The age of European colonialism began at the end of the 15th Century with the Spanish colonization of the “New World”. It didn’t take long before the other European powers followed suit. In the 17th Century the Netherlands was at the height of its
power and colonized territory in the west and east. By the 20th Century, as colonialism was nearing its end, the most important colony for the Netherlands were the islands of the Dutch East Indies. Java, Sumatra, Celebes and the numerous other islands
that are now Indonesia were a source for valuable natural resources and it wasn’t just the Netherlands that saw their value. To the North the expanding Japanese Empire also saw their value. Powerful, with an expanding army, navy and industrial might,
Japan lacked natural resources and as with Great Britain was dependent on sea commerce. Between World War One and Two the main duty of the Dutch Navy was to protect the Dutch East Indies, primarily from the Japanese. The Netherlands were
spared from the horrors of World War One and remained neutral. However, the Dutch Navy was in a pitiful state with a few obsolete coast predreadnout battleships. In 1915 it was decided to build new cruisers, the largest type of warship the Netherlands
could afford. They were designed with the aid of Krupp and were supplied with German machinery. They were exceptionally large and powerful when designed armed with ten 5.9-inch guns and displacing 6,670 tons standard and 8,208 tons full load.
Their design reflected the armament placement of German and British cruiser construction of the time with single gun mounts with gun shields with four centerline guns and six mounted in outboard wing positions. These were primarily designed for
service in the Dutch East Indies and the three ships ordered reflected this in their names.
Java was laid down on May 31, 1916, Sumatra on July 15, 1916 but the third ship, Celebes, was never laid down. Java and Sumatra were very slow in building with
Sumatra launched December 29, 1920 and Java on August 9, 1921. There was another long delay before their completion with Java completing on May 1, 1925 and Sumatra a year later on May 26, 1926. Although they were a first line design when
conceived in 1915, their design was obsolete when completed a decade later.

With the cancellation of the
Celebes for financial reasons the Dutch naval staff continued to plan and promote a third cruiser for service in the East Indies. By 1930 the time had come to design a third cruiser. The Netherlands didn’t have the money to build
a heavy cruiser but could afford a light cruiser of moderate displacement. The original design was based on a ship with a displacement of 5,250 tons armed with six 6-inch guns mounted in three twin gun turrets, one turret forward and two placed aft.
However, this design was thought too weak and by 1932 had been redesigned to add a seventh 6-inch gun in a superfiring single gun mount forward. To save weight electric welding was used instead of rivets and some light alloy material was used. The
De Ruyter was laid down on September 16, 1933 and unlike the previous Java Class completed in a fairly short time. She was launched on May 11, 1935 and completed on October 3, 1936. In marked contrast to the Java Class, the De Ruyter presented a
very striking, modern appearance with a striking tower forward superstructure and a catapult to operate two seaplanes but with no hangar.
At the same time that the Dutch were working on their design for the De Ruyter, they were also working on a design for two ships that were originally classified as destroyer leaders, although it is likely that this was a subterfuge for getting small cruisers.
The authorization came in 1931 for two flotilla leaders of 2,500-tons. Not long after obtaining approval the design was reworked as a small light cruiser. With the final design the Dutch had a small light cruiser carrying six 5.9-inch (150mm) guns in twin
mounts, torpedo mounts, a reasonable anti-aircraft armament and even a seaplane. There was no catapult so the cruiser would have to deploy and recover the Fokker C.VIX floatplane by use of the crane. The first ship was
Tromp. She was laid down on
January 17, 1936 at NSM in Amsterdam. She was launched on May 24, 1937 and completed on August 18, 1938. With the slip cleared the second ship, named
Jacob van Heemskerck, was laid down on October 31, 1938, launched on September 16,
1939 and completed on May 10, 1940 in Great Britain, just in the nick of time to avoid capture by the German Army.

Tromp Class cruisers were 433-feet (131.97m) in length overall (OA), 426.5-feet (130m) between perpendicular bulkheads (PP). They had 17 longitudinal watertight bulkheads, which was good compartmentalization for such a small cruiser. The
beam was 40.75-feet (12.43m) and draught was 14.16-feet (4.64m) mean. Displacement was 3,450-tons standard and 4,860-tons full load. Armament was six 5.9-inch (150mm) guns in twin Mk II mountings with two mounts in gun houses at the bow
and the third twin mounting aft. Two twin Bofor Mk IV mounts (40mm) were placed on the aft end of the forecastle deck, just forward of the aft 5.9-inch twin mount. The
Tromp was one of the first, if not the first warship to carry what would
become the standard AA gun of World War Two. This was six years before the USN started replacing the failed 1.1-inch Chicago Pianos with Bofer guns. Also four .50 machine guns were carried in two twin mounts. To round out the punch of the
Tromp, the ship had two triple 21-inch torpedo mounts. The Dutch had come up with a design that packed a very powerful punch for such a small size cruiser. Something had to be sacrificed and that was the armor. The class had very light armor. The
main belt was only 16mm thick for the belt. Internally, the torpedo bulkheads ranged from 20mm to 30mm and the armored deck ranged from 15mm to 25mm. The 5.9-inch gunshields and ammunition hoists had armor that ranged from 25mm to 15mm.
The power plant consisted of four Yarrow boilers producing steam for two Parsons turbines, which developed 56,000 horsepower. The maximum speed was a respectable 32.5-knots. The range was 6,000nm at 12 knots. Complement was 309. In
design, the
Tromp Class had what appeared to be a very long forecastle. However, the deck break was right behind the bridge and the forecastle appeared much longer because of bulkheads that went from upper deck to forecastle deck. This long
forecastle made for a dry ship.
Tromp was originally deployed in home waters, with visits to Great Britain and Italy in November 1938 and to Portugal and the Mediterranean in 1939. After a fleet review at Rotterdam in April 1939, Tromp was dispatched to join the force guarding the
Dutch East Indies on August 19, 1939. She, along with the other cruisers and destroyers of the squadron patrolled local waters until February 1940 when Germany invaded the Netherlands. At this time the ships were tasked with missions of hunting
down German merchant ships in or near the East Indies and
Tromp began convoy escort duties in the Indian Ocean and Southwest Pacific. Everything changed on December 1, 1941. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was designed to preempt the  
United States Navy, which the Japanese logically saw as the biggest threat to their ambitions. The Philippines were invaded, as they presented a threat to the seaborn lines of communication to the true prize sought by the Japanese, the British and Dutch
colonies south of the Philippines. These colonies were rich in natural resources that Japan lacked. After confining the Americans to Bataan and Corregidor and eliminating the threat of American naval or aerial interference, the Japanese juggernaut rolled
on to the rubber plantations of Malaya and the island of Borneo.                        

With Borneo falling they set their sites on the next major objectives, Sumatra followed by Java. On February 1, 1942 the USN Admiral Hart set up the ABDA (American-British-Dutch-Australian) Combined Striking Force, which combined the available
surface warships of four countries and placed them under the tactical command of Dutch Admiral Doorman. On February 3 Doorman had assembled a large portion of the force and raised his flag on
De Ruyter. With De Ruyter near Surabaya were
Houston, Marblehead , Tromp, and seven US flushdeckers. Doorman received a contact report of a Japanese convoy headed south and around midnight sortied to intercept with his four cruisers, four of the US destroyers an additional four Dutch
destroyers. The
De Ruyter led the cruiser force, followed by Houston, Marblehead and then Tromp in a column with the cruisers spaced 700 yards apart from each other. At 09:49 the force sighted around 37 Japanese Nell bombers headed south.
Doorman signaled his force to scatter on the theory that the Japanese formation would have to break apart with only a few bombers able to concentrate on any one target. This was still before the allies realized that concentrating their ships together for
massed supporting AA fire was the best tactic in face of an air attack. Doorman was wrong, as the initial attacks by the Nells was on
Houston and Marblehead. The Marblehead was badly damaged in the initial assault and Tromp closed the light
cruiser to rescue crewmen but was waived off by the
Marblehead’s commander. A later attack at 11:26 concentrated on De Ruyter. Tromp was not selected to be attacked probably because her small size made her seem more like a destroyer than a
cruiser and yet the
Tromp was more powerful than the Dutch flagship, De Ruyter. The sortie was cancelled and the ships returned to base. The action was dubbed the Battle of the Flores Sea. The heavy damage sustained by Marblehead saved the ship’
s life in that she was ordered to return to the US for repairs and accordingly missed subsequent actions of the ABDA Strike Force. Another fruitless sorties occurred on February 8. On February 14, the ABDA Strike Force with
Tromp was off the
southeast tip of Sumatra with the mission of intercepting a Japanese invasion convoy.
Houston was gone to Australia but the Strike Force had been joined by HMS Exeter, HMAS Hobart and the old Dutch light cruiser Java. The De Ruyter, Java and
Tromp were in one column and on their port side was another column of the Hobart and Exeter. This sortie was another fiasco with the Dutch destroyer Van Ghent run hard aground on the Bamidjo Reef, which was located in the Stolze Strait between
the Banka Islands and the Billiton Islands. The ship was scuttled. Floatplanes from the cruisers of the Japanese covering force, commanded by Admiral Ozawa on the heavy cruiser,
Chokai, had sighted the Strike Force. Although Ozawa’s force easily
outgunned the Strike Force, they still could cause damage to his ships and possibly get to the troopship convoy. Ozawa could avoid all risk by holding the troopships back and simply use his overwhelming air power, which included the aircraft carrier,
Ryujo, to handle the Strike Force. Four of the Ryujo’s Kates made the first attack at 10:26 February 14, concentrating on Exeter. Next, 23 Nell bombers from the Genzan Air Group, who had sunk the Prince of Wales and Repulse, went in. Two
destroyers had their hull plating ruptured by near misses. At 11:30 seven more Kates from
Ryujo went after Exeter again. A near miss wrecked the Walrus floatplane off Exeter. The Strike Force was still over 80 miles from Ozawa’s cruiser covering
force and even further from the transports. Admiral Doorman realized that against unrelenting air assaults and then facing the Japanese covering force, he had no chance of getting at the troopships of the invasion convoy. At 12:42 he cancelled the
operation and ordered the return of the Strike Force to Tanjoeng Priok. The allies were not allowed to leave in peace. The Japanese now had meat on the table and they were determined to dig in. The next attack was made by 27 Nells of the Mihoro Air
Group. Their bombs missed to the shouts of “
Missed again” of the crewmen of the Strike Force. Half of these Nells were damaged.  At 15:29 another six Kates from Ryujo again went after Exeter but they also missed. It was lucky for the allies that in
all of these air attacks, the Nells and Kates were armed with bombs and not torpedoes. At 19:00 six Kates went after
De Ruyter, which had been reported as a battleship. This attack was also scoreless. There was one more attack, this time by 17 Betty
bombers of the Kanoya Air Group that had flown over 500 miles from Thailand to get into the action. The reward for their long trip was all misses. The retreat from Sumatra began on February 17 with the transport
Sloet van de Beele and destroyer
Van Nes sent to the Billiton Islands to evacuate troops and civilians from the island. These two ships were spotted by a seaplane from the heavy cruiser, Mogami. The result was predictable. The Ryujo sent 10 Kates and the Genzan Air Group
dispatched 15 Nells to go after the two ships. The
Tromp and the crewmen of a Dutch PBY of the Royal Netherlands Air Service knew of the attack by listening via radio. At 16:40 the Japanese aircraft and quickly sank the transport first and then the
Van Nes.
Bali is an island just east of Java. The Japanese wanted to take the island because it had an airfield. A invasion force was assembled at Makassar City consisting of two transports, the light cruiser Nagara and seven destroyers. The invasion plan was
to have four destroyers escort the transports to the landing area and have the
Nagara and three destroyers hang back as a covering force. The force left Makassar City at midnight February 17. This build up was noticed by the Dutch but it wasn’t
until the afternoon of February 18 that their destination was determined. The Japanese troop landed at Sanoer Roads on Bali at 02:00 February 19. Admiral Doorman planned a counterattack with the serviceable ships he had on hand.
De Ruyter and
Java would lead two modern Dutch destroyers and two old USN flushdeckers from Tjilatjap through the Badoeng Strait as the first wave. The second wave would be the Tromp and four flushdekers of Destroyer Squadron 58 who would leave
Soerabaja, use the Bali Strait before looping south to enter the Badoeng Strait. The third wave would be nine torpedo boats from Soerabaja, refuel at Pangpang Bay before following the first two waves and torpedo any cripples. It was a poor plan but
Doorman had little options since the
De Ruyter force left from the south coast of Java and the Tromp and PT boats left from northeast Java. As the first wave was leaving Tjilatjap, one of Doorman’s modern Dutch destroyers ran aground. At sea
Doorman signaled his battle plan to his subordinates. The
De Ruyter and Java would execute a drive by shooting and leave. The destroyers would follow the cruisers, launch their torpedoes and leave. By 22:25 the first wave were in the Badoeng
Strait just off Bali. At 23:25
Java spotted the shadows of a destroyer, transport and barges. Java turned on her searchlights and fired star shells. At a range of a point blank 2,200 yards Java opened fire on the destroyer Asashio. The barges turned
out to be the destroyer
Oshio and the transport was 9,258-ton Sasago Maru. Although the Japanese were completely surprised, they reacted very quickly. Asahio turned on her searchlights for a brief period before they either were turned off or
knocked out by
Java’s Bofer fire. The Japanese destroyers got underway and while Asashio engaged Java, Oshio engaged De Ruyter. It was another ABDA fiasco with a lot of firing and a few negligible hits on both sides. After only ten minutes
Doorman with the
Java and De Ruyter raced northwestward, thinking that the Japanese destroyers would follow. They stayed with the transport.

Now the three destroyers of the first wave came in only to meet two alert modern Japanese destroyers, expertly trained at night fighting. The Dutch destroyer
Piet Hein was six miles behind the cruisers and six miles ahead of the flushdeckers. The
destroyer saw gun flashes to the north and as it advanced spotted the transport. As
Piet Hein was about to fire her guns and torpedoes at the transport, the Asashio and Oshio suddenly appeared. Piet Hein switched her target to Asashio, opened fire,
launched two torpedoes, made a smoke screen and turned to starboard.. The American destroyers closed, fired torpedoes at the transport, and saw the three destroyers in the smoke. The
Piet Hein and Asashio were only a 1,000 yards apart and
Asahio registered two hits, one of which caused the Dutch destroyer to loose steam. As Piet Hein was regaining steam, Oshio engaged and Asashio put a Long Lance into Piet Hein, which quickly sank. As the USS John D. Ford and USS Pope
charged into the smoke screen, they too ran into the Japanese destroyers. In a running gun battle the Japanese kept straddling the Americans but did not hit. The flushdeckers unmasked their starboard torpedo tubes and launched five torpedoes but no
allied torpedo made a hit that night. The Japanese ships lit up the
Ford and Pope in their searchlights and Ford used a smoke screen to allow the flushdeckers to disengage for a return trip to Tjilatjap. The second wave had the four USN flushdeckers
ahead of the
Tromp, which was about 5 miles astern. The second wave passed the PTs of the 3rd wave which were waiting for their planned third attack and at 01:10 the 2nd wave was in the Badoeng Strait. At 01:34 the Japanese destroyers were
sighted at 2,000 to 2,500 yards and the flushdeckers launched 15 torpedoes, all of which missed. A destroyer melee ensued and the American column was broken. At this time the
Tromp speeding along at 31-knots entered the fray. Tromp illuminated
Asashio and Oshio with her searchlights. At 02:07 Asashio struck Tromp with twelve 5-inch shells. The port side torpedo director and gun director were knocked out. Nine shells hit the bridge.  The last shell penetrated the hull below the
Tromp could not return fire for another minute with the 5.9-inch guns firing at Oshio and the Bofor guns firing at Asashio. Oshio was hit on the bridge and on the torpedo reload cannister but the torpedoes stored there did not explode. The
40mm fire knocked out the searchlight on
Asashio. At 02:16 Oshio fired three torpedoes at Tromp but they missed. After nine minutes of the engagement, he Japanese moved off to protect the transport and Tromp pulled off to the northeast. Tromp
had ten dead and thirty wounded, her bridge was shot up, no fire control and was taking water. Then the other two Japanese destroyers,
Arashio and Michishio, joined the fight. They steamed right into the middle of the Tromp and the USN
flushdeckers. The Japanese were taken by surprise as heavy fire was opened up on the newcomers.  “
Their (the American’s) rapid attack surprised us because we did not expect it so soon. We lost our minds momentarily.(Rising Sun, Falling
by Jeffrey R. Cox, Osprey Publishing 2014, at page 239) The US destroyers fired 15 torpedoes but they missed but the Japanese were smothered in fire and turned to retreat. Arashio made it out of the cauldron of allied fire but Michishio was
less fortunate. A 4-inch shell from
John D. Edwards disabled her engines and the Tromp and Pillsbury worked over the bridge and midship AA platform. Michishio was severely damaged as she drifted with her quarterdeck almost underwater. She
had 13 dead and 83 wounded. Rather than finish off
Michishio the Tromp and the destroyers steamed off to the north to avoid counter attack from the other Japanese destroyers. Michishio was towed off the next day and made it to port. Her repairs
lasted until October 1942. Three hours later the PT boats of the 3rd wave appeared but they saw no ships and returned to Soerabaja. On the morning of February 20, nine Nells made an attack on the
Tromp and flushdeckers but the bombs missed.
Tromp and the destroyers arrived at Soerabaja at noon on February 20. The USS Stewart was first in and as the Tromp came in the sailors of the Stewart and Tromp cheered each other.
After the battle Tromp returned to Soersbaya for temporary repairs. However, the Tromp was too heavily damaged to receive full repairs in Java. Following the temporary repairs the Tromp was sent to Sydney on February 23 for complete repairs.
This saved her from the subsequent massacre of the ABDA Strike Force. While under repair
Tromp also was refitted in the March to June time period. Two 3-inch AA guns were added as well as six 20mm Oerlikons, two of which were placed in gun
tubs on the crowns of B and X turrets. The aft DCT was removed and the twin Bofers mounts placed on centerline. Radar was fitted to the aft rangefinder and she landed her floatplane. After the repairs
Tromp was used on convoy escort duties
around Australia and in the Indian Ocean. By November 1943 two more 3-inch AA guns were fitted and the .50 machine guns replaced by .50 Browning machine guns. January 1944 saw the
Tromp at Trincomalee to join the British Eastern Fleet.
Thereafter the cruiser was an escort for British aircraft carrier raids on Japanese installations in Malaya and the East Indies. With the arrival of the
Tromp and the French battleship Richelieu Admiral James Somerville, commander of the British Eastern
Fleet sailed from Trincomalee on April 16, 1944 for an attack on Sabang on the northeast tip of Sumatra. At 05:30 on April 19 the force was 100 miles southwest of Sabang. The British launched a first wave of 46 bombers and 40 fighters that caught
the Japanese completely by surprise. For the loss of one aircraft from
Saratoga the raid destroyed oil tanks, damaged the harbor and airfields, sank two small freighters and knocked down 24 Japanese aircraft. This wave had included aircraft from
USS Saratoga on loan to the British.

On May 6 the BEF left Ceylon for an attack on Soerajaja, of which the crew of
Tromp were very familiar. One strike of 45 bombers and 40 fighters was made that neutralized their targets for a loss of one aircraft. After this raid the Saratoga was
withdrawn from the BEF. With only one aircraft carrier the next operation was limited to an attack on Port Blair in the Andaman Islands. Late in July two more British carriers arrived and as their crewmen acclimatized, plans were drawn up for the
most powerful raid yet. On July 22 the force put to sea for a second raid on Sabang. The first strike from two carriers by nine Barracudas and 90 Corsairs was to neutralize airfields. As the capitol ships opened fire, the
Tromp and three destroyers
made a sweep of the entrance to Sabang harbor.
Tromp closed the shore, firing at shore installations and radar installations. Admiral James Somerville described the action as “spectacular.” Tromp was hit four times by Japanese shore batteries. “We
approached with my flagship leading the four battleships, the five cruisers away to my left closing the shore to engage their targets and ahead two lots of destroyers including one party (RNN cruiser Tromp and three British destroyers) led by
Dick Onslow which was going right inside the harbour to roar it up. At 6:55 a.m. we opened fire and soon saw huge shell-bursts on the harbour, barracks, etc. with immense volumes of smoke and dust. Away to the left the cruisers were
flattening out a wireless station and some coast batteries. No-one fired at the battleships at all - too afraid to draw their fire perhaps. Dick Onslow’s party went in the most gallant manner, heavy shells from the battleships falling not far from
them and then white splashes as some of the shore batteries opened up on them. They roared up the harbour a fair treat but were a little bit too ardent and were still well inside range of the coast batteries as the battleships ceased fire (the
operation was timed to the minute). As a result they got a bit of a dusting as they were coming out.
” (Old Friends New Enemies by Arthur J. Marder, Mark Jacobsen, and John Horsfield, Clarendon Press, 1990, at page 311)
In 1945 she was part of the covering force for the invasion of Rangoon, Burma. In May Tromp was part of Task Force 60, whose mission was to intercept the heavy cruiser, Haguro. The strike force was divided into three groups with four escort
carriers, the light cruiser
Royalist and the 11th Destroyer Flotilla as group 1. The flagship, Queen Elizabeth, and Tromp were the second group. The Richelieu, Cumberland and the 26th Destroyer Flotilla were the third group. The Haguro was sunk
by British destroyers of the 26th Destroyer Flotilla before the rest of TF 60 could arrive. After this came a transfer to the USN 7th Fleet. Tromp left Trincomalee on May 24 and arrived at Morotai on June 14 to join TF74.2. In June and July she covered
the invasion of Balikpapan, an oil production area. On September 16, 1945
Tromp arrived at Jakarta, Java for the Japanese surrender, making a full circle in the three years since the Dutch Java disaster began.

She spent almost a year in the East Indies before she was ordered home and arrived in the Netherlands on May 3, 1946 and was paid off. She went in for a refit but progress was slow and the
Tromp did not recommission until July 1, 1948. Tromp
served in home waters until December 1, 1955, when she was turned into an accommodation ship. She served in this role until December 10, 1968 when she was stricken from the Navy List. The 30 year old cruiser, last survivor of the Java Campaign,
was sold to Simons Handelmaatschapji NV of Rotterdam for scrapping and this company resold the ship to the Spanish ship breaking company of Castellon de la Plana for her final break up. (History from:
Cruisers of World War Two, An
International Encyclopedia
by M.J. Whitley, Arms and Armour Press, 1995; Old Friends New Enemies by Arthur J. Marder, Mark Jacobsen, and John Horsfield, Clarendon Press, 1990; Rising Sun, Falling Skies by Jeffrey R. Cox, Osprey
Publishing 2014;
Task Force 57 by Peter C. Smith, Crecy Books 1994)
The Combrig Tromp in 1:700 Scale - Arguably the Tromp was the most powerful Dutch cruiser in the ABDA Strike Force. Although it had one fewer 5.9-inch gun than the much large De Ruyter, the Tromp had torpedo tubes, which were lacking on
De Ruyter and Java. The Tromp also had the best performance of the Dutch cruisers in the ill fated campaign to save Java. At the Battle of Badoeng Strait the Tromp inflicted serious damage on Japanese destroyers. The damage that Tromp received
in the battle undoubtedly saved the life of
Tromp, because she had to leave the ABDA Strike Force to receive repairs in Australia, sparing her from the disastrous Battle of the Java Sea. Combrig’s Tromp is a nice multimedia kit of this small Dutch
cruiser with resin parts and a good size brass photo-etch fret. The fit of the
Tromp is early 1942, when she was fighting in the Java Campaign, instead of 1936 as shown on the box.

For a small cruiser the
Combrig Tromp has interesting hull side detail. First of all are the very prominent horizontal strakes on the hull sides. Photographs show that the Tromp had these strakes but they may be a trifle oversize on the model. That’s fine
with me because I like the relief they present from the hull. There are three strakes at the bow but the top one ends at the deck break. The middle one goes all the way to the stern and the lowest strake is short at the bow but much longer at the stern.
Another feature setting the
Tromp apart from most cruisers are the recessed anchor positions, which adds even more relief. The forecastle hull side detail is further augmented by a small square door and rectangular opening at the deck break, as well as
two rows of portholes. Midships most of the detail is found on the centerline deck houses that extend the forecastle level. These appear to be in the natures of ventilator openings. The middle strake and one row of portholes do continue from the bow. At
the stern the lowest strake picks up again and there are long rectangular openings in the hull sides for the brass relief-etched name plates.
The forecastle deck must have been metal because wooden plank detail doesn’t start until aft of the deck break. The semicircle breakwater with support gussets dominate the forecastle. Ahead of this feature are the usual anchor gear, with raised anchor
chain run plates, deck hawse fittings, nice windlasses, a couple of lockers, twin bollard fittings and open chocks. Behind the breakwater are two more twin bollard fittings, the outlines for superstructure attachment, locater holes for boat davits, and
locater slits for photo-etch boat chocks. At the deck break the forecastle level extends aft through the lowest level of the superstructure deck houses. Wood planking starts at this point. The planks are standard
Combrig features with no butt ends. At
deck edge are flat attachment locations for deck edge bulkheads. Also found midships are locater circles for the torpedo tubes, locater holes for torpedo davits, and a small skylight. On the quarterdeck the wooden planks end short of the stern, so that
there is a metal deck at the very stern. Found on the aft portion of the wooden deck is the locater circle for the aft turret, two more twin bollard fittings, a deck access fitting and a larger skylight. The metal deck at the stern has lockers, a locater circle
for the aft windlass, two more twin bollard fittings and two more open chocks.

The smaller resin parts are in the form of a very thin resin wafer for decks and platforms and ten resin runners. The wafer has seven parts. The largest is the extension of the forecastle deck beyond the deck break. It has an interesting hour glass shape
with the deck extending to deck edge forward, narrowing to a walkway and then expanding to almost deck edge in the aft portion. On centerline two large fittings have ventilator hatches with port holes for ventilation of machinery spaces. The forward
portion of this deck has multitudes of boat chock location slits, deck winch locater outlines, kingpost locater holes, a long six door deck access fitting or ventilation fitting, a small ventilation hatch fitting, openings for two inclined ladders and location
bases for other equipment. The aft portion of the deck has locater circles for the two twin Bofor mounts, the locater outlinr for a director base and tower, more open rectangles for inclined ladders, more locater slits for boat chocks, a small deck house
and more base plates for equipment. The bridge deck is on the wafer with splinter shields with internal supporting gussets, the bridge structure and a small deck house aft of the bridge. The bridge structure has incised square windows on the front and
side faces. The stack base on the wafer has a very interesting shape. It has an oval well for the funnel placement, ventilation louver sides, sloping fore and aft faces with steam pipes on the forward face. The conning tower level rests on top of the
bridge. The conning tower itself has deep vision slits, wing splinter shields, oval access doors, and an access hatch and director locater hole on the crown. Aft of the conning tower are locater holes for twin machine gun mounts and the placement
outline for a shack at the base of the fore mast. The 02 level of the forward superstructure with deck is on the wafer, as well as the 01 level. The deck of the 02 level has rectangles aft for inclined ladders and a locater circle for B turret. The wafer also
has the fore mast platform with underside support gussets and locater hole for a searchlight.
The funnel occupies one resin runner by itself. The funnel is excellent and loaded with detail. It has both horizontal and vertical reinforcing bands, ventilation rectangles and a superlative funnel opening. This opening has good depth with an internal
trunking division and fittings at the aft end. One runner has the deck edge forecastle deck extension bulkheads with rectangle openings and port holes. The main gun turrets and Bofor mount bases share a runner. The gun turrets, actually gun houses,
have shutter outlines on the forward faces. Most of the other armaments are found on a runner. This runner has the two triple torpedo tube mounts, the twin 5.9-inch barrels, and the twin Bofor blocks and barrels. Also on this runner are boat davits
and kingposts. A fifth runner has the twin MG mounts, paravanes, gun directors, and extensions for the conning tower level deck. A sixth runner has the searchlights, deck shacks, signal lamps, pedestals for the torpedo davits, aft windlass, deck
winch, navigation equipment, siren platform and other funnel fittings. Two runners have Carley rafts with some single and some stacked. Two more runners have the ship’s boats with two boats on each runner.

Combrig Tromp comes with a medium size brass photo-etch fret. The only relief-etched parts are the ship’s name plates that fit into the openings on the aft hull and the torpedo mount platforms. None of the parts are especially large but the
midships lattice director tower is the largest and most noticeable. The second largest brass part is the platform that attaches on the aft face of the funnel. The forecastle gets brass anchors and windlass heads. The forward superstructure and bridge
get brass equipment stands, platforms, loop antenna, deck supports, and specialized railing. The foremast gets platform railing and a vertical ladder. In addition to the brass platform, the funnel gets support gussets, funnel top grates, and specialized
railing. The midship brass parts consist of cable reels, davits, boat chocks, equipment cradles, king post boom, paravane frames, inclined ladders, block and tackle for the large davits, torpedo mount platforms and railing, small parts and specialized
railing for the twin Bofors mounts, depth charge racks, and other specialized railing. Even the deck railing has specialized parts at different locations.

The instructions are in the older
Combrig format, not the new color coded format. They are three double sided pages. Page one has a profile and plan of the ship with rigging, specifications in English, history in Russian and a brass fret laydown.
Also present is the logo of
Pacific CrossRoads who had produced a 1:350 scale Tromp and must have worked in conjunction with Combrig to produce this 1:700 scale kit. Page two is the resin parts laydown. Page three shows assembly of the
bridge, foremast, funnel and extended forecastle deck. Page four shows attachment of the major subassemblies to the hull, along with attachment of hull and deck parts, and turrets. There are six small insets that cover the assemblies of the cable
reels, turrets, torpedo mounts, Bofor guns, large davits, and midship director tower. Also included on this page is a template for masts, yards, booms and other parts cut from plastic rods. Page five has main railing and depth charge racks
attachment. The last page is a drawing of the assembled model.
The Combrig Tromp provides resin and brass parts to build a fine miniature of one of the few survivors of the Java Campaign in early 1942. Now, you too can shoot up Japanese destroyers or “Roar it up” in Sabang Harbor, as described by Admiral
James Somerville.

Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama