HMNZS Royalist
by Kevin Dekker

1/600 HMNZS Royalist (Airfix / conversion)

This model depicts the Dido class light cruiser HMS Royalist after her 1955 reconstruction, giving her approximately the same level of electronic outfit as the later Tiger class reconstructions.  She recommissioned with the latest fire control, communications, radar, fighter direction facilities, and STAAG twin 40mm mounts.  When the decision was made not to modernize any others of the class, she was transferred to the NZ navy who were still operating Dido class cruisers at that time. 
The hull for this model is an Airfix 1:600 HMS Tiger model reduced in length and beam, and with a cruiser stern added.  Ship’s boats were also sourced from this kit.  Most of the decks and all the superstructure and weapons mounts are scratch-built. 
The Airfix Tiger hull had only a single pair of shafts and an extra pair had to be added.  Poorly molded fair-leads were improved, and bilge keels added.  The WEM photo-etch for the 1:600 Airfix Tiger kit included lattice masts that were adapted for this model with the addition of extra sections to give the required height.  The end result is a fairly unique model in this scale of the last cruiser to serve in the New Zealand Navy.

Kevin Dekker

Gallery updated 5/24/2022