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  1. Starling Models' Round Table class trawler HMT Sir Gareth in 1/350 scale. Eight Round Table class trawlers were built for the Royal Navy between the years 1941 and 1942, all by one of two shipyards in my home town of Aberdeen in the north east of Scotland. They were based on a 1936 trawler called Star of Orkney, and measured 125 feet long whilst they displaced just under 450 tons. They had a relatively large crew for a vessel this size of 35, and the vessels were all commissioned as minesweepers. They carried one 12 pounder anti-aircraft gun, 1 20mm Oerlikon and a pair of .303 machine guns. Hall, Russell & Co closed down in 1990. The shed has now gone but the slipway remains. The site is now used by Dales Marine Services, an offshore logistics company supporting the oil & gas industry. Goods come and go by road and are loaded onto supply vessels. His Majesty's Trawler Sir Gareth was launched 19th January 1942 and carried the pennant number T227. HMT Sir Gareth appears to be wearing a single colour scheme, which in 1942 could either be Admiralty Pattern 507A Home Fleet Grey, or possibly MS2. I don't like MS2 much, and in the bliss of ignorance otherwise, I will use Home Fleet Grey which I find a much more pleasing shade of grey. The kit is, I believe, CAD designed and used 3D printed masters which have been used for cast resin parts. The kit costs approximately £55 from Starling Models which may appear a lot for such a small model, however the quality is exceptional and the kit is very complete indeed. I have thoroughly enjoyed this model and highly recommend it to the moderate or experienced modellers. Everything fits as it should. No scratchbuilding or improvisation skills are necessary but obviously it's a small model and a lot of the parts are small accordingly. Thank you for looking.
  2. As a break from big warships with a great deal going on, I have started working on Starling Models' cute little Round Table class trawler HMT Sir Gareth. Eight Round Table class trawlers were built for the Royal Navy between the years 1941 and 1942, all by one of two shipyards in my home town of Aberdeen in the north east of Scotland. They were based on a 1936 trawler called Star of Orkney, and measured 125 feet long whilst they displaced just under 450 tons. They had a relatively large crew for a vessel this size of 35, and the vessels were all commissioned as minesweepers. They carried one 12 pounder anti-aircraft gun, 1 20mm Oerlikon and a pair of .303 machine guns. His Majesty's Trawler Sir Gareth was launched 19th January 1942 and carried the pennant number T227. HMT Sir Gareth appears to be wearing a single colour scheme, which in 1942 could either be Admiralty Pattern 507A Home Fleet Grey, or possibly MS2. I don't like MS2 much, and in the bliss of ignorance otherwise, I will use Home Fleet Grey which I find a much more pleasing shade of grey. The kit is, I believe, CAD designed and used 3D printed masters which have been used for cast resin parts. The kit costs approximately £55 from Starling Models which may appear a lot for such a small model, however the quality is exceptional and the kit is very complete indeed. In addition, it comes complete with a full colour instruction manual which also identifies all of the parts contained in the box. It's a full hull model, and the hull complete with numerous very fine deck fittings comes very cleanly cast in a single piece. I began by opening out some holes along the bulwarks. Next, a number of small photo etched parts needed to be fitted. The fit is perfect thus far. They literally drop into place. The following may appear critical, but in this small scale I wanted to ensure I got a good finish. I primed the hull with lacquer based Mr Surfacer 1000. In a single satin coat, there were a few areas which could benefit from a gentle flatting on my casting. Overall the impression is good: Closer up: I used a small piece cut from an 800 grit Infini Model sanding sponge wet which proved ideal for this. In no time at all the high spots were knocked down. After a quick reprime: I've added this winch to the foredeck. Duplicates are included of most small parts including this. I did drop it. Hopefully that's now out of the way, but I found it anyway and it dropped precisely into the hole in the hull casting. I think I'll paint it Home Fleet Grey next, then pick out the planking areas before proceeding with the deck houses which will obliterate my access in there.
  3. With the LCI nearly completed, it's time to turn attention to Starling Model's recent release of a Bangor class Minesweeper in 1/350. It'll be my first Starling model and I'm looking forwards to it with the excellent reputation for detail and precision. Nicely boxed... As provided it depicts HMS Rhyl well represented in this fine photo here I'll be building HMS Poole with it's very distinctive Camo scheme and a port side view, and to date these are the only photos I can find It's a later iteration than the kit representation with a scheme circa 1943 onwards well represented by this colour profile from "CB3098 may 1943" available from Sovereign Colourcoats and special thanks to Jamie Duff for permission to use the profile Elsewhere on the web the camo stripe has been intrepreted as B15, but I think the above as G10 is pretty compelling. It's always difficult to discern B55 in B&W pics but I'm happy the profile will have been followed so the supertstructure is going to be B55 unless someone directs me otherwise! HMS Seaham had a near identical scheme and there are clearer pics of the port side and layout. Build issues 1) The pennant number is 2 tone so that will necessitate the use of masks 2) HMS Poole has a significant "Conniing" tower, shared by many including Seaham, though Poole appears to have extensions sideways and backwards that have ?canvas spray dodgers around. 3) Early Bangor Class vessels do not appear to have carried Carley floats - Poole has at least 2 and probably 3, the first on the starboard side of the bridge and likely 2 at the aft superstructure that appear to b supported on built-out platforms. 4) Despite the later time, she is still carrying an aft 2 pounder 5) She appears to have 20 mm oerlikons in the bridge wings I have highlighted the areas of concern inthe following pic The hull comes as a single one piece moulding which is without flaw apart from possibly a misplaced porthole that is not "drilled" out. It's possible that it represents something different and there's a piece of tape to line up the lower row highlighting... There's a substantial moulding piece attached along the keel. First order of business was to remove this with clippers and a blade It really is beautifully moulded. Here's the rest of the kit which is complete and notably features 3D printed parts from Black Cat Models. The way to go. She'll be presented at anchor on a smallish base like so More soon Thanks for looking and feel free to add to any colour scheme debate Please Rob
  4. How many of us get side tracked and end up building something else,well I started cleaning up 1/700 Chieftains tanks and the Stalwarts . These were bought from Starling Models and they do them 1/350 as well.Stole this of Wiki ,it describes it the Stalwart perfectly . The Stalwart, formally classified by the British Army as Truck, High Mobility Load Carrier (HMLC), 5 Ton, 6 x 6, Alvis/Stalwart and informally known by servicemen as the Stolly, is a highly mobile amphibious military truck built by Alvis that served with the British Army from 1966 until 1992. I'm doing Intrepid ,mainly because everyone else does Fearless and my friend served on her also. The kit its a straightforward resin kit with P.E. and decals ,this is the only good kit in 1/700 yes agreed with would love this in 1/350.It can be built straight of the box,but having vehicles for the landing craft I needed to have the dock flooded ,which means having the stern lowered ,so to do this, had have a thicker based to get the right angle,with that done could turn my attention to Intrepid.The flight deck ,well not going to say anything,but had to replace it with plastic card.hope the picture shows it couldn't be use.There is no detail in the dock area ,but once finished and painted the ship,I can turn to that afterwards.I have replaced all the hatches, grills and put ladders on. I bought this at Telford ,last year 2019 ,feels like a century ago after this year,away I never noticed no decals only last night,panic started to set,checked everything I could think of and thought just email L'arsenal which I did this morning ,they have already replied and they are sending a new set at no cost. Excellent service .That's why I,m not moaning too much about the flight deck.
  5. The fighting might have ended with VE day or with VJ day, but, for some, there was still work to be done. Amoung those who's contribution continued after the fighting were the crews and ships of the Royal Navies minesweeper flotillas many of whom did not return home until 1946. My plan is to build Starling Model's 1/700 Algerine minesweeper as a member of the 12th Minesweeping Flotilla in summer 1945. There is a long discussion of 12th Minesweeper Flotoilla camouflage in this thread: Much of that discussion is based around a (rather spectacular) 1942/3 scheme. There is enough detail in that thread to show the ships as they were in 1945. (Iff this build works, I may come back to the 1943 scheme for another group build. Maybe the MTO GB in September?). Reference: Lots of photos at the Imperial War Museum, including a collection of (July 1945) photos of MINESWEEPERS HARD AT WORK TO MAKE SEAS SAFE AGAIN. (link https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/search?query=minesweepers hard at work ) Sorry for the shouting, I copy/pasted the IWM title.
  6. A bit late in the day, but I've *almost* built my first model of 2020. I started this on New Year's day and hoped to have it all finished before returning to work. Sadly however my dad's little sister had visited the hospital just before Christmas feeling unwell, was diagnosed with cancer and went off the cliff rapidly and died on the 3rd January. Naturally that took priority over toy boats, but I've got the model well on now. It's not in RFI because I haven't finished the complete display yet. Like most submarines the kit was pretty simple yet very complete. It is very nicely cast in light grey resin, and comes complete with a small sheet of photo etched brass, a turned brass 4" gun barrel courtesy of Master (I think?), and two generous lengths of brass rod. Mine had a little shrinkage on the bottom of the keel, easily fixed with some filler, and a little shrinkage on one of the two optional 4" gun tubs which was easily fixed using viscous glue. I needed a simple shim from plasticard to level the bottom of the conning tower (is it still a "sail" on a WW2 boat?) but it may be my own carelessness in removing it from the casting block. There are colour photographs of P311 on the IWM collection which removes some colour uncertainty. The instructions show two schemes for HMS Tabard P342, one of which is PB10 which is possibly correct as Tabard was built late in the war with PB10 being introduced in 1944, and the other shows black with "MS4A" grey with white pennant number - this one smells a lot like a certain author known for a spectacular lack of understanding of RN colours. For various reasons, I believe that black and Home Fleet Grey should be considered the standard Home Fleet submarine scheme in the mid-war years, and that's what I decided to do. P311 was one of the first 2 Group III T-class boats and did not have a 20mm Oerlikon cannon, so its platform had to go. The hull was a dawdle to assemble. The planes fitted nicely, as did the propellers. The propeller shafts are made from lengths of the brass rod provided. All of the photo etched brass gratings, hatches etc dropped perfectly in to position. They were all glued using my usual method of applying medium CA from a little pool in a medicine pill container with the tip of an acupuncture needle. I used a brass pin to locate the conning tower on the hull. At this stage I remembered the model was resin and I had to wash it. I started with a bath of white spirit and a paint brush, then moved on to a bath of warm water with dishwashing soap. For the black I used Colourcoats ACRN17 Night Bomber Black and applied this straight onto the model (i.e. no primer). When dry, I masked with Tamiya tape and sprayed the upper part of the boat with NARN20 507A/B Home Fleet Grey (the 13% RF version). At this point we came off the rails a bit unfortunately. The supplied decals didn't like the Microset/Microsol combination. I'm not sure what setting solutions they do need. The former though encouraged them to adhere-ish but in no way attempt to conform to the surface, whereas the latter encouraged them to peel away from the surface and curl up. In the end, it took a whole day of careful supervision to get them on and even then there's some silvering so not a success overall. They looked like this after around 3 hours of work Once I got the decals as good as I could, I brush painted the deck using our NARN29 MS2 heavily thinned. I don't think this was the actual colour, but it's a little darker than our 13% RF HFG at its correct 9~10% and neutral in hue which looked like the IWM photos. It was also to hand and after the decals I felt a little less precious about things. I further thinned the MS2 and brushed some streaky weathering on the portion of the boat which sits above the waterline on the surface, and sponged on more underneath to try to break up the uniformity of the black a bit. The IWM photos show flash rusting all over the deck of P311 also, which I attempted to mimic using brown, orange and ochre chalk pastels. Rigging was applied using Infini Model 40denier (0.068mm diameter) black lycra monofilement rigging line. I said at the beginning this wasn't finished, so people might wonder what's next. I'm at a point in my maritime modelling whereby I want to portray vessels in their natural environment to properly look the part. Still though, I am an Engineer by education, by family tradition and work in an engineering industry. I like hull forms. A submarine in particular is a model whereby you either display all of it, or you sand away or hide 80% of it and that's bad value for money to a Scotsman. Inspired by the awesome works of the young Korean man Won-Hui Lee, I want to try my first clear resin casting such that the boat can be seen from above the waterline in its natural state but the viewer can see through a cross section of the sea to view the rest also. Bubbles are not a real problem provided they're not large, but resin cures with an exothermic reaction and too large a mass cast at once tends to cause excessive heat and melt things, so I shall cast in 2, 3 or 4 layers. A block of wood has been marked out, masked, smeered with PVA and sprinkled with modelling sand and rocks. These were then sealed in place with watered down PVA squirted on from a scooshie bottle. 4 sides of clear plastic sheet have been sawn out to form the mould for the resin. These will be sealed from the outside before actual use. I need to order enough casting resin now! If this works, I can use the method for some other ships and boats, which would allow me to have my proverbial cake and eat it. Thanks for looking in. Jamie
  7. Who's been busy then ? - another one for the collection. This time its the 1/350 scale resin kit of HMS Tabard from Starling Models..... It isn't actually finished - it needs the addition of aerial wires (as soon as I get some elastic thread)..... This is a superb kit of a T Class sub from Starling models and deserves to sell well - thus encouraging them to make more Royal Navy Submarines.... Although it is at the limit of my skills - given my failing eyesight and lack of manual dexterity - I really enjoyed building it... I'll post more pics when I get the 'rigging' done... Ken
  8. HI All So this is my Christmas pressie and I just couldnt wait to start it, plan is to put it on the same base as the trumpeeter Belfast that I am also building on here. TBH I plan on building this pretty much OTB as the Belfast build has tested my patience enough and I could do with something nice and easy, that plus the fact i just dont have anywhere near as much ref material to hand as I did for Belfast. The kit looks really nice, so far I have tidied up a few blemishes to the hull with filler and cleaned up some of the bits that had either snapped off or just not cast at all. If that sounds negative its not! I have no idea how they cast the detail on the hull such as the vents etc, they look fantastic! I need to replace a few bits and the bulwark at the rear but its no big deal (If that was the only issue i had with Trumpys Belfast I would be a happy man.....) the quality of all aspects of the kit is top draw and i am looking forward to their next release of a river class frigate even if it did cheese me off a little when it was anounced due to the 60% scratch built one I now have sitting on a shelf thats unlikly ever to get finished....... Plan is to run this alongsidel Belfast and aim to have them both finished and mounted on the base end Feb/march.
  9. Hi All, Bit of a back story to this one. A couple of years ago we were looking through a big tin box full of old photos that belonged to my mum's side of the family - Amongst the many pictures of family was a newspaper cutting from the mid/late 1930's showing four RN sailors on a gangplank disembarking from (If memory serves me right from what was said) HMS Arethusa. "What's with the cutting?" I enquired, "Well," said Mum, "One of those sailors would have been my Uncle Frank. He was the brother of your great uncle Fred." Uncle Fred had married my Nan's sister and we occasionally went over to visit Auntie Aggie and Uncle Fred (as we knew them, none of this great uncle/aunt thing for us back then), who lived in a little village in Northamptonshire when we were kids. "So," Said I "What happened to Uncle Frank then?" Dad pipes up "He was on the Barham" Ah. A bit of a conversation then ensued where Dad said he'd done a bit of research when he was in the navy himself (1959-1967/8). It turned out Frank had been a signalman and that he was one of the 862 lost when the Barham was torpedoed, rolled over and exploded. Dad had spent a couple of hours trying to find Franks name on the memorial at Southsea back in the day. I'm sure you've all seen the newsreel - I used to wince every time I saw it anyway but it takes on an added poignancy for me now. There is now a fair bit of information available on the internet about the Barham such as the HMS Barham Association Website, crew lists, the aformentioned film, details of the cover up/news embargo carried out by HM Government at the time combined with the story of the last prosecution carried out under the Witchcraft Act when a Spirit Medium announced that the Barham had been sunk before the government had announced it. The last item is quite an interesting tale in itself and can be found at http://www.webatomics.com/jason/barhamconspiracy.html There is also a list of all the names on the Southsea Naval Memorial and whereabouts they are located within the memorial, which meant it was only a matter of minutes to find Frank's name when I went to Southsea the other month. As for the kit, it's in 1/700 scale and made by Trumpeter and claimed to be the ship in its 1941 fit - If it isn't could somebody let me know? I picked it up earlier this year and started building it at work during my lunchtimes but hadn't really progressed very far before I paused, realising it'd be a good subject for this GB. Here is where it is at currently - Just under the 25% rule. I've also ordered a set of etch from Starling Models and might even get some replacement 15" barrels as the kit ones aren't very good. More to follow in the next few days hopefully. IanJ
  10. Royal Navy Battleships Photo Etched Detail Sets 1:700 Starling Models Starling Models is the brainchild of small scale ship modeller and fellow BM member Mike McCabe. He created the company following the demise of White Ensign Models in order to attempt to satisfy the appetite of detail hungry maritime modellers everywhere. Employing experience gleaned from designing photo etch sets for other manufacturers, Mike has developed his own range of products and we've received the first two sets for review. Most photo etch sets for naval subjects tend to be either ship-specific or completely generic (e.g. ladders and railings). These sets fall between the two camps by providing a range of parts for a number of specific ships on each fret. I think this is a great idea, as it enables the modeller to upgrade the parts that will benefit the most from replacement without going completely overboard (no pun intended) with hundreds of tiny details. Royal Navy Battleships Set 1 1:700 Starling Models Set one includes a range of semi-generic parts, including doors, ladders, twenty Oerlikon guns, two types of railing, hatches, boat oars, type 271 and type 291 radar arrays, propellers for the Walrus aircraft and details for the searchlights. According to Starling Models, there should be enough of these parts for two vessels. Also included are cranes for the King George V class battleships (2), HMS Renown (2), HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant (2) and HMS Nelson (1). Royal Navy Battleships Set 2 1:700 Starling Models The second set comprises a single fret which also contains several lengths of railings and ladders, as well as stairways, doors and boat oars. Also included are eighteen sets of Oerlikon guns and six sets of quad Vickers anti-aircraft gun mountings. A couple of Type 271 radar arrays are also provided, along with five sets of boat oars. Last but by no means least, there are cranes for HMS Warspite, Malaya, Rodney and Barham, which also benefits from a replacement aircraft catapult. Conclusion It may well be fiddly and it may well end up stuck to your fingers half the time, but you have to admit that a small scale warship never really looks complete without the addition of photo etched parts to represent the finer details such as ladders, railings and cranes. I'll lay my cards on the table and say that I really like the format of these new sets from Starling Models as they represent a very efficient and cost effective way of sprucing up a number of ships models from just a couple of semi-generic frets. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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