Skytrex 1/350 Flower Class Corvette, HMS Crocus

by Chris Drage

Skytrex has made the decision to step up as scale from their more common 1:700 ship models in order to provide a lot of more detail on smaller subjects. Among the first models in this scale are a Black Swan Class, River Class, V&W Class and a generic Flower Class corvette.

The corvette is described as "HMS Crocus 1942", is a long foc'sle version and costs 30.00 in kit form. This kit is 'minimalist' to say the least: a hull and bag of parts. Like all other Skytrex kits this one comes with a huge amount of detail cast onto the hull and superstructure leaving the modeller only a few details like armaments, carley floats, mast, girder frames and radar to attach. There are no instructions - not that any are needed. Indeed, all you really need is the photo in the Skytrex catalogue as a guide. At 1:350 scale it is possible to represent the hull plating which immediately improves the look of a model ship. Most items appear to be well in scale but like all Skytrex kits, absolutely begging to be detailed with etch brass.

As HMS Crocus, there is a major error in the placement of the carley floats. Fortunately, we have two superb photographs of Crocus in Preston & Raven's Ensign 3 which clearly shows how the floats should be mounted. Another candidate for representation by this kit is HMS Alisma, which thanks to John ("Yours Aye") Lambert we are blessed with a set of superb drawings. The list is not exhaustive and a bit of research and study should throw up half a dozen or so candidates that this kit might serve to represent.

One item to note however is that only the rounded-off style of 4"gun shield is represented in the kit (not the squared-off style like Snowberry's gun shield). Sadly the barrel is cast in as well which means a bit of surgery needs doing to change its angle. There is a problem with 'Aztec' steps and poorly cast depth charges on the throwers which also need replacing.

In keeping with most Skytrex kits, it's the smaller armaments which need replacing. The 20mm, Oerlikans are rather good but the single Pompom needs replacing or at the very least fitted with a decent shield. Similarly, the racked depth charges have no cages. Another improvement I would make is to drill out the ventilators to make them deeper and with less edge. The mast, though acceptable would never be able to take rigging so replacement in brass is recommended. The davits though, are quite acceptable. The hull measures out on my scale ruler as 205' (loa) x 35' which is only a couple of scale feet out on the beam.

Like all Skytrex white metal kits, there is so much you can do to improve, enhance and 'tweak' this model using plasticard/strip/rod and etch brass. Once complete and populated with crew, you will have a superb little Flower Class corvette.