As related in the previous review, the most numerous variant of the Hunt class was the Type II, one of which was HMS Middleton. Sadly I know little of her besides the fact that she was launched 10 January 1942. Therefore we'll move right on to looking at the kit.
Securely wrapped in bubblewrap and surrounded by packing peanuts, the ISW Hunt arrived on my doorstep full of anticipation. A quick look seemed to indicate a very well done kit, however further examination tempered that thought. I found many of the smaller pieces to be missing from my kit, or molded poorly and needing lots of work to make use of them. I sent an email off to ISW about the missing parts, and shortly after a package arrived containing not just the missing parts, but all resin parts sans the two hull halves. ISW lived up to their reputation for customer service. All scans are of my original parts, as I felt this to be indicative of what the typical kit contains.
The hull is in two pieces. The main piece consists of the hull above the waterline, while the lower hull is provided for those who would like to do a full hull build. Starting with the main hull, it is nicely molded, with the basic superstructure levels molded in place. The splinter shields around the bow and stern 4" mounts are well done with internal structure represented. Doors and various fittings are also molded unto the hull and lower superstructure. There is extra material below the waterline that needs to be removed regardless of whether a full hull or waterline model is chosen. The lower hull seems fine with no problems that I can see. I have cut away the excess material from both halves and they fit together pretty well, but will require filler and sanding to get an exact match. Overall I have to give ISW high marks for the hull(s).
Moving on to the superstructure, ISW provides bridges and after superstructure levels for both a Type I and a Type II Hunt. This is very thoughtful of them as this increases the number of options for ships that can be built. However it is here that the first of the problems appear. The various splinter shields around these structures are crazed in many locations and require filling and sanding to correct this. Little tabs are on all of the parts and will need to be carefully removed. The resin, although relatively soft, is also slightly brittle and I broke the corner of the bridge while removing one of them with an exacto knife. Next time I'll try the cool new Dremel rotary saw I just acquired. Also included is a pom-pom platform for the Type II.
The funnel and boats are well done. . unfortunately I was missing the Carley floats in my sample. There is also a Type 271 Radar lantern for use in later examples of the Hunts.
It is with the smaller parts that the problems occur. The gunshields for the 4" guns must have been something in the master, however my examples were mis-shapen and full of excess material that had to be cut away. The replacement parts ISW sent were in roughly the same shape, however between them all I will be able to get three decent ones. The 4" guns themselves are nice, as is the base for the pom-pom. . however I still haven't been able to determine just what are the pom-pom barrels !!!!!!!!
The final scan shows the remaining small parts. .. these include the anchors, 20mm Oerlikons, depth charges (with attached arbor), searchlight, propellor, rudder, prop shafts.
A PE fret is provided with rails, ladders, director radar aerials, davits, anchor chain, depth charge racks, carley float platforms and lattice supports for the various structures.
Instructions consist of six pages showing: a photo of the HMS Badsworth and information on replacement parts (one page); all the resin and PE parts (two pages), three step assembly sequence for a Type II (two pages) and finally a page of camouflage options for four different Type IIs - HMS Zetland, Avon Dale, Middleton (in 1942 and 1943). I would recommend careful study of the various components as the instructions aren't too clear in exactly where they are to go.
Overall I like the kit, there are problems with the smaller parts and the splinter shields, but these are easily surmountable by any builder with experience in short run kits or scratchbuilding. There were parts missng, but ISW came through in replacing them with no questions asked. I fully intend to purchase a second kit for conversion to a Type I.
I acquired my kit from Rosemont Hobbies, check their website for the full line of ISW kits.