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Guardian of the Western Approach: 1/144 Revell Flower Class Corvette HMCS Snowberry K166

HMCS Snowberry was a Flower-class corvette that was originally built for the Royal Navy, but spent most of the war in service with the Royal Canadian Navy. She fought primarily as a convoy escort during the Second World War. She served primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Flower-class corvettes like Snowberry serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were different from earlier and more traditional sail-driven corvettes. The “corvette” designation was created by the French for classes of small warships; the Royal Navy borrowed the term for a period but discontinued its use in 1877. During the hurried preparations for war in the late 1930s, Winston Churchill reactivated the corvette class, needing a name for smaller ships used in an escort capacity, in this case based on a whaling ship design. The generic name “flower” was used to designate the class of these ships, which – in the Royal Navy – were named after flowering plants.

This was a complex but enjoyable build. It contains over 500 pieces. Overall I was satisfied with the engineering, and overall fit of the pieces and kit. The major components, decks, superstructure fit together well with no major issues. Some of the smaller parts were fiddly and needed holes enlarged and other very simple modifications to complete. The instructions were complete and thorough with full-color painting reference drawings to complete the manual. I did not use any filler because any obvious gaps were hidden by other assemblies. The plastic railings were the most challenging aspect of the build. During the middle of the build I started to loose some momentum because it just felt like it was going on forever… so so many pieces.

Of course, as always, I had the most fun with painting and weathering. I started the base and camo painting of the hull immediately upon completion of the 2-piece full-hull. I painted all the dark grey decking prior to placing them on the boat. I painted 90% of the main vertical structures while still on the parts trees. Although I do not like this process I felt there was no other way to airbrush the intricate structures and components of the ship after assembly. It would of been a masking nightmare. Doing it this way eliminated the need for any masking except for the main camo pattern, and black deck walkways.

Interesting Note: The added 1/144 crew figures were obtained from the 3D-printing vendor Shapeways. They are highly detailed and contain very impressive moldings. I choose the Royal Navy Crewman with foul-weather gear, flotation devices, and steel helmets as if they were at battle-stations during a rough, rainy, sea state. In regards to Shapeways you can actually buy many super-detailed components for this exact ship and I could of gone crazy super-detailing her with these extra parts but just could not afford it at the time. If you have not checked out this resource for model building you really need to. It is an amazing resource of modeling parts.

Well, I hope you enjoy the brief history, simple build review, and attached photos of this classic war ship. As always, your comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

42 additional images. Click to enlarge.


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1/144 Revell Flower Class Corvette HMCS Snowberry

44 responses to Guardian of the Western Approach: 1/144 Revell Flower Class Corvette HMCS Snowberry K166

  1. Whoooo!!! HMCS “Rustbucket”! I love it! She must have survived three Atlantic winter crossings.

  2. Love it! Really want to do this kit now. Figures add a lot, the foul weather gear really puts it in context. Brave lads, those.

  3. Real nice!! Great detailed weathering and crew! Imagine getting your sea legs on of these.

  4. I have seen some ships that looked that rough, in my years in the navy. This is one cool looking tub. Great work.

    • Happy to get that feedback b/c I never plan for it to be that beat up but then one thing leads to the next and then she ends up a rusty bucket. I just love practicing the weathering applications trying to get better at it and only get one opportunity at the very end of a long build so make the best of that opportunity. Hoped it was not to much.

  5. An outstanding job of detailing and weathering, Paul…I only wish there were something in one of the photos to give me an idea of how big (or small) the kit really is, though. 🙁

  6. This is an amazing build…………… The figures really help to bring it to life, and also give the added bonus of providing a scale so that you can determine just how big (or small) this ship is.

    Well done !!! I like it a LOT…………… Two thumbs up.

    • Thanx Louis for the feedback! Yes I enjoyed playing with those figures. The quality of these 3-d printed figures is second to none compared to other similar products. If u look at the detail under a magnification glass they look as detailed as a much bigger 1/35 figure…its amazing. Wish I had purchased more of them.

  7. Nice job, Paul! I’ll be referring to yours when I build mine.

    • Look forward to seeing your build. Try picking up some of those figures from Shapeway in the scale you need. They are amazing and well priced. Thanx for feedback!!!

    • I just noticed your profile picture…it is the exact picture I have for my PC screen wallpaper. I had saved it b/c my next build is the exact airplane and scheme in 1/32 for a good customer. He is collecting all the panes, including FAA aircraft, which served in the Pacific and Far East campaigns in 1/32. All the 1/32 planes in my blog on this site have gone to him. The F6F will be the latest.

  8. Some of your recent posts have been about how shipping appears when heavily weathered. This is a fitting outcome – absolutely brilliant – all of that experience borne out here in this fantastic build. Congratulations, Paul!

    • Happy to hear you liked it b/c I got on a roll trying to improve my ship weathering with last few builds. The goal was to practice and apply these techniques with each successive build. I did take a slight detour on this one b/c the hull design/pattern was different then what I had planned prior to opening the box.

  9. Marvellous job, Paul.

  10. Well done, Paul! We can tell you enjoy the weathering process … you do it so well!

  11. For my money this is the outstanding build of the month, if photographed in the right setting you could easily believe this is a real ship ,amazing weathering and attention to detail.
    Great job Paul.

    • Thank u for the great compliment. I just hope to make it to the top 10 for this month. Lots and lots of fantastic competition this month. I wish I had some better photographic equipment and skills, as well as, the patience to do it right. I think it would look really cool also in the right setting. Maybe try some photoshop applications to modify background and see what you get. Do u have any ideas, suggestions on what to do? Need to work quick b/c the boat already sold so need to ship it out over next week or so.

  12. That is just perfect weathering. This ship looks so real I thought I could smell the ocean. Well done!

  13. Paul, @jjetmec Awesome job! Really outstanding. Glad you found Shapeways. I’ve been looking at a few of the options on that site for a future build. Was curious if others had used them with any success.

    • I never hear anyone discussing this vendor for 3-D parts. I found it about a year ago b/c I had a request to build only a 1/32 Torpedo for a customer of a modern mk.48. When I googled and researched it one of the hits was a product on the shapeway site. I needed to purchase 2 of them b/c 1st one was not suitable for painting b/c so rough. Customer service was excellent and they applied my purchase to a better one made with finer material. At the time it still was not perfect but I sanded it a lot and ended up with a great model. See my Blog on this site for the Torpedo. This is only my second purchase and this time it was better then I had planned. Molding was perfect. I soaked the pieces in soapy water for several days as recommended to remove printing residue. They just fell off the parts trees with no cutting which was a relief b/c parts can be fragile. The detail parts available for this ship were remarkable, better then resin, and maybe easier to work with. I was drooling at the potential but was to broke to spend more money. Check it out!

  14. Wow – I can hear seagulls and smell the salt! Excellent work!

  15. Great job!
    I like the weathering on the hull sides. What techniques did you use?

    • Well thats a big question so I will try to keep it simple. The 1st weathering steps come during actual painting stages. I lay down a dark-grey base/primer. Then I use the mottled spray pattern to fill in color randomly within panels leaving dark panel lines to show through base coat. I keep these filler coats very thin to build up slowly and not obscure the under-coating. This will give the paint depth, character, non-monotone. I then use reference pictures of rusty hulls as a template to paint the shape of major rust with fine paint brush. Next I go back to the larger solid rust spots and use a sponge dipped in the rust color to splatter the rust randomly around these larger spots. I also dab this same sponge all over the ship were I think rust would start to show. I do the same thing using a lighter tone of rust color. I apply that over, not in addition to, the already established rust spots. I then coated the whole hull in a clear varnish of Future Floor Wax. Applied decals. So far its all been acrylic paints. Next comes the enamel washes. 1st is a whole surface wash over the whole hull. Very dark sludgy color. Not to heavy. Let dry and wipe clean with a dry towel and q-tips. Then I stain the rusted areas with a precisely applied rust colored wash. Let dry and wipe off some of it shaping and streaking this rusty wash to make streaks and related effects. I use a dry brush to do this b/c it gives me more precise control over how much gets wiped and the pattern of the stain. This is the most timely aspect other then painting. Again I stick to my reference photos of rusty buckets as I am applying this effect. Once I am satisfied with the look it is all sealed in with a matte varnish. I finally used some rusty colored powders to add some depth to really rusty objects like chains, anchors, winch, etc. Again this must be sealed. I think that is basically it. It sounds like a lot but I do keep each step basic, simple, and add more as needed.

  16. Well done, Paul. A most excellent tub! Done with realism, dignity, and masses of skill. You really have become very proficient at these weathered vessels, my friend. I love this.

    • David, thanx so much for those kind words! I sort of got on a roll with these naval subjects and built upon what I learned from each build to each successive build. But basically the fundamental techniques were learned with my armor projects, then adjusted it to aircraft and then ships. I learn something new every time I apply it.

  17. Paul, excellent work on this very realistic looking old sea dog. You have really captured the harsh conditions of serving in the Atlantic. Well done !

  18. Hello Paul,
    Enjoyed your contribution. This ship is ready for a much needed R&R/Maintenance period.
    Battered by wind and (lots) of salt. Excellent model.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  19. That’s a fantastic rust bucket, very nicely done!

  20. Very well done Paul, love the weathering

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