Samek 1/700 Resin HMS York
HMS York was laid down at Palmers on the 16th May 1927 and completed on the 1st May 1930. She was originally to have been in a class of two with HMS Exeter, but because of the economic climate Exeter was put off till the following year. Changes were made to both designs, therefore making both ships a class of one or "half sisters" to each other.
The outbreak of war on September the 3rd, 1939 found HMS York on the American Station where she was used for convoy protection from Canada. In March 1940 she intercepted the blockade runner Aracus. During 1940 she was involved in the Norwegian campaign, and then attached to the Home Fleet. She was then transferred to the Mediterranean and joined the 3rd Cruiser Squadron operating out of Malta and Alexandria in the summer of 1940. Here, she served with distinction until meeting her fate at Crete, where she was hit by Italian explosive motor boats in Suda Bay on the 26th March 1941. She was beached and finally finished off with explosive charges on 22nd May 1941 when the Allies evacuated Crete.
I recently received this kit as a very nice present. It comes in a sturdy box with approx. 50 parts, all nicely wrapped up in plastic. Many parts are still in their 'wafer' which will need some small cleaning up. Also included is an etched brass set from Eduard to help detail the kit.
On inspection of the parts and main hull, I found them to be cleanly cast with few, if any, blemishes or pinholes. The hull looks to be spot-on in length and beam according to the figures quoted in the instruction sheet which tallies with that given in M J Whitley's 'Cruisers of WW2'. The masts need to be scratchbuilt with stretched sprue.
However there is at least one problem with the bridge that I have noticed. The middle part (no part numbers given) of the bridge subassembly has a block of resin where in fact it should be hollowed out (Ref: Picture of HMS York in Warship International 3/1977 page 251) - shades of the Skywave/Tamiya O class Destroyer. Obviously this is a misinterpretation of top view plans. Now, just how far down this 'bridge deck' goes, I can't say at this stage, in fact it may be easier to cut it out completely and replace with plastic card, but some more research will need to be done to find that out.
The big bugbear with this kit is the instructions. This is one area where Samek can make an improvement. Having recently picked up other resin kits I found the instructions here to be lacking. The instructions come on two A4 doublesided sheets, with the first sheet being the basic dimensions of the ship with some nice line drawings and paint guide on the reverse, the second contains on one side a simple exploded view for the main parts, with subassemblies on the rear. While this is enough to build the kit, it does lack a part breakdown and clear instructions for the subassemblies including the PE set. A nice touch however is the provision of 1/700 scale drawings for the masts, which must be scratchbuilt, posssibly with fine wire.
So, how do we rate this kit very nice mouldings with at least one minor flaw and average instructions? Well, I can recommend this kit to experienced builders with no hesitations whatsoever. I do think you may need a few resin kits under your belt to tackle this and give it the attention it deserves. It will make a very nice model with a little effort and time, but patience as ever will be required. I look forward to taking this kit out of the 'to do pile' and having a crack at it in the future.