The Netherlands remained neutral during World War I and as a result there was no great expansion to her naval fleet. Post-war financial constraints delayed any new construction until the mid-1920s. To replace her
aging and obsolete destroyer fleet, the Dutch looked to the British firm Yarrow, one of the foremost destroyer yards at that time, for a new design. Yarrow submitted plans for a class of ships to be built in Dutch
yards that were broadly based on the British
Ambuscade class. The first series of the Admiralen class (also referred to as the Van Ghent class) was comprised of Van Ghent, Evertsen, Kortenaer and Piet
Hein
. All four ships were commissioned in 1928.

As built the ships in the
Van Ghent class was fitted with four Bofors single 4.7” /50cal QF guns with two forward and two aft. A pair of single 75mm anti-aircraft guns was fitted on bandstands between the funnels.
Four .5in machine guns rounded off the anti-aircraft armament. Six 21-inch torpedo tubes in triple mountings were also fitted. These ships could also perform mine laying tasks and could accommodate 24 mines if
needed. As these ships were designed to operate in the Dutch East Indies, these destroyers were fitted with accommodations for a reconnaissance seaplane. A flying deck was built over the aft torpedo tubes and the
aircraft was handled by a derrick on the main mast. Subsequently the after funnel was reduced in height and at the outbreak of the Pacific War the seaplane was landed.

All four ships were stationed in the Dutch East Indies when war was declared on Japan on December 8, 1941 and were eventually incorporated into the American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command fleet.
Van Ghent ran aground in Tjilatjap harbor and became a wreck on February 15, 1942. Piet Hein was sunk in the Battle of Badung Straits on February 19, 1942. Kortenaer was lost in the Battle of the Java Sea
on February 27, 1942.
Evertsen was beached by her crew on March 1, 1942 after suffering severe damage from Japanese destroyers in the Sunda Straits the day before.
Specifications
Displacement:        1,316tons/1,337 tonnes standard  
1,650tons/1,666 tonnes  full load
Dimensions:        98.15m x 9.53m x 2.97m or 322’ x 31’ 2” x 9’ 10” (length overall/beam/draft)
Machinery:        2 shaft geared turbines, 3 Yarrow boilers, 31,000shp
Speed:        36 knots maximum  
Range:        3,200 nautical miles @ 15 knots
Armament:        4-4.7in/50 (4x1), 2-75mm AA (2x1), 4-0.5in MG (4x1), 6-21in torpedo tubes (2x3), 24 mines
Aircraft:        1 Fokker C VII-W floatplane (landed at outbreak of war)
Complement:        129
The Kit - This kit is the latest release from Pacific Crossroads, which is run by Boris Mulenko of St. Petersburg, Russia (Boris is a regular visitor to the Steel Navy Message Board). This kit is a follow-up his De
Ruyter
light cruiser. Now I must insert a disclaimer here:  I wrote the English-language ship history for this kit and other Pacific Crossroad kits, both released and planned, as a service to Boris Mulenko and I was
even acknowledged in the kit’s instructions. As a matter of fact, the introduction to this review is that ship history verbatim. That is the extent of my involvement and I was not involved in any other aspect of the creation
of this model kit. Now that I got that out of the way, let’s take a look at the kit.

The model comes with only a full hull option and it is comprised of resin parts augmented with a lot of photo-etch parts and details. The hull casting is overall well done. A closer look at the casting shows some pinholes
that are fairly easy to fill in and a couple of spots where the resin is a little rough that needs to be cleaned up. There is a casting runner along the keel of the hull that will probably leave some sort of mark that will need
to be addressed. There is a little bit of a stain on the hull and I do not know what it is from. I haven’t tried to see if it will wash off or not but I don’t foresee it as being a problem.
The foc’sle and main decks are also well done with a good amount of details. Some clean-up is needed around the bollards and a various spots on the deck. You will notice that the for the most part, the deck
housings and structures are cast separate parts with the exception of only a small housing and a short raised area along the base of the funnels on the main deck. The footprints for the separate components are cast
into the decks to mark their locations.

The large resin parts in the kit are some of the larger structural elements and fittings:  the forward and aft housings with “B” and “X” gun positions and the British style splinter shields, bridge housing and platform,
funnels, mid-ships anti-aircraft platform, aft platform, ship’s boats and torpedo tubes. The various deck housings and platforms are generally done well but clean up along the bottom edges is required. The funnels are
particularly well-done with such details as the vent piping and internal structure of the funnels.

The next set of parts are four runners each with a 4.7 inch gun mount, 0.5 inch machine gun mount and what appears to be a depth charge thrower mount. The main guns are well done but I would probably substitute
the resin barrels of the smaller machine guns with some brass wire. The next pair of parts is the one-piece propellers and propeller shafts. They are well done with each propeller have the correct pitch for the port and
starboard side but some cleanup is needed. The instructions do not make it crystal clear which prop assembly goes on which side. You will have to look closely at the images covering that section of the ship to see
which one is used for the starboard side and deduction you can determine which one to use for the port side.

The balance of the resin parts provided a multitude of different fittings: the 75mm AA guns, depth charges, paravanes, searchlights, vents, direction finders, a yardarm, carley floats and a variety of small deck and
bridge fittings. The casting is also very good with some parts needing clean-up.
The two sheets of photo-etch for this kit are quite extensive. Overall the photo-etch is well done with good relief etching and it provides a mix of railings, structural components and a variety of fittings. The large
sheet contains such structural elements as the bridge deck, bridge deck supports, pilot house, airplane stowage platform and the façade for the forward main deck structure. The latter (photo-etch part #1) is an
interesting part in that it provides the deck and the bulkheads for the housing located where the main deck meets the raised foc’sle deck. There is an opening for the skylight cast into the hull part and a slot to fit
around the larger skylight forward. The part is meant to be bent down to provide the bulkheads for the housing. The larger sheet, in addition to railings and ladders, also has several smaller platforms, watertight
doors and hatches, skylights, base plates for the armament, funnel cap grills, anchors, cable reels, propellers, rudder and details for the boats. There are parts to super-detail the guns and torpedo tubes and there
even bits of brass for the handrails found on the deck housing bulkheads! The smaller sheet contains the mine rails, another platform, supports, railings, ladders, hatches and display name plates for all four ships in
this sub-class of
Admiralen destroyers.

As you can see, the kit is quite photo-etch “heavy” in that a lot of components are done in brass along with not only the standard items and fittings but bits and pieces to super-detail the model. One could argue
that this is a bit over the top and you could certainly omit some of the more fiddly items without taking away from the model. This is entirely up to the modeler’s skill, experience and comfort level. At least all that
you need is provided. I will say that the railings are the style which has individual stanchions rather than a bottom rail which I find harder to work with. I prefer that latter style so if you are like me you may opt to
seek out another source for railings. A pair of very nice turned brass barrels for the 75mm guns is included with the kit. While this is a nice addition, I wonder why turned brass barrels for the 4.7in and 0.5in guns
were not provided. There are alternative sources for these brass barrels if you wish to go that route but it you have been good to have had some included.

Decals are provided with markings for the four ships in the first series of the
Admiralen class as well as the Dutch flag in a few sizes. The large hull markings were used pre-war so if you wish to build the model
in a war-time fit these should be omitted. I will probably build a pre-war version just so I could use these markings. A total of nine pages of assembly instructions are provided with the kit. The ship’s history and
specs are on page one (naturally I will not comment on these other than to say I will not be expecting a Pulitzer!). Page two has some color profiles showing pre-war versions of all four ships in this sub-class (to
illustrate decal placement) and one war-time camouflage view. The color references are general with no suggestions for matches with any modeling paint brands. Page three has CAD drawings of the model with
the brass parts highlighted to distinguish them from the resin parts. The rest of the pages focus on the placement of the photo-etch parts with each page focusing on a different section of the model. All of the part
number references correspond to the numbers on the photo-etch frets. None of the resin parts are numbered. The instructions are a bit busy and can be a little confusing so careful study of the pages is a must.
This kit fills a gap in World War II destroyers as until now there have been no kits of this class in 1/350 scale (and perhaps 1/700 as well). Tin Can and Dutch Navy fans should be pleased to have a model of
this handsome class of ships available finally. Due to the sheer amount and complexity of the photo-etch parts I would recommend this kit to modelers with more advanced skills. The build looks to be
challenging but in the end it should satisfying and result in a fine looking model. This kit can be purchased from
Freetime Hobbies, White Ensign Models or directly from Pacific Crossroads
(
http://www.pacificcrossroads.net/).
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