I’ve always liked British cruisers. My favorite class has been the World War Two County Class. When Trumpeter produced the HMS Kent in 1:350 scale, I quickly purchased one from Free Time Hobbies. On December 13, 2019 I drove over to Blue
Ridge, Georgia to take advantage of
Free Time Hobbies last open house of the year. I quickly spotted a kit that I didn’t know had been released, the Trumpeter 1:350 scale HMS Cornwall. Wow! This even better than the Kent because of the large
square hangar at the stern. This is a kit that I can sink my teeth into. I snapped the
Cornwall up from Free Time and as I drove home contemplated the 3rd party accessories to had more punch to the build. Well, I thought, I’ll need Black Cat Models
octuple pom-poms and quad Vickers machine guns, a wooden deck and a dedicated photo-etch set. Unfortunately, there was no dedicated photo-etch set. Then on December 31, noted Christmas elf,
John Snyder, posted on the message board that
White Ensign Models had produced a dedicated brass photo-etch fret for the Cornwall. WEM had fulfilled a New Year’s wish one day early. My first purchase of 2020 was the White Ensign Models photo-etch fret for HMS Cornwall.

In the 1990’s It was the
WEM HMS Queen Elizabeth 1942 that drew me back into modeling with the force of a hurricane.. Since then WEM has been a favorite. Mad Pete is still at it, designing new frets for White Ensign to produce. Within a few
days my copy of the
Cornwall fret arrived and here it is. It is a large fret using medium grade brass and certainly lives up to the distinguished White Ensign heritage. Now Trumpeter provides photo-etch brass with its Cornwall set and it is OK.
However, the
White Ensign Models set is far more comprehensive and far more detailed. The largest parts are the cranes and the catapult. The two cranes are relief etched. Each has a number of pulleys and cable block and tackle. The catapult is a
large foldable affair with end extensions, front & back braces, side braces and platforms. It looks like it will be glorious when assembled.
It will probably best to cover the other parts by sequentially going through the excellent assembly modules of the WEM instructions, which runs ten pages. The first module shows attachment of the relief-etched doors on the rear face of the gun
turrets. They can be posed open or closed. Then comes the module for details for the twin 4-inch HA guns, which has the sides of the gun mounts (relief-etched), gunner’s seats, and loading lights. Detailed relief-etched parts for the 8-barrelled pom-
poms come next. These include sides of the mounts, ammo feed belts, top bracket and safety railing for the platforms. At the top of the next page are three small modules on assembling the quad Vicker’s machine guns Walrus handling trollies and
aircraft launch cradle. The Vicker’s mounts have great relief-etching on the four parts for each gun but the barrels will look a trifle thin. The kit supplied parts will be too fat. That is why I decided on
Black Cat Vickers. Each Walrus trolley is three
parts, two bottom bars with wheels and the cradle. The next module is the catapult assembly, which has already been coved, plus deck edge railing for the catapult position.

The next page starts with detailing the two Walrus amphibians. Each aircraft gets 21 parts, which cover engine mounts, propeller, wing struts, pontoon struts, wing hinges & flaps, tail struts, machine guns and rings, and landing gear parts. For the two
cranes, you will use the kit supplied base but replace the Trumpeter crane arms with the two supplied by
WEM, plus use the numerous WEM pulleys and block and tackle. For the foremast WEM gives you DF antenna, yards with foot-ropes, support
brackets, and wind measurement device. The kit photo-etch doesn’t give you any of this detail. The next module covers railing. With the Trumpeter railing it is all generic, which you have to cut to shape. With
WEM each railing is custom fitted to fit
exactly at its location. You don’t have to cut and compromise at fitting rails to a specific location. Also included are forward boat bay supports, boat gantry tracks, 4-inch gun supports, signal platform railing, semaphore, inclined ladders and ladder
opening safety rails.
The large square hangar gets a liberal dose of detail. The segmented hangar doors gives you a wonderful option. With the Trumpeter pats, the doors are strictly closed. However, the WEM doors can be assembled closed or rolled up to whatever height
is desired. Other hangar detail includes ventilation cover louvers, long roof inclined ladder, wire antenna tub, wire antenna terminal, crown deck railing, and closed hangar bulkhead doors. The next module is for the X gun position with deck railings
and inclined ladders. The pom-pom platform get under-deck supports of two distinct types. Spruce up your searchlights with
WEM lens, hand wheels and support brackets. The funnels get top grates and siren platform. For the bridge the detail
includes main director catwalk, signal platform supports, main director sight lens, HACs deck supports, aft bridge platform supports, bridge windscreen, bridge front venturi and baffles, bulkhead cradle, inclined ladders and safety rails for ladder

The next two modules deal with the details for the motor boat and open boats. The motor boat gets bottom planking, thwarts and cabins. The open boat fittings include thwarts, rudders, top decks, and others. The next to last page starts with three
small assembly modules. These have attaching detailed brass bottom net and paddles for the Carley rafts, depth charge rack assembly with rack, davit and bottom plate, and boat cradle assembly with footing and double thick relief-etched cradles. The
forecastle gets its share of detail with hawse pipe grills, breakwater and breakwater support gussets. The long accommodation ladder has the ladder itself, lower landing, top platform, side railings and davit. Speaking of davits, each kit davit gets its
own brass rigging. Stream anchors are supplied but when it comes to the main anchors, the flukes may be a trifle thin. They are double sided, which fold together with a separate bottom plate. I’ll have to assemble one and compare it to a kit supplied
anchor to know which one I’ll go with. I’ll definitely use the beautiful vents and grills supplied for the boiler room ventilation tower. Paravane detail includes wings, tail, bracket and cutting wire. Two part relief-etched signal flag lockers are provided,
as well as a ship’s bell and bracket. There is a delicate 281 radar array, consisting of five parts. Lastly you get a four part 284 gunnery radar, consisting of brackets and array.
Cornwall Crazies, you need this fret. The courageous Cornwall deserves it! White Ensign Models provides a superb brass photo-etch fret for the 1:350 scale Trumpeter kit that goes far beyond what is provided in the kit. The fret chock-a-block full
of glorious relief-etched detail and fully displays the
Mad Pete touch.
Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama