HMS Dreadnought 1915
HMS Dreadnought was an 18,110-ton battleship built at Portsmouth Dockyard. She represented one of the most notable design transformations of the armored warship era. Her "all-big-gun" main battery of ten twelve-inch guns, steam turbine powerplant and 21-knot maximum speed so thoroughly eclipsed earlier types that subsequent battleships were commonly known as "dreadnoughts", and the previous ones disparaged as "pre-dreadnoughts". The swiftness of her construction was equally remarkable. Laid down in October 1905, she was launched in February 1906, after only four months on the ways. Dreadnought was commissioned for trials a year after her keel was laid and was completed in December 1906.
The new battleship served as Flagship of the Home Fleet in 1907-1912 and remained part of that fleet thereafter. Dreadnought served with the 4th Battle Squadron in the North Sea during the first two years of World War I. On 18 March 1915, while so employed, she rammed and sank the German Submarine U-29. From May 1916, Dreadnought was flagship of the 3rd Battle Squadron, based on the Thames to counter the threat of bombardment by German battlecruisers. Placed in reserve in 1919, the once-revolutionary warship was sold for scrapping in 1922.
The model comes in the standard Trumpeter sturdy top opening box with a colourful depiction of the Dreadnought a mooring buoy on the lid. Inside you are confronted with nine sprues of grey styrene, two separate deck pieces, the two hull halves, four sheets of etched brass, a length of metal anchor chain, (which will need to be painted in the correct colour) and a small decal sheet. All the parts are cleanly moulded with no signs of distortion and no flash, although there are a number of moulding pips, but not as many as some models I’ve seen. Unfortunately for those who like to build their ships waterline the kit comes in full hull option only and unlike the Zvezda kit doesn't even come with an internal cut line. The hull shape matches well the plans and diagrams in the Anatomy of a Ship book which, considering their sometimes hit and miss approach, Trumpeter should be commended for.
The decks are made up of the single piece main deck and the separate foredeck. There are a large number of indentations in the main deck which look like ejection pin marks, but don't worry these are for the numerous mushroom vents the ship was fitted with. Planking is a little bit artificial looing but under a a coat of paint should look ok. Due to the small number of moulded deck houses the deck painting shouldn't be too much of a chore, although there is always the option of using the wooden decks that are soon to be released for this kit. During the period which this kit represents the anti torpedo nets may have been landed as they were proving less and less useful, and also forced the ship to reduce speed considerably. The booms though were kept for another year when they were removed in the refit of 1916. So the ship can actually be modelled both with and without nets, although since they are not provided in the kit the only option of providing them is to buy the Pontos set.
Construction begins with the two hull halves being joined together. To enable a strong and stiff hull there are six bulkheads and a stern pin. Throughout the build sequences there are small sub assemblies built, not necessarily in a useful order. Thus it may be an idea to build as many of these sub-assemblies at the beginning and fit them when called for. The foredeck is fitted with two PE supports aft and three bulkheads foreward, just aft of A turret. The main deck is fitted to the hull whilst on the underside the four propeller shafts, supports and propellers are attached along with the two rudders and the bilge keels. As with other sub-assemblies the fore and aft funnels are assembled, complete with PE funnel caps. According to the instructions items such as the thirteen 12pdr guns, windlasses, deckhouses, derricks and other parts are fitted before the whole deck is attached to the hull/maindeck, but it would be best to add these after the deck had been fitted to prevent damage and loss. Assuming this, the shelter deck and ships boat cradles are fitted along with two more 12pdrs, searchlights, cable reels, and ammunition lockers are attached. The bridge structure is made up of four parts, onto which the upper PE railings ate attached, as are the compass binnacles, signal lamps and a small shelter structure. On the underside the bridge supports are added. Still on the foredeck, PE items are fitted, these include inclined ladders, grilles and shutters.
Once the foretop has been assembled the supports star can been added. To this the yardarms and topmast is fitted, the foremast is attached to the bridge and the foretop assembly attached to the top of the foremast. With the bridge in position along with the foremast and it's attendant supports the fore funnel sub-assembly can be fitted into position. The five turrets are then built up out the single turret, two 12" gun barrels. On top of each turret, three sighting positions and two platforms are attached. Only four of the five turrets have the twin 12 pdr mounts fitted, with A turret the odd one out. The rear spotting structure is also assembled at this point
Each of the seven ships rowing boats have separate rudders, but no other embellishments. The three steam pinnaces each have a separate rudder, deck and funnel. When these boats are complete the can be fitted to their respective cradles and supports. As mentioned above there are numerous mushroom vents on the main deck and these can now be fitted, followed by the anti-torpedo net booms, anchors, davits, three 12pdr guns on the quarter deck and the ensign staff. There is the option of having two accommodation ladders depicted in the lowered position, one amidships on the starboard side and one on the port quarter. The five turrets, rear spotting structure, PE name plates on each quarter and the Jack staff are fitted. There are a number of stove pipes that are positioned around the superstructure, but you will need to check your references for the date of construction your build depicts, as these were only fitted during the winter. Finally there are thirty eight PE parts that are presumed to represent the tie-point for the anti-torpedo net wires.
The small sheet of decals provides the Union Jack and Naval Ensign in both straight and wavy form and the ships name plates. Please note, and it's a common fault in models, the Ensign and Union Jack are not flown at sea, only in harbour. There may be a smaller Ensign flown form the mainmast should yuo wish to depict the model at sea, but you'll have to provide your own.
This is a super model of the most important ship of its age. Trumpeter have done superb job on this kit and deserve a cheer for getting not only the shape of the hull right, but also the details that differentiate this from their earlier 1907 kit. The only downside is that they don't appear to have provided enough railings to cover the ship, especially as they provide some, they might as well gone the whole hog and provided them all. While there is nothing too taxing in the build the rigging is something else, particularly with the wire spreaders, although these are available along with several PE sets from the aftermarket companies should you not wish to try and make them yourselves. Highly recommended.
Review sample courtesy of