I bought this little kit as Mole Maritime Models HMS Caesar late war destroyer at the Hornchurch Model Show a
couple of years ago from the Dorking Models stand. I didn’t realise it was a Rob Kernaghan kit until I opened the
box, and then I expected great things. I did borrow the plans showing all the detail which the instructions
unfortunately lack. Also there is some haziness about the photography, just like mine, and so I checked the real ship
in Chatham. The problem is the refits, and I especially wanted the WW2 version for a forthcoming book. After
some detective work I could see what might be needed but the actual plans were indispensable for the level of detail
I wanted. Like all Finewaterline kits, the box contents are sparse but this is reflected in the price, and there’s no
heap of parts that are unusable or you don’t want. I had some spare kit parts, and a couple of destroyer photo-etch
frets and so, so far so good. I did however scratch build the MK 9 depth charge thrower, and the twin oerlikon gun
as I was exhausted trying to find these in my “haystack” of parts. In the end, I think I came up with better versions
than available with the oerlikon gun scratch being part of the
White Ensign Models instructions in their KG5 PE set.

The kit is value for money but not short of pin holes, and the hull was quite bendy and I was not able to fully glue it
all down – the other way instead of boiling it to straighten it out. In all, the model as presented turned out OK,
getting second prize at a local show (beaten by my Fort Drum build – friendly fire…) but what I had always wanted
to do was put such a subject into a frozen north scenario so I could go to town with the PVA ice, and icy sparkles
frozen water effects. All great fun, and I can’t wait to do it all again soon.

Model build :
Rigging – caenis line and stretched sprue combo.
Paints – Humbrol enamels
Glue - pva.
PE – White Ensign KG5, and Lion Roar O class
Weathering – Mig rust, city dirt, and white ashes – some white ashes also used for snow.
Cavalier was one of 96 War Emergency Programme destroyers ordered between 1940 and 1942. She was one of
the first ships to be built with the forward and after parts of her hull welded, with the mid-section riveted to
ensure strength. The new process gave the ship additional speed. In 1970 a 64-mile race was arranged between
Cavalier and the frigate Rapid, which had the same hull form and machinery. Cavalier beat Rapid by 30 yards
(27 m) after
Rapid lifted a safety valve, reaching an average speed of 31.8 knots (58.9 km/h) After
commissioning she joined the 6th Destroyer Flotilla, part of the Home Fleet, and took part in a number of
operations off Norway. Most notably in February 1945 she was despatched with
HMS Myngs and HMS
Scorpion
to reinforce a convoy from the Kola Inlet in Russia, which had suffered attacks from enemy aircraft
and U-boats, and had subsequently been scattered by a violent storm. She and the other escorts reformed the
convoy, and returned to Britain with the loss of only three of the thirty-four ships. This action earned
Cavalier a
battle honour.

Later in 1945
Cavalier was dispatched to the Far East, where she provided naval gunfire support during the Battle
of Surabaya. In February 1946 she went to Bombay to help quell the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny. After some time
in the British Pacific Fleet she was paid off in May 1946 and was placed in reserve at Portsmouth.
Cavalier
returned to service in 1957 after a modernisation, which included removing some of her torpedo tubes in favour
of Squid anti-submarine mortars. She was again sent to the Far East, and joined the 8th Destroyer Squadron in
Singapore. In December 1962 she transported 180 troops from Singapore to Brunei to help with a rebellion that
became part of the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation. After disembarking the troops she remained in Brunei as a
communications centre for several days until other Royal Navy ships arrived to relieve her.
Cavalier was
decommissioned in 1972, the last surviving destroyer of the Royal Navy to have served in World War II.
On 14 November 2007,
Cavalier was officially designated as a war memorial to the 142 Royal Navy destroyers
sunk during World War II and the 11,000 men killed in their service. The unveiling of a bronze monument created
by the artist Kenneth Potts was conducted by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The monument resides adjacent to
the ship at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent.

Peter Fulgoney
United Kingdom
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