HMS Dreadnought, Part 2

Published on
February 5, 2012
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Zvezda
Provided by: Dragon Models USA - Website: Visit Site
Box Art
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The White Ensign Models PE set finally arrived from across the pond. It is extensive and finely done, as are all WEM photo etch. The two frets contain enough extra photo etch to build various versions of the Dreadnought as she appeared throughout her service life. I am building the early version, but there are details to represent all the main versions of the ship.

The WEM instructions are complete and helpful in identifying the locations of the parts on the frets and with good detail on how to bend and apply the ones you choose. I started with the 12” turrets, cutting out and installing the gun platforms and ladders for each. I found that the photo etch parts are connected to the fret with fine connecting pieces of brass that are easily cut with my scalpel blade. I set up my Hold-n-Fold tool to assist bending the parts into their required shapes. I did not use the Hold-n-Fold exclusively on the gun platform pieces and prepared some with the aid of flat-blade hemostats and Tamiya tweezers. However, the ladders were a different story. By using the appropriately sized blade on the Hold-n-Fold, it was a quick and simple matter to position the part, clamp it down, and bend it quickly into precise shape.

I attached the gun platforms with CA, but used Future for the ladders. Also, following a tip from Tony Bell, I prepared the WEM frets with Future instead of a metal primer before starting work. After a ladder was set in place against a layer of wet Future, I dipped a needle into my small Future bottle and allowed a drop to flow around the ladder rungs and the plastic of the turret for a firm bond.

After these were done and dry, I thinned a test bottle of Italeri Flat Medium Sea Gray acrylic paint with water and airbrushed the turrets. The Italeri is a nice shade of gray for this ship and it dries quickly to an even coating. However, finding the right ratio of water to paint was not particularly easy. First, spiders and water, then splats, then fairly even, but not always. It seemed it wouldn’t maintain consistency in my Badger 100, sometimes spraying evenly, other times not spraying much at all, then spraying too thinly. Might be me. I’ll continue to use this paint throughout the rest of the build and see if I can come to terms with it. I will also use it for brush painting detail areas like the deck equipment and for touch up jobs.

Having previously painted and masked the boot stripe on the hull, I mixed Tamiya acrylic red and red brown to about 75% / 25% paint with about 50% Tamiya thinner for the hull. It’s a big hull and takes a fair amount of paint. I even remembered to paint the rudders and the screw shaft fairings. One point on the hull – the small, almost square pieces that needed to be glued into place to accommodate the rudders do not fit very well. They require some carving, sanding and filling prior to paint. I think Zvezda could find another method to accommodate mounting the rudders.

The next installment will focus more heavily on the WEM details. I plan to pre-assemble much of the photo etch detail so I will be able to report on how that goes, as well as how some of the main assemblies mate with the plastic parts.

From the looks of the turrets, the addition of White Ensign Models photo etch will turn an outstanding 1:350 model of this historic ship into a jaw dropper. I’m already thinking about how to best represent rolled torpedo netting, which, by the way, was a complete failure in operational conditions. That’s one of the big changes to HM’s ships after 1916.

Until next time....

Again, I would like to thank Dragon USA for supplying this kit and IPMS-USA for providing it to me for review. White Ensign’s PE set for the HMS Dreadnought is available at

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