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Dutch Admiralen Class Destroyer, Second Series Pacific Crossroads 1:350

In the 1920s, the Dutch evaluated various European designs to replace the obsolete destroyers of the Roofdier-class. They settled for the British design of HMS Ambuscade. This type included many hard-learnt lessons from the Great War. The design was altered in places to make them more suitable for service in the Netherlands East Indies: a floatplane was added, and the fire control system was considered better than that of their British counterparts. The famous British destroyer yard Yarrow & Co. Ltd from Glasgow made these alterations to the design. During World War 2, these destroyers were in need of a modernization. Their anti-aircraft armament was rapidly becoming obsolete, and their means to detect and destroy submarines were minimal. Between 1940-1942, two of the destroyers had their aft masts removed; Van Ghent and Witte de With received asdic, but otherwise, these ships differed little from their original configuration at the time of their loss. 

The Model
Pacific Crossroads are a fairly new company based in Russia and run by Boris. Since this is the first model we have reviewed I asked Boris for a quick bio of why he started the company. “I have long been interested in the topic of the war in the Pacific and South-East Asia, 1937-45 ... Especially its initial period until the end of 1942. I collect models in scale 1/350 in this period. But many of the ships of this period no one produces! So I decided to produce the models that I want to have in your collection. The most interesting period for me during the war was between December 1941and April 1942, which was bloody mess, with the fall of Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, and the Philippines. The feats of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet and the ABDA command. I've been to Singapore, the islands of Java and Bali, the island of Koh Chang. I have also visited Colombo and Trincomalee.” The kit comes in a very sturdy cardboard box with a picture of one of the class at sea in a very dramatic light and a War Cross medal with Nederlandsch 1941-42 Bar and Javazee 1941-1942 Bar in the right hand corner. On opening the box the modeller is presented with a very well protected hull form, wrapped in bubble wrap, two plastic boxes with all the other resin parts carefully protected, two sheets of etched brass, (although it looks more like copper), a small poly bag of turned brass parts and a couple of small decal sheets. The instructions come with a nice history section, including the loss of one of the ships. The rest of the instructions are in pictorial form, with an overall view and numerous smaller views showing where the parts are fitted and are pretty clear, as are the painting plans. The full hull moulding, in grey resin, is very well done, with some fine detail that is nicely rendered. There are no signs of air bubbles or imperfections, just a fair amount of release agent which will need to be washed off. The large moulding block runs along the keel and shouldn’t be too onerous to remove and clean up the hull, with only the stem and stern sections requiring any real care when removing the block.

The other resin parts are attached to moulding blocks, but some thought has been taken to ensure that the points where the blocks join the parts are mostly where they would be easy to clean up and will be the fixing points on the model. These parts consist of main and secondary armament, depth charges, ventilators, propeller shafts with the propellers attached, searchlights, deck houses, liferafts, paravanes, winches, and bridge furniture. Whilst the parts are quite well protected there were still a couple of the smaller gun barrels broken off on our review kit, although these should easily be replaced with brass rod. 
In the other plastic box are the larger resin parts, which consist of the ships boats, bridge structure, upper bridge, foreward and aft gun platforms, funnels, and the two triple torpedo tubes. Again the parts are cleanly moulded with no signs of air bubbles or imperfections. 

The larger of the two etched sheets is filled with the more detailed parts. These include parts for the bridge and other parts of the superstructure, boats davits, the interiors of all the ships boats, including duck boards and thwarts. There are quite a number of deck hatches and skylights, watertight doors, various walkways and platforms, ships propellers for those modellers who think the resin ones are a bit too clunky, and the ships rudder. Each of the main guns are provided with deck mounting plates, gunners seats, training and elevation wheels and shields for the A and Y guns. The secondary armament also has training and elevation wheels, mounting plate fitted. The torpedo tubes each get a pair of crew platforms, various controls, shields and seat. Smaller items such as the ships anchors, accommodation ladders, vertical and inclined ladders, cable reels, and depth charge cranes. The sheet also comes with a complete set of railings.

The smaller sheet provides the AA gun bandstand, superstructure platform supports, several smaller railings, and nameplates for each of the four second series ships.

Turned brass
There is a full set of mast sections, yards and booms in turned brass. Each part would probably benefit with being soldered rather than glued to give strong joints. The instructions are very clear on the positioning of each part and the angle of each mast in relation to the vertical.

The small sheets contain the ships pennant letters and names for the four ships.

This is the first kit I’ve seen from Pacific Crossroads and have been very impressed with the moulding, etch and the fact that the brass turned parts have been included. The kit is also something a little different as the Dutch fleet has very little exposure in the modelling world and would make a nice addition to a collection. I believe there is also a waterline hull version available. Pacific Crossroads have a couple of other ships available and I look forward to seeing future releases.