KIT: MPC/Airfix 1/600 HMS Suffolk
KIT #: 5001
DECALS:  none in my kit
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: It is an Airfix kit repackaged by MPC


A Kent class cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was built by Portsmouth Dockyard, Portsmouth, UK), with the keel being laid down on the 15 November 1924. She was launched on the 16 March 1926, and commissioned 25 June 1928.

Suffolk, like her sisters, served on the China Station, save for reconstruction, until the outbreak of World War II. She came home in 1939 and then patrolled the Denmark Straits in October 1939. In April 1940 she participated in the Norwegian Campaign. On 13 April 1940 she arrived at Tˇrshavn to commence the British pre-emptive occupation of the Faroe Islands. On 14 April 1940 Suffolk sank the German tanker Skagerak (6044 tons) northwest of Bod°, Norway in position 64.05N, 08.00E.

On 17 April 1940 Suffolk bombarded the air field and station for sea planes at Sola Air Station, Stavanger, destroying four aircraft and damaging the installations, but was in return badly damaged by bombs from German Ju88 aircraft of II./KG 30. X-turret's magazine had been destroyed. The ship was very lucky to survive this ordeal and she barely reached Scapa Flow with her stern awash the next morning. She was beached at Scapa Flow to prevent her sinking. Suffolk was out of action from April 1940 until February 1941 where she was repaired at Clyde

During May 1941 Suffolk was involved in the Battle of the Denmark Strait and the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. Suffolk had engaged the battleship twice during the battle making several salvoes on her. Bismarck finally sank on 27 May 1941.

After her repairs Suffolk served with the Home Fleet in Arctic waters until the end of 1942, then underwent a refit between December 1942 and April 1943. On completion of this the ship was ordered to the Eastern Fleet, operating in the Indian Ocean until the end of the war.

Suffolk was allocated to Bisco on 25 March 1948 and was scrapped at J Cashmore's (Newport, Wales) where she arrived on 24 June 1948.


 Those of us who build ships from time to time have all built at least one Airfix version. Airfix decided on 1/600 for most of its ship kits and they are all quite similar in construction. The full hull is two halves with the deck fit in between them. Then all the superstructure stuff gets added atop all that.

The parts themselves are fairly well molded with nicely done deck planks and fittings. The gun turrets have separate barrels and for these to run, must be attached prior to attaching the main deck to the hull. Though suffering somewhat from flash, my sample was devoid of the sink marks that usually mark ship's turrets. The usual mass of ship's boats, divots, AA guns and the like are in with the kit. One builds up the various superstructure bits prior to attaching them to the main deck. A Walrus seaplane is provided and the ship's masts are well done, though one of mine had broken over the years. As it is a full hull, prop shafts and rudder are supplied with the small display stands coming in quite handy during construction.

instructions are fairly well done with generic paint information given and then, only in the final camo scheme. For this boxing, a disruptive scheme is recommended, though I'm sure you could model it in a pre-war overall grey scheme. In fact, though the box art shows the disruptive scheme, a solid grey is shown on the build-up images!


By no means a state of the art kit, and in an odd scale compared to modern kits, it is still one that can be built into a very nice representation of this somewhat famous WWII British cruiser.

May 2007

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