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 Kent was the lead ship of the first 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.
In WW2 HMS Kent was assigned to a hunting group, searching for the German Adm Graf Spee. After the destruction of the Graf Spee, she escorted convoys in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean before being torpedoed. The torpedoing occured in September 1940, when Kent was part of a Royal Navy fleet based around the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious and battleship, HMS Valiant, attacked axis shipping in Benghazi harbour. Kent was hit in the stern by a torpedo launched from an Italian Air Force SM.79 bomber, which kept her out of action for a year. Following repairs, she was assigned to the Home Fleet and escorted Russian convoys for the next 3 years before escorting Royal Navy aircraft carriers that were attacking the German battleship Tirpitz. HMS Kent was placed in reserve before the end of WW2 and was scrapped in 1948.
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 is a Limited Edition kit of HMS Kent and represents the ship in September 1940, when she took part in the battle of Benghazi. As such the ship comes with several Italian SM.79 aircraft as well as a small fret of optional etch parts for the rear lattice tower and supports. The kit is waterline only.