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Ex-FAAWAFU

Explicit Women - LONG TERM HMS Fearless 1982 double build

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If you have looked at any of my current builds (Seafire 47/Seafang; HMS Brinton and/or Walrus), you will know by now that I have fractured my wrist.  I cannot model one-handed, so I have been wracking my brains about what I can do for the time until I get my left arm back from the menders.  The power of modern technology is at least helping in one respect; I am dictating this post into my MacBook Air and will then cut & paste it into BM; no one-finger, one-hand typing for me!

 

Right, so you can't build models for a while, Crisp - why start a new thread then?  Because... well, read on.

 

Many of you already know that I served on board HMS Fearless in 1981-1982, including during the Falklands War.  The ship, therefore, for reasons that will be obvious, has a very special place in my heart, and it has always been a long-term plan of mine to build a model of her.

 

Kits were very thin until a couple of years ago; basically there was the ancient 1/600 Airfix job.  It can be done - one build in particular on the internet shows a wonderful result from that particular elderly sow's ear [http://steeleelstudios.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/marine-art-and-modelmaking-hms-fearless.html].  But it's not my scale - I am very much a 1/350 man when it comes to ships - and if I am going to spend hundreds of hours scratch building, then I might as well scratch build the whole thing.  The utterly stunning Hermes, Broadsword and Yarmouth build on this very site (take a bow, @andrewa) shows what is possible and has been a massive inspiration to me.  

If you have not already seen this masterpiece, then go and look at it now.  Actually, do so even if you have; it is superb modelling.  [No pressure, then, Crisp…]

 

There will be two Fearless builds shown in this thread; one will be the scratch built 1/350 one I have wanted to do for so long.  This will be built docked down in action, as in San Carlos Water, probably as on about 24th May 1982, when this well-known photograph was taken (from one of the Rapier batteries on the hill).  [You can tell it was around May 24th, because that Lynx on deck is Antelope's - she had blown up the previous day.  I spent much of the war working on the flight deck - this was before I started my flying training].

26099324658_11cb8171ce_b.jpg

 

I have assembled quite a few detailed parts for the 1/350 one, mostly from Peter Hall at Atlantic: I have 4 x Seacat launchers, a Cheverton (Captain's barge), motor whaler (sea boat), 2 x 40/60 Bofors guns, some basic LCU hulls (which may or may not be suitable for adaptation), and plenty of Seaking material which will be left over from Ark Royal.  I also have lots of resin bitts, fairleads, hawser reels, etc. and PE RN pattern doors, hatches and ladders.  

 

As you would expect, I have lots of reference material, of which the three most useful books are these - two widely available, and the other (the home-produced pamphlet which every member of the Ship's Company took away with them when we got back) definitely not.  Ewen Southby-Tailyour's book is particularly good because it has some clear photos of areas you don't normally see (like the inside of the tank deck0.

39939859242_e39d8f4a68_c.jpg

 

I also have copious plans from Jecobin - and we will come back to those.

 

The second Fearless model - which will be the first to be finished, no doubt - will be half the size; the L'Arsenal 1/700 resin and PE kit.  It was launched at ScaleModelWorld in about 2012, and you won't be astonished to learn that I snapped one up instantly.  I will not be starting it yet (too many other builds on the go, not to mention the wrist thing!), but I will give you the statutory intro shots.  The box:

26099446148_a97e062925_b.jpg

 

And the contents:

39939857562_d4c191a30e_b.jpg

 

The L'Arsenal kit looks very nice, though it's not perfect; it is billed as Fearless as she was in 1982, but some of the details show her as she was a few years later, post-refit - notably the guns (which are BMARC 30mm rather than ancient Mk.7 40mm Bofors) and the chaff launchers on the bridge wing (which are SuperRBOC rather than the old-fashioned Corvus).  Nothing, though, that cannot be fixed.

 

I also found a build of this kit in an Airfix Modeller Magazine back issue, in which he says that the only problem he encountered was that the flight deck in his copy was a horrible fit.  Yep, me too.  Time for some plastic card, I think.

26080493958_06f01c711d_c.jpg

 

Really nasty, bubbly casting on that flight deck, too - which is odd, because the rest of the kit is beautifully cast; here, for example, the fo'c's'le with a Swann-Morton No 11 alongside for scale.  

39939858012_a74528418d_c.jpg

 

Rather than repeat the San Carlos scenario at half the size, I will probably build the L'Arsenal version to show her as she steamed back into Portsmouth in July 1982, missing one LCU (F4 having been sunk) and bearing her battle scars.

 

ANYWAY...  why start this thread now, when I cannot model?

 

Because the one thing you definitely need when scratch building is a really good set of plans.  I have these; the 1/192 Jecobin jobs, which are excellent, and of which I have already produced numerous copies reduced to 1/350, which will be cut up to produce templates etc. 

39939858562_b5b2d5514b_c.jpg

 

You will note that I have plans for BOTH Intrepid and Fearless - because neither of them show the ship in the 1982 configuration.  Intrepid is as built, when the rear of the superstructure was very different.  Fearless is as post-refit, with Phalanx, modern guns, a revised comms fit etc.

 

So what I plan to do during my enforced lay-off is to combine the two sets on my computer, and generate a full set of plans for Fearless as she actually was in 1982.  Those of you who followed my SeaKing rivet marathon will recall that i did something quite similar then.

 

There will be no modelling in this thread for some time; but in the next few weeks there will be updates showing progress towards accurate plans for the time I wish to depict her.

 

More soon-ish

 

Crisp

 

[P.S. Why "explicit women"?  Because the motto under Fearless' crest is EXPLICIT NOMEN - essentially, "The name speaks for itself" - but shortly before the Falklands malarkey we had to pulp a load of publicity leaflets (for open days etc) because it had a misprint; the junior officers immediately adopted the revised motto.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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The subject is obviously close to your heart and being at very poignant time, will concentrate the mind and I'm sure a stunning build program ensue.

I will certainly be following this, broken wing or not.

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Crikey! You can not keep the man down. I will just settle in with :drink:and :popcorn:to await the festivities.

 

Christian, exiled to africa

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Sounds like a great plan (pun not intended), and the end product should be very useful. Best wishes for your (active) recuperation.

 

Andrew.

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Blimey Crisp, you'll do anything to avoid finishing The Ark and the SeaKing won't you? :tmi:

Still, anything to do with Those Magnificent Men In Their Sailing Machines of '82 can't be bad.

You did a cracking job with the plans for the SeaKing, so can't wait to see what you produce for Fearless.

Do you know why the plans are 1/192? seems an odd scale to a plastic modeller. Is this a common boat building scale do you know?

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These look interesting builds. Hopefully the wrist will improve soon.

 

Martian

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I had no idea of your history with the ship and the Islands. I was excited to see the thread title (steady!) but to find out this personal information had made this build a must-watch for me.

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15 hours ago, Bigdave22014 said:

Do you know why the plans are 1/192? seems an odd scale to a plastic modeller. Is this a common boat building scale do you know?

1 sixteenth of an inch to the foot - yes, it is a fairly common boat builders’ scale (especially boatbuilders who were raised on Imperial measurements!).

 

55% = 1/350, so it isn’t hard to translate.

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First plans session, which saw a couple of false starts before I worked out how best to do it.  I am a Mac-head, so using Pixelmator (& its Vectormator built-in cousin).  

 

It's going to take a while, but time is not what I am short of!  

 

Pretty obvious what has been done and what hasn't, I think. [The red line is a horizontal reference line - i.e. pure fore & aft centre line of the ship]

40008479561_2451ea6e2a_c.jpg

 

I learned while doing this on the Seaking that there are some benefits; you have to study every single line and curve, so you end up really getting under the skin of the subject and understanding what every little bump and odd protrusion was for.  Unlike the Seaking drawings, this time I am turning them into vector graphics - which will make them much more readily scalable (and also won't eat my computer's RAM as these get bigger and more complex, which was the driver).

 

Oh well, if I can't model, this is a reasonable substitute.

 

More soon

 

Crisp

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Well Mr Crisp, nice to see that your talents are not being wasted with only one wing. I wish I had the skill to produce my own drawings to help me a few subs I'm wanting to build. Carry on good sir.

 

Stuart

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I'm in, following along to a Crisp build* as usual.

 

*or a not quite yet build in this case :winkgrin:

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8 minutes ago, AntPhillips said:

I'm in, following along to a Crisp build* as usual.

 

*or a not quite yet build in this case :winkgrin:

+1 & hope the wrist doesn't take too long to heal Crisp.

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More drawing work; first, the whole ship (showing just how much work still to go...):

39316823224_f307cba825_h.jpg

 

Then a close-up of the finished section, namely the two quarterdecks and dock area:

39128614955_2a4be06f88_c.jpg

My one-handed workflow is gradually improving!

 

More soon

 

Crisp

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Now this will be a good one to follow

 

Very interested in watching this build (or draw) progress, expecially correcting to 1982 fit.  I did take a look at my set of Fearless plans the other week, but put them away again for a wee bit longer. 

 

And thanks again for the Hermes and friends credit - I can't believe it's still so popular 3 years later...

 

A

 

 

 

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That is indeed nice. Scale hard to judge?

 

I am not (yet...) that familiar with her post-82 evolution; I know her final state, and obviously I know what she was like in 82, but this model suggests there was more than one stage en route.  Phalanx on 03 deck aft, but still Seacat on 01 deck forward?  Seems odd that they didn’t just take Seacat out in one go.  Similarly, the bridge wing 40/60 Bofors have gone, but the 30mm haven’t replaced them.  Odd; it suggests a state very soon after 82, with Phalanx beefing up essentially the same ship, pending a more major revamp in a subsequent refit (she did, after all, soldier on in service for 20 years post-Falklands).  The boats are def wrong; she never went to sea with 2 Whalers, as depicted here.

 

Oh, and to my eyes the LCUs & LCVPs look wrong in anything other than Falkland black & grey tiger stripes.  The camouflage shown here is accurate, but wasn’t what F1-8 wore when I knew them!

 

I have a number of shots of a model from the Museum of the RN in Pompey, which I took with this very build in mind; I’ll post them later.

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OK, as promised, here are the Museum of the RN model photos; any prospective FS modellers, feel free to use them as you wish.

 

BUT... as with so many references, you need to know what you are looking at... BEWARE!  Though this is presented by the museum as a 1982 model, it's a compromise (which I completely understand; I imagine these things are not cheap to commission, and only geeks like me notice the fact that this represents the ship at an earlier date).  I'll try to point out any things that are incorrect for 1982 as I go along (and I am certain that I'll miss some).

 

1.  The bow & fo'c's'le.  99% certain (from photos I have of the ship arriving back in Pompey) that the DF aerial mounted in front of the bridge had gone by then.  100% certain that the masthead navigation radar is wrong; she was built with this one (Type 978), but it had been replaced by Type 1006 during the 1981 refit.  All the comms fit shown abaft the foremast had changed by 1982.  This does, however, show very clearly how the bridge wings were laid out, plus the forward pair of Seacat directors (on top of the bridge, just in front of the foremast).

40005798662_ce0dca819f_h.jpg

 

2.  Midships around the funnels.  The Fairey Huntress on the davits is wrong; in 1982 she had a Cheverton on the port side and a Whaler (used as the standard seaboat) to starboard.  However, this shows the aft Seacat directors and launchers nicely.  Note that there is a lot of artistic license above Flyco - random containers, a Gemini dinghy, and several liferaft containers appear to be simply lying around (to busy the model up?).  These were definitely not there!  Neither were the two telegraph poles sitting under the Seaking rotor disc on the flight deck!

40005799852_9e5f4b3977_h.jpg

 

3. [Clearly not from Portsmouth!]  In this well-known photo taken in San Carlos Water, you can clearly see i) the Whaler at deck edge level ready for use as a crash boat / seaboat; & ii) the different comms fit between the masts [plus iii) an Arg Mirage / Dagger visible between the masts].  You can see the SCOT SATCOM aerials (or rather one of them) half-way up the mainmast - covered in a black heating mat; they were normally white at this stage.  

Note also in the picture the whip aerials laying horizontal across the front edge of the flight deck - the original design refers to this deck as the Upper Vehicle Deck; it was envisaged that any major helicopter assault effort would take place from the LPHs, Albion & Bulwark (and later Hermes), rather than the LPDs.  So having large whips that were vertical in normal use but had to be lowered across the deck to open up firing arcs for the aft Seacat launchers probably didn't seem a major issue... You can also see a single similar whip aerial laying horizontal on the fo'c's'le.

40005897842_dda5a32f03_c.jpg

 

4. [Sorry, focus not great].  The dock entrance and rear of the flight deck.  [Lynxes were not grey in 1982].  This is the part I have drawn in detail so far (see above).  I think the model maker has interpreted the large mushrooms on each quarterdeck as capstans - Jecobin think they were vent mushrooms, which is how I have drawn them so far.  Thinking about it further, I suspect the model is right and Jecobin wrong.  I also think that the winch thingy on the for'd end of the starboard quarterdeck had gone by 1982 (though obvs the platform remained).  Not certain about that.

40005800692_f8cb24b38f_h.jpg

 

5.  A lateral view of the same area (taken for the crane, I guess).  Not sure what Jack is doing loafing on the port quarterdeck with his red hard hat on....! [Though he appears to be scratching his behind, which is definitely authentic].

40005802832_9b703ca475_h.jpg

 

6.  Finally, a view from bow-on.

40005802422_38f893e7cf_c.jpg

 

I don't want you to think that I am rubbishing these two models - they are both excellent.  I am simply urging caution about treating them as gospel fact; exactly the same issue as basing colour schemes or details on restored aircraft in museums.

 

Both models, however, give a lot of insight into details in obscure areas (what lies underneath the LCVPs davits, for instance), and are definitely worth adding to the reference pile.

 

More Crisp-drawings later.

 

C

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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Did Fearless ever open to the public at the Navy Days after '82?

 

I have a distinct, but potentially false, childhood memory of being shown round the dock (which was endlessly fascinating to a teenage lad, boats were supposed to be on the water, not the water on the boat!). I definitely do remember seeing landing craft of some description, either on board or in the harbour complex.

 

Once you've drawn the dock and landing area, presumably you can scale it up to give your Sea King somewhere to park?

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I'll be watching this from afar, as quite frankly I know nowt about ships, but have a soft-spot for the old Fearless, as I saw her when I was a kid, and built the model as a kid.  I have the Airfix kit buried deep in the stash, but want one in 1:350 some day :pray: Keep up the good work :)

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1 hour ago, Martian Hale said:

When do we get the explicit women?

And how are they going to be modeled? 

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Today's instalment of the drawings.  This shows the first elements where FS 1982 differs from Jecobin - just as I discovered with Ark Royal, the lay-out of the life rafts seemed to alter throughout the lives of these ships.  The configuration shown here is taken from 1982 photographs, as are the deck markings and the tie-down points.  Fearless & Intrepid didn't have standard Pusser's ringbolt fittings like every other flight deck in the fleet; as I said before, this was designed as an Upper Vehicle Deck, with flying only secondary, so instead of ringbolts they were fitted with x-shaped slots (i.e. no ring); to lash down aircraft we first had to fit a gizmo known as an "elephant's foot" which slotted into the x-shape and had a tie-down ring on it.  No idea why it was set up that way, but it was; I also have no idea why they left a rectangle towards the stern with just smooth steel for the deck and no provision for tying down stuff.  Maybe it was to prevent people from stowing too much on the section over the open dock below.  

 

Anyway, this is how the deck was laid out.  Starboard catwalk next, and then onto the major changes around Flyco and the weapons.

26172952228_0452f12368_b.jpg

 

I am away all day tomorrow, so next bulletin will be Sunday.

 

Crisp

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22 hours ago, Courageous said:

And how are they going to be modeled? 

Quite, a question our Crisp needs to answer.

 

Martian

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