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24Mar/201

Cruel Seas Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624

I had the Royal Navy flotilla from the starter set already increased with the Flower Class Corvette, but I was looking for a mid-sized ship, that could be used in smaller to medium battles and went for the Fairmile D MTB.

Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624 Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624

The Fairmile D Motor Torpedo Boat is a british MTB, that was built by Fairmile Marine. A Fairmile is bigger than the earlier MTB/MGB (Motor Gun Boats), for example the Vosper or PT Boat, but slower in speed. They were named Dog Boats, and were designed to combat the more advantaged E-boats by the German Kriegsmarine. Of the Fairmile different variants were build, and it has pre-decessors such as the Fairmile B, serving a different kind of role within the Royal Navy.

The Fairmile D itself could be fitted with a mix of armaments, for that reason Warlord Games covers the ships as the here shown MTB 624, MGB/MTB, and MGB 660. The Fairmile B is available as an option as well, in multiple variants: Minesweeper, ML 145 Gunboat, RML 529 Rescue Boat, and ML 303 Motor Launch.

The MTB 624 is armed in Cruel Seas with Twin HMGs, a Twin 20mm gun at the stern, a 6-pdr semi-auto on bow, and a holman projector in the middle. It counts as a medium vessel.

Warlord Games offers these Fairmiles as double packs in 1:300 scale, they come in a blister at 30 GBP and include a lot of tokens and gaming material. It is a mixed resin and metal kit and comes unfortunately without instructions, you will need to take the product pictures from the shop as a guide for the assembly. The metal bits come in a small zip lock bag and the vessels come with a sheet of flags, two stat cards, wake markers and small sheet for the chits.

Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624 Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624

The resin cast is well done, there a two injection points on the stern, that can be cut / filed off. The metal bits are a bit fragile, one of the holman projectors had a broken barrel and I replaced that bit with a plastic bit I had spare from another kit. You have the weaponry, antennas, optional crewman and flags for the vessel.

Give the resin hulls a brief wash in luke warm soap water. You might have to clean some casting supports from under the torpedo barrels. I went further and grinded the underside of the hulls to have them plain.

Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624 Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624 Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624

As mentioned above, there are no instructions, so you have to take a look at the product pictures. To some degree images of model kits and such help. I hope that the layout and following pictures help you with it.

Each fairmile comes with weaponry for the stern, bow and mid section, as well as the round twin MGs on the small turrets. In addition there is an antenna, which is quite delicate and you might want to replace with either brass or plastic. There are four small pistons (?) that are glued to the mid section. I had to drill one of the wholes, as the mould seems to be damaged on that part.

The second and third picture show the built Fairmile from different angles.

Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624 Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624 Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624

As many kits, these vessels come with a few stripes of crewmen and flags in two sizes. The crew man could be glued to the bridge, the flags to the antenna and / or bow.

Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624

And to give you an idea of the size of the Fairmile D (as mentioned earlier, it is quite larger than the Vospers), it fits pretty well in the middle between the MTB and Flower-Class Corvette.

Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624

The Fairmile D MTB 624 in its assembled glory, ready to fight the axis naval forces.

Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624 Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624 Cruel Seas - Royal Navy Fairmile D MTB 624

Conclusion
I really like the model and I am not the only one, as the fairmiles seem to be pretty popular with the model kit builders as well. The price tag is a bit steep, 30 GBP gives you two of them, yet, not a cheap buy. I bought these during one of Warlord's sales, which brought them into a more reasonable price point. But I am aware that naval wargaming, in 1:300, is not the same market as 28mm kits, so that niche is probably one of the reasons, along with the laborious gaming material (die cut chits, cards and such), for that price tag.

The model itself is well made and the quality is on the upper middle field. Due to the scale you have to reduce the amount of details and you can't compare these with 1:35 model kits. But I think Warlord did a good job on the scaling and provides a proper amount of details, that still is very much paintable. For the game itself, I think ships of this size are a fitting addition, as you're still in the area of coastal warfare and not open sea, so that skirmish character of Cruel Seas stays.

Unfortunately there are no known survivors of this ship. So beside the two abandoned wrecks in Chatham (UK) and Ellingsoy (Norway), no chance of seeing one in a museum or naval exhibition. Two Fairmile D were captured by the Kriegsmarine and put into service.

Cruel Seas is a brand of Warlord Games.

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  1. Gotta say, I’m actually pretty impressed – the level of detail of the crewmen and gun turrets seems pretty good from what I can see. I’ll have to take a closer look next time we play again.


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