|The Aurora Kit: This kit features Aurora as she appeared in 1945 with all her war time modifications in place. Packaging: The kit comes in a well-constructed
box featuring a painting of HMS Aurora entering Malta wearing an Admiralty Standard camouflage scheme. Inside the main box can be found 2 smaller see-through
boxes; one containing the two sprues for the masts and the other the main superstructure pieces. The other sprues are individually sealed in plastic bags. There is
also a large full colour glossy card featuring the box art on one side and a ships history with general characteristics on the reverse. The kit comprises 332 parts on 28
sprues with a further 81 photo-etch pieces.
Hull: The one piece hull scales out perfectly to the actual length of 506 feet. A lower hull and a waterline base plate are supplied giving the modeller the option to
build either a full hull or a waterline version. There are no stands included so those wishing to build the full hull version will need to plan ahead for an arrangement to
display the completed model. The lower hull itself has finely molded bilge keels and the lower half of the armour belt. Rudder, propellers, and shafts are included as
separate pieces. It has raised locating points enabling an accurate fit to the upper hull. The pronounced bow knuckle is in the correct position, starting just under the
anchor hawse pipe and terminating just aft of B barbette. It is a perfect rendition of this distinctive feature, following the contour of the upper deck, curving slightly
upwards under the anchor hawse. There are also raised strakes capturing the line of hull plating from the bow back to the armour belt amidships and from the
armour belt aft to the stern. It is slightly exaggerated in this scale and could be sanded down to be less conspicuous, but I find it so delicately executed that it would
be a shame to remove it. The armour belt itself is exactly correct for dimensions and hull placement. The portholes all feature eyebrows and the anchor hawse pipe
is very clearly defined. The hull also features bollards, fairleads, and ladder rungs. A weight is included to give the completed hull some heft.
Decks: The main decks are in two pieces: the foredeck back to the focsle break, and the much longer after deck. Both feature amazing levels of detail with
individual deck planks, bollards, capstans, boat chocks, anchor chains, hatches and raised edges for fitting the superstructure parts. The main deck forward features
a raised non-skid pattern. The breakwater itself is a separate piece. Both deck pieces drop right into place on the main hull in an impressive display of precision fit.
Superstructure: The seven main superstructure parts are in a separate box and are all individual pieces that do not require cutting from sprues, a great feature
which will prevent any damage from sprue cutters and the like. They all feature immense detail on every face: hatches, handrails, deck fittings, slots for fitting other
pieces. The bridge has a separate air deflector; 22 pieces go on the top deck which also features a raised wooden grating. This is quite amazing when it is
considered that the piece is only 12mm x 19mm (3/8 x 1/2) in size! The rest of the superstructure parts are attached to sprues. The funnels are single pieces with
engraved lines, open tops, and steam pipes. The fore funnel was taller than the after one, and the after one was cut down during the war as a weight saving
measure. This is reflected in the kit as there are 3 funnels supplied, it can be assumed that a future release will make use of the taller after funnel.
Weapons: The 6 gun turrets feature plenty of detail on all four sides and the top including rivets and the doors between the gun barrels used when the turret was in
local control. They are in two pieces with separate gun barrels. An extra turret base and 2 gun barrels are included. Each twin 4 gun is composed of three pieces,
with plenty of detail on the sides and top of the shields as well. The quad pompoms consist of 3 pieces and have plenty of detail on the actual gun platform. The
single 20mm guns are mounts are extraordinary, with gun sights and very fine barrels. The twin 20mm are in two pieces, barrels and the actual mount. The torpedo
tubes are things of beauty with plenty of detail and hollowed out ends allowing torpedoes to be inserted if the modeller wishes. Torpedoes would have to be scratch
Boats and fittings: There are 3 open boats and 4 motor launches, each one features deck planks; the 3 largest launches have separate cabins. There are many
smaller fittings, every piece of which is incredibly detailed. The ready use ammo lockers have lids and doors, fresh air intakes are hollowed out, the deck winches
have detailed motors, the life rafts are detailed both top and bottom, the davits are extremely thin, the High Angle directors are hollow at the top, and there is a depth
charge rack for the quarterdeck. The paravanes are not solid at the tips; they feature very tiny molded lines instead. The large aircraft crane consists of 4 parts, the
boom can be replaced with the photo-etch part if desired. Types 281, 284, and 285 radars are included, along with the Type 273 radar lantern on a platform in front
of the bridge. There are photo etch versions of the Type 281 and 285. Photo-etch railings are supplied pre-cut to the correct lengths with very clear instructions on
where each piece is to be placed. Most of the sprues carrying the smaller fittings are the same ones that are found in the Flyhawk Naiad kit. This is a welcome level
of standardization that most likely makes kit production very cost effective for Flyhawk.