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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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Wikipedia says the Bulolo was built in Glasgow. There may be plans or a builders model of her in one of the Glasgow museums, possibly Riverside?

 

Good news -  a quick search on their website shows they have a 1:48th scale builders model of her on display!

 

Wiki gives basic dimensions, if you can get good photos of the model you should be able to scale from them.

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Chewbacca,

 

Will be following this with interest as my father served aboard Bulolo during the war. He's not here now to ask about the ship, but I believe he served on her during the Torch period.

 

He was a yeoman of signals and interestingly, at least in a coincidence way, he was sent to Colombo in 1943 to serve in a shore station there.

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On ‎12‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 22:15, Dave Swindell said:

Wikipedia says the Bulolo was built in Glasgow. There may be plans or a builders model of her in one of the Glasgow museums, possibly Riverside?

 

Good news -  a quick search on their website shows they have a 1:48th scale builders model of her on display!

 

Wiki gives basic dimensions, if you can get good photos of the model you should be able to scale from them.

Hadn't thought of that - thanks.  I'm in Glasgow on business in few weeks time and my hotel is only a mile or so from the Riverside.  Just need to engineer some free time one afternoon.

On ‎12‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 22:26, longshanks said:

What scale are you intending to build to?

 

Kev

Probably 1/600 though I may look at 1/350 depending upon what I can come up with

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Very interesting subject, I don't know anything about the ship but hope you have luck in finding more information.

Mike

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Latest on this is that I have been in email contact with the museum and I am visiting to view the BULOLO model next week.  the curator is also going to have a search through the archives for any other information they may have on her.  This project has a fighting chance of coming together.

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