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  1. Gidday All, earlier today I completed one of my current builds, a whiffed version of the Airfix 1/600 scale HMS Nelson kit. This build was done as a GB on the ATF (Airfix Tribute Forum). Following the 'Admiral name' theme of the donor kit class I named the ship HMS Cochrane, after Thomas Cochrane who achieved the rank of Admiral of the Red. I believe he was the inspiration for the RN captain Jack Aubrey in Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin series of novels. Those of you familiar with the RN battleships Nelson and Rodney will know of their unusual turret layout - nine 16-inch guns in three turrets all sited forward of the bridge structure. I decided to do a model using Nelson as a donor kit but with the more traditional "two fwd one aft" turret disposition. I know I'm not the first to do this but hopefully my model here differs from others enough to give a personal take on the conversion and not be a copy of the work of others before me. While it's possible and allowable for 'anything goes' with a whiff I have a personal preference for plausibility in mine, as much as I know anyway. As a result I put quite a bit of thought and planning into mine and I think I enjoy this almost as much as the actual modelling itself. Hopefully I've come up with something practical and viable. Although the ship I've modelled was built quite a few years before WW2 I've modelled her as she might have appeared early/mid WW2, with a greatly enhanced AA outfit but without much in the way of electronic improvement - radar. Anyway, here she is, my take on a possible battleship HMS Cochrane. And a couple of close-ups, one a little bit blurred:- And for those wishing to compare the actual ship with the whiff:- My model of HMS Nelson was done almost OOB many years ago. There are more photos further down the thread. I won't go into the modifications I made, that was mostly covered in the build thread I think:- Thank you all for your interest. Stay safe, and regards, Jeff.
  2. Gidday All, usually I am able to concentrate on only one model ship at a time hence I rarely have two on the go simultaneously. So what have I just gone and done? Started a third. Besides Britmodeller I'm also a member of the ATF (Airfix Tribute Forum) and it's traditional for that forum to hold a "What If GB" for two months over December and January. I was going to give this year a miss but I'm a sucker for punishment I guess and couldn't resist - I signed up. In the 1930s Germany began a class of heavy cruisers known as the 'Hipper' class, after the name ship. Three were built, Hipper, Blucher and Prinz Eugen. The latter was built to a slightly different design. Another two were commenced, Seydlitz and Lutzow. These two were to be 'light cruiser' versions of the class, being armed with twelve 15cm guns in four triple turrets. At a full load displacement of over 20,000 tons however they were anything but light, but then it was main gun size not ship size that differentiated between light and heavy cruisers. It was decided before construction began however that these last two would also be armed as heavy cruisers with 8-inch guns. By 1940 Seydlitz was about 95% complete as such when her fitting out was put on hold. In 1942 it was decided to convert her to an aircraft carrier. She was renamed 'Weser' and the upperworks removed from her before a flight deck was fitted. She was never completed as a carrier however. In late January 1945 she was scuttled in Konigsberg, and later scrapped by the Russians. But what if she was completed as originally planned, with four triple 15cm turrets? She may have looked something like I plan to build here. I'll be using Airfix's "Prinz Eugen" as the donor kit. Below is the traditional photo of box art, instructions and parts. You can also see part of a drawing of a 'K' class cruiser, showing the triple turrets. That drawing is not the exact same scale as the kit however. I've started construction on DKM Seydlitz in that I've glued the hull halves together, plus reinforced the join with scrap styrene and drilled the mounting holes. This ship will carry four triple 15cm turrets, which I'll have to scratch build. You can see one of the drawings of the 'K' class cruiser and turrets that I'm using, that show the turrets in 1/600 scale. I've read that the final cruiser to carry these turrets, Nurnberg, had slightly larger turrets and it follows that Seydlitz being a later vessel would have shipped these larger turrets also, so I've enlarged them by 10% to fit the molded barbettes of the kit. Being a whiff I can get away with this. On the block of wood behind the model is my first trial at scratch building the turrets. Due to the method I now use for fitting turrets to models of large cruisers and above I don't have to wait until they're done - I can proceed with the ship build. More on that later. As an aside, I consider 15cm guns on such a large cruiser to be a bit of a waste, an under-gunned ship so in the past I'd been considering a slightly smaller model similar to this for some time. I'd planned on shortening the hull by about 25mm (which equates to 50 feet in this scale) and naming the ship Wiesbaden to commemorate the light cruiser of WW1 that took a pulverizing at Jutland. But that would require quite a bit of follow-on alterations and hence a longer build time and my build program is rather full at present so Seydlitz it is, OOB as much as possible. There was a Seydlitz at Jutland too, a battlecruiser and she took a hammering also but survived it. Just. I'd like to model her one day too, but not just now. Anyway, this is as far as I've gone at present. I hope to move swiftly with this build but as I've found in the past "swiftly" is a relative term for my builds, to be taken in the broadest possible sense. So stay safe in these times and regards to all, Jeff.
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