Arethusa had the honour of taking the King to France on D-plus-10. It was anything but a glorious June day. From the deckhouse of one of the old ships settled on the bottom to form the artificial shelter known as the Gooseb erry, I saw the
Arethusa come into the anchorage under scudding low clouds and with a strong wind whipping the sea into white horses....Soon after her Royal voyage to Normandy, the cruiser with the famous name - eighteenth-century sailors sang ‘Huzza to
the Arethusa!’ - was damaged by a magnetic mine...
The King’s Cruisers, Hodder and Stoughton, London 1947, by Gordon Holman, at page 137,138.                

For several months after the Armistice of November 11, 1918 the British government kept the Grand Fleet at full strength. They were still uncertain times and it was thought that the war could flare up again. By mid 1919 it was clear that there was peace
and the threat of the German High Seas Fleet was no more. Britain no longer needed the Grand Fleet and so it was dissolved. The political leaders said that Britain no longer needed the hundreds of ships that made up the greatest fleet that Great Britain ever
possessed. They cost too much money to man and maintain and besides the Great Threat had been defeated and they too, were no longer needed. In that year and the few that followed, rapid naval disarmament was the order of the day issued by the
politicians to their Lordships of the Admiralty.        
In this period Britain disposed of 83 cruisers. Almost every cruiser of pre-war construction was removed, sold or scrapped. It was a fire sale to end all fire sales. The remainder of the RN cruiser force that survived this gutting, amounted to 49 ships and
nine of those were still on the stocks with work on them slowed to a glacial pace. Admiral Jellicoe had calculated that the Royal Navy needed a minimum force of 70 cruisers to adequately defend the far-flung trade lanes and possessions of the British
Empire. Now the RN had only 72% of that minimum requirement. Through the 1920s and early 1930s the Admiralty hung on to the 70-ship minimum and unsuccessfully tried to lobby the politicians to increase the quantity of RN cruisers. However, the
political and popular criticism of increased naval budgets and the shaky financial condition of the Exchequer precluded any meaningful attempt to bridge the gap.

A new naval building race erupted between Japan and the United States and though it was in terms of capital ships, it effected the views on the cruisers that the RN still possessed. The wartime cruiser construction of the RN concentrated on cruisers
with speed and gunpower but of short range. They were designed for combat in the North Sea not for cruising the huge distances of the British trade routes. Only the four
Elizabethans, the four 9,750 ton cruisers named after Queen Elizabeth’s great
sea captains had the range and size for sustained operations in the deep ocean. Only four of 49 were truly capable of the new mission that was mandated with the peace. When it was realized that the ambitious USN construction program had only
triggered a new arms race, all the major naval powers were invited to Washington to enter a Treaty that would limit naval construction. Britain jumped at this because she was in no financial position for a new arms race and although Japan was less
eager, that country was near bankruptcy because of the tremendous tempo of new construction. Before the conference, a brief was prepared by the Admiralty for the British negotiators. In cruisers it emphasized that parity between the USN and RN was
unacceptable. As a minimum the RN needed a 3 to 2 quantitative superiority. As a back up position, if parity in numbers had be granted, cruiser size limitations were to be limited to a maximum of 10,000 tons. This size limitation was based solely on the
RN’s desire to retain the four
Elizabethans, which were just under this limit. This provision, generated solely on a short-term outlook, would come back to plague the Royal Navy throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The 10,000 limitation was also exactly
what the USN desired, as that was the size of cruiser designs that were being explored for new construction. One additional provision was inserted that mandated a maximum gun size of 8-inches, slightly more than the 7.5-inch armament carried by the
Elizabethans. The terms on cruiser construction were quickly agreed upon and it was only later in the decade that their full implications to the RN came home to roost.        
The result was almost instantaneous, the maximum also became the minimum and every naval power started building 10,000 ton cruisers armed with 8-inch guns. Although there was no quantitative limitation in the treaty to cruiser construction, there was
a de facto monetary limitation. The British government did not have the funds to build to the 70-ship level and every pound spent on RN cruisers went into the big, expensive
County Class heavy cruisers. By 1925 it was clear to the Admiralty that British
interests would be far better served by more numerous, smaller cruisers. With more and more budget cuts the RN had to do something to get more cruiser construction. The first solution was the Type B heavy cruiser. The big
County Class cruisers were
designated as Type A cruisers and two smaller cruisers, mounting six 8-inch guns was designed and became
York and Exeter, sometimes called the Cathedral Class because of the two major cathedrals located in those cities. Coming in at 8,230 tons, they
were cheaper and lighter than the 10,000-ton cruisers. However, that still was not the answer. The RN needed lighter and more numerous cruisers than the quantity that could be afforded by the Type B cruiser.

Concurrently with the Type B design and construction, the RN looked into the ideal 6-inch gun light cruiser that could give the service the numbers she needed for trade route protection. However, heavy cruiser construction still absorbed the entire cruiser
budget. In 1927 at Geneva there was a new conference in which a new individual ship size limitation on cruisers was suggested by the British delegates. The new limit would be 7,500 tons, armed with guns no greater than 6-inches. Although the Japanese
seemed agreeable, the Americans adamantly refused the new size limitations and the conference broke up with no agreement. In 1928 the need for a modern RN light cruiser was again discussed. Still the heavy cruiser dominated discussions and one early
proposal was for a Convoy Cruiser of 7,500 tons, six 8-inch guns and a maximum speed of 21-knots. That idea was quickly shot down. Another proposal was for cruisers of around 5,000-tons armed with four 8-inch guns but that also was killed
because of the lack of firepower and limited ability to operate with the fleet. However, the ideal characteristics for a new light cruiser were identified in a 6-Inch Gun Cruiser Conference in January 1929. Initial debate revolved around the gun size, should it
be 6-inch or 5.5-inch? The 6-inch gun won and five sketches were prepared. The designs varied from five 6-inch singles in open mounts at 5,995 tons to eight 6-inch guns in twin mounts at 6,410 tons. The later design was selected as the basis for new
construction. This design, approved on June 3, 1929, became the
Leander Class light cruiser. However, this was only the starting point as the design was continuously modified with the resulting upward creep in displacement. By June 1931 displacement
had zoomed upwards by over 700-tons to 7,154-tons.         
It was the Mk XXIII 6-inch gun that was carried, which used a 112lb (50.8kg) shell with a maximum range of 25,480 yards (23,300m). Original plans called for two directors but in a typical “penny wise and pound foolish” move the government
decided to save a few bob by deleting the aft controller. As a result only one target could be engaged at a time and fire aft would be greatly hampered without a director. The secondary armament was a sparse four 4-inch Mk V DP guns. One high angle
director on the bridge provided for AA fire for these secondary guns, as well as for the three quadruple Vickers .50 machine gun light AA mounts. Armament was rounded out with two quadruple 21-inch torpedo mounts. Armor was designed to
withstand 6-inch gun fire above 10,000 yards to critical areas with a three-inch belt to machinery spaces, 3.5-inch side and 2-inch crown armor to magazines, 1-inch armored deck and 1-inch turret crown protection. The layout for the machinery spaces
provided three boiler rooms with a total of six Admiralty three drum boilers and two turbine rooms housing the four Parsons geared turbines. The plant provided 72,000shp for the four shafts, providing a maximum speed of 32.5-knots. Another limitation
in the design was a limited range. The class carried a maximum 1,720-tons of fuel oil and had a cruising range of 5,730nm at 13-knots.                 

Leander proved to be a handsome ship with one massive trunked funnel. It was obvious that cruisers operating individually on the trade routes would need their own aerial reconnaissance assets, so a large 53-foot catapult was worked into the
design. This catapult design was chosen as the minimum size necessary to carry the newly designed Fairey 111F three seat reconnaissance aircraft. Initial plans called for one Fairey 111F and one lighter Hawker Osprey but the Fairey proved too heavy
for the light cruiser design and only the Osprey was shipped. Hangars were ruled out because of space limitations. The
Leander became part of the 1929 program. Three more, Achilles, Neptune and Orion were part of the 1930 program and Ajax was
part of the 1931 program. The last four were redesigned to add one more foot to the beam for stability. Although the RN finally had the cruiser that was best suited for their needs, the country was in the depths of the depression and the required numbers
could not be built.

The London Treaty of 1930 went further in restricting cruisers than the Washington Treaty. The Washington Treaty only put a maximum on displacement and gun size with no restrictions on the number of cruisers that could be built. The London Treaty
imposed an overall cruiser tonnage restriction. The RN could have a maximum total tonnage of cruisers of 339,000 tons by December 31, 1936. It further broke the cruisers into two categories based on weapons. Cruisers with a main armament of 6.1-
inch or smaller (light cruisers) and cruisers of 6.11 to 8-inch (heavy cruisers). The allowable tonnages of each country varied between the two. Under the London Treaty the limits by navy were: Heavy Cruisers; USN, – 180,000 tons: UK &
Commonwealth – 146,000 tons; Japan – 108,400 tons: Light cruisers; USN – 143,500 tons; RN & Commonwealth – 192,200 tons; Japan – 100,450 tons. That left 91,000 of new cruiser tonnage for the RN to add in the light category. The RN pressed
on with the 7,000 ton cruiser, in spite of the fact that both Japan and the USN had decided to build 10,000 ton light cruisers. Again, the RN wanted numbers, rather ships of the maximum possible displacement. It was anticipated that the RN would
expend all 91,000 tons in the construction of 13
Leanders. However, those plans changed with the development of the even lighter, Arethusa fleet cruiser design.
The Admiralty held a Cruiser Conference in 1929 and the subject of an intermediate cruiser design was a big topic. What was desired was a cruiser smaller than the Leander, ranging in the 4,000-5,000-ton displacement range. However, the design
would still have to have the ability to function with the fleet and on trade protection missions. Resulting from this desire, different designs were drawn, some with 6-inch guns and some with 5.5-inch guns. Some with single gun mounts and some with
twin gun mounts. Economy was critical because more of the smaller cruisers could be built for the same amount of fewer
Leanders. The displacement and costs of the Leanders had crept upwards significantly during their design and construction.  
Further, it was difficult for the Admiralty to squeeze a Pound from the Labour government and the intermediate cruiser would certainly cost less. Another factor was the desire of some Admirals to have a small cruiser that could function as a destroyer
leader. Not only would it have to have the speed of a destroyer but also it had to have the same acceleration capability of destroyers. A typical cruiser were much slower in accelerating compared to a destroyer.

Since the design had to serve as a trade cruiser as well as a fleet cruiser and destroyer leader, range was an important consideration in the trade protection mission. In this area there was not enough displacement available to give the design a true range of
a trade cruiser. As it was, the range was limited to 5,300 nm at 13-knots. In the
Bismarck hunt the Arethusa had break off before her accompanying cruisers in order to refuel. Originally, the Admiralty was going to build at least eight in the class,
Arethusa in the 1931 program, Galatea in the 1932 program, three ships in the 1933 program and three ships in the 1934 program. However, events intervened. Japan announced a new light cruiser design with fifteen 6.1-inch guns on an alleged
displacement of 8,500-tons. This would become the
Mogami Class and of course Japan had grossly misstated the displacement by over 50%. The Admiralty properly doubted the stated characteristics but the press and public berated the current British
designs of the improved
Leander and Arethusa. As a response two of the ships of the 1934 program were eliminated and only Penelope was built and two of three ships in the 1935 program were eliminated and only the Aurora was built. Instead of
Arethusas, the Southampton or Town Class was developed and built.
The Arethusa Class displaced between 5,220 to 5,270-tons standard and 6,665 to 6,715-tons full load. Length was 506-feet (154.22m) overall and 480-feet (146.3m) between perpendicular bulkheads. Beam was 51-feet (15.54m) and draught 16-feet
6-inches (5.03m) mean depth. For
Arethusa and Galatea the original armament was six 6-inch Mk XXIII guns mounted in three twin turrets, four single 4-inch Mk V guns, two quadruple 0.5-inch Vickers machine gun mounts, and six 21-inch torpedoes
mounted in two triple mounts. When it came to building
Penelope and Aurora, twin 4-inch guns were used instead of single mounts. The class, except for Aurora,  also carried a 46-foot catapult and one aircraft, a Hawker Osprey, although the Admiralty
tried every which way to have two planes. There was no hangar facility. The power plant consisted of four Admiralty 3-drum boilers providing steam for four Parsons geared turbines, providing 64,000shp with a maximum speed of 32.25-knots. As
mentioned, range was 5,300 nm at 13-knots. The armor scheme had 2.25-inch belt protecting machinery spaces, 3-inch magazine sides, 2-inches magazine crowns and a 1-inch deck.

HMS Arethusa was laid down at Chatham Dockyard on January 25, 1933, launched on March 6, 1934 and completed on May 23, 1935. She was sent to the 3rd Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean where she remained until World War Two started. In
November 1937 the Hawker Osprey was replaced by a Seafox. Early in 1940
Arethusa and Penelope were recalled to the Home Fleet and became part of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron, which had all of the ships of the Class.
In March 1940 Arethusa was part of the Norwegian Campaign. While escorting convoy ON18 to Norway, she was attacked by the Luftwaffe but suffered no damage. Arethusa with sister Galatea, a French cruiser and two French destroyers were
dispatched to destroy any German shipping in the Bergen and Stavanger area. At 0755 a single German bomber appeared. There was some long range gunfire by
Galatea but neither side was damaged. On April 19 Arethusa was with Galatea, Renown,
Valiant and four destroyers and left Scapa Flow to bombard Trondheim. On April 22 Arethusa had a solo mission. She left Rosyth at 10:45 with the mission to establish an airfield at Lesjascoo close to Aandalsnes. She carried the necessary stores to do
so as well as 1,000 rounds of 4-inch shells for resupply of the sloops operating there.  In a week the military situation in central Norway was in the dupper and
Arethusa, along with Galatea, Sheffield and Southampton were sent to evacuate British
troops from Aandalsnes, which she had visited only a week earlier. At 01:00 on May 1 the force departed carrying 1,200 troops. It came under air attack at 03:35 but there was no damage. On May 8 was recalled to the Nore Command to support British
troops in Calais, after which she helped in the BEF evacuations from French ports. On May 26 she expended her entire component of ammunition shelling German batteries at Calais. On June 28, 1940 she was part of Force H at Gibraltar.

On July 3, 1940
Arethusa was still a part of Force H for the attack on the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. During the action, the French colonial sloop Rigault de Genouilly, was returning to Oran and was headed straight toward HMS Hood. “When there
had been six destroyers in our screen on the starboard wing, there was unaccountably a seventh and this interloper was heading straight for the Hood at full speed.
(Struggle for the Middle Sea, Naval Institute Press 2009, by Vincent P. O’Hara, at
page 24)
Arethusa and Enterprise engaged the sloop from 12,000 to 18,000 yards, and along with a few 15-Inch rounds from Mighty Hood, drove the sloop away. After this the cruiser was on convoy escort in the Atlantic and also operated in the
Mediterranean. While operating in the Atlantic the
Arethusa had a near miss of intercepting the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. The German twins had left Kiel on January 22, 1941 to raid the British convoys in the Atlantic. The Admiralty knew they were
out and formed interception groups. In addition to
Arethusa, her group included Galatea, Nelson, Repulse, Naiad, Phobe and nine destroyers to operate south of Iceland. At 06:40 Naiad sighted smoke to the south. The smoke was from the German
battleships and they were just outside the range of
Naiad’s radar. Weather was poor with frequent snow squalls. The German ships changed course and Naiad lost contact. By April 1941 Arethusa had landed the catapult and received two quadruple
40mm pom-pom mounts in place of the catapult, and Type 286 radar. For the
Bismarck hunt the Arethusa was part of the coverage of the Iceland-Faroes gap. In July she was escorting convoys to Malta. Arethusa was part of Force X in Operation Style
from July 30 to August 4, 1941. This was a crucial mission to take RAF personnel to Malta. At the time, the force was limited by
Arethusa’s highest speed of 28-knots. Although spotted on August 2, Force X made it to Malta on August 4.
Later in 1941 two UP mounts and four single 20mm Oerlikon guns were added. As part of the Home Fleet, in December 1941 Arethusa received an odd white paint scheme with Nazi deck insignia to pose as a German cruiser for a raid on Lofoten
Island. She was damaged in this operation and underwent repairs at Chatham until April 1942. During the spring refit of 1942 the UP mounts, quadruple MG mounts and single 4-inch guns were removed and replaced by twin 4-inch guns and four more
Oerlikons. The Type 286 radar was landed and
Arethusa received Type 273, 281, 282, 284, and 285 radars. In June 1942 she returned to the Mediterranean as part of the 15th Cruiser Squadron to support the Malta convoys. In October 1942 she
received a further three Oerlikons. While engaged in Operation Stoneage on November 18, 1942 the
Arethusa was hit by an Italian aerial torpedo. She suffered heavy casualties and had to be towed into Alexandria. Temporary repairs were made there
until February 7, 1943 at which time she steamed to Charlestown, Massachusetts for a full refit in the United States.
Arethusa underwent a significant refit in the United States between March to December 1943. During this refit, the pom-poms were
replaced by far superior quadruple 40mm Bofors mounts. Also three single Oerlikon mounts were replaced by four twin Oerlikons and the radar fit was modernized.

On December 15, 1943 the lengthy repair and refit was finished and
Arethusa returned to the United Kingdom. By April 1944, the AA fit comprised the two quadruple Bofors, four power operated twin Oerlikons and three single Oerlikons. The cruiser
was not fully operational until June 1944. She was part of Force D for the Normandy Invasion, supporting Sword Beach and on D+10 took the King to Normandy. By January 1945
Arethusa was back her old stomping grounds, the Med, again as part
of the 15th Cruiser Squadron. After the war the
Arethusa Class was considered too small for modernization but Arethusa was used for trials and experiments until 1949. HMS Arethusa was sent to Cashmore’s in Newport for scrapping, which started
on May 9, 1950.                
Arethusa’s Camouflage Schemes: If you like the rainbow of WW2 British camouflage schemes, I highly recommend British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WWII, Volume 3 Cruisers, Minelayers and Armed Merchant Cruisers, Naval
Institute Press 2016 by Malcolm Wright. Color Profiles are present for every ship. There are nine for the
Arethusa, ten if you include both the port and starboard profiles for Arethusa in April 1942. Photographs of the Arethusa profiles are present at the
end of this review. As commissioned she wore overall 507C with natural wood decks and 507B or 507A metal decks. In 1940 and painted overall 507B. Natural wood decks and 507B metal decks. In mid-1940 she received Mountbatten pink overall with
unknown deck colors. In July 1941 she received an overall 507C with a mottled 507B pattern on top. Decks, wood and metal, were painted 507B. December 1941 reflected an unique overall white scheme with MS4a along the waterline and B5 at the bow
and Kriegsmarine recognition Swastika flags painted on the forecastle and quarterdeck. After the Lofoten raid she was repainted 507B. In April 1942 (the fit for the
Iron Shipwright kit) she received a four color scheme using MS4a, B5, MS4 and B15.
Metal decks were 507A and the wooden decks stained dark blue gray, similar to PB10. By December 1943
Arethusa received a high contrast scheme using G20 and B55. Decks stayed the same.. For Overlord, she was in the standard Admiralty scheme
with lower hull MS2 and upper hull and superstructure in MS3. Decks remained the same.  In 1945
Arethusa was back in the Mediterranean with an overall 507C and a hull panel of 507A. Decks were dark gray. (Bulk of history is from: British and
Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WWII
, Volume 3 Cruisers, Minelayers and Armed Merchant Cruisers, Naval Institute Press 2016 by Malcolm Wright; British Cruiser Warfare, Seaforth Publishing 2019, by Alan Raven; British Cruisers of
World War Two
, Arms and Armour Press 1980, by Alan Raven and John Roberts: British Cruisers Two World Wars and After, Seaforth Publishing 2010, by Norman Friedman;  Cruisers of World War Two, Brockhampton Press 1999, by M. J.
The King’s Cruisers, Hodder and Stoughton, London 1947, by Gordon Holman; Struggle for the Middle Sea, Naval Institute Press 2009, by Vincent P. O’Hara)

Iron Shipwright 1:350 Scale HMS Arethusa - A couple of weeks ago I checked out the Commanders/ Iron Shipwright web site and noticed that a monthly special was posted on March 23. I clicked on it expecting to see that the special was on a
previously existing kit. I was surprised because it was on the British light cruiser
Arethusa in 1942. I didn’t remember that Iron Shipwright had produced a WWII Arethusa. I called Jon of Iron Shipwright in his palatial mansion in Oak Ridge, Tennessee
and asked him when he had released the
Arethusa kit. His reply was a couple of weeks ago. He has more new releases coming. I placed an order with Iron Shipwright on Friday and it arrived the following Monday. With several orders from other
countries slowed to a snail pace due to lack of flights caused by Covid19, receiving an order in three days was a breath of fresh air. I like building a full hull warship kit in 1:350 scale and waterline for 1:700 scale warships. I find full hull resin warship
hulls easier to mount on pedestals than plastic hulls. Since the hull is cast with the keel up, if you want to have the hull cast to waterline,
ISW can do that. Just let Jon know that you want a waterline version. Iron Shipwright is the largest producer of
resin 1:350 scale warship kits in the world with a wide selection of types and time periods. It is possible to build other fits of
Arethusa other than the April 1942 version. Earlier versions would have single 4-inch guns instead of twin guns. Fortunately,
Black Cat Models produces a single 4-inch RN mount. ISW includes the 46-foot catapult as an optional part on the photo-etch fret, so if you want to build the early war fit, you can do so. However, I have not yet found a photograph or plan that shows
the design of the catapult turntable.
The casting of the Arethusa parts is typical of Iron Shipwright. It is a good solid product but not spectacular. There are minor voids in the hull casting and the smaller parts have a high amount of flash to be removed. I found the hull casting to be very
ISW casts the hull decks down and keel up in the mold. As resin is poured into the mold air bubble will rise upwards towards the keel. Another characteristic of this method is that some air pockets can be trapped into deck fittings at the bottom
of the mold. In the support posts for the 4-Inch platform positions you can see a couple of the voids. However, that was it for deck defects. They are easily filled with putty and smoothed. On the keel there were a couple of small voids and many more
pinhole voids. There were also the remnants of a couple resin pour stubs to be sanded. For the voids the fix of putty and sanding will be an easy process. To compare the hull casting with the actual ship, I used the plan and profile of
Arethusa as of
March 1941 by A.D. Baker on page 157 of
British Cruisers Two World Wars and After, Seaforth Publishing 2010, by Norman Friedman, as well as photographs. Obviously the date of fit is important in deciding accuracy. As an example, the profile
drawing shows two rows of portholes at the bow but photographs from April 1942 clearly show that the lower row was plated over. The prominent British knuckle at the bow looks good. The belt armor looks good but is too thick for the thin belt that
the ship carried. Some could be sanded off but I certainly wouldn’t take the time or trouble to thin the belt. On the lower hull there is a thin placement guide for bilge keels. These are not the keels themselves but serve to place bilge keels above the cast
on lines. The actual keels will need to be cut from card stock with their ends shaped for the keel. The bilge keels are much shorter than the locater lines, so make sure you check a profile before attaching the bilge keels to make sure they are not too
long. The 02 level of the forward superstructure is integral to the hull casting, as is the 01 level of the superstructure after the deck break separating the higher forecastle from the main deck. Porthole, shuttered windows and doors appear to be
correctly placed.

There are some discrepancies with the deck fittings placement. For the most part the casting follows the plan but there are some fittings that are not is the same position as on the plan. I couldn’t find detailed photographs of the
Arethusa’s decks for a
comparison, as I could the hull.
ISW cast on the plates for the twin bollards but to the bollards themselves. They would have been automatic air bubble traps. Therefore you will have to cut the bollards from plastic rod and attach them to the plates.
The anti-skid pattern of the metal forecastle deck has the right pattern but is a trifle oversize but not excessively so. Other forecastle detail has the anchor chain run plates, windlasses, chain locker entrances, nice oval deck hawses and deck access
coaming. Wooden planking has fine lines but no butt ends separating the planks. The breakwater is nicely done with thin support gussets on the forward face and aft face, There was a small void on the cast on cable reel behind the breakwater. The
deck of the 02 level (base for the bridge) have numerous deck access coamings of different patterns. Midship are the supports for the deck platforms of the 01 level superstructure, as well as placement circles for the torpedo mounts. The quarter deck
winds up with more deck access coamings, twin bollard plates, stern windlass and a few other fittings.
ISW casts the smaller resin parts in three methods. Larger parts are cast singly, decks are cast on resin wfers and the smallest parts are cast on runners. The larger parts generally have little resin residue to remove. The bridge, 6-inch turrets and
funnels are cast singly. Each part has a little resin to sand of the bottom of the casting. The bridge is a fairly clean casting with only the bottom residue to remove. The funnels have a small amount of resin flash and the bottoms to sand. They have nice
top and bottom aprons and steam pipe detail on the openings and front face of the forward funnel. The turrets have detail on the front faces and access doors on the rear faces. I did notice one error with the turrets. In the April 1942 fit the
had an Oerlikon gun top on  but not worth the effort to thin the crown of X turret. None of the turrets had that tub and the tub was not present as a separate part. Part #11 is a tub but is larger thgan the Oerlikon tub and the instructions show it
attached elsewhere. It will be necessary to add that tub from your scraps or mention it to
ISW so it can be included in your kit. Three torpedo tube mounts were included but you only need two, so you can pick the two best. You will have to remove
some flash and cut off resin pour vents, as well as do a general clean up for these mounts. Likewise, the the twin 4-inch gunshields are cast separately. Five were included in my kit but only four were needed. The gunshields have vision ports on their
front faces. Cleanup is similar to that needed with the torpedo tubes, flash and pour vent removal. Four larger parts are cast in the wafer format. These are the upper decks. The two largest are the aft and midship gun decks and the other two are aft
top deck and the bridge/navigation deck. There are a lot of resin pour vents that stick up like a forest of antennas and will have to be snipped off. There is some flash to be removed but in the case of these castings, I don’t think that is excessive.
Splinter shields are a little thick not worth the effort to thin. There is quite amount of detail on these decks with doors with hinge and dog detail, ammunition lockers, boat cradles, deck access coamings, wooden deck panel lines and bridge wind baffles.
The baffles are thick.

Flashamatic! The smaller parts have a medium to high amount of flash to remove. However, the simple solution for removal amounts to patience and a Xacto or hobby knife. The smaller parts from
ISW have always had significant flash to be removed
Arethusa is no exception. Prior to the early 1942, Arethusa had pole masts but they became tripods in this refit. That is what you receive with the ISW Arethusa. You get separate parts for the masts, topmasts, and tripod legs. The masts and top
masts have yardarms cast as part of the masts and the tripod legs have horizontal braces connecting the legs. If you want to build an earlier fit, you wouldn’t use the tripod legs. I received 20 Oerlikons when far less was needed. Several of these guns
had truncated barrels but there is more than enough available for use on the kit. The Oerlikon detail is pretty good, requiring only flash removal. Six twin 4-inch guns were in the kit with only four needed. These are solid parts with good detail. Seven 6-
inch barrels need to be shipped from a pour vent and cleaned. Likewise, the 4-inch and pom-pom mounts have significant detail but have the omnipresent flash for removal. Four pom-pom gun assemblies were included but only two are needed. With
my kit two of the assemblies had broken barrels but I still had two good ones to use. The pom-pom ammunition belts are separate parts. However, I believe that I will replace the pom-poms with
Black Cat Models quadruple pom-poms. Two sets of
propellers are include, two for the starboard side and two for the port, with the blades at different angles on each side. Multiple shaft struts and anchors are included. Other resin parts include paravanes, signal lamps, searchlights, HAC directors, gun
director, platforms, rudder, double-stacked carly floats, balsa rafts and ship’s boats. The boats have two type of cabin launches with cabin, bottom and cockpit detail, while the oared boats have bottom planking.
The Iron Shipwright HMS Arethusa comes with a full brass photo-etch set. When you consider the need to get a dedicated photo-etch market photo-etch set to doll up a Trumpeter British County or Catherdral Class plastic cruiser. The price of an
unique resin
ISW British cruiser is not much higher than the far more numerous Trumpeter plastic ships. The aircraft crane dominates the Arethusa fret. Separate pulley and rigging parts are included. Second in size is the optional 46-foot catapult.
Optional aircraft cradles are included but the ship carried only one aircraft. All of the inclined and accommodation ladders have trainable treads and safety railing. The pom-pom block sides and rear safety railing are on the fret. The two different patterns
of boat davits have block and tackle. For the electronic fit, you get HF/DF loop, Type 285 Yagis, and radar array for Types 279, 281, 284, and 291. Other ship specific parts are the funnel grates, funnel platform, boat support racks and Oerlikon gun
shields. For generic parts are six long runs of three bar railing in two different patterns, two long runs of two bar rails in different patterns, a short run of four bar railing and plentiful vertical ladder.

Arethusa comes with a nice decal sheet that is generic in nature, as the sheet is found in various ISW kits of British warships. Produced by Hawk Graphics it is nicely done with a Union Jack, White Ensign and nameplates of quite a few RN
warships in white and yellow. For the
Arethusa Class only Aurora is missing from the assortment. The instruction set has improved from I remember in past kits from Iron Shipwright. It consists of twelve one-sided pages printed on heavy paper.
They certainly are not flimsy. I think that they easily followed. Page one has general instructions. Page two is a resin part laydown with each part identified by drawing and specific number. The numbers are the same as found in the assembly
sequences. This is a tremendous improvement alone. You don’t have to guess which part goes where. Page three is a laydown of the brass fret with each part being described and given a specific letter that is also used in the assembly steps. Page four
starts assembly steps with midship assembly. Page five has initial forward assembly. Page six has initial stern assembly. Pages seven and eight have further stern and bow assemblies. Page nine has seven insets for radar and aircraft crane assemblies.
Page ten has five insert for gun, inclined ladder and catapult assemblies. Page eleven has masts assemblies. Page twelve has the starboard profile and guns’ list.
You too can join those Jolly Tars singing “Huzza to the Arethusa!” with the Iron Shipwright 1:350 scale kit of HMS Arethusa in her 1942 fit. The parts do require some cleanup but will build into a beautiful model of this hard-working class of small light

Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama