Trumpeter 1/350 HMS Dreadnought (1907)

KIT #: 05328
PRICE: $71.99 SRP
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


HMS Dreadnought was a battleship of the Royal Navy that revolutionised naval power. Her entry into service in 1906 represented such a marked advance in naval technology that her name came to be associated with an entire generation of battleships, the "dreadnoughts", as well as the class of ships named after her, while the generation of ships she made obsolete became known as "pre-dreadnoughts". She was the sixth ship of that name in the Royal Navy.

Admiral Sir John "Jacky" Fisher, First Sea Lord of the Board of Admiralty, is credited as the father of the Dreadnought. Shortly after he assumed office he ordered design studies for a battleship armed solely with 12-inch (305 mm) guns and a speed of 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph). He convened a "Committee on Designs" to evaluate the alternative designs and to assist in the detailed design process. One ancillary benefit of the Committee was that it would shield him, and the Admiralty, from political charges that they had not consulted leading experts before designing such a radically different battleship.

Dreadnought was the first battleship of her era to have a uniform main battery, rather than having a few large guns complemented by a heavy secondary battery of somewhat smaller guns. She was also the first capital ship to be powered by steam turbines, making her the fastest battleship in the world at the time of her completion. Her launch helped spark a major naval arms race as navies around the world, particularly the German Imperial Navy rushed to match her in the build-up to World War I.

Dreadnought did not participate in any of World War I's naval battles as she was being refitted during the Battle of Jutland in 1916. This was only time that British dreadnought battleships fired on their German counterparts during the war. However, she became the only battleship ever to sink a submarine when she rammed the SM U-29 when it unexpectedly broke the surface after firing a torpedo at another dreadnought in 1915. After Jutland, she was relegated to coast defence duties in the English Channel, only rejoining the Grand Fleet in 1918. She was reduced to reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap on 9 May 1921 for 44,000.


Thanks to Trumpeter and others, we now have a growing collection of kits from WWI and earlier in modern injected plastic. This seems to be the growing trend with recent releases being ships of this type. Trumpeter has decided to do a kit of the battleship that changed the way capital ships were built, the HMS Dreadnought.

Those wanting to do a waterline are going to have some work cut out for themselves as Trumpeter has decided to do this one as a full hull kit. This means that there are a considerable number of bulkheads that will fit in between the two main hull halves. I have not shown these or the main and super deck in the parts layout image as they are really not needed.

The kit includes a pair of photo etch frets and a section of copper chain for the anchor chains. You will notice that there are some railings included in the photo etch. These are for some of the superstructure decks and there is not enough to cover the circumference of the ship so that will need to come from another source. Other bits used in photo etch are some of the smaller braces for the masts and cross beams. Also included are bits for the ladders and gangways. Funnel screens are also part of the fit and a number of other small pieces that fit on the super structure including boat davits. There is a fret that is duplicated that has quite a few small circular bits that fit onto the deck itself as well as various hatches and bits for atop the guns. I have to say that this kit comes with a well detailed p.e. suite. Why they just did not go the additional step with more railings is a bit of a mystery, unless the ship never had them.

All of the various superstructure bits including the ship's masts, ships boats (these get photo etch rudders), as well as the main and secondary armament are all very nicely detailed. For an older ship, even without the mass of AA guns, this one has a lot of 'stuff' on the main deck. All of it is covered in this kit.

The superbly printed instruction sheet has 46 construction steps and all of the drawings are very well done. There are the usual detail drawings to help get some parts properly placed. A full color painting guide with a variety of paint references is provided. About the only thing missing is a rigging diagram as these pre-WWI ships were festooned with braces and radio antennas as well as lines for hoisting signal flags. The box art does a pretty good job of showing most of these. A decal sheet is provided that basically gives you two flags.

I know that quite a few folks have been awaiting this one. I can easily see how it will sell well and thanks to all the detail and extra bits, will make into a great model. Best of all, it will not require a bank loan to purchase.

November 2012

My thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. This one is available now at your local shop or on-line retailer.

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