additional purchases, three larger specials and three prototypes with turbine machinery. The
30-Knot Class had the turtleback forecastle, as did the 27-Knot Class before them.
Most of the 30-knotters used locomotive boilers to develop steam but Thornycroft wished to use three of their own design Thorneycroft water tube boilers in their design. Vickers, Fairfield, Hawthorn Leslie and Earle’s also used Thornycroft boilers in
their 30-knotter designs. They were larger than the locomotive boilers and because they allowed trunking, the design had two funnels. At first there was resistance because the large boilers were thought to limit space for coal bunkers. In April 1895
eight destroyers were ordered, four from Laird and four from Thornycroft. The Thornycroft design was 213-feet in length with a displacement of 272-tons. The Thornycroft design had its two funnels but also used twin rudders, which was very
much liked in service. The rudders allowed protection against propeller damage and were very handy in going astern. There were complaints about the Thorneycroft design. Accommodation was considered indifferent and Commander Mark Kerr said
the bow design was the worst of the 30-knotter designs because it threw up so much water over the bridge. In bad weather the Thornycroft destroyers were always the first to reduce speed because the amount of water coming over the bow
threatened to wash away railings, screens and bridge personnel. Kerr also considered the Thornycroft cutaway sterns, which enhanced maneuverability, made the difficult to steer in a following seaway. In 1912 the two funnel 30-knotters were
designated the
D Class. The first six Thorneycroft ships had a cutaway stern but the last four had a standard stern with the rudder showing above water (Fame, Foam, Mallard and Stag). The D Class also used high tensile steel allowing thinner
plating to save weight. The platting was very thin. The hull was always very vulnerable to damage in heavy weather or scrapes against other ships.

All of the early classes of destroyers had turtleback forecastles. This was fine for operations in coastal waters but posed a significant disadvantage in the open seas. The turtleback sloped upward from the cutwater to the navigation position. If the boat
was taking water over the bow, the slope of the turtleback forecastle would force the water to the conning tower/navigation position, which acted as a break water. Because of this the boats were very wet and navigation, as well as speed were
problematic in any type of seaway. In December 1900 Jackie Fisher indirectly became involved in the development of the British destroyer. Fisher’s senior destroyer officer, Commander John de Robeck, with Fisher’s endorsement wrote the Admiralty
that a new destroyer design was needed. The result was a new design called the
River Class and after 1912 designated as the E Class. The River Class was a huge departure from the earlier turtlebacks. It was deliberatly designed to be slower than the
30-knotters, with a maximum designed speed of only 26 knots. What de Robeck wanted was far greater endurance and better sea-keeping. The new design had another deck forward with a raised forecastle. The deck break to the lower main deck was
at the forward superstructure. This created the pattern of British destroyer that was utilized into World War One. The
River Class had almost twice the range of the 30-knotters and the raised forecastle made the ships drier and far better able to
maintain speed in a seaway. The DNC was more concerned with the cost of such a new design. They would have to be larger and costlier. However, as winter turned to spring in 1901 RN destroyer commanders spoke up and sided with de Robeck.
Admiral Hotham, Commander Portsmouth joined in for a new destroyer design. In July 1901 the DNC started with sketches to the new design to determine the feasibility of the design for orders in 1902. The Controller approved the design in October
but wanted the hulls to have greater structural strength. To do this a half a knot of speed was sacrificed and the class picked up another name, the 25 and a half knotters.
Admiral Fisher became First Sea Lord in October 1904. The turtlebacks had displaced around 350-tons, while the Rivers jumped to around 550-tons. Fisher wanted large fast destroyers of around 900-tons. The big jump in displacement was for more
powerful machinery and therefore a significant jump in speed. Fisher wanted 36-knots. In January 1905 the Navy Board approved one of Fisher’s 36-knotters, which became
HMS Swift, and a high low mix of other destroyers. The high part became
Tribal Class and the low part became the Cricket Class.  Fisher’s HMS Swift made 35.037-knots on trials in March 1909. These big fast destroyers would go well with his battlecruisers. The Tribals were to have a 33-knot designed speed and
were to carry three 12-pounders. Originally called the
Mohawk Class but in 1912 became the F Class. They were almost a collection of samples as each one differed from the others in the class because the builders could exercise their whim in each
builder’s design.  In a retrograde step the low end of the mix were thought of coastal destroyers with a displacement of around 250-tons, speed of 26-knots, and were to carry two 12-pounders and three 18-inch torpedo tubes. They were called the
Insect Class because each was named after an insect. By October 1906 it was clear that to call these small ships destroyers was a farce and they were re-rated as torpedo boats and assigned numbers to replace their names. However, these small
destroyers/ first class torpedo boats were popular with young officers and they were nicknamed the Oily Wads.

By June 1907 the Admiralty had shifted its gaze towards Germany’s High Seas Fleet. The Royal Navy didn’t need destroyers good for coastal work only. They needed ships capable of realistically operating on the far side of the North Sea against
Germany ports. Seakeeping and endurance were critical and had to be better than the most recent German destroyers (which the class failed to do). Sixteen of the design were to be purchased in the 1908-1909 Programme with another 24 for the
1909-1910 Programme. Initially an improved
River Class was examined, carrying five 12-pounders and two torpedo tubes. With previous destroyer designs, the different ship-builders could to a large extent customize their designs to suit there
building practice. With this new design, the Admiralty standardized the design, allowing the builders little wiggle room from the standard Admiralty design. Allowing the builders free rein had proved to be a problem with the
Tribals, as each ship
handled differently causing navigation problems when operating together as a flotilla. To save costs coal was chosen over oil in spite that it was far less efficient than oil. In July a final design was approved of 850-tons, carrying five 12-pounders and
two torpedo tubes. For the first time the position for the two forward 12-pounders, which were to be side by side was on a raised deck on the forward superstructure, higher than the forecastle. This made for a much drier position with excellent
observation. This superb feature was dropped with subsequent classes and not reappearing until the late War
V Class design. Another design factor which made the ships drier than previous designs was the decision to add an outward flare to the
bow, which would force water outwards. During construction a single 4-inch gun was substituted for the two forward 12-pounders on the raised deck. The torpedo tubes were short 21-inch mounts. This is the first British destroyer design to mount
21-inch torpedoes and the last design to be coal fired. The standard design had five Yarrow boilers in three boiler rooms, feeding steam to three Parsons turbines. The forward round funnel was smaller than the other two, which were slab sided,
because it was needed for only one of the boilers. Eight of the ships, from five different builders, were built with this arrangement. However, with Admiralty permission, three firms built eight of the ships with all three round funnels of the same
dimensions. The initial ship was to be
HMS Beagle and the class became the Beagle Class and in 1912 the G Class. They were also the first class of destroyers with stockless anchors. The rear torpedo tube was poorly placed on centerline at the end
of the quarterdeck. During World War One some of the ships received a 3-inch high angle gun replacing this aft torpedo tube. The size and design of the
Beagle Class made them more roomy and comfortable than previous designs. The complement
was 104 and the ships were equipped with two whalers, two gigs, a dinghy, and 24 lifebuoys, as well as a lifebelt for every member of the crew.
For the 1909-1910 Programme the Director of Naval Construction had complete design authorization. For that year’s destroyer class he would stipulate the hull form but let builders determine the machinery layout, as long as the stipulated
performance requirements were met. Invitations to submit tenders were sent to the builders on August 21, 1908. Provisional acceptances were sent out on October 10 and confirmation letters followed on November 14. The Admiralty kept dickering
about the price of the new ships and initially no contracts were made. Admiral Jellicoe, the new Controller, knew that construction money would be tight that year and on October 22 he issued a memorandum that because Parliament was had a tight
fist on the money bags, he wanted unit costs at 80,000 pounds sterling or less. He would accept a lower top speed if it was at least 26-knots. Builders could use reciprocating engines or turbines. They could burn coal or oil. Armament had to be at
least three 12pdr guns, later changed to 4-inch guns. By March 1909 reciprocating engines and coal as fuel had been dropped as options. By April Jellicoe changed the armament scheme to two 4-inch guns with the forward gun on a raised pedestal
as in the
Beagle (G Class). Two 12 pdr guns were to be in waist positions. Longer 21-inch torpedoes were required in the two single torpedo mounts and maximum top speed was increased to 27-knots. Costs continued to dominate the discussion.
Although Jellicoe raised the maximum price to 88,000 pounds sterling, the final design came in at 82,000 pounds sterling per ship, although actual costs were higher. The design that was produced was significantly smaller than the preceding
G Class) but packed a more powerful armament on the smaller ship. Final plans were for two 4-inch guns as opposed to one 4-inch in Beagle, two 12 pdrs and two single long 21-inch single torpedo tubes. With a 748-ton displacement and a plant
developing 13,500 horsepower the design could achieve 27-knots. Boiler rooms were dropped from three to two and four boilers were provided. The two middle boilers used a trunked funnel, which would be the second funnel with smaller 1st and
3rd funnels. The initial design had short funnels of equal height for all three. The final design was approved on July 30, 1909. With this design displacement rose to 772-tons but the range increased from 1900nm to 2250nm. The pitiful Berthons were
ditched and each ship’s boat had their own davits. The
Acorn Class (after 1912 H Class) would carry two 25-foot whalers and one 13.5-foot dinghy. Complement was 72, which was 30 less than the Beagles because a large number of stokers was
no longer required with the switch to oil.

The design was called the
Acorn Class, later the H Class after 1912. Eight firms were awarded contracts. Twenty Acorn Class destroyers were ordered and all except one had three propellers.  The HMS Brisk was powered by Brown-Curtis turbines
and had two propellers. John Brown, the builder would only use their own turbines but they promised better performance and the Admiralty sprung for the additional 3,000 pounds sterling to try them out. All of the rest used Parsons turbines. All
used Yarrow boilers, except
Redpole, Rifleman and Ruby, built by J.C. White, which used their own White-Forster boilers. All in the class easily achieved the 27-knot required speed at trials. The forward funnel of the ships had their height raised
increased by six feet to reduce smoke interfering with bridge operations. “
Oscar Parkes recorded that, with the tall thin round funnel and the two broad oval ones, they were known in the service as ‘the Woodbine and two Gyppie boats,”(Hard
by Peter Smith, Naval Institute Press, 1971, at page 114) The bow had an increased flare over the Beagles, which reduced the water over the bow and made them better sea boats. The Acorn Class marked a break in propulsion from the
previous British destroyers in that all were fired by oil, leaving the
Beagles the last coal fired Royal Navy destroyers. This change alone saved 170-tons allowing the Acorns to carry the heavier armament. As the Acorns came into service they were
assigned to the 2nd Flotilla serving in home waters. In June 1911 nine of the class received some hull damage during steaming at full power in a strong storm of Force 4 or 5 in a test of their handling in severe weather. In the test the
Beagles had no
damage. “
Captain (D) considered that the Beagles pitched more than the Acorns and took in a great deal more water over the fo’c’s’le as they plunged into the swell. The Acorns appeared to fling themselves out of the water as far aft as the
bridge and then come down heavily on sea, not into it. The C.O. of Redpole stated that the sea was short and choppy on top of the swell ‘no green seas came aboard simply going along in a smother of spray’. He intended to ease down if any
signs of anything carrying away ‘when I found none were threatening...I said to myself ‘what a splendid ship and how far superior to any destroyer I have been in before for her seakeeping qualities’ .. The only slight annoyance when she
came down with a big jump the bridge compass had the unpleasant habit of turning upside down and jamming itself’. The first he knew any damage had been done to the hull was during the night when water in the oil fuel made it
impossible to burn.
” (British Destroyers by Edgar J. March, Seeley Service & Co. 1966, at page 114) On HMS Hope the C.O. reported, “...a rapid hogging and sagging motion was visible when looking aft from the bridge, continuing for some
seconds and making a constant vibration in the steam pipes.
” (British Destroyers by Edgar J. March, Seeley Service & Co. 1966, at page 114 ) There were concerns about their hull strength but the final conclusion was that the ships were
pushed too hard in extremely bad weather. However, hull stiffening was done to all the damaged ships, as well as the undamaged ones during their refits. From 1911 to 1913 the
Acorn Class carried red funnel bands to distinguish one from the other.
After World War One began the
Acorns served with the Grand Fleet until 1915 when they were sent to the Mediterranean. In August 1916 the Admiralty established a general policy of adding high angle anti-aircraft guns to the destroyers. For the H
and I Class, which were repeat Acorns, each ship would receive a Vickers 3 pdr HA gun. The Minstrel and Nemesis were loaned to Japan in September 1917 to escort Japanese convoys and were returned in 1919. In Japanese service they
Sendan and Kanran. Three of the class were lost during the war. While still with the Grand Fleet the HMS Goldfinch ran aground in the fog on Sandy Island in the Orkney Islands during the night of February 18-19, 1915. The other twos
were sunk by U-boats in the Mediterranean,
HMS Staunch was sunk off Gaza on November 11, 1917 and HMS Comet was sunk on August 6, 1918. The Acorns were the last British destroyers fitted with hand steering positions.
The contract for HMS Larne was awarded to the established specialist builder of Thorneycroft. HMS Larne was laid down on December 8, 1909 and launched on August 23, 1910. HMS Larne achieved 28.723-knots of 14,900 horsepower on
trials. Completion occurred in November 1911. She was 246-feet long overall and 240-feet between perpendicular bulkheads. The beam was 25-feet 4-inches with a depth of 15-feet 6-inches. Displacement was 755-tons. Armament was two
centerline 4-inch/40 Mk. VIII guns, two 12 pdr QF guns and two 21-inch (533mm) single new long torpedo tubes. In 1914
Larne was assigned the pendant number of H.57, which was changed to H.50 in January 1918 and H.69 in 1919. All of the
class, except for
Minstrel, were sold in mass to Wards in 1921. HMS Hope and HMS Martin were sold the year before in Malta. HMS Larne was sold for scrap in May 1921. Bulk of history is from: Hard Lying by Peter Smith, Naval Institute
Press, 1971:
British Destroyers by Edgar J. March, Seeley Service & Co. 1966; British Destroyers, From Earliest Days to the Second World War by Norman Friedman, Naval Institute Press 2009; The British Destroyer by T. D. Manning,
Putnam & Company, London, 1961;

The Combrig 1:700 Scale HMS Larne, H Class Destroyer - As with the earlier Combrig turtleback kits, the Combrig HMS Larne is a fairly small kit with not many additional parts. In fact the it will take far more time to attach the significant
number of brass parts to the model than it will take to assemble all of the resin parts. The quality of the casting is excellent. There were no voids of any type, even on the bottom of the hull. The only clean up will be light sanding along the waterline.
The hull lines make it clear that the
Acorn Class was the continuation of the evolution of the fleet destroyer that was developed for the Royal Navy into World War One. The hull side detail clearly reflect the flare to the forecastle, which did much to
contribute to the dryness of this class. The
Larne doesn’t have the raised 01 deck on which the forward 4-inch gun was located that is found in the Beagle Class. Bow side detail includes small hull anchor hawse fittings and two rows of portholes.
A single row of portholes resumes about midship and carries to the stern.

For a small destroyer there are plenty of deck details. The decks were metal, so there are no wooden plank lines. The short forecastle starts with two small, but very nicely done anchor hawse with oval collar fittings. At deck edge are crisp open
chocks and twin bollard fittings. The arrangement is different from the
Beagle with more locater holes and a ready ammunition locker for the forward 4-inch gun. Chain locker entrance fittings are also present. Finally there are locater holes for
mushroom ventilators and anchor windlasses. Curved solid bulkheads lead from the 01 level to the main deck, Right behind the deck break are twin bollards and the bases for the waist 12 pdr guns. Behind the deck break is a low superstructure
coaming that runs to just forward of the aft torpedo tube. This level has locater wells for the three funnels, locater wells and holes for large and small ventilators, and numerous ventilation fittings, at the end of which is the turntable for the first
torpedo tube. Towards the deck edge are small deck houses and locater positions for torpedo tube davits. On the quarterdeck are the aft torpedo tube turn table, mushroom ventilators, well for the aft 4-inch gun, ammunition lockers,  skylights,
curved deck access fitting, open chocks, twin bollards. Numerous locater holes are for small cowled ventilators, as well as the short pole main mast.
Surprisingly, for a small pre-WWI destroyer, there are five runners of smaller resin parts. All of the runners have the kit number of 70633 on them but clearly there are extra parts on some of the runners. One runner has all three funnels, four large
cowl ventilators, two searchlight tubs, and what looks like torpedo tube reload canisters. The funnels have nice bottom and top aprons but the funnel openings are rather shallow. The bridge is a single part on a runner. The bridge face has what
looks like mattress patterns, as mattresses were used to provide extra protection during the war. In the bridge deck is a raised position for navigation equipment parts, a chart table on the port interior face, and a base for a searchlight tub. The
armament is all on one runner and appears to be the same runner used for the
Combrig Beagle kit. Included are four 4-inch guns (although only two are required), three 12-pounders and two single 21-inch torpedo tubes. Although the Beagle used a
short 21-inch torpedo and Larne used long 21-inch torpedoes, I couldn’t see any difference on the frets. Detail on all of the armament is quite good. One runner has the search lights, navigation equipment, numerous cable reels, numerous small
mushroom ventilators, anchors and smaller fittings. The last runner has the three boats allowed to the destroyer, two small whalers, and a dinghy. It also two patterns of small cowled ventilators.

Combrig HMS Larne has a rather large brass photo-etch fret that was also used in their HMS Beagle G Class destroyer kit, The presence of numerous variations of funnel grates make it clear that the fret is also used for other Combrig kits.
Eight grates are included of six different designs. Ten boat davits are on the fret. Other brass parts are first funnel siren steam-pipe, flag staffs, staff brace, galley funnel, ship’s wheels, 4-inch gun top brace, semaphore, 12-pounder sponson, inclined
ladders, vertical ladders, and side bulkhead extensions. There is a one page, double sided instruction set. Page one has the plan and profile of the Beagle. This will be helpful in locating positions of same parts and also provides the rigging scheme.
Also on the page are the parts laydown for resin and brass parts. Page two is the actual assembly. This has two drawings of the hull showing initial and final assembly. There are three smaller inset drawings. One is for the bridge, one is for the
searchlight tub and the other is for the 4-inch gun. Masts, spars, yards and most steam pipes will need to be cut from rod, so page two has templates for these parts.
Don’t worry, you won’t be a cheapskate with the Acorn Class (H Class after 1912) HMS Larne in 1:700 scale from Combrig. Admiral Jellicoe, the Admiralty’s Controller, pinched pennies to come up with this class but because fuel oil was
adopted for the first time in Royal Navy destroyers, the
Acorns were smaller than their predecessors but were faster and significantly more powerful. A mighty oak from a small Acorn grows and you can say that about your collection of WWI  
British destroyers with the
Combrig Acorn Class, HMS Larne.

Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama