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HMCS Copper Cliff - Castle class corvette; White Ensign Models 1/350


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On 21/09/2020 at 16:20, Bandsaw Steve said:

I think you are new to these pages. If so, welcome aboard. 👋

As writer - yes. As reader -noooo 😉 Welcome again and thanks for kind responses!


On 21/09/2020 at 19:55, beefy66 said:

Cracking job on the weathering it just happens this kit is next on my todo list 👍



If you like "to dig" in books and resources before and during building I recommend these books:




Anatomy.. has very accurate plans of Castle.

These web-pages have lot of interesting photos:





Take a notice for some small features of particular ships:

type of radar (british telephone booth type 271 versus as well british umbrella type 277 😉 )

rear AA guns: earlier ships (including Portchester Castle - WEM's fault!) had 2 x single Oerlikons, after then there were 2 x twin Oerlikons and after war 2 x single Bofors

- shape of upper part of air vents (round versus rectangular).


If you want, I'll be happy to help.


Generally, I liked WEM company thanks to their interesting subjects and to small, european cottage-style model of business. Unfortunately (sorry to say!) Castle wasn't piece of model art. Lot of details were oversimplified, lot were just missing. I tried to improve a kit, using lot of aftermarket goodies and scratchbuilding. I think every part were upgraded, chaged or made by me. I used parts from L'Asenal, WEM, North Star Models, Flyhawk, Master and so on. I hope the effort was paid off - Castle is "off the beaten path" topic,rather rarely seen bird in ocean of models. That's why like it.   


Now time for some close -ups. Of course you can easily notice some inaccuracies. No problem 😉 And sorry for my english.












Lot of details here were scratchbuilded. Figures are from L'Arsenal, excellent Oerlikons (as 102 mm barrel) from polish Master. Voice pipies, compass, (and cat!) from North Star Models.









1. It is not described in WEM's instruction, but lot of Castles had dark colour painted masts and antennas.

2. You see my attept of doing antennas more 3-D.

2. I didn't know ealier that designer of very impotant weapon - HF/DF antenna was polish engineer Waclaw Struszynski








These two engine-vents rooms/boxes were missing too...









My favorites: vege and potato lockers! And engine-room skylights. I couldn't live without these :laugh:

Interesting question: what was the reason of placing compass on AA gun platform? I have no idea...




Some interesting discussions about scale models (and modellers too)!










Next Beauty/Beast in my shipyard.

Thanks for watching, I hope you like photos.





Edited by socjo1
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On 21/09/2020 at 23:07, Terry1954 said:

Excellent build and I love that detail touch of the ships cat!



Cat is running away from Mr Surfacer and his collegue - Next Portion (of super glue).


As cat

is completly flat

(...piece of PE fret),

we wanted make him fat

now he doesn't want to cooperate any longer! 🤣 


But it's end of sweet, little kitty's Great Escape: I have big and sharp tweezers, finally catched him and sticked firmly to galley's roof!

Edited by socjo1
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Great build, the weathering is superb - is there a WIP?


15 hours ago, socjo1 said:

Interesting question: what was the reason of placing compass on AA gun platform? I have no idea...

Would it be an emergency conning position if the bridge was out of action?


I think this is the modern equivalent on a Type 23





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On 22/09/2020 at 13:56, Nick Charnock said:

 - is there a WIP?


I am sorry but no.  Maybe my next ship will have WIP (I showed her on one of the earlier photos)?...

During next building I want improve my rigging techiques, fixing of railings and more. Now they are not so good.


On 22/09/2020 at 13:56, Nick Charnock said:

Would it be an emergency conning position if the bridge was out of action?


I think this is the modern equivalent on a Type 23



It could be. For me it was to small ship to do this way, but maybe I am wrong. Today I studied plans of River frigate and I fund similar solution. So probably you are right. Thanks!


The photo is here (you can see more interesting details!) :





On 23/09/2020 at 15:49, TEXANTOMCAT said:

Beautiful work - I thought it was 1/72!



You are VERY polite, thanks 😉

It is my first finished ship. Many years ago I began conversion HMS Montgomery to HMS Broadway (Town class, Mirage Hobby 1/400) but didn't finish her.


Here you have a link: https://www.pwm.org.pl/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=7666&start=15&hilit=pyk+pyk+z+fajeczki


On 23/09/2020 at 11:42, mick b said:

Superb Michal, close ups show your excellent finish to good affect considering how small this is even for 350th, hope mine turns out just as good. Any advice on your hull weathering techniques?



Who? Me? Really?


OK, Let's try.


First of all I love wacthing old photos of original ships and admiring all this scratches / fading/stains. Like abstractive painting. Then I try to creating some "stories"(how it was created, what look i want to achive) in my mind and simulate all these different artefacts on model. Some just dirty-areas with rusty points, old scrathes and new scrathes (more stains and more visible). Not to regular but quite different between them.


Step by step (more or less) process:

I spray hull with Mr. Surfacer mahogany color. 

Then I fix stripes of Tamiya masking tape (for hull plates) and spray a few layers of Surfacer once again.

I remove Tamiya tapes and gently sand steps and edges.

Then I spray my wife's hair-laquer. When I built 4-stacker, I used wet salt technique.

Next - camouflage-colours (acrylic paints). I didn't use plain white. It was can with very, very  light grey colour, I don't remember it's exactly name.

I try to spray not very regular, and not thick layer. Rather more light between edges of hull plates and so on.

Then I gently and carefully remove camouflage colours with wet, stiff and short-cutted brush.


As I wrote, I use acrylic paints in ship-painting. They are not strong. Of course, there are some pros and cons of it. If you have brown underlay paint, even when you touching model and slightly damage paint-surface, you have naturally brown-rusty look.


Then layer of matt, transparent laquer to fix all this more or less pilling layers. I dont' use gloss lacquer apart stage before decals.  I began work with oil paints for artists, acrylic (not much) and even (not much as well) plain brown and black fineliner (Stabilo point 88) for few vertical streaks. I like working with oil paints for artists very much.


I don't use "instant" products.  I tried a few, but finally...

Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish ladies,
Farewell instant paneliner and wash...

Now I am a little overexaggerating (sorry, I like jokes as much as some songs...) but in ship-painting I really prefer making my own mixes with white spirit. I make new scratches with paint. Modificate old (I make some more "scrathy" and sherp, another I partly brushed to make more hmm... patched/spotted? )

As I haven't gloss layer, I don't work with artistic oil paints as typical wash (on sea of gloss lacquer), rather apply only in places where I want or where I try simulate stains or streaks. More and less saturated. And so on. Sometimes I respray part of scrathes to make them less visible (but still visible).


Underwater part of hull : I sprayed slightly different shades of base red, added some scrathes and dry-pigments (this time instant ;) ) in rusty and sand colours. Waterline: as well + dirty/ light grey oil artist paint.

Decks with antislips (I like it very much, WEM's good job!) - drybrushed and in some areas stains/pathes of diluted olil-paint.


To be honest: I am mixing different techniques, trying new ad so on. In my opinion it's quite chaotic (like me). I think it is not very revolutianory knowledge, or rocket science. I am really not expert. And there are lot of ways to achieve good results. Everybody can choose what fits best to their own preferencies (for example: I love smell of white spirit in the morning. It makes me a little 🤪)  The most important are really: patience and time, imaginery and readiness to make stop or even repeat if something went wrong (I know, it's truism).


Ufffff, I think it is all...


It would be difficult to describe even in polish (for me!), sorry for thousands mistakes. I hope I described whole process more or less understandable.



thank your question. I appreciate it very much and welcome warmly (WORMly? - nooo😆), constructive criticism as well.



(almost) completly apart - it is one of my favorites photos, I took it in locomotives museum a few years ago:


Edited by socjo1
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Fantastic job Michal.


My late Father's last ship in the Royal Navy was HMS Amberley Castle so was lovely to see a model of similar.


After the war he joined the RNZN and took an ex RN Loch class frigate down to NZ where it was renamed HMNZS Taupo. 

Edited by Neil.C
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Well done Michal - a great model and some really good tips on some of your techniques👍 An under-rated subject and I've a 1/350 Castle Class to build at some point as well. Like you, I'm really "into" RN Atlantic escorts and their camouflage schemes.

Cheers, GrahamB

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Some absolutely first class modelling there Michal.  The weathering is some of the best I have ever seen.


On 22/09/2020 at 12:56, Nick Charnock said:

Would it be an emergency conning position if the bridge was out of action?



Yes.  All RN warships have an emergency conning position for just that purpose.  I remember years ago in my first complement job as a bridge watchkeeper in a Type 21 frigate, that was my action station.  In a T21 it was just forward of the mainmast and very exposed, a little like the one in COPPER CASTLE, and 7 hours at action stations up there in January in a blizzard during a Thursday War was not at all amusing.  It made me realise what life must have been like in ships like this with an exposed bridge on the arctic convoys.  My hat goes off to them.


Edited by Chewbacca
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Thank you for all your comments. It is really big pleasure to read such supporting opinions from you - experienced sea-wolfs (that's how we speak in polish lenguage. Tell me please if it is correct in english?) for such sea-greenhorn like me (I live 400 km from sea-shore 🙂!).
 It motivates me strongly for further doing careful researches, developing skills and sharing with you.

On 25/09/2020 at 15:43, Neil.C said:

My late Father's last ship in the Royal Navy was HMS Amberley Castle so was lovely to see a model of similar.

On 01/10/2020 at 19:16, Shark444 said:

Magnificent weathering.  You captured the essence of these hard-working ships and heroic crews perfectly!


Lot of maritime-books focuses on technological or operational aspects of ships. Of course I like it, as modeller I am often looking for such informations as well,  but when I found photos on http://www.forposterityssake.ca/ they were different and unique. People, their faces, emotions, pets, artefacts. Strange boxes, sacks, boards and so on. Variety of more and less formall dresses. Ship as a social world. I am very happy if somebody found such dimension in my model. I tried to recreate such atmosphere in my small project.  Of course, as I wrote earlier it is my first maritime- model (untill now I built airplanes) and I have some skills to improve.  Thank you once more.


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