|There are a plethora of white metal parts in this kit and include the Wessex helicopter, the 4.5” gun barrels, Exocet and Sea Cat launchers, Sea Slug launcher yoke, Corvus chaff launchers, deck
winch, rudders and stabilizer fins, propeller and shaft supports, the Type 992 and 1006 radar antennas, life raft canisters, motor boats, anchors, torpedo tubes, and SCOT domes. The white metal
parts require a little more cleanup and are not as refined when compared to the small resin parts but they fit the bill. White metal is malleable so be careful when handling the some of the thinner parts
as they can be easily bent. I have one of the first packagings of this kit and Peter Hall as informed me that the motor boats are now cast in resin. The excellent photo-etch brass for this kit is quite
extensive; so extensive that it comes essentially on two brass frets. What I will call Fret 1 has the railings, which for the most part are pre-measured to fit the particular section that are to be used
with, though there is stock railing (photo-etch parts 1) to use along the edge of the main deck that will need to be cut into sections as required. Fret 1 also has the flight deck safety netting, boat davit
tops, various vent grills, yardarms, Sea Cat missiles and anchor chains. Fret 2 has the numerous individual parts for the Sea Slug launcher and Type 965 "double bedstead" air-search radar. It also has
the rest of the parts for the boat davits, ladders, hangar door, Wessex rotors, and various other detail parts. Fret 1 has the name plates and Fret 2 has the funnel badges for all eight ships in this class.
The photo-etch has wonderful relief etching and it looks like no detail has been overlooked, which is what is expected from a “Mad Pete” design. The Sea Slug launcher and Type 965 radar in real life
are complex structures and this is also true of the photo-etch assemblies for the scale model replicas. It is because of this that this kit is really better suited for modelers with more advanced skills,
especially working with photo-etch parts.
A complete and well done decal sheet is provided with pennant numbers, deck code letters and names for all eight County Class ships. A complete set of flight markings for the Wessex covering
every ship in the class is also included, as well as flight deck and draft markings, White Ensign in two sizes and Union Jack. The black markings on the sheet are walkway non-slip panels that go on
the top of the Wessex helicopter’s tail. These are shown in the painting and decal guide for the Wessex that is part of the instructions. Being such a large and complicated model, it is not surprising
that 13 pages of assembly instructions are provided for this kit. The instruction sheets are in the familiar format you have seen with other Atlantic Models and White Ensign Model kits and they are
among the best out there. The instructions provide numerous illustrations to aide in assembling this model. The first page provides a brief history of this ship. Page 2 has keyed images of the photo-
etch frets which correspond to a numbered list of photo-etch parts that spill onto the top of page 3. The remainder of page 3 has keyed images and an inventory of the resin and white metal parts.
The next 11 pages cover the various assemblies and sub-assemblies for this kit, with an entire page dedicated to the Sea Slug launcher. The images are augmented with written steps which further
explain the assembly sequence. I did catch a typographical error in the text describing the propeller assembly, referring to them as photo-etch part 36 when in fact they are cast in white metal. I
pointed this out to Peter Hall and he has made the correction, which will be included in future runs of this kit. The last two pages have painting and decal placement guides, printed in color, for the
Wessex and the ship with references to WEM Colourcoats paints where appropriate.
Out of the box, you can build any of the Batch 2 ships as they appeared in the late 1970s through essentially the end of their Royal Navy careers. According to Peter Hall, he says he has made it as
easy as possible build the Batch 1 ships or to back date a Batch 2 ships. As mentioned above, decals markings and photo-etch funnel badges and nameplates for provided all eight ships. The photo-
etch also has the center boat davits that are necessary for anyone backdating or just building one of the other ships of the class, as the boat fits varied. A lot of conversion work is required for
Devonshire and Hampshire since the main mast was on top of the forward superstructure and as a result the superstructures were different. Kent and London had the later mast configuration which
made them the same structurally as the Batch 2 ships. The only noticeable difference between the batches was the foremast, which had the platform and 992 radar lower down and an earlier HF/DF
array on top. Peter also said that an extra 4.5" turret and barrels can be bought from him as an accessory for anyone wanting to do a Batch 1 or back date a Batch 2. An excellent resource on this
class of ships is the County Class Destroyer Website (http://www.countyclassdestroyers.co.uk/index.htm).