HMS King George V class Battleships
1/700 Photo-Etch Comparisons
By: Chris Langtree
Just some comments on the new etched brass sets for the 1/700 Tamiya KGV from Tom's Modelworks (OK its been out a bit) and White Ensign. Both sets are excellent quality and both on one sheet, the White Ensign set is much larger. Tom's set seems to have been set out to provide additions rather than replacements and only covers the KGV and POW. For example you only get the shields for the Oerlikons whereas White Ensign give you the Oerlikons as well. White Ensign also give you lots of wonderful bits like 2 piece boat davits and their magnificent starfish assemblies. The White Ensign set does in fact give you more; where the Tom's set is useful is that it has a full radar complement for the KGV including the parts to build a Type 293, Type 274 and MFDF aerial (which is 3D and in 3 parts, much better than the flat offering from White Ensign). I would also use their 277 in preference as well.
White Ensign cover all the ships of the class and provide all the extra platforms etc. For example they even include the rear funnel platform for the DOY and their cranes are truly magnificent (superior to the Tom's offering). They also include the assemblies for the mast aerials and a full Oerlikon complement and both types of pom-pom though I replaced the etched brass versions with their wonderful resin ones. One thing disappointing about the 8 barrelled pom-poms though is that for the late fit of the class these received solid front and rear shields and whilst the 4 barrelled ones have these the 8 barrelled ones do not. Other parts included are doors and hatches, engine room vents and the siren platform.
The instructions for both are clear and for the White Ensign set quite impressive with all the late war AA fits for each ship being illustrated. Both serve their purpose, the White Ensign set being more extensive because it covers more ships. There is one mistake though, there were under-slung platforms fitted to the HACs towers of Anson, Howe and DOY (which are included), but the instructions say were also fitted to KGV. This is not the case KGV had platforms higher up either side of each of her secondary directors. But this is minor.
Which set to buy? I would say for any late period KGV get them both, they do duplicate each other to some extent but they end up complementing each other. Tom's treatment of the radars alone makes it worth the purchase price and if you'reuu modelling any other of the class you do need the White Ensign set. The only option is to buy them both and combine these excellent sets to truly enhance your model.
White Ensign Models