|Niko Model has almost become the one stop shopping galleria for 1:700 scale models of the cruisers of the ABDA Strike Force. Not only can you procure the De Ruyter, reviewed here, but also the Java, Exeter 1942 fit
and Marblehead. I find the De Ruyter an extremely interesting ship because of the mix of naval architecture. You have the futuristic streamlined forward tower coupled with a straight stem cutwater and biplanes on an
open platform and catapult. And of course there is the omnipresent funky shrouded funnel. The Niko Model De Ruyter is a beautiful kit and Niko provides all of the trimmings. A great deal of the superstructure is cast
integral to the hull, which is packed with superb, crisp detail. Casting quality is outstanding. The only voids were a few pinhole voids on the bottom of the casting and there was no broken shielding or other detail on the hull
casting. There is some minor resin trim overpour along the waterline, which is easily removed with a couple of swipes of fine grain sandpaper. The most significant “flaw” was a tiny van Dyke goatee at the base of the
cutwater, which is in reality a minuscule part of the casting sheet and is likewise easily removed with sandpaper with minimal effort. Fine detail is abundant. The ribbed splinter shielding around the single 6-inch gun is so
thin as to be translucent and yet there was no damage, voids or break to that extraordinarily thin casting feature. The breakwater also matches this high level of quality. It can be a problem is casting resin to have perfect
execution underneath overhanging platforms but Niko has certainly pulled it off with the Bofers mount platform of the aft superstructure. The overhanging platform is thin with excellent support detail underneath. The
amidship ventilators exhibit this same fine execution. Additional detail integral with the hull casting include the J quarterdeck ventilator, boat chocks, bow and stern windlasses, bollard fittings, anchor chain deck plates and
deck coamings. In scale the armored belt would be too thick but I consider it more as artistic effect to provide a belt that could be seen on a 1:700 scale model. There is good plank deck detail but the model lacks butt end
detail for the planks.
With so much superstructure cast as part of the hull casting, there are few major separate superstructure part. Primarily these are the forward tower, stack and various decks and platforms. The tower has ventilator grill
detail, door coamings and the requisite portholes. The stack has base detail and incised cap, however, most of the stack detail comes in the form of brass photo-etch parts for the unique shroud/baffle at the top. Decks and
platforms have top and bottom detail with significant support detail on the bottom of each platform. The twin gun turrets have front face vision port detail and separate brass end caps for the sighting wings, while the
superfiring single 6-inch gun has gun detail and rests inside an open backed resin gun shield. The twin Bofer mounts are especially nice with separate mount bases and twin guns. The two Fokker seaplanes are also well
detailed with fabric/ frame patterns on the wings. Each seaplane has nine parts, five resin (fuselage, top wing, bottom wing and two pontoons) and four brass parts (pontoon support struts, two wing struts and propeller).
Twelve resin runners contain the other numerous small parts. Casting is excellent with minimal cleanup of the parts once they are separated from the resin runner. The smaller parts include: search lights, signal lamps, cable
reels, binnacles, depth charge rows with separate brass rack structure, gun directors, machine gun tubs, small platforms, ships’ boats, pylorus, catapult detail, platform support posts, J-shape ventilators, crane details, and
anchors. Additionally, there are three runners of carley rafts.
As exhaustive as is the list of the smaller resin details included in this Niko kit, so too is the list of brass photo-etch parts included. Niko has included a sizable relief-etched brass fret with the De Ruyter. The brass detail is
as impressive as is the resin part detail. At the top end are the sizable brass structures starting with the funnel shroud. Brass stack detail includes the shroud/baffle itself, shroud/baffle platform, stack mast with 0.2mm and
0.5mm support wires (also included in the kit), two smaller brass platforms, support triangles, and vertical ladder. At the base of the funnel is the aft portion of the sizable raised boat deck. This is an open structure
between the tower superstructure and funnel. This is another intricate subassembly consisting of 14 brass parts: the horizontal centerline platform, athwart platform, two side rails, eight boat chocks, and vertical supports.
There are two aircraft cranes each of 12 parts, brass parts are the lower crane arm, upper triangle support structure, pulleys, arm platform, crane base, crane platform, and crane ladder/side platform. The resin parts,
which add the extra touch in dimension are three pulley arrangements and turntable. Additionally Niko provides 0.1mm wire for the crane cables. Also included is an alternate and similar crane arm carried by the ship before
1941. In addition to these major subassemblies there are numerous brass parts for other areas of the kit. Among these parts are: main turret site end caps, searchlight covers, seaplane details, tower platform, anchor chain,
flag & ensign staffs, foremast with yards, DF loop, platform supports, vertical ladder, catapult, catapult platform, catapult turntable, davits, inclined ladders, windlass top, aircraft platform railing and cradle. Full railing is
included with six runs of four-bar and one of three-bar railing.
At first glance, the instructions seem competent but with the more complex sub-assemblies, I would feel more comfortable with secondary sources, such as the Profile Morskie or De Ruyter Profile monographs. Page one
has the parts laydown with each resin and brass part numbered. In the instructions resin parts are indicated by that resin part number inside a circle and a brass pert indicated by the number inside a square. The actual
assembly is shown in a series of isometric sections concentrating on portions of the ship. Page two has sections on the forecastle, basic tower superstructure, and three sections on tower superstructure details with
separate insets on the main gun turrets and searchlights. Page three covers raised boat platform, stack assembly, crane assembly, and final assembly of these subassemblies. Page four concludes with sections on the
catapult, seaplanes, seaplane platform, aft superstructure and quarterdeck with separate insets for the twin Bofor mounts, main director and depth charge racks. Niko also includes a separate color profile and plan of the
camouflage scheme carried by the cruiser at the time of her loss.