HMS King George V was one of the most famous battleships of the Royal Navy during World War 2. Whether it was sinking the Bismarck, along with HMS
Rodney
, or serving as flagship of the Home Fleet or her service with the British Eastern Fleet at the end of the war, King George V had her name in the headlines
quite often. If British capitol ship naming conventions had been followed, the battleship should have been named
HMS King George VI. It had been the custom of
the Royal Navy to name the first capitol ship constructed in the reign of a new monarch after that monarch.
King George V was the first battleship laid down in the
reign of King George VI but that King wanted to be named after his father, King George V, even though King George V had a battleship named after him before
World War 1. King George VI had been the Duke of York before becoming king because his brother abdicated the throne, so in a round about way the
Duke of
York
was named after then new king. When I started building models, the only options at the local model shops were kits by Revell, Lindberg, Ideal, Pyro and
Aurora. Revell, Lindberg and Ideal (ITC) were in box scale with no commonalty of scale. The Pyro line did have a line of kits in 1:1200 scale, most of which were
either licensed or ripped off from the British firm of Eaglewall. It was Aurora that used a common scale, 1:600, for most of their kits. Crude by today's standards,
the Aurora line still has a warm place in my heart. The Renwall 1:500 scale line came later. Then one day on a trip on my trusty Honda 50 to the Triana Hobby Shop
one day, the world of modeling was turned upside down. It was the British Invasion as the shelves were stocked with strange kits from two British companies,
Airfix and Frog. It was at this time that I bought my first of many Airfix
HMS Hood kits in 1:600 scale. My interest in Aurora kits in the same scale instantly
disappeared. The Airfix 1:600 scale
HMS King George V was not one of the company's early ship releases. Because of this the detail on the kit is better than that on
the earlier Airfix warship releases. To this day it is still popular, as there is a noticeable difference in size between the Airfix kit in 1:600 scale and a 1:700
King
George V
kit. Using the Airfix King George V with the Tom's Model Works brass photo-etch set for the Airfix allows the modeler to build a detailed model of the
battleship at an inexpensive price.
The Tom's Model Works brass photo-etch fret (set 6008) for HMS King George V for the Airfix 1:600 scale kit has everything you need to spruce up the Airfix kit.
The two longest parts are the two large aircraft cranes and booms, which are so much finer than the plastic parts in the kit. Funnel clinker grates, carley raft bottoms,
and Oerlikon gun shields enhance the model. The Walrus aircraft get struts and propellers. There is extensive coverage of the radars and electronics for the battleship.
For radars Tom's provides Type 274 low angle gunnery radar, Type 277 surface radar, Type 281 long range air radar, Type 282 close range antiaircraft radar, Type
285 high angle antiaircraft radar, Type 291 air warning radar, and Type 293 Air Warning Target Radar. Other electronic items on the Tom's fret are 242 IFF, Medium
Frequency Radio Detection Finder (MFDF), and High Frequency Radio Detection Finder (VHFDF). For generic items there are 23 inclined ladders of different lengths
and sizes,each of which has safety railing and trainable treads. Riling comes in three patterns; eight runs of wide spaced stanchion three bar railing with bottom
gutters, two runs of medium spaced stanchion three bar railing with bottom gutter and one run of two bar railing with bottom gutter. The set concludes with two runs
of vertical ladder.
Tom's Model Works produces a solid, inexpensive brass photo-etch fret specifically for the HMS King George V kit produced by Airfix in 1:600 scale. The set has
a strong emphasis on the various types of radar and electronic equipment carried by the battleship.
Steve Backer
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