The Royal Navy had a series of Heavy Cruisers built between 1928-30, known as the 'County class'. They were built in 3 similar sub-classes of which HMS Dorsetshire was the second and last ship of the final class. The county class cruisers had large, strong hulls and were very seaworthy and long ranged but due to treaty restrictions, there was only enough spare displacement available to provide the magazines with reasonable armour, the rest of the important parts had only thin armour. The main requirement for the Royal Navy's cruisers was to protect trade across Britain's global empire and show the flag in far away ports and the County Class cruisers were a great success in this role and proved able in combat too.
During WW2, HMS Dorsetshire was sent to the South Atlantic in search of the German raider, Graf Spee. She escorted the damaged HMS Exeter back home before returning to hunt German supply ships. She caught one off the coast of Brazil, which was scuttled br her crew before Dorsetshire arrived to rescue her crew and finish off the crippled ship. After the fall of France, she was one of the ships used to shadow the French battleship Richelieu, along with HMS Hermes and HMAS Australia, in case Richelieu fell into enemy hands. Later that year she was searching for Graf Spee's sister ship Admiral Scheer.
Her most famous action was part of the Royal Navy's pursuit of the German Battleship Bismarck. Dorsetshire had been escorting a convoy and rushed to intercept the German ship. She joined up with her sister ship HMS Norfolk and supported the battleships HMS King George V and HMS Rodney in the final battle. Dorsetshire moved in closer and torpedoed the Bismarck twice, contributing the Bismarck's sinking. Following that action she was involved in the hunt for the German Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper before escorting convoys. She was also involved in the hunt for the German Armed Merchant raider Atlantis but instead caught a German supply ship in the act of refuelling U-boats. The U-boats dived and escaped but Dorsetshire despatched the supply ship. She was later transferred to the British Eastern Fleet and was supporting the battleship HMS Warpsite and the carriers HMS Indomitable and HMS Formidable. In April 1942, she was detached along with her near sister HMS Cornwall, to refuel in Colombo, Ceylon but were caught and sank by Japanes Dive Bombers from Admiral Nagumo's carrier striking force.
Aoshima have made an all new tool series of county class cruisers in 1/700. The kit looks to be of good quality with a decent level of detailing. This boxing is a retool of the original and now features a correct length hull. The kit is waterline only and is just Dorsetshire on its own