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First Look Review
WWII Royal Navy HMS Onslow
LionRoar 1/700 Photo Etch Upgrade Kit
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by: peter fulgoney [ PETERF ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

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O Class Destroyers

The O class was a class of destroyers of the Royal Navy, they were ordered in 1939. They were to comprise the first ships in the War Emergency Program. The ships were also known as the 1st and 2nd Emergency Flotilla, respectively. Their primary function during World War II was that of convoy escorts.

16 ships of the O class were built, although 8 were considered P class ships. Of the eight ships in the O class 4 were fitted with 4.7 in guns in low angle mounts which could only elevate to 40 degrees, therefore they were fitted with a 4 in anti-aircraft gun in place of one set of torpedo tubes. The remaining four were fitted with 4 inch guns in high angle mounts and were fitted to act as minelayers and could be recognized by the flat "beaver tail" stern over which the mines were dropped.

The final eight ships were classified as P class ships and were fitted with entirely with 4 in guns, in high angle mounts fitted with a new tall design of shield, as such they did not require to lose a set of torpedo tubes to take on further AA guns.

HMS Onslow…

HMS Onslow was actually the lead ship in the class. Her original name was HMS Pakenham. Her most notable action was the Battle of Barents Sea, 1942, where she fought against DKM Admiral Hipper. The ship was heavily damaged and her captain Captain, Robert St. Vincent Sherbrooke, was severely injured. He was later awarded the Victoria Corss.

Displacement: 1,550 tons
Length: 345 feet o/a
Beam: 35 feet
Draft: 13.5 feet
Propulsion: 2 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, Parsons geared steam turbines, 40,000 shp, 2 shafts
Speed: 37 knots
Crew: 176
4 x single 4.7 in guns QF Mark XII on mounting CP Mk.XVIII
1 x single 4 in gun QF Mk.V on mounting HA Mk.III
1 x quad tubes for 21 in torpedoes Mk.IX
1 x quad 2 pdr "pom-pom" mount Mk.VII
Up to 6 x single 20 mm Oerlikon guns
4 x throwers and 2 x racks for 70 depth charges

The Fret...

On the face of it, the Tamiya “O” class destroyer kit looks like a great kit, and in fact there are 2 x kits inside the box but unfortunately, the box art is the best you are going to get to resemble the type – until now.

The Lion Roar PE addresses those problems to a good extent to the point where you can throw away the smaller structures and substitute them with all new PE ones.

Again some surgery is required to the main superstructures but suitable drawings which are readily available help in building up an answer to the “O” class conundrum.

Having said that, the Lion Roar fret also includes a crows nest, depth charge throwers, and a neat little lantern radar. Even the pom-poms are relatively easy to assemble, and create an acceptable representation of the gun. The main guns are also a vast improvement, and worth building although a barrels is required.

A Closer Look...

Peter used this set in his newest feature posted here are MSW.

...rassing operations commencing!

Highs: Allows for a proper O-class to be built.
Lows: Will require some surgery to make a proper represented O-class ship.
Verdict: Helps the builder correct problems with the Tamiya kit and leaves a much better end result.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: LR700101
  Suggested Retail: 15.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 28, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About peter fulgoney (peterf)

Copyright ©2020 text by peter fulgoney [ PETERF ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


The Lion Roar fret is a great step forward in making it possible to get an accurate model from the Tamiya kit, but as Peter says surgery is still required. The hull is too short by a long way, and the bridge in the kit is poor, too small and badly shaped. Also the funnel shape is wrong at the bottom and I'm afraid the rear deckhouse is wrong too, the sides should be parallel not angled. So all in all a great step forward and brings an accurate model almost within reach but the deficiencies of the original still need significant correction if you want an accurate model. Mike
SEP 30, 2008 - 07:07 AM

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
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    Tamiya “O” class destroyer kit w/ some PE added.