Flyhawk 1/700 HMS Kelly 1940

HMS Kelly was a K-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy and flotilla leader of her class. She served through the early years of the Second World War; in Home Waters, off Norway, and in the Mediterranean. Throughout her service, Kelly was commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten. She was lost in action in 1941 during the Battle of Crete.

HMS Kelly was not the luckiest of ships. She was commissioned on Aug 23, 1939, and was soon back in dry dock for a month-long repair due to storm damage.
On the afternoon of 14 December 1939, Kelly struck a mine and sustained damage to her hull assisting the tanker Atheltemplar which had earlier struck a mine laid by German destroyers off the Tyne Estuary. Kelly was taken in tow by a tug and returned to the Tyne. She was towed to Hawthorn Leslie’s yard for repairs, which took just a little over three months. Two days after her return to service she collided with HMS Gurkha and was back in dry dock for 8 weeks.

On the night 9 May/10 May 1940, during the Battle of Norway, Kelly was torpedoed amidships by the German E-boat S 31. Severely damaged, she was taken under tow and for four days she was attacked by E-boats and bombers as she struggled back to port at three knots. The Navy Controller wrote that she survived “not only by the good seamanship of the officers and men but also on account of the excellent workmanship which ensured the watertightness of the other compartments. A single defective rivet might have finished her.” She was repaired and returned to service.

She was not fit for active service until December 1940. Her bad luck had seen her on active service for less than two weeks over the previous 14 months. After working up trials she was sent to the Mediterranean. On 23 May, during the evacuation of Crete, she was bombed and sunk, with half her crew killed.

More  information available about her here

There have been 3 boxings of HMS Kelly by Matchbox (1980), Revell (2013) and White Ensign in resin. These are the only kids of the K-class I am aware of. It would not take much for Flyhawk to also release J and N-class destroyers as they were so similar to the K-class and are very poorly represented in any scale.

The kit comes with a top opening box and it is quite sturdy. The outside of the box has images of their planned HMS Agincourt and Scharnhorst kits. All the sprues are bagged and the larger items are in a bag of their own. The hull and deck parts are wrapped in foam and secured with elastic bands. The small PE fret and decal sheet are attached to a piece of card and in their own bag too. Inside the box we have:

  • 1 long, colour instruction sheet plus a small addendum to the instructions on a separate piece of paper.
  • 1 small decal sheet
  • 189 approx plastic parts on 12 sprues
  • 10 separate larger parts
  • 2 PE parts on 1 fret

The level of detail in this kit is up to Flyhawk’s usual exceptional standards. The sprues with the finer parts have raised edges so the delicate parts are off the table when the sprue is laid down. Attachment points are small and ejector pin marks are out of the way. There is lots of fine detail on the parts The ship is built in 9 steps and the instructions are clear and colour coded where needed to aid in showing what goes where.

The colour scheme is shown in colour and the paints are called out by name and Mr. Hobby, Tamiya and WEM colour ranges. The views are clear and it will be easy to paint her from the information given. The small decal sheet has the ships pennant numbers, G61, F61, F85 and G85 and a couple of royal ensigns. (85 is HMS Jupiter and 61 is HMS Javelin, so there may well be a J-Class kit not far away.).

The best price I can see for this kit is on eBay for $25.99 including shipping. Another $7 will get you the Deluxe Edition with brass barrels and more PE. You can also buy the PE and barrels separately as well as a masking set.

This kit should do well for a couple of reasons. Firstly it’s an excellent kit in its own right with an impressive level of detail on the 200+ parts of the basic kit and even more detail when you use the 100+ PE parts of the deluxe kit. Secondly, it’s the first time anyone has done a plastic 1/700 HMS Lance, so that will make it very popular among builders of WW2 Royal Navy kits.

Many thanks to Flyhawk for sending along the kit for review.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International
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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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