WEM 1/700 Tribal Class Destroyer

By Bob Pearson


Sometime last year, Caroline Carter of White Ensign Models offered a 'scratchbuilders special' to the members of the Ship Modellers Mailing List. This consisted of the remaining stocks of the first run of the HMS Cossack hull and superstructure plus assorted left over bits of armament and ships boats. As Royal Navy cruisers and destroyers are my main naval interest, I immediately ordered one for myself. Two other items would soon come along to add to this project – the Profile Morskie volume on the Tribals, and a sample pack of the various Rust-All products.

The Kit

As mentioned above, this consisted of remaining parts that weren't quite up to snuff for 'proper' sale, suffice to say that the moulding was more than adequate for my needs– if these are 'seconds', I would love to see the newer versions of this kit.

The first step was to drill the portholes in the hull using a #70 bit and a pinvise. This is probably a tad small for the scale, but too small looks better than too big. After that I CAed an 'L' shaped sprue to the bottom of the hull as a handle. This is used to hold the model, or is placed into a slot cut in the top of the box the kit came in so as to allow stable hands free building and a larger surface for holding the model.

Next step was to clean up all the parts. This involved removing flash and opening the fronts of the gun mounts . With the various parts cleaned up I then washed the entire kit in warm soapy water. Now it was time to think about painting.

The Profile Morskie has a profile of HMS Eskimo in a simple camouflage pattern of overall white with a green panel on the hull and superstructure. I decided to do this pattern and to try a different brand of paint that my local hobby shop recommended – Scalecoat white – this was the first mistake I made. I mixed it 50/50 with Testors MM thinner and sprayed all parts including the PE. Days later the hull was still wet and did it ever smell. .. I have gone back to Testors, Humbrol or Ceramcoat.

Eventually the paint dried and I masked the hull and superstructure for the camouflage pattern. This was done using Tamiya IJN Green. The deck was handpainted in dark grey for the metal and a dirty tan colour for the Semtex decking. Once this was dry I began to have my doubts about the green being too bright, but as this was just a fun build I let it go.. ... for a few days anyways.

In the meantime, construction of the kit continued. I built the 4.7" mounts and added the prepainted rails. About now the too bright green finally got to me and I remasked the panels. This time I mixed a nice pastel shade of green and sprayed away. ... much better. ..except I now had to brush paint the portions that the rail blocked. So although it looks better, it isn't as nice as it originally was (if you know what I mean).

The Pom-pom and torpedo tubes were now added, followed by the davits and masts. The quad .5" machine guns in the mounts between the funnels was robbed from my Matchbox Kelly/WEM PE build – I guess Kelly will have to 'borrow' it from another kit. After spraying with Testors Flat, the model was to all intents and purposes now done. . except Michael Benolkin let me know that he had arranged for us to try out the Rust-All line of weathering products, so while I waited for mine to arrive I took the first batch of photos here.

Once the Rust-All arrived I tried it out on all sorts of kits. .. my old Airfix Mk.I tank looks great. On my Tribal I gave repeated thin washes of the rust (bottle No.1) to the entire hull, with heavier applications for the streaks. After this had dried I used the blackening wash (bottle No.2) over the entire model with a deliberately splotchy application to indicate differences in the weathering. All in all I was pleased with how it came out.

To display the completed model I once again went the cheap and easy route. The kit box was painted using various Ceramcoat blues and white, with the sides being done in brown.


The kit went together well and looks the part of an early war Tribal. It makes a welcome addition to my growing collection of second World War destroyers. If WEM has another clearing house sale you can bet I'll take advantage of it.

My thanks to Captain Rustal of Rust-All for the review samples.

The Profile Morskie on the Tribals came from Research-In-Scale and was previously reviewed here

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