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Francis Macnaughton

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  1. Taking stock of where I have got to, I have still got lots of bits like the boats to finish and attach as shown below, let alone the railings and yardarms so I very much regret I will have to miss out on completing the GB this time. I will continue reporting the build - is it Ok to do that in this thread or should it go elsewhere? Apologies for the disappointment.
  2. Progress with things enough to fix the hull to the display base and with my attempt at a sea scape made from rough art paper cut to fit within a stripwood frame and the bow wave made from normal paper stiffened with thin CA superglue then painted with various watercolours and fairly thick acrylic white with some acrylic gel to give a rougher surface for the sternwash. I should now be able to start adding all the other fittings and photo etch with the foremast going last as the yardarms are very delicate indeed. Still aiming to finish before the end of Sunday.
  3. FWIW I look like needing a few days more to finish my HMS Ambuscade build - a week at most.
  4. Sorry for the long gap - some recurring health issues haven't exactly helped but there is nothing like an imminent deadline to focus on getting something done! The main progress since June has been in completing adding extra detail and correcting some minor errors in the superstructure and also adding some of the photo etch detail like doors and hatches to the basic shape then painting the main hull and superstructure before starting to add the more fragile items like the masts etc. I have also progressed the display base so it is ready to have the hull attached as soon as all the hull work including pennant numbers has been completed. Paint was Tamiya TS-80 Royal (Navy) grey Originally I wasn't going to show any pennant numbers as these were painted out while we were at Gibraltar but as the photo (taken while alongside Stena Seaspread late June after the surrender ) shows the sea had soon removed most of the grey paint. This was the first time I had been off the ship ( not counting an equatorial Hands to Bathe) in 2 months! The photo etch is very comprehensive but fragile so I will need to add each item only when I am sure that everything else around it has been taken into account as it would be very easy to end with a bent yard arm or two.
  5. FWIW LCT 7074 which is on display at the D-Day story museum at Southsea is a Mark 3 rather than Mk 4 and although the main hull and deckhouse are largely as original, the work done in 1945 to an engineering support role changed the bow ramp and the side bulwarks considerably but still very much worth a visit as it is the only survivor of the 900+ LCTs at D-Day. I have recently completed a working model of 7074 as at 7th June 1944 with a build description and free plan in the May and June issues of Model Boats magazine. This is how it looks at your recommended 10 ft:
  6. Progress so far has been a bit limited but hopefully getting there. The main aim was to finish cleaning up the deck joins and correct some errors in the structure ( Tyne air intake shape and hull sides at the quarter deck ) and also clean up the basic structure ready to add the PE detailing. Some items removed such as the “aztec stairs” on the forecastle and each side of the hangar also the second capstan and the very thick breakwater and most holes in the deck filled. The cylindrical support to the top platform on the foremast also needed tapering. I reckon the 4.5” Mk 8 mounting supplied in the Skywave 1/700 th Modern Warship set is a much better representation than the one supplied in the kit and is nearer 1/600th than 1/700th in length and breadth but not quite tall enough so I have added a piece of 0.5mm plastic card underneath and trimmed it back to match. The kit offering to represent the Cheverton 25 ft motor boat is not really suitable so I looked in my spares box and found a replacement (probably from an Airfix Belfast) that is much closer to the real thing once the cabin structure is trimmed. After the excitement of 25 May Ambuscade spent most of the time as an ASW escort with the carrier group with occasional overnight passages to the northern end of the Amphibious Operating Area around San Carlos to escort small numbers of RFAs and Merchant ships to and from the main landings. We also started conducting Naval Gunfire Support (NGS) missions over night with the first on 29-30 May in company with Glamorgan to bombard parts of Stanley airfield. The main thing I remember from that first session was us closing the land for the first salvos but holding back from starting firing because the navigator and the warfare officer had a disagreement about where we were and hence where the gun should be pointing. Funnily enough, this was sorted very quickly when the Argentinians started firing in our direction (they had very little hope of hitting us as their field guns simply weren’t designed to track a moving target). The 30th was also memorable because of the last Super Etendard/AM39 Exocet attack on the carrier group. This time we were much further away from the line of attack and the main action centred on Avenger and Exeter so we only had to take the standard chaff and manoeuvre countermeasures. This time I was not closed up on the bridge but was on the ECP in front of the funnel armed with a Bren Gun ( or Light Machine Gun as they were then officially called). Our lynx had been on deck ready to launch at the time the alarm went up and I can still remember the sight of several 3" chaff rockets firing off and going over the top of the helo - fortunately no damage done. Further NGS tasks were carried out on the nights of 31 May – 1 June,1 – 2 June, 2-3 June and 6-7 June each of which had everyone closed up at action stations for at least a couple of hours in the middle of the night. With frequent Replenishments at Sea (RAS) in the daytime for fuel, stores and ammunition keeping us busy as well, it was getting very tiring and I was glad to get the chance to catch up on my sleep a bit on the 9th of June when we detached to the east to an area where several support ships were stationed to allow our main engines to have a number of defects rectified. By the 11th June Ambuscade was back on ASW screening for the carrier group after picking up a stores parachute delivery on the way back including some Shrike ARM missiles – one load splashed down so close the stores were on the port side of the bow and the parachute on the starboard side!
  7. Hi Steve, Another possible item of interest is the plan you will find in the collection at the Dreadnought Project: http://dreadnoughtproject.org/plans/KM_RA6-8_1943/ Also there is an article on German Motor Minsweepers at War, 1939-1945, by Pierre Hervieux in Warship 2002 - 2003 Francis
  8. Is this card kit of any help at all? I don't know where you would get one though. ) https://cfp.muerell.de/products/43
  9. Progress on the model relatively minor so far – mainly cleaning up the hull to deck joins I did so many years ago. Also checking what bits I need to make up from scrap etc to accurately represent Ambuscade in 1982. The starting point is the photo taken in mid 1981 (conducting gun and missile firings in the Portland areas with target drones and a remote controlled surface target embarked) which gives a good view of the deck forward of the bridge and also the Emergency Control Platform ECP) position in front of the main mast which was my alternate Action Stations post if I wasn’t on watch on the bridge. The photo also confirms that we did have the STWS anti submarine torpedo tubes fitted each side of the hangar. Also needed are the 4 conical aerials aerials on the side of the foremast – I think they were actually for TV reception rather than anything more warlike! Although the SCOT satcom domes are there in 1981, there are plenty of photos to show that they had been removed earlier in 1982 so only the supporting platforms will be needed. The writing on the photo is where other Wardroom members signed it as leaving memento when I left in early 1983 – I wonder if any other ex RN Britmodellers recognise the signature by the 4.5” gun? Clue: “Whose birds?” Both the kit boats need some improvement as well as the 4.5” gun. 40 years ago after joining the main carrier Task Group on the 23rd May, Ambuscade spent a couple of days as an anti submarine unit in a screening position about 5 miles or so to the west of the main body of the carriers and Fleet Auxiliaries about 100 miles to the east of Stanley. We had settled into the operating routines involved which were enlivened by a couple of alerts when possible underwater contacts were detected but they were quickly downgraded to non sub status. 25th May started in much the same way but as the day progressed the air attacks over the San Carlos landing area had expanded to the north of Falkland sound and encountered HMS Coventry and Broadsword which were operating in more open waters as a combined Type 22/42 group to give warning of approaching raids and also be able to use their AA missile systems more effectively. Unfortunately things did not work out as hoped and Coventry was hit by 3 bombs around 1700 and was so badly damaged she soon capsized and sank. The full news of this was just received as I went on watch on the bridge. All seemed quiet until at 1936 our Electronic Warfare operator spotted a very short radar transmission to the north west consistent with the Agave search radar fitted on the Super Etendard. He reported this promptly and the whole Task Group fired chaff rockets which would hopefully confuse the Etendard when it next transmitted to target the Exocet before release. We also turned to a course that optimised the chance of the Exocet homing on the chaff blooms rather than the ship. By this time the two Etendards were visible on radar with missile release at about 22 miles range and tracking towards us. 4.5” gun and Seacat systems couldn’t get a fire control lock on the missiles so tried firing in visually aimed manual mode without success before the missile tracks started tracking to pass astern and out of range. The closest ship to us at the time of the first alert was Atlantic Conveyor and without chaff systems and a large radar cross section she was in the worst possible place when the Exocet search heads started looking for a target. When the air raid was over we returned and helped look for any survivors until it got dark but by then the fires on Conveyor were lighting up the whole area and we had to move away in case there was a sub lurking. It was a very long day ….
  10. Actually Gonzo 2 as I discovered when looking for what photos there were of the Lynx and found this account of what happened later that year to our Lynx http://www.ambuscade.org.uk/am_Incidents_Lynx_Ditch_82.htm
  11. Of course - I can't remember why but the Lynx was called Gonzo and had been updated to carry Sea Skua
  12. I bought this kit when it was first issued in 1972 (for 49p at Woolworths!) and at some stage actually made a start by trimming the hull to the waterline and glueing the basic structure together before putting it back in storage. Since I served in 3 of the Type 21s at one time or another and spent at least some time on all the others apart from Ardent, I have accumulated a fair bit of information on the class that should be useful. I joined HMS Ambuscade in mid 1980 as she completed a refit and was there through until early 1983 as one of the bridge watchkeepers so I got to see and hear first hand much of what was going on, especially during the Falklands period in 1982. There is an Ambuscade Association website at http://www.ambuscade.org.uk/AmbFalk1-1.htm with lots more info on the ship and her history but basically we sailed from Devonport on 9 April, acted as a sort of guardship for Gibraltar until early May then went further south to Ascension for a few days before carrying on south to join the main Task Force on 23 May. Most of the time was spent as an anti submarine escort for the main carrier group, with occasional detachments to provide Naval Gunfire Support (NGS) at night for the operations ashore. As the build progresses I’ll add further bits on particular events as each anniversary occurs if I can keep up with things. The kit itself is reasonably accurate in general shape and size but very simplified and lacking in detail by modern standards. Thankfully this can be greatly improved with the after market now available especially the Atlantic Models Type 21 photo etch set which goes a very long way towards getting an accurate result. The kit has decals for HMS Amazon only but this not a problem as all seven T21 s that participated in Operation Corporate had already painted out their pennant numbers on the hull sides (although the flight deck lettering was preserved and can be made good with bits from the Hawk Graphics sheet). I also had a set of 1/600 Seacat launchers to help. One item that does stand out for correction is the kit representation of the 4.5” Mk 8 gun which fails to capture the correct profile and is too narrow. Another point to note was that only Ambuscade and Antelope had the Corvus 3” decoy rocket launchers mounted on the deck area forward of the bridge while the others all had 4 Exocet launchers there instead.
  13. This might also help - taken onboard Ambuscade in 1979. I am intending to start a build of the Airfix kit as Ambuscade in 1982 for the Falklands 40th GB in the next week or so which you might also find useful. If you haven't already got one, I would strongly recommend the Atlantic models photo etch set https://www.atlanticmodels.net/onewebmedia/Instructions Files/Amazon600.pdf
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