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Gidday All, this my first model posted onto Britmodeler. I couldn't get the system to work but my son sorted it out for me. I'm a technological dinosaur.

 

     This is a model of the British cruiser HMS Penelope of the Arethusa class. These were small cruisers armed with six 6-inch guns, eight 4-inch AA guns and a variety of smaller weapons, plus two triple torpedo tubes. Penelope spent some of the early part of WWII in Norwegian waters, and later in the Mediterranean with a sister-ship HMS Aurora as part of force K preying on Rommel's supply convoys from Italy. In the later half of 1943 she supported the Anzio landings. On 18th February 1944 off Naples HMS Penelope was torpedoed and sunk by U-410. She was doing 26 knots when hit, and went down quickly with about two thirds of her crew.

 

    The model is in the scale of 1/600, as are nearly all of my model ships. It is a modified Airfix kit of HMS Ajax, and depicts the ship as she appeared just before being sunk, although no doubt there are some inaccuracies. I shortened the hull, deepened the main turrets, modified the decks and superstructures, scratch built the masts some structures and light guns and used a lot of parts from a Belfast kit, namely 6-inch guns (last two were stretched sprue), 4-inch guns and shields, funnels, AA directors and radar, 4-inch gun deck, rafts and paravanes. This model was done before I'd heard of modelers forums such as Britmodeler or Evergreen styrene strips sheets and rods etc. The masts and 20mm Oerlikons are made of stretched sprue and the armour belt is photocopy paper.

     As you can see this model is very crude compared to some of the exquisite works of art I see here on Britmodeler. To date PE and rigging is beyond me, my modeling skills are very average. But I am happy with what I do. I try to improve with each model but without going out of my depth. Airfix model ships are sometimes a bit inaccurate, and they certainly lack detail compared to some other brands of models but they suit my level of skill (or lack of it) and also my budget. I find that 1/600 is a comfortable scale to work on - not too small and neither too large, which would I think require more skill to get the best from them, plus more space required to display them.

 

     Enough of me rattling on. Here she is, for better or worse - HMS Penelope 1944.

 

HMS Penelope 1944 jm9HMS Penelope 1944 jm10

 

Regards to all, Jeff.

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To this layman in ship building, she looks like a fine ship and well model, even more so when you have scratched the parts needed. :yes:

I'm yet to dabble at this scale but I can see the merit of PE and will definitely be looking to adding it to my 1/700 destroyers when I get stuck into them.

 

Stuart

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Fine wee build. As you say 1/600 is the perfect scale - so much more easier to detail than 1/700 but not too big. Shame we will never see another kit released in 1/600 but wonders can be achieved with the old Airfixes if you put in the time. One tip - if you can get an older moulding they are much better than recent re-pops.

Edited by TallBlondJohn
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Hi,

Your build looks great.  😀

 

I wish Airfix had done more RN WWII stuff in 1/600 scale.  To me it was almost a perfect scale.  Bigger than 1/700, smaller than 1/350 and easy to measure stuff since 1mm ~ = 2ft (or close enough)

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Gidday All, thank you for your responses and support. I hope I didn't appear critical of the other scales of models. It wasn't my intention, as I've seen superb models in all scales. I was simply expressing what I've found to be suitable for my limited skill, budget and eyesight.

     Stuart, I've never done PE but I was considering maybe some ladders down the track if I can get some. Guard rails, tiny guns and other assorted fittings I think will be beyond me but others obviously do well with them. I'd love to see your destroyers when you build them. I've done a few of them, Airfix in 1/600 but again pretty basic.

     TallBlondJohn, I agree with you in that I'm finding a deterioration in some moldings, and more flash. In my part of the world Airfix 1/600 ships are very hard to come by however so I take what I can get. There appear to be a few Repulses, Prinz Eugens, Nelsons and KGVs in model stores occasionally but I haven't seen any other cruisers of destroyers for a few years. I've got a few in the stash still, and I'm considering options for scratch-building hulls. Time will tell.

     And PF, yes I find 1mm to 2 feet a very convenient conversion to work in.

 

Again, thank you all. Regards, Jeff.

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Hi Jeff, that's a nice neat job on that, nothing wrong with your painting & assembly skills. If I might make a suggestion, & this is something I picked up off BM long after the last Airfix warship kit I made, something that really finishes a model is the funnel tops, not only would that look better black but some sort of representation of the domed grate that was over the top really does repay the effort to create them ( a lot of etch sets include them) have a look at this photo of Penelope to see what I mean, they were on all RN warships in some form.

Steve.

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Gidday Steve, thanks, I see what you mean. I've painted the funnel tops on some of my models but not all, and not this one obviously. I haven't got into PE yet although I am considering dabbling in steps and ladders, if I can pick up something generic. I hadn't planned on going into it big-time. As for the funnel top gratings I have noticed them but haven't tried them. Stretched sprue would probably be too thick. I wonder if I can cut a couple of the cat's whiskers while she's asleep and make them from those? Regards, Jeff.

Edited by ArnoldAmbrose
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That's nice, I like that..

 

I really would encourage you to give PE a go.  it sets off ship models like no other, especially a decent set of guardrails and it's really not too hard to do. WEM do a set of generic RN WW2 fittings which isn't too expensive if you mess it up.

 

Interested by your comment on making the 6 in gun housings deeper.  Is that because the turret is a different design to the Leander class or the ones in the kit are too small?

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Gidday Chewbacca, thank you for your comments. You never know, I might surprise myself with PE, and I agree that those that use it certainly enhance their models with it.

 

As for deepening the main turrets I think those provided are a bit too shallow. My first Ajax kit was built OOB. It is/was a very basic kit and probably ideal as a starter model. However the guns were crude, almost oval in cross section, and the turrets didn't sit properly on the barbettes - they tilted back. Packing a bit of waste sprue inside the rear of the turret fixed that problem. But I also thought the turrets looked a bit too shallow so I looked at drawings which seemed to confirm this. (The 16-inch turrets on Airfix's HMS Nelson are also too shallow I think). My next Ajax build was a conversion to HMAS Perth. I deepened the turrets by gluing thin plywood under them. This also fixed the tilt-back issue. I used plywood because at that time I hadn't discovered styrene accessories. And as Ajax's guns looked awful I used eight guns from a Belfast kit. This left me with four guns for Penelope hence stretched sprue for the remaining two guns, as mentioned above. And again I used thin plywood to deepen the turrets.

 

And as for the turrets/gun housings being different between the classes I'm afraid I don't know, but I'm inclined to think not, unless there were minor improvements. As you're obviously aware, HMS Ajax was a Leander class. HMAS Perth was formerly HMS Amphion, an Improved Leander (later called Perth class). Same hull, superstructures, guns and performance I think. The main difference was in the boiler room/engine room layout resulting in different midships layout and two funnels, not one. HMS Penelope was an Aresthusa class, a diminutive version of Amphion with three turrets instead of four. IIRC and you probably know this anyway, but I hope this helps. If I an incorrect in any of the info above I am always willing to be corrected, to further my education.

 

Regards, Jeff.

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Hi Jeff,

 

Thanks for that.  As far as I am aware the mountings are the same between Leander and Arethusa class.  I've got two AJAXs in the stash at least one of which will use the 6 inch turrets (the other's planned to be converted to Dido class with 5.25) so I'll take careful note.  Useful heads up.

 

Best regards

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Gidday Chewbacca, no doubt you've heard the expression "Great Minds Think Alike". I've also got two left, I think. And you've probably guessed it - one will be a Dido derivative. I was planning Alistair Maclean's HMS Ulysses though, which was almost a Black Prince/Royalist/Diadem/Bellona. I've already shortened the hull, but the rest of the project is down the track a bit. I'll be very interested in your build when you do it. As for the other kit, I'm a bit loath to use it yet. I haven't seen any in stores here in West Oz for years now. I was thinking of trying to scratch-build hulls and this might be my guide. If I do use it as a build I have a whiff in mind. Again, a long way down the track at present.

     If you do a build with the 6-inch guns mine were rubbish so yours might well be too. Mine were almost flat in cross section, and pointy at the muzzle end. I have a few Belfast kits so I've cannibalized some for spares, including the main guns. Failing that stretched sprue looked a lot better than the kit guns. Belfast's 4-inch guns were better too. HTH. Regards, Jeff.

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