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Ex-FAAWAFU

Sink the Bismarck! HMS Ark Royal, 26 May 1941

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Re: Admiral’s Barges of the period, this YouTube clip of a Barge from HMS Ajax is interesting (idly browsing over lunch!).  I assume from “The Battle of the River Plate”, so strictly 1956, but I believe they went to considerable lengths to be reasonably authentic - Exeter had been sunk so was played by Jamaica, and Ajax was Sheffield, but Achilles was the real ship (albeit by then she was really INS Delhi), and so was Cumberland.  Wikipedia reckons this was shot at Gozo, which certainly looks plausible.  
 

Anyway... that Barge looks very much like a 35’ fast motor motor boat with clean cushion covers, shiny brightwork, immaculate paint and an experienced crew... just as we were saying a few posts ago.

 

 

Lovely evocative growling idling marine engine at the start; takes you straight back!

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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I spotted this little fellow aboard Ark Royal in 1939 (pic emailed to Ex-F). Pic of the Ark shows this boat has a dark hull, so either blue or green, not hull colour.

 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=Photographs HIS MAJESTY THE KING VISITS THE FLEET IN NORTHERN WATERS. AUGUST 1941, ON BOARD SHIPS OF THE HOME FLEET.. © IWM (A 4716) IWM Non Commercial License

 

Looks like (but is in fact not) the RAF seaplane tender (of which there are plenty pics and actual boats around). I really need a book on the subject 😎

Edited by foeth

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I have just caught up with your work, very impressively this far!

 

I am just come to the end of Mike Rossiters book on the Ark Royal. He talks out his hunt for her and about her history, he made a BBC documentary about it all. Have you read the book? 

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31 minutes ago, DAG058 said:

I have just caught up with your work, very impressively this far!

 

I am just come to the end of Mike Rossiters book on the Ark Royal. He talks out his hunt for her and about her history, he made a BBC documentary about it all. Have you read the book? 

I have; it’s a good read.  I was lucky enough to meet Jock Moffat once (he was guest of honour at a Taranto Night at HMS Gannet).   A real character!

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After some R&D it follows that

 

a) The 35ft Admiral's barge is this type:

 

picture2.jpg

 

(Source: http://www.bmpt.org.uk/other_boats_history/target/index2.htm)

 

b) I couldn't spot the 35ft Fast Motor Boat but rather some type I do not recognize

 

ArkRoyal_closeup.jpg

 

Top-right shows the admirals barge, the other three are of the unknown (to me) type but appear to be around 35ft. Hull type and strakes at the transom between the two types seem identical?

 

 

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They do.  And the hull type (with an obvious chine) is not the same as Merit’s rounded job.  I see some test fettling in my future...

 

I have at least procured 2 x 27’ pulling whalers from Atlantic (as opposed to motor whalers) “Pulling” is Navyspeak for rowing, & frankly a much more accurate description of that activity than the Strawb [Strawberry Mivvi: civvie] term.  Pulling a heavy whaler is not a leisure activity, as I know well from my time at Dartmouth!

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3 hours ago, foeth said:

After some R&D it follows that

 

a) The 35ft Admiral's barge is this type:

 

picture2.jpg

 

(Source: http://www.bmpt.org.uk/other_boats_history/target/index2.htm)

 

b) I couldn't spot the 35ft Fast Motor Boat but rather some type I do not recognize

 

ArkRoyal_closeup.jpg

 

Top-right shows the admirals barge, the other three are of the unknown (to me) type but appear to be around 35ft. Hull type and strakes at the transom between the two types seem identical?

 

 

Ah ha, I’ve just found the pictures that I’m after for Illustrious Class build and they 3strand railings and the other problem I now have is that I’m running out of the 3 strand railings because of all the chopping I’m doing on the Illustrious build.

 

Thank you for posting these pictures.

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On 11/19/2019 at 10:49 PM, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

I have; it’s a good read.  I was lucky enough to meet Jock Moffat once (he was guest of honour at a Taranto Night at HMS Gannet).   A real character!

All finished now, an enjoyable read. I've just learnt that the same yacht Octopus and benefactor were used to raise the bell of HMS Hood.

 

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On 11/20/2019 at 7:47 AM, foeth said:

After some R&D it follows that

 

a) The 35ft Admiral's barge is this type:

 

picture2.jpg

 

(Source: http://www.bmpt.org.uk/other_boats_history/target/index2.htm)

 

b) I couldn't spot the 35ft Fast Motor Boat but rather some type I do not recognize

 

ArkRoyal_closeup.jpg

 

Top-right shows the admirals barge, the other three are of the unknown (to me) type but appear to be around 35ft. Hull type and strakes at the transom between the two types seem identical?

 

 

Thank you very much for these (& for other similar ideas discussed via PM).  As so often when we get into the details of research, not only does it get you to a place where you understand what the original looked like... it also throws a stark light onto the compromises and/or deficiencies of the base kit.

 

As I have said before, I’ve yet to see an example of this 3-year-old release on display at a show, though I have seen a couple of builds on line.  It’s therefore a bit of a generalisation to say that most modellers probably don’t care too much about the hull form of a ship’s boat, but I think it’s a fair generalisation all the same.  With all detail-obsessives like me, there always comes a point where you ask yourself whether the sheer effort involved in correcting something would be worth it in the end.  See earlier discussion of Ark’s bow: Merit’s is definitely not quite right, but to fix it would be a monumental task and you’d end up with something where the difference was hard to spot.  So with the bow I’m not going there!

 

The boats... I’ve already talked about hull size/length; that too falls on the “not worth the effort” side of the “fix vs live with it” balance.  After all, the difference between, say, 35’ & 32’ (even 27’) in 1/350 is tiny.  But...

 

The Pinnaces and the Cutters are good enough, especially with PE bling additions / adapatations & and eventually full or partial covers.  The Whalers are winging their way to me from Peter Hall’s secret underground lair as we speak.  That leaves the Dinghies (scratch build, no question)... and the Fast Motor Boats / Seaplane Tender / Admiral’s barge.

 

This isn’t easy to illustrate, because I am away from the London Temporary Man Cave.  Take the Seaplane Tender which you’ve already seen:

49067059677_8cee54f291_b.jpg

 

Now look at the hull - the bow area [pointy end, Hendie] is easiest to see here, though it’s the sides & bottom I’m looking at.  Big rounded blunt unsubtle generic boat shape.  Then look at the Admiral’s barge in the photo: significant chine, a large rubbing strake (I think that’s what it is, though I guess it could be hydro-dynamic) half way down the side, and a squared, flat-sided stern - all of them very visible... even in 1/350 and (dammit!) even on a covered boat.  These were designed for speed, so you’d expect features like that... though not if you are a Merit designer, it seems.

 

You know me well enough by now: now that I’ve seen it, even if no-one else is that bovvered, it will nag away at me.  [See also Sea King rivets & a fair few of the scuttles in this very build].  Tonight I am going to experiment with doing some careful filing and putty work to see whether I can make a spare hull look good enough - I am reasonably optimistic, not least because in some cases I will only have to get the visible outboard side to look really good (reinforcing strips etc).  More of a challenge will be getting adequate uniformity across the 4 hulls (2 motor boats, 1 sea-plane tender & 1 Barge), but that too should be OK... I think.

 

The alternative is to build one really good hull and then cast some more.  If necessary I will do that, but it would involve learning an entirely new skill (albeit one that sooner or later I’m going to need).  More of a problem is that I noticed this only after fitting WEM’s lovely Seaplane Tender innards, and extracting them undamaged to go into a fresh hull would be really hard.

 

90% of you are probably sitting there thinking I am nuts and too anal (nothing new), asking who is going to know (I am!) and why I bother.  [But I bet @foeth totally gets it!]

 

That’s todays’ mental puzzle flitting around the back of my brain at work.  

 

More later

 

Crisp

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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1 hour ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

90% of you are probably sitting there thinking I am nuts and too anal (nothing new), asking who is going to know (I am!) and why I bother.  [But I bet @foeth totally gets it!]

Gidday Crisp, I get it too. With the exception of modelers who build OOB (and I used to) we are all doing what you are doing. It is simply a matter of how far each of us go, when to draw the line and say "enough is enough." And that is up to the individual modeler, and for their own reasons.

 

1 hour ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

The alternative is to build one really good hull and then cast some more.  If necessary I will do that, but it would involve learning an entirely new skill (albeit one that sooner or later I’m going to need).

I've been thinking along similar lines with gun turrets.

 

And finally, you're not nuts. A very pedantic perfectionist maybe, but not nuts. (Well, perhaps just a little bit nuts, like the rest of us! 😁) Regards, Jeff.

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1 hour ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

Thank you very much for these (& for other similar ideas discussed via PM).  As so often when we get into the details of research, not only does it get you to a place where you understand what the original looked like... it also throws a stark light onto the compromises and/or deficiencies of the base kit.

 

As I have said before, I’ve yet to see an example of this 3-year-old release on display at a show, though I have seen a couple of builds on line.  It’s therefore a bit of a generalisation to say that most modellers probably don’t care too much about the hull form of a ship’s boat, but I think it’s a fair generalisation all the same.  With all detail-obsessives like me, there always comes a point where you ask yourself whether the sheer effort involved in correcting something would be worth it in the end.  See earlier discussion of Ark’s bow: Merit’s is definitely not quite right, but to fix it would be a monumental task and you’d end up with something where the difference was hard to spot.  So with the bow I’m not going there!

 

The boats... I’ve already talked about hull size/length; that too comes falls on the “not worth the effort” side of the “fix vs live with it” balance.  After all, the difference between, say, 35’ & 32’ (even 27’) in 1/350 is tiny.  But...

 

The Pinnaces and the Cutters are good enough, especially with PE bling additions / adapatations & and eventually full or partial covers.  The Whalers are winging their way to me from Peter Hall’s secret underground lair as we speak.  That leaves the Dinghies (scratch build, no question)... and the Fast Motor Boats / Seaplane Tender / Admiral’s barge.

 

This isn’t easy to illustrate, because I am away from the London Temporary Man Cave.  Take the Seaplane Tender which you’ve already seen:

49067059677_8cee54f291_b.jpg

 

Now look at the hull - the bow area [pointy end, Hendie] is easiest to see here, though it’s the sides & bottom I’m looking at.  Big rounded blunt unsubtle generic boat shape.  Then look at the Admiral’s barge in the photo: significant chine, a large rubbing strake (I think that’s what it is, though I guess it could be hydro-dynamic) half way down the side, and a squared, flat-sided stern - all of them very visible... even in 1/350 and (dammit!) even on a covered boat.  These were designed for speed, so you’d expect features like that... though not if you are a Merit designer, it seems.

 

You know me well enough by now: now that I’ve seen it, even if no-one else is that bovvered, it will nag away at me.  [See also Sea King rivets & a fair few of the scuttles in this very build].  Tonight I am going to experiment with doing some careful filing and putty work to see whether I can make a spare hull look good enough - I am reasonably optimistic, not least because in some cases I will only have to get the visible outboard side to look really good (reinforcing strips etc).  More of a challenge will be getting adequate uniformity across the 4 hulls (2 motor boats, 1 sea-plane tender & 1 Barge), but that too should be OK... I think.

 

The alternative is to build one really good hull and then cast some more.  If necessary I will do that, but it would involve learning an entirely new skill (albeit one that sooner or later I’m going to need).  More of a problem is that I noticed this only after fitting WEM’s lovely Seaplane Tender innards, and extracting them undamaged to go into a fresh hull would be really hard.

 

90% of you are probably sitting there thinking I am nuts and too anal (nothing new), asking who is going to know (I am!) and why I bother.  [But I bet @foeth totally gets it!]

 

That’s todays’ mental puzzle flitting around the back of my brain at work.  

 

More later

 

Crisp

Kia Ora Crisp,

 

I’m wondering if would know the paint scheme for these wee boatie floatie thingy’s? As I’ve decided to up another notch in detail for wee Illustrious Class Carrier build since I now know what type railing was use around those wee boatie floatie thingy’s and  pension (ComSuper)  day today so I’m to Shapeways for a bit of a spend up for new boatie floatie thingy’s.

 

Cheers,

 

ExF.

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Good question re the colours.  The short answer is either “I don’t know” or “It depends”...

 

It depends because it varies with the type / purpose of the boat (or boatie floatie thing if you really insist).  A capital ship like Illustrious would have at least 3 kinds of boat - I don’t mean varieties (she’d have 7 or 8 varieties, as above for Ark), but purposes.

 

The Admiral’s Barge (used as Captain’s Barge when no Admiral embarked) would be immaculate; typically a deep red or blue hull (both gloss), white upperworks, natural teak deck, white seat covers, and anything metal polished until it gleamed.  Look at the “Ajax” YouTube clip above; that isn’t really Ajax’s, but it is a genuine RN Captain’s Barge.

 

The Fast Motor Boats: less posh versions of the above (primary use transporting officers and [maybe] Senior Rates); still teak decks, but everything else less obsessively shiny.  Early war might well have been non-grey hull, but as time went on more likely that they’d have painted them grey.

 

Everything else would come under the category of “working boats” - used for anything; transporting stores, rubbish, junior rates, food, spares, oil drums...  They would definitely have been kept clean and well looked after, but they’d either have been camouflage grey or natural wood (e.g. whalers, with clinker-built wooden hull).

 

Hope that helps.

 

Crisp

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4 hours ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

90% of you are probably sitting there thinking I am nuts and too anal (nothing new), asking who is going to know (I am!) and why I bother.  

I definitely get it and certainly don't think you are nuts!

4 hours ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

now that I’ve seen it, even if no-one else is that bovvered, it will nag away at me.

and yes, I often have that nagging feeling that pushes me to correct things or add missing detail. I don't always achieve it of course, and it goes a long way to explain the duration of many of my builds ............... take note @Courageous, I have excuses! I recently did three completely new 1/72 builds for Telford, all three being completed start to finish, in just five weeks.  An amazing boost to my mojo by actually finishing three models of course, but I took many short cuts, and indeed since Telford have taken it upon myself to "finish" all three to a slightly better standard where possible. Then they will be fit for RFI (in my eyes)!

 

Meanwhile back to my normal glacial pace of pursuing detail and realism as best as I can within my skill set!

 

Please do continue in the pace and manner we are accustomed to!

 

 Terry

 

 

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OK, initial experiments not too bad; this is only about 20 minutes’ work with a couple of needle files.

 

Side on (before & after) - still needs a little work midships, but not bad:

49101790477_a01627f04b_b.jpg


From ahead (not quite symmetrical yet):

49101789582_644bd7e315_b.jpg


...but also a shot showing why I’ve stopped at this point:

49101083628_7911fd3e8c_b.jpg


It is now waffer thin (as Mr Creosote would put it...).

 

OK.  So far so good.  Next step - still just with this test hull - is to fill the lower inside with putty so that as I tidy it up further we don’t end up with a visible hole.  And also to add some Milliput to the rear of both sides, thus allowing me to square up the quarters until we have flattish-looking side ready for the rubbing strake & reinforcing ribs.
 

I think this can be made to work.

 

Crisp

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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A fine chine.

These cumulative details definitely matter....

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Already making it work, maybe some of that Milliput inside the fore hull if you fancy removing more from the outside

You need to allow for its curing time anyway, may as well add its strength there too

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36 minutes ago, perdu said:

Already making it work, maybe some of that Milliput inside the fore hull if you fancy removing more from the outside

You need to allow for its curing time anyway, may as well add its strength there too

That’s exactly what I did on Thursday night - inside the for’d hull and a bit outside at the back end.  You can’t really tell from that Mr Creosote photo, but there’s already a small hole amid the thinness.  By the time I next get to work on it, the Milliput should be nicely hardened.  I have a Plan B if this doesn’t work, but it’s worth trying.

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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Should the (I don't know what to call it so here goes) belly of the boat be that 'beefy' at the back or will you be making it more boaty?

 

I get the impression that with that much heft at the back and without a sweet lined curve underneath this boat would handle like a bitch in slurry

 

(I repeat I know nothing but aesthetics and boat hulls refined at pretty much the same pace I trow)

 

Pretty boats rule for me

 

 

 

 

Scoots...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pardon the noise of panicky running, I'm breaking an a new pair of ammo boots for the mem

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1 hour ago, perdu said:

Should the (I don't know what to call it so here goes) belly of the boat be that 'beefy' at the back or will you be making it more boaty?

 

I get the impression that with that much heft at the back and without a sweet lined curve underneath this boat would handle like a bitch in slurry

Your instinct is right, Bill, though it’s hard to illustrate.  A typical chined hull profile would give you something like this:

49110387971_9b20b0e91d_c.jpg

[Pic from Jan-Evert (@foeth), though not sure of provenance beyond that]

 

That’s a 35’ Admiral’s Barge of the right vintage, and was the direction I was heading [& might yet head in the end...]

 

Now look at the boat on the right in post #406, which is of Ark’s actual Admiral’s Barge; similar to the above, but not the same (the configuration of the upper works is different).  Even so, the hull form is similar.

 

Now it depends on what exactly you meant about the “beef”: seen from above, the Merit hull is actually too tapered, so needs some additional “beef”.  Seen fore & aft, Merit’s hull curves in towards the keel area, starting immediately below the joint with the deck - but you can see from the plan that it should be slab-sided (-ish), albeit angled in slightly.  My plan with the Milliput is to try to build out the sides so that they are a) slightly wider at the squared-off stern (seen from above) and b) flatter (seen from ahead or astern).  Or at the very least give a better /plausible appearance (covered boat, so upperworks not important - but hull form is).

 

The third dimension is depth, and this is tricky.  The photographs have the undersides of the boats in deep shadow, which doesn’t help, but I reckon the Ark Barge has a deeper hull than the Vosper drawing - maybe more like this:

49110387931_fc42ff1870_w.jpg

[Another one kindly provided by Jan-Evert].


Indeed I’d say that 2nd drawing is exactly like the Ark Barge in the photo (but you cannot see the hull form below the water, so I didn’t use it before).

 

Either way, the Merit hull form is totally wrong.  I have found some promising-looking 1/350 WW2 RN boats on Shapeways, but I’m going to try this first.  Shapeways are (to put it mildly) not cheap, as we all know, and CAD renders (which is all you get) are all fine and dandy; what does the actual print look like?

 

Not very well explained.  I know where I am trying to get to, even if I can’t really explain it to my friends via the Interwebs!


The coming week is hideously busy at work, including 3 evening events out of 4, and next weekend the peak choral season kicks off, so this could take a while: I reckon Monday evening is my only likely bench time this week.  On the other hand, I have 12 days off over Christmas, which isn’t all that far away!

 

Crisp

 

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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thanks for helping me get the shape in mind, you do see what I meant thank the gods

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Arbitrary :offtopic: name-drop:

My middle school secretary, Mrs Vosper, was of the very same shipbuilding family. More memorable than her name to me is that in the aftermath of a fight that a particular thug started, in which he bit a chunk out of my arm (he was losing), Mrs Vosper whacked him on the back of the legs with her long arm stapler. It was immensely effective, but nowadays she'd end up in court. Happy days.

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Another photo zoom-in, this time of the port boats (from a Wright & Logan 1939 photo I recently acquired from a well-known auction site, since I have far fewer references photos of the port side than of the starboard.

49117791017_d0b23336d2.jpg

 

Quite clear of the upper boats - by my reckoning these are the Fast Sea Plane Tender on the left and a Fast Motor Boat on the right as we look.  Gives me a bit of a steer about covers, too (not sure whether the FMB is covered, but the Seaplane Tender certainly is.  It also clearly shows that she carried a stockless anchor beneath the crane on both sides - @foeth has already pointed out the starboard one in an earlier photo some time ago.

 

More actual modelling tomorrow, I hope

 

Crisp

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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Actual modelling of a type you will all recognise: Sand City.  Last week I added some Milliput to the quarters of my proto-Motor Boat... and tonight I’m gradually sanding much of it away.  Actually, I’m quite pleased so far; the same before & after shot as before, but you can start to see where this is going.  It still needs more work midships - including another dollop of Milliput - but I still reckon it can work.  Note also that the Atlantic 27’ pulling whalers have arrived.  Hard to tell in his light, but they’re lovely.

49123299763_0b2533c048_b.jpg


I’ve also reduced that page from the Kagero plans to 1/350 size, and you can now probably see more clearly the size compromises discussed above, forced by Merit only providing 2 hull types.  Peter’s 27’ whaler spot on, 32’ Cutter gorgeous with the PE, but too small, Fast Motor Boat shape already discussed....and the Pinnaces wrong shape, wrong hull form, wrong size.. 

49124072712_616234d710_b.jpg


But once in place, given covers and the configuration of Ark’s boat decks, I don’t think this will be too big a deal.

 

Probably not much more this week, alas.

 

Crisp

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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Their'll be so much detail going on, I don't think anybody will be fixated in any short comings of the boats. Good work.

 

Stuart

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