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mick b

1/350th HMS Ekins Captain Class DE - Trumpeter

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Posted (edited)

Hi All,

 

I started this kit years ago and has been sat on the shelf of doom but having been inspired by some recent completed models on here I felt I would try and kick start this again. I think it was so long ago I bought the WEM PE from their stall at Telford and started it soon after. I pondered long and hard which Captain class DE to do and I liked the look of Ekins in this image and so plumped for that one, seen here off Harwich in 44. 

 

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References I had to hand included those shown here:

 

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As well as the WEM PE ( specifically for RN Captain class) I believe I initially bought the Gold Medal Models set for the Trumpeter England kit on which this is based. In addition the WEM cutter set and Carley floats and L’Arsenal 20mm upgrades were procured, quite an expensive bundle at the end of the day!

 

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The bow chaser 2 pdr Pom Pom is a little two dimensional from the WEM set so a Master barrel set was ordered.

 

The actual construction got as far as shown here, various holes filled in the deck as not needed or where kit parts are being replaced by PE

 

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Main superstructure with L’Arsenal 20 mm treads and pillars added, carley float support brackets and fwd baskets and one 3 inch gun with added PE in place.

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I have opened the odd upper deck door for interest 

 

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Here the bow chaser spray shield and gun suppression rail are in place. Kit fairleads were reduced in depth to refine a little.

 

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WEM resin cutters with PE tillers and rudders fitted, also hedgehog, depth charge rails and stowage racks, bow Pom Pom etc.

 

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Funnel with PE ladder, sirens etc 

 

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Ekins had a 3 inch gun director tower fitted and I have had to try and scratch built this from plastic card using limited references and I’m not entirely happy with it and may scrap and start again. This shows dry fit of main assemblies so far.

 

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Apologies for poor quality of the images.

 

Any comments welcome.

 

Mike

Edited by mick b

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Images look fine from where I'm sitting Mike.

Looking forwards to seeing this come together

It all looks together which is an achievement if it's sat on that shelf for a while!

Rob

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Looking forward to this great start so far  :popcorn:

 

beefy

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Nice start Mike. I do like these Captain class ships.

Yes I agree they were a good looking vessel, especially for an American design 😂

 

Jamie ; would you be so kind as to confirm the paint scheme as I have conflicting reports; G20 or B30 panel and G45 remainder with G10 or B15 decks? Also some suggest the funnel and aft gun platforms are paler grey or white? There is a three quarter stern view photo taken at the same time at Harwich that confirms the lighter scheme in these areas.

 

Cheers

 

Mike

Edited by mick b

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Posted (edited)

(I cannot see what Jamie  has said immediately above?)

 

I'm going to throw a stone in the pond! Given that the camouflage design can be said to not properly match any official British scheme (we would need to debate whether she was deemed to have a forecastle deck or one long upper deck), I find myself wondering if she is still in an American delivery paint job ie USN Measure 22. That would be (weathered) 5-N blue lower and 5-H grey upper. This is her sister ship USS Donnell: 0605602.jpg

 

 

The lighter funnel on Ekins may be a UK touch-up repaint using (the lighter than 5-H)  RN G45 paint?

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205157999

 

Edited by dickrd

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Fascinating! I can't see anything now either.

 

Essentially mine was supposed to say that it didn't really match any known RN scheme, and that the closest it came to matching one would be the dark equivalent emergency scheme of G20 with a G10 dark band round the bottom half of the hull, but that I was unconvinced that was the combination being seen.

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I'll tag along on this one too. Great looking start to a model of a fascinating series of ships.

 

Terry

 

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Posted (edited)

Many thanks for all the feedback gents.

 

With regards the scheme I don’t believe it is still a US applied design. It is known that this class were delivered in a camouflage pattern and colours applied in the US yards before delivery to the RN in Bermuda. However Ekins later had work carried out in Belfast and, prior to the Harwich photograph, in Sheerness where various mods were fitted and also, as stated in my references I showed in post 1, changes in their camouflage schemes.

 

Raven’s Warship Perspectives Volume 3 shows a number of escorts sporting this arrangement under the title of Dark Hull Light Upperwork Type, from mid 43 to mid 44. Colours vary from combination of B30 panel and G45 upper, to 507a panel and 507c upper and finally G10 panel and G45 upper. 

 

His volume 4 supplemental shows the ‘Standard Schemes’ applied in the first half of 44, and one profile again of an escort type shows Scheme D of B55 panel and white upper but doubt this is what Ekins has despite the white funnel ?

 

I appreciate these books are quite old nowadays but it’s all I have to hand.

 

Apart from that is Malcolm Wright’s book on RN camouflage and his profile of Ekins shows it as having MS2 and MS3 with washed out MS3 on the funnel but for whatever reason 🤷🏼‍♂️ his work seems to have come under some criticism?

 

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I’m erring towards the 507 combination? I assume the decks would have been similar to that delivered from the US.

 

Perhaps I should’ve chosen a better documented Captain to model! 😀

 

BTW to anyone reading this, I received this yesterday and can not recommend it enough as some of the drawings are orgasmic especially the 8 barrelled Pom Pom. It includes some handy Captain related equipment too.

 

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I have ordered Volume 1 today 👍

 

Cheers 

 

Mike

 

 

Edited by mick b

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Hi Mick,

 

The pattern applied in the photograph is clearly American and even the British emergency scheme I mentioned (go download the 1942 CAFO 1112 from my website - the colours were updated a little but the lining out didn't) was a different shape.

 

Had the ship received a full repaint by a British dockyard it seems unfathomable that they'd have used British paints but not used a British design. A potential halfway house could be that she was fully repainted in British paint down to the 5-N lower portion of the hull then retained that, although that strains credibility too. I think it the more likely that she is in Measure 22 as Richard suggests (and which lots of her sisters are in that Peter Elliott book by Almark which I have here also) and the lighter funnel and immediate surroundings is what was fiddled with during her relatively minor refit and that's all they repainted in British paint.

 

She's much too dark for Scheme D as I think you have noted yourself. Scheme D is very similar in lining out to the emergency designs I mentioned above. The lining out instructions are very clear though and it would be astonishing if a British yard got that wrong. She'd have to be in "dark equivalent" of G20 uppers and G10 lower hull to be in that - and the lining out is still American Ms22.

 

As for Mal Wright - he neither knows what the colours he knows the names of looked like, nor does he know the time windows when they were in manufacture/available for use. From the awareness you demonstrate in this thread, I feel comfortable venturing that you know more about RN camouflage than he does.

 

 

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Thanks Jamie, that’s all very useful information and now I know of the excellent resource on your website! 👍

 

Looks like I will be ordering some US colours from you in due course 😊

 

Mike

 

 

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Given that Ekins was delivered in the camouflage pattern and colours applied in the US yards before delivery to the RN in late 1943 (https://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/images/hmsekinsmpl2874.jpghttp://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=45163 - scroll down to first Ekins photo), and the scheme shown in OP's photo is much later - apparently late 1944 (https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205157999) - I'm not convinced that she woulod have been repainted to a USN scheme.  That said, I've no idea what scheme WAS painted up!

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It is said in that Almark book that American munitions were stockpiled at Belfast for these things and their 3 inch guns. One wonders if they stockpiled other stuff such as White and 5-TN blue tinting paste and ran the place like a little Boston ...

 

Pure conjecture of course.

 

Still, the impression of those photographs is dark. It's always risky sticking your neck out, but I'm going to do exactly that and say I do not believe that upperworks paint can be lighter than 30% RF. MS4 and B30 examples usually appear drab but this looks more drab. I'm not sure I would bet my house on it being as dark as 20% but I wouldn't rule it out either.

 

We can safely say that the upperworks are clearly darker than any known photograph of 507C/G45 and that Scheme D which uses 507C/G45 as the darker tone on the lower portion of the hull is right out.

 

I still think it would be a bizarre thing to go to the effort of a full repaint and do so in an American design using British paints, but if it saved them an undercoat then maybe...

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Posted (edited)

In Peter Elliott’s Allied Escort Ships of WW II he provides a potted history of the Ekins and states that after being delivered and sailed across the Atlantic she went to Pollock Dock in Belfast where amongst other equipment mods she received a ‘Western Approaches’ scheme of ‘two tones of light green etc’.

 

She was then employed with the Third Escort Group for some time before being allocated to the escort forces for the Normandy assault painted in ‘gay Channel camouflage’ before work up and a visit to Sheerness for the fitting of Pom Pom, extra oerlikons and the director tower. Elliott also says the HMS Balfour image, shown in the link from Our Ned, shows her sporting the channel camouflage. 

 

The Channel camouflage as shown in Warship Perspectives appears as a fussy scheme of various colours so more confusion ?  🤷🏼‍♂️

 

After other escort duties she was transferred to Harwich in September 44 as part of the Coastal Forces Control Frigates and thus received more electronic equipment to support this role. 

 

Therefore it is confusing to see that she appears to sport an American design of scheme when having been in and around the UK for so long. 

 

All good fun! 😀

 

Mike

Edited by mick b

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Posted (edited)

Given Our Ned's find of a photo of Ekins in the normal delivery paint scheme of Captains for the RN from US yards, I have waded into the pond and retrieved my stone.

Edited by dickrd

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Coming aboard for this one! My dad was a sonar operator on HMS Conn (K509) from acceptance in Boston until paying off in late 1945, that's her entering Londonderry on the cover of the Donald Collingwood book above.

I built an American resin kit for him back in the nineties that I converted and inherited back when he died, it wasn't very good but he liked it, reminded him of the most exciting time in his life he said.

 

Dave

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Posted (edited)

Welcome aboard Dave.

 

They were popular ships with the crews by all accounts although the RN removed the ice cream making machine on delivery 😀

 

Mind you we had one on the Type 42 destroyer in the late nineties and the bloody thing never worked then so no real loss ! 😂

 

Mike

Edited by mick b

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Hi All,

 

Again thanks to all who have responded to my queries thus far and liked my efforts!

 

Some serious eye straining of late having progressed with PE work: 

 

First the bridge; PE additions are the voice pipes and guardrail ( the latter cut and shaped from supplied spare) from the GMM set, you may just make out the minuscule but still incomplete ( awaiting binoculars  ! ) sky lookout positions in the bridge wings from the WEM set, I also added an internal ladder from the starboard side of the open bridge to the opened door below. I made a little canopy for this ladder from plastic card as per the Al Ross drawings in his AOTS book on England. I am still not sure whether to stick with my scratchbuilt director tower but this was based on the drawing in Elliot’s book and trying to make it out from the photos of Ekins, so references are limited. The moulded on doors have been removed on all of the kit and replaced with those from the WEM set.

 

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Still needs a pelorus adding and the lookouts finishing.

 

Other areas receiving attention were the Pom Pom , having the master barrel fitted, and the L’ Arsenal Oerlikons which are very fiddly and frustrating at times, I appreciate there are now better 3D printed replicas out there now but this set had good reviews at the time of release and was the only option then and they do fit the bill nicely, although, as I often find with naval PE sets,  some details are a little over scale.

The K gun depth charge racks are complete awaiting the inclusion of scratch evergreen rod depth charges.

 

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All comments welcome

 

Mike

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Posted (edited)

Well it frustrates me that we have been unable to arrive at a satisfactory suggestion for the colours on Ekins. Digging around I find that as a Coastal Forces Control Frigate late 1944 her role was to provide radar guidance to the patrol lines of MTBs/MGBs off the Dutch coast aiming to strangle the E-boat threat. This camouflage design must have been applied for that purpose, inspired perhaps by the USN Measure 22 design.  As Jamie has said, it is very risky to make judgements on things from just one or two photos. And we have all sorts of contradictory signals from these two images of Ekins at Harwich: light draught marks should indicate a darkish toned lower hull paint but dark pendant numbers on that same lower hull colour should on the contrary suggest something towards the lighter end of the tonal range! There is quite a degree of contrast between the pendant numbers (black?/red even?) and the darker paint so my guess is that the darker colour was around 20% RF ie that it was B20 or G20 or the ‘emergency’ equivalent of G20 achieved by a 50/50 mix of 507A & 507C. The tonal contrast with the upper colour is small. Like Jamie, my guess is therefore that the upper colour was around 30% RF in which case B30 would be the official candidate. But I would not rule out completely unofficial colours on Ekins to produce something bespoke for the task at hand. Minesweepers operating out of Harwich to clear the minefields off the Belgian and Dutch coast at exactly this time, November 1944, look like they might even have been painted in a completely unofficial way including shades of green and brown: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/3263 (Bone was no run-of-the-mill civilian war artist. He had been part of the Leamington camouflage design team and so would have known the official naval colours intimately.) 

 

Edited by dickrd

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The pendant on the stern appears a little lighter than the boot topping here:

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205157999

 

... which may indicate that it was red as you suggest Richard.

 

I'm not sure if that White Ensign flying on the staff is just grotty, or if its dull appearance may hint at this photograph being taken during very dull conditions. The funnel looks abnormally bright juxtaposed against that flag.

 

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Posted (edited)

Boot topping should have been a glossy black and so should (and often does) look darker than the black of pendant numbers. But that contrast at the stern is considerable and is indeed why I suggested the possibility of red pendant numbers, which although officially outlawed did happen in practice.

 

(A very dirty white ensign I think.) 

Edited by dickrd

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1 hour ago, dickrd said:

Well it frustrates me that we have been unable to arrive at a satisfactory suggestion for the colours on Ekins. Digging around I find that as a Coastal Forces Control Frigate late 1944 her role was to provide radar guidance to the patrol lines of MTBs/MGBs off the Dutch coast aiming to strangle the E-boat threat. This camouflage design must have been applied for that purpose, inspired perhaps by the USN Measure 22 design.  As Jamie has said, it is very risky to make judgements on things from just one or two photos. And we have all sorts of contradictory signals from these two images of Ekins at Harwich: light draught marks should indicate a darkish toned lower hull paint but dark pendant numbers on that same lower hull colour should on the contrary suggest something towards the lighter end of the tonal range! There is quite a degree of contrast between the pendant numbers (black?/red even?) and the darker paint so my guess is that the darker colour was around 20% RF ie that it was B20 or G20 or the ‘emergency’ equivalent of G20 achieved by a 50/50 mix of 507A & 507C. The tonal contrast with the upper colour is small. Like Jamie, my guess is therefore that the upper colour was around 30% RF in which case B30 would be the official candidate. But I would not rule out completely unofficial colours on Ekins to produce something bespoke for the task at hand. Minesweepers operating out of Harwich to clear the minefields off the Belgian and Dutch coast at exactly this time, November 1944, look like they might even have been painted in a completely unofficial way including shades of green and brown: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/3263 (Bone was no run-of-the-mill civilian war artist. He had been part of the Leamington camouflage design team and so would have known the official naval colours intimately.) 

 

Hi Richard , thank you very much for your observations in an effort to determine this paint scheme. I would however dispute the claim that this was applied strictly for its new role as CFCF vessel as Ekins was not alone in this role and in fact 12 vessels operated in this role from April 44 to April 45, however Ekins was part of Nore Command up until this group of DEs also took on the CFCF role towards the end of 44 ( all of this according to Collingwood in his book) therefore the extremely worn appearance of Ekins in this photo indicates to me that this scheme was applied some time before the change in operations?

 

Unfortunately I cannot find photographs of the other vessels during this period, either before or after where this Ekins scheme is not present, perhaps she was a one off.

 

Mike

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3 hours ago, mick b said:

I also added an internal ladder from the starboard side of the open bridge to the opened door below.

That addition is superb! It all looks very convincing, and is the sort of detail that lifts such a model to a whole new level.

 

Really enjoying this thread, and at least one 1/350 Captain class will be added to my wish list.

 

Terry

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8 hours ago, mick b said:

They were popular ships with the crews by all accounts although the RN removed the ice cream making machine on delivery

Yup, dad mentioned that along with single messing and bunks rather than hammocks although something tells me that that the bunks were removed? He did say they were rather wet ships in rough weather but generally people thought they were better off than in British designed vessels.

Nice work on the brass wrangling Mike, and it's always a good idea to put your hand or something in to give scale, we forget how tiny 1/350th is with macro pictures, how anyone does 1/700 is beyond me!

 

Yours aye

Dave

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