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  1. Chewbacca


    Thought I'd post this here as maybe a few more maritime experts might see it that may not otherwise see it over in Group Builds. I've been promising myself for a number of years now that I must build a model of HMS BULOLO in memory of my father who was a Chief Electrical Artificer and who served in BULOLO under Lord Louis Mountbatten from 1945 to 1946 during her Far East deployment. He was present when Lord Louis took the Japanese surrender in Singapore. The forthcoming Pacific at War GB gives me the perfect catalyst to get this project going but I am struggling for reference material. BULOLO started off life as a cruise liner operating between Australia and Papua New Guinea but, when just over a year old, was taken up from trade - I think they called it requisitioning in those days! - and converted initially to an Armed Merchant Cruiser equipped with seven 6-inch guns, two 3-inch AA guns, depth charges and close range weapons. For the next 2 years or so she was employed on convoy escort duty in the Atlantic or used to scout out German surface raiders. In March 1942 she was again taken into dockyard hands and her main armament stripped off as she was converted to an amphibious command ship, an idea proposed by Lord Louis when he was appointed head of Combined Operations. She served with distinction throughout the amphibious landings in North Africa and Italy before returning to UK to prepare for D Day where again she was the amphibious command platform for Gold beach. Another communications refit followed and my father joined her as she departed for the Far East in early 1945. She continued her headquarters ship role and it was from her that the victory in Malaya and Burma was coordinated. She remained under the white ensign until December 1946 when she was returned to her former owners, Burns, Philp & Company in Sydney and she resumed her peacetime role for the next 22 years before she was sold for scrap in 1968. That much I can find out. I can find a series of photos although most seem to be of her time in the Mediterranean, preparing for Overlord or after she was returned to her commercial duties . I'm struggling, however to find anything that's sufficiently detailed from which I can draw up a set of plans. I'm hoping that the maritime expertise on here may have some suggestions where I could get some better information, or if any of you have any experience of trying to draw up plans from photos taken 20-40 degrees off the bow! It's also the first scratchbuilt ship that I've attempted since I tried to make a 1/72 HMS AMAZON from balsa wood when I was a teenager in the 1970s and that was a dismal failure! I've done a lot of scratchbuilt superstructures so that side of it doesn't worry me but it's the compound curves around the bow and stern that concern me, especially without detailed plans from which I can draw up some plasticard frames to skin. So I'm thinking it might be best to go for a balsawood hull and plasticard upperworks. The other thought I had if I can draw it in CAD is to 3D print the hull. Again, I'm open to people's suggestions from those who've gone before. http://www.navyphotos.co.uk/Combined ops assault and landing ships/images/bulolo2b.jpg
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