Review Flyhawk 1/700 HMS Campbeltown

HMS Campbeltown was a Town-class destroyer of the Royal Navy during the Second World War. She was originally US destroyer USS Buchanan, and, like many other obsolescent U.S. Navy destroyers, she was transferred to the Royal Navy in 1940 as part of the Destroyers for Bases Agreement. Campbeltown became one of the most famous of these ships when she was used in the St. Nazaire Raid in 1942.

As an obsolescent destroyer, Campbeltown was considered to be expendable and was selected to be the ram-ship. She spent February undergoing modifications. These included removing her third and fourth funnels, and having the remaining two funnels raked to simulate the structure and appearance of a German Raubvogel-class torpedo boat. A 12-pounder gun was installed forward and eight 20 mm (0.79 in) Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons were mounted on the upper deck. Some extra armour was provided to protect the bridge structure, and unnecessary stores and equipment were removed to lighten the destroyer.

An explosive charge consisting of 24 Mark VII depth charges—containing a total of 4.5 short tons (4.1 t) of amatol high explosive—was fitted into steel tanks installed just behind the steel pillar that supported her most forward gun mount. The charges were to be detonated by multiple eight-hour time pencils connected together by cordtex, set before steaming out and cemented in to prevent any interference with the detonation.

The only other 1/700 HMS Campbeltown I’ve discovered was a resin copy by B Resin. Other than that your only other option is the venerable 1/600 HMS Campbeltown by Airfix.

The box is a standard end opening box and is pretty full. The box contains:

  • 88 plastic parts on 7 sprues
  • 22 photoetch parts on one sheet
  • 1 small decal sheet
  • instructions sheet

The instructions are a little larger than we’ve seen before from Flyhawk and are easier to read as a result. The instructions are on a single, double sided, sheet of glossy paper. The sheet is approximately the same size as 2 sheets of A4/Letter joined top to bottom. The instructions start with the layout of the sprues and the usual notes and guide to the icons used in the steps. There are 5 steps and they are very clearly laid out.

  • Step 1 is putting the deck on thr hull top.
  • Step 2 basically deals with the forward hald of the ship with plastic and PE.
  • Step 3 deals with the midship area.
  • Step 4 is the building of the aft end of the ship.
  • Step 5 adds the lower hull to the ship. Obviously this part is optional and you can leave the ship as a waterline model.

The final part of the instructions covers the painting guide. There are only 6 colours used and they are called out in Mr. Hobby, Tamita and WEM. I don’t believe WEM make paint any more though.

The level of detail is very good and the sprue attachment points are small and the elector pin marks are not a concern. This is going to make a very nice model. Flyhawk have done their research and the kit represents HMS Campbeltown with the correct armament configuration for the St. Nazaire raid on 28 March 1942.

The decal sheet has 2 ensigns, Royal Navy and Kriegsmarine. As mentioned in the video HMS Campbeltown sailed up the Loire with the Kriegsmarine ensign flying to confuse the Germans and the Royal Navy ensign was hoisted as the attack went in. There are 2 ensigns for each navy, one as if blowing in the wind and another sticking straight out as if a metal rod is at the top of the ensign. I note the swastikas are missing from the Kriegsmarine ensigns.

This kit is widely available, but I found it for $18.23 at HobbyEasy.

Many thanks to Flyhawk for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International

Paul Tosney

Paul has been with Model Builder International since almost the beginning. He started building models as a boy, and took a hiatus, but started building again a few years ago. He builds pretty much anything, but mostly WW2, with a smattering of modern and the occasional SciFi model.


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