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  1. Gidday All, Here is a model of the heavy cruiser HMS York, a sister-ship of the Exeter. These two ships were an attempt by the RN to break away from the large and expensive 10,000 tonners (Treaty Cruisers) being built by various countries under the terms of the Washington Treaty. The British Treaty Cruisers were the County class. Originally seven ships were planned, but ultimately only these two were built. They sacrificed two 8-inch guns on a ship that was shorter, narrower and about 1500 tons lighter than their predecessors. Surprisingly their belt armour, where it was fitted, was thicker. HMS York was the first of the two, and besides her guns was intended to carry two catapults - a heavy catapult behind the funnels and a light-weight catapult mounted on 'B' turret. As a result the ship had a high forward superstructure to allow the bridge crew to see over any aircraft mounted on it. This light-weight catapult however was never built and fitted. Because of this the second ship, HMS Exeter, had a much lower bridge structure that became the prototype for that of the following Leander, Amphion (Perth) and Aresthusa classes of cruiser. Exeter's masts and funnels were vertical as opposed to York's which were raked. Despite their different silhouettes the two ships were built to the same design and hence still classify as sister-ships. In 1941 HMS York was at anchor in Suda Bay, Crete, when she was attacked by Italian motor boats packed with explosives. Two boats hit her, destroying both boiler rooms and one engine room. She was run aground to prevent her sinking. Several weeks later she was bombed by Stuka dive bombers and sustained enough damage that it was decided she was beyond effective repair. She was destroyed in-situ by explosives. The model is in the scale of 1/600, as are nearly all of my model ships. I began it last May, just after WASMEx 2018, and I completed her a couple of weeks ago. Very broadly speaking the model is a cross between a heavily modified kit and scratch-built. I used a stretched hull of an Airfix 'Ajax' kit, with the funnels and 8-inch guns and turrets of a 'Suffolk' kit, some other assorted parts from various kits and scratch-built everything else, including all decks, superstructures and masts. Although HMS Exeter is the more well-known of the two ships I chose to build York for a number of reasons. Firstly her camo scheme was rather striking whereas Exeter's was a rather bland single shade of grey, and I like to have a bit of variety in my display cabinet. Secondly, York's bridge superstructure was unique while Exeter's was very similar to other ships I have modeled. Again, variety. I also had the deck plans of her to work off. Not all that comprehensive but good enough for a model at this scale, I thought. I have no doubt that I have made some mistakes, sometimes the plans I had weren't all that clear on small fixtures, I had to refer to photos when I could get them. Also the camo scheme probably isn't completely accurate but I tried my best there, despite conflicting diagrams and photos from oblique angles. Also I am certain the shades of light and blue/grey paint aren't completely spot-on. I am not as dedicated as other modelers in that respect. I know what some of you perfectionists are thinking - "Who is this Philistine? Stone him for blasphemy, burn him for heresy!" I'll supply the rocks and matches. Anyway, enough of me rattling on, here she is, HMS York 1941. Close-up photos show my rough workmanship. Regards to all, Jeff.
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