Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Shar2

HMS Cleopatra, Leander Class Frigate. 1:350

Recommended Posts

HMS Cleopatra

Atlantic Models 1:350

 


boxtop.jpg


The Leander class was the UKs most successful frigate design. This design combined operational flexibility with excellent sea-keeping in affordable ships that were adaptable to new requirements. Leander s were very active with Royal Navy aircraft carrier task forces and in other operations. This section covers the RN ships as built. A separate section covers these ships as modernized.

In the late 1950s the naval construction directorate added air conditioning and a helicopter facility to a Rothesay (Type 12) design intended for New Zealand. Features brought forward from the Type 12 design included the hull shape, the engineering plant, and part of the armament. Elimination of deck-mounted tubes for the cancelled Mk 20E heavy torpedo permitted a larger superstructure while still leaving paths on deck for underway replenishment. In a new seawater-compensating fuel system, fuel tanks once emptied of black oil could be refilled with seawater to maintain proper trim. This eliminated the Type 12's separate water-ballast trim tanks and permitted the relocation of heavy equipment in their stead low in the ship. Both diesel electrical generators were relocated from the forecastle to a lower location forward of the boiler room. Their exhaust vented through ducts in the foremast, which was stepped further forward than in the Type 12.

With the resulting increased stability margin and the additional internal space, the designers added a large operations center, the helicopter facility, variable-depth sonar (VDS), long-range air-search radar, more-capable communications, a centralized galley, active stabilizer fins, and provision for Sea Cat missiles for close-range air defence.

The Admiralty, greatly liking this design, ordered conversion to it of an authorized Type 61 frigate and of three Type 12 frigates on the building ways. These became the first four Leanders. The Leander class never had a frigate type number, in particular not Type 12M. Type-numbering of new designs was functionally irrelevant after the RN abandoned the mobilization strategy in 1954.

During the 10-year construction program the installed armament varied.. The Canadian-developed combination of variable-depth sonar and a ship-based helicopter was intended to equalize the fight against fast submarines. With VDS, the helicopter, and the improved operations room, Leanders could engage submarines at longer range, which improved the probability for detecting submarines and gave more time to engage. Seven of the first 10 ships mounted imported Canadian SQS-504 VDS as Sonar Type 199 and four later ships mounted British-built licensed copies. Other ships carried the hoisting gear for the VDS but never received transducers.

The first ten ships retained the Y-100 steam propulsion plant of the Type 12 and Type 14 frigates. The next six, Phoebe through Danae, had a Y-136 improved propulsion plant. The final ten ships mounted the same armament as the preceding ships but featured a Y-160 automated propulsion plant and a wider hull for modernization.

The RN built 26 Leanders and other navies built 18. This total of 44 set the post-1945 record for construction to one design among frigates and larger warships outside the United States and Russia. Elaborate finish was arguably wasteful but perhaps good appearance contributed to foreign naval orders for Leanders. Exclusive of weapons, in the mid-1960s construction cost about the same per ton as for the contemporary USN Knox-class (DE/FF 1052) frigates. The Leander program reportedly bolstered American political enthusiasm in the 1960s and 1970s for frigates, although the U.S. Navy designs had no technical connection with the British ships. Newer warships derived from the Leander design have included HMS Bristol, the RN Type 22 frigates, and the Indian Godaviri and Bramhaputra classes.

HMS Cleopatra, was the last ship of the first batch of the Leander class and was laid down at HM Dockyard, Devonport on 19th June 1963. She was launched on 25th March 1964 and commissioned into service on 4th January 1966. Cleo as she became known joined the 2nd Destroyer Squadron of the Far East Fleet to where she was deployed for the first part of her career. This also involved taking station off the coast of Mozambique on the famous Beira patrol, which was designed to prevent oil from reaching the landlocked Rhodesia, who had unilaterally declared independence.

During 1969, HMS Cleopatra was one of the 5 ships escorting HMAS Melbourne when the Melbourne was involved in the catastrophic collision with the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans and became involved in the subsequent rescue operation.

Early 1972 saw Cleo on escort duties for Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philips tour of South East Asia, then in 1973 she was assigned to the North Atlantic area to protect British trawlers from the Icelandic gun boats during the second Cod War.

HMS Cleopatra then began her mid life refit, during which she had her twin 4.5 Mk6 Turret removed and replaced with a bank of four Exocet missile box launchers. She and HMS Penelope were the only Batch 1 Leanders to have this modification, as the other eight were converted for Ikara. In 1982 saw Cleo in refit again having the large Towed Array Sensor equipment fitted to the stern and the superstructure modified with the larger hangar to accommodate the Lynx helicopter that was replacing the Wasp on all small ships. The mortar well was plated over to make a larger flight deck for Lynx operations. She continued to carry out her duties through the 1980s though she was starting to show her age by the early 90s. On January 31st 1992 HMS Cleopatra was decommissioned and sold for scrap the following year.

The Model
After the magnificent release of HMS Glamorgan Peter Hall has now released what is probably one of the most sought after classes in 1:350, the Leander Class frigate HMS Cleopatra. The model comes in the standard sturdy cardboard box with a picture of HMS Cleopatra on the top. On opening the modeller is confronted with a sea of polystyrene chips. Carefully emptying the box will reveal two ziplock bags, one with the metal parts in and the other with the resin parts. Well wrapped in bubblewrap is the main superstructure, and hull, which is in two parts, split at the waterline so that either a full hull or waterline model can be built. At the bottom of the box are the etched brass sheet, which is quite large considering the size of the kit, a CD containing the instructions and the decal sheet.

 

 

 

hull.jpg

 

 

 

 

bow.jpg

 

stern.jpg


As we have come to expect from peters work, both with Atlantic models and the greatly missed White Ensign Models the casting of the resin hull is superb with no sign of even a pinhole bubble. The amount of detail on the upper hull has to seen to be believed and must have taken the moulding to the edge of what is possible or casting defect. There are some small moulding pips, all on the join of the two hull parts, so easily removed without damaging any of the detail, and a quick test fitting showed that the fit between upper and lower hull is pretty darn good, considering the problems that different shrink rates can cause. That said you will probably need to do a little bit of fettling to get a perfect fit and to remove the join line. The lower hull is moulded with the propeller shaft fairings moulded into the stern, and also a pair of very fine strakes either side pluse what look like two sonar domes, one a lot shallower than the other. The main forward superstructure is also beautifully moulded with some very fine details and includes pretty much all of the fixtures in place. The resin fittings provided include the funnel, hanger roof, with director mount, twin 4.5 turret, foremast, mainmast, chaff launcher enclosures, 27 Whaler, 25 Cheverton motor boat, Gemini inflatable, punt, although in the review example two have been provided, mortar mounting base, Limbo mortar, forward director mounting and a lovely looking Wasp helicopter fuselage

 

 

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/reviews/atlanticmodels/cleopatra/bridgejpg

 

 

 

 

resin.jpg


The metal parts look pretty good and are well moulded, but theres still the problem of having quite a bit of flash. This shouldnt put the modeller off as they are easy to clean up and do really look the part. The metal parts provided are the two 4.5 gun barrels, Corvus chaff launchers, GWS22 Directors, aft director tub, Seacat launcher, 993 radar array, 978 radar array, VDS body, Liferaft canisters, a choice of either early or late foretop mast array, anchors, propeller shaft A frame supports, searchlights, rudders, Stabiliser fins, and aft deck windlass.

 

 

 

metal.jpg


Etch Sheet

The large single sheet of relief etched brass is packed full of the finer details that go to make these models a delight to view when built. As well as a full ship set of railings, the sheet contains items such as the liferaft canister shelves and racks, the stays, plates, panel and screen for the 965 bedstead radar array, boat davit support frame and upper section, single 20mm Oerlikon mountings, Dan buoy, glidepath indicator light, bridge roof davit, chaff launcher flare guns, propeller blades, early and late mast top arrays, main mast gaff, anchors, should you not want to use the resin ones, prop guard buffers, sword and shield antenna, RAS gantries, Seacat missiles and launch rails, ships nameplates, foremast and main mast yards, platforms, foremast DF antenna, fuel can stowage racks, vertical ladder stock, anchor chain stock. The prominent Variable Depth Sonar parts include the body side fins, gantry pit head wheel, pit head stays, side arm, body cradle, and centre bracing, whilst the Wasp helicopter is fitted out with undercarriage parts, main and tail rotor blades, main rotor control linkages, and flotation device pods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

etch.jpg


Decals

The decal sheet is very nicely printed, and its a pleasure to see a kit like this come with decals. Apart from the obligatory Union Flag and White Ensign, the sheet includes enough numbers to produce any of the class pennant numbers for both sides and stern. Also included are each of the ships names for the port and starboard quarter, their code letters for the flightdeck plus the other flightdeck markings which include two types of landing circle and finally the depth markings for the ships sides. The Wasp helicopter is also provided with decals, and these include the roundels, Royal Navy titles, and the helicopters specific number, which changed when changing ship and for which there is a very useful list of what serials went with what ship. You will need a good pair of magnifying glasses to read which number is which though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

decals.jpg


Conclusion
It has been a long time coming, but at last we have a Leander class frigate in our midst, and what a blinder it is too. Peter is a one man band, but his craftsmanship and attention to detail on these cold war classics is second to none. Of course it does help a little that he served his time in the RN/FAA when these ships were in service so hes got no excuse to get things wrong, (I say this as an ex-FAA man myself, although with a memory thats obviously fading quicker than his). These arent throw together kits, but they are well designed and with a good dose of patience and quite a bit of care they shouldnt cause too much trouble for anyone of intermediate skills and above. What you will get at the end of a rewarding build is a super model of a wonderful ship. The idea of having the instructions on CD is good as it does mean that you can blow them up to make them easier to read although if you need to, you can get a paper version on request. Peter is already working on modifications for the Ikara fit and may even release another of the Exocet and Seawolf fits, so theres more Leanders to look forward to, I cant wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bin.jpg

 

 

 

 

Review sample courtesy of Peter Hall of logo.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice.

Also looking at their future projects we might get Type 42's, 21's and 22.

If you are reading this Atlantic models a Batch 3 Type 22 please :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First my thanks to Dave for such an extensive and thorough review. And a great one too. Thanks for your time Dave.

I am having to be careful with some of the more recent RN ships like the Batch 3 Type 22. Orange Hobby keep on threatening to do one, and then not and then again they might. I would hate to clash with them on a release at the same time, when we could have done other things. I do have Batch 1 and 2 Type 22s in the pipeline, but they will be further down the line.

All the best

Peter

Atlantic Models

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problems. Really want a batch 3 as I worked building a real one!

Happy to see a 21 in the mean time as Active was our adopted ship when I was a Sea Cadet.

Julien

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to see, to echo the call for a Batch 3 (Hermione or Jupiter would be excellent choices ;-))

Thoughtful that you have included the star of the 70's show 'Warship' in the list of names :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent! Need to save some pennies....

My dad first served on HMS Crossbow, when still a trainee back in the late fifties - any chance of a Weapons Class kit, Peter?

Looking forward to your Battle Class set for the Frog kit, and the PE sets for Types 45 and 23.

Edited by Paul Bradley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old Ships. Really done her justice, saving pound coins for her

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one, its superb,thank you Peter :goodjob::wow::thumbsup::thumbsup2::yahoo:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×