Modelcraft/Easybuilt 1/144 Flower Class Corvette HMCS Edmundston

by Barry Marles

I found this kit, MB-01, representing the HMCS Edmundston, several years ago on sale at a hobby shop that specialized more in flying models than boats, but it came from the same product line, so I guess they took it on as a test. At the time it was under $20, and I haven't seen it anywhere since.

The instruction sheet says it's an Easy Built Model, from Beamsville Ontario. The box repeats that it's manufactured by Easy Built and made in Canada, but also says "Boats Kits by Model Craft". It was distributed by Sealand Imports of Burnaby BC. Elsewhere on the box, plastered over one of the "made in Canada" labels was "made in USA". Hopefully that's just referencing the box, since it's a stick-on label....

There's a bit of generic Corvette history provided on the info sheet, with some full scale dimensions included on the box.

I am in the process of replacing most of the parts with the exception of the hull. That's why the hull in the picture has some parts already installed. I was working on the forecastle decking last time I pulled it out. Also done was a rework of the stern area, trying to match the profile found in "AOTS Agassiz". The two white blocks in the centre of the hull are mounting points for the display stand.

The vacuformed hull is a real challenge to mate with other materials. I've tried thin liquid plastic glue and even some super glue (cyano generic brands), both with limited success. The kit instructions just say "model glue"....good luck. Best I've found so far is the older tube type glue, when used in quantity. Sheer forces provide the best test of strength and holding power. Torquing the hull lengthways for example; just normal handling while installing the decking was enough to cause torquing.) Using cyano glues on my first attempt, I installed the deck supports lengthways along the hull. Parts held on by cyano glues just popped off when trying to place the forecastle.

The plastic used to make the hull and other main parts is extremely heavy. For that reason, the cowl vents are very poorly vacuformed, as are the life rafts and dinghies (life rafts are not shown in the pictures - they got separated when I bought the kit some years ago).

The gunshield was formed using a lighter weight of plastic and looks a lot better, but still far from one that can be scratchbuilt with plastic sheeting.

As for the rest of the kit, it's typical of the balsa airplane kits produced by Easy Built and similar companies. The cutlines are provided in heavy markings on the sheeting, leaving the work to the builder.

Instructions are provided for creating the ladders, and railing, using black thread (included in the kit) and the templates on one of the instruction sheets. Also provided in the kit are balsa blocks and various lengths of hardwood dowels and wire to simulate winch parts, depth charges, masts, vent stacks etc.

Overall, the final kit would render a very rough approximation of a Canadian corvette. Lengthways it scales out pretty close at 17.08 inches, and a bit wider than the 2.8 inches estimated at her widest. Not a good beginner kit, because of the cutting needed, plus there's the challenge of gluing things together, especially if you were actually doing wood to the plastic.