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abat

HMAS Vengeance - Colossus Class Carrier

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Since my return to the hobby 3 or 4 years ago I've focussed solely on fleet airm aircraft, but building an Australian light fleet carrier has always been lurking in the back of my mind. Wandering around the hobby shop yesterday looking for a tube of putty, I spotted a Heller 1/400 Colossus / Arromanches for a nice price and it didn't take long for me to reason I needed a break from aircraft. Now in the cold hard light of another day I'm starting to realise how much out of my depth I now feel. Lucky I've got Britmodeller for inspiration and some helpful assistance!

I've settled on HMAS Vengeance, one of the 16 light fleet carriers laid down in Britian during WW2. Originally commissioned as HMS Vengeance, she was loaned to the Royal Australian Navy between 1953 - 1955 whilst the RAN awaited the delivery of the Majestic class carrier HMAS Melbourne. She was then sold to the Brazillian Navy where she served as the Minas Gerais until 2001! I'll be depicting Vengeance on her return voyage to England in June/August 1955. This was my father's first sea-going appointment in the RAN.

I've so far found quite a few good quality photos of Vengeance herself and assorted plans for other Collosus carriers - the Arromanches and Karel Doorman - which should have broadly similar internals. I've also noted Martin's excellent build of the latter in these forums. The White Ensign etch set is on order and 1/400 Fairey Firefly, Sea Fury and Bristol Sycamore aircraft are available From Shapeways as 3-D prints.

A few questions if I may before I get underway:

. I want to drill out the scuttles (portholes), but note from photos that not every one is "open". Are the "closed" ones blanked off with metal plates according to the internal layout or should they all open? The Heller depiction of these appears to be a little loose when compared to photos.

. Can anyone comment definitively on what armament was carried in 1955? The RAN web site quotes 12x40mm and 32x20mm anti aircraft guns. However photos I've seen from her arrival in Australian waters and the kit itself show 5 quadruple 40mm Pom Poms and around 20 single 20mm oerlikons. Perhaps this changed over time with re-fits.

. Although jumping ahead a bit, what would be suitable colours for hull/infrastructure and the deck? So far I've turned up AS2700 N42 Storm Grey for the former and N63 Pewter (or NATO dark sea grey) for the deck but these were I believe in relation to more recent RAN ships.

Thanks for reading this far. Hope to have some progress up within a few weeks.

Andrew

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Scuttles have a hinged cover on their inside called a "deadlight" that is both watertight and seals the light in when closed. When you darken ship at night you close them but it may well be the case that they haven't been reopened the next day.

Don't confuse these with plates of steel that are welded in place of scuttles that have been removed.

Dave

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Don't confuse these with plates of steel that are welded in place of scuttles that have been removed.

Dave

Thanks Dave, I think this may account for what I'm seeing. The plates are on the outside.

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HMAS%20Vengeance%205Mar1953%20AlanGreen%

I believe this lovely image from the State Library of Victoria is in the public domain. It shows Vengeance in Sydney Harbour in 1953 at the completion of her commissioning voyage from England. Bristol Sycamore on the fore deck and most other aircraft cocooned at the rear.

Internet research has provided some answers to my questions above.

IMG_6565.jpg

Regards the portholes scuttles, here's a close up from the port side that shows hinged covers over some. Other images I've found show these open. Interesting.

I've compared the location of scuttles on the Heller hull sides with numerous images of the real Vengeance and found the location of some of the Heller scuttles to be fictitious and others somewhat misplaced. Most concerning is that the lower row are consistently too close to the waterline. The image below superimposes the real Vengeance over the kit hull with the white dots representing the kit scuttles. You can clearly see the actual scuttles sitting in the row of plates above.

Vengeance%20Hull%20Scuttles-2-XL.jpg

As far as the armament, a close up of the 1953 photo shows what I believe to be single 40mm Bofors guns and quadruple "pom poms". Another photo from 1954 in Tasmanian waters clearly shows single bofors. Oh, and you can see the blanked off scuttles as well.

HMAS%20Vengeance%205Mar1953%20AlanGreen%

More to come if I can get my head around what to do next.

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Whatever you do, don't think about it, you will never start!

Martin ( bumbling along in his usual blissful ignorance)

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Now that's good advice, thanks Martin.

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Whatever you do, don't think about it, you will never start!

Martin ( bumbling along in his usual blissful ignorance)

Add or you won't be able to get to sleep at night.

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Those are definitely 40mm Bofors in the Tasmania shot. Cocooned Firefly 4s or 5s in the background, too.

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I shall be shamelessly cheating from this thread, I have two of these kits

One to do as HMAS Vengeance and one to do as HMAS Sydney (III)

I thought about getting a third to do the Battlestar Melbourne but on second thoughts no.

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Those are definitely 40mm Bofors in the Tasmania shot. Cocooned Firefly 4s or 5s in the background, too.

Thanks. Some wrapped up sea furies in there too.

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I shall be shamelessly cheating from this thread, I have two of these kits

One to do as HMAS Vengeance and one to do as HMAS Sydney (III)

I thought about getting a third to do the Battlestar Melbourne but on second thoughts no.

Thanks Steve, I'll try to do it justice. There's some excellent plans for Sydney that you're no doubt aware of, not much specifically for HMAS Vengeance but I'm assuming strong similarities with other Collosus class carriers and there's quite a few photos. There's a book on RAN Carriers by Vince Fazio that includes Albatross, Vengeance, Sydney and Melbourne. It's out of print I think but I hope to look through a reference copy at the NSW State Library. I thought about the Battlestar too but couldn't stomach scratch building the angled flight deck.

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After umming and ahhing about how to best re-position the lower line of scuttles, I decided to sand off the hull detail above the boot strap and start with a fresh canvas. So far I've done the port side and its my intention to re-fit the pipes and do-dacks, and drill the scuttles on this side before undertaking the same to starboard. That way I have a reference for what all the bits and bumps look like. I also have a before photo of each side of the kit and my reference photos. I may also toy with some ideas in recreating the line of the main hull plates but I think at this scale they won't be missed all that much as they did look a touch exaggerated in the kit.

I've also re-positioned the second most forward opening on both sides and cut out the little bit above the anchor opening. The kit plastic is very soft and easy to work.

I don't know much apart from my "ports" and "starboards" so if anyone can point me towards a good reference on naming the various decks and openings etc on aircraft carriers I would much appreciate it.

20160618_EM1_6181315-L.jpg

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Hello Abat,

Do not forget to look at www.vlaggeschipsmaldeel5.nl

Lots of pictures of the Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman (HMS Venerable).

Lots off succes with the build.

See also my modernized version of this Dutch Carrier.

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234984924-aircraft-carrier-hrms-karel-doorman/?hl=%2Bhr.ms.+%2Bkarel+%2Bdoorman

Edited by Orion

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