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So with BULOLO off the bench and HECLA's Wasp now just waiting on the quarterdeck capstan which is still being turned for me by a friend on a woodlathe (he's on the 4th iteration apparently so far and they keep breaking at the final cut), thought it was about time to turn to something new.  I've heard nothing but praise for Peter Hall's Atlantic Models cold war resin kits and have managed to collect a few over the last couple of years so it was time for one to reach the top of the hoist.  Of the five kits I've got, I've served in all bar one so my logic was best to start with that because although I've used resin aftermarket before, I've never made a complete resin kit.  Therefore if I make a mess of it, I have less emotional attachment.

 

42215832621_3515b1c7ca_b.jpg

 

The Cat class, also known as the Type 41 or Leopard class were a class of 4 anti-aircraft defence frigates (LEOPARD, JAGUAR, LYNX and PUMA) built in the 1950s. Together with the later Type 61 or Cathedral class Air Defence frigates, they utilised diesel-electric propulsion owing to its low fuel consumption compared to steam turbines and much lower maintenance requirements which meant they were ideal for long deployments to places like South America and the Far East.  They also introduced a completely new hull form based on the experience from WW2 to keep spray away from the bridge where the foc's'le had a distinct flare before dropping down the 4.5 inch turret, features that were carried over into the later but slightly larger Whitby, Rothesay and Leander class frigates.  In the mid-60s, all were extensively modernised and, amongst other improvements,  the mainmast was reconstructed to make it strong enough to take the new AKE Type 965 "bedstead" radar.  Atlantic Models do both variants of the Cat class both pre and post modernisation.  I've gone with the post refit model.

 

Of the four Cat Class frigates that you can make from the kit, I've chosen HMS PUMA.  Now the initial logic behind that was that I was absolutely convinced that I went onboard  PUMA as a child at Chatham Navy Days in 1969/70/71 and it stuck in my mind because I was sure that they allowed us to sit in the aft director and rotate the mounting on power.  However, having since done some research, as far as I can tell, none of the Cat class ever appeared at Chatham Navy Days in the late 60s/early 70s as they were either in refit in Devonport or deployed to the South Atlantic/Far East.  I'm wondering now if it was a Cathedral class.

 

Anyway I've gone with PUMA over the others purely because I have managed to find slightly more reference photographs of her post refit than I have of the others.  But even then I've not got many so I'm hoping that Peter's research is better than mine (which I'm sure it is) and that I can largely build it out of the box which will make a dramatic change for me.  If anyone does have access to any reference material I'd be grateful.  Main references I have are various photos found on the Internet and Friedman's British Destroyers and Frigates (although I can't get access to that at the moment as the bookcase it is in is temporarily blocked by furniture from another room)

 

One photo I did find was this one:

Royal-Navy-Leopard-Class-Frigate-Hms-Pum

I am so tempted to do her in that configuration as I have never built a model with a brick red deck (apart from the Airfix MOSKVA back in the 70s).  When was brick red in vogue?  I'm presuming the early to mid 60s because I only ever remember green decks before they went to grey in the late 70s/early 80s.

 

Initial shots here as they dry after coming out of a soapy water bath to get rid of any releasing agent.:

 

50527388953_f1c2507206_b.jpg

 

50528116336_88a5bb80db_b.jpg

 

It looks very impressive with sharp mouldings and mostly flash free although there is a little around the mainmast and some on the turrets but nothing that can't be easily sorted.  You'll note there's no lower hull - as usual I am planning a waterline model so although the lower hull is provided, it won't be used.  I am thinking that even though as far as I can tell she never appeared at Chatham Navy Days, I'm sure she must have appeared at Portsmouth or Devonport so I think I will represent her alongside with some visitors onboard, if I can find a supply of suitable 1/350 figures in civilian attire and, perhaps more importantly, a complete set of signal flags to dress overall.  That decision isn't needed just yet so I will press on while I decide.

 

Not content with trying a full resin kit for the first time, I also thought, having heard so much positive said about Colourcoats, that I would give them a try with this but having just looked on the Sovereign website, the light weatherworks grey, which is obviously the main colour I need, is showing out of stock as is the Royal Navy 1968-Modern Day set.  So I've just dropped  @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies a PM to ask when its going to be available; otherwise I shall revert to Vallejo.

 

I suspect progress is going to be slow, as usual, but particularly now because we've got a lot of other things going on at present which will limit my time at the bench although I do have some leave coming up so hopefully that will give me at least one or two days. 

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Gidday Chewy, I'll find this interesting. I have an Airfix HMS Leander in 1/600 with the superstructure long gone. I've plans to convert it into HMS Leopard in the future, so I'll be a keen follower of this. Oh, and BTW, the Airfix Leander has a brick-red deck. Regards, Jeff.

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Excellent choice of subject Ralph. I have one of these in my relatively small 1/350 stash. Always loved the look of the Cats and the Cathedrals.

 

Will follow with much interest.

 

Terry

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I am looking forward to your build of this, Chewy.

 

When I joined the Royal Navy in 1976 the first time I saw a "Cat" class up close was in Chatham Dockyard where she was tied up alongside. It was HMS Leopard and she had a large red rectangle painted along the starboard side (port side may have been the same). There were HUGE letters painted above the rectangle saying "WEAK AREA". It didn't exactly fill me with confidence about my future career in the mob!

 

Dave

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Will be looking forward to this one I have this kit n the stash so will be taking notes on how you progress with it  :book:

 

Stay Safe

beefy

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Watching with interest Chewy as went on HMS Jaguar as a kid with my dad in the early 70’s carrying out firing trials off Nab Tower. Got one of these in the stash to make one day. 

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Chewy, I might have a spare tin of RN Weatherworks Grey; do you want me to check?

 

You won’t regret starting one of Peter’s kits; they are excellent (by the way, did you know him when he was Line CPO on 829?)

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On 26/10/2020 at 11:53, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday Chewy, I'll find this interesting. I have an Airfix HMS Leander in 1/600 with the superstructure long gone. I've plans to convert it into HMS Leopard in the future, so I'll be a keen follower of this. Oh, and BTW, the Airfix Leander has a brick-red deck. Regards, Jeff.

Thanks Jeff.  I do recall that the original Leander kit was portrayed with a red deck which I'm guessing must be early to mid 60s.  I don't think I've ever seen an RN warship with a red deck so my is that they must have reverted to green by the time I was old enough to be taken to Navy Days

 

On 26/10/2020 at 13:42, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Hi,

 

I've got BS676 here ready to tin but it's going to be a while til I get round to tinning it, so suggest just going the Vallejo route for this one :)

Thanks Jamie, Vallejo it is

 

On 26/10/2020 at 14:52, davecov said:

I am looking forward to your build of this, Chewy.

 

When I joined the Royal Navy in 1976 the first time I saw a "Cat" class up close was in Chatham Dockyard where she was tied up alongside. It was HMS Leopard and she had a large red rectangle painted along the starboard side (port side may have been the same). There were HUGE letters painted above the rectangle saying "WEAK AREA". It didn't exactly fill me with confidence about my future career in the mob!

 

Dave

I seem to recall that LEOPARD was one of the Cats involved in the Cod War in the early 70s.  the Icelanding gunbots had much thicker steel than we did and a fair few ships came off quite badly while riding off.

 

On 26/10/2020 at 17:38, beefy66 said:

Will be looking forward to this one I have this kit n the stash so will be taking notes on how you progress with it  :book:

 

Stay Safe

beefy

Oh dear.  No pressure then!  I did say this is my first resin model didn't I?

 

On 26/10/2020 at 21:21, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

Chewy, I might have a spare tin of RN Weatherworks Grey; do you want me to check?

 

You won’t regret starting one of Peter’s kits; they are excellent (by the way, did you know him when he was Line CPO on 829?)

That's very kind of you Crisp but given that the postage is quite expensive  (understandably given that it's considered a dangerous liquid), I think I'd rather wait until its back in stock and then order sufficient for the next 4 or 5 models in one go to get the unit postage price down.  Otherwise I will end up with a mix of acrylic and enamel and I'm never happy putting enamel over acrylic..  And I do vaguely remember Peter I think on 829, but I couldn't be certain

 

So a quick update.  You'll recall that in my first post above I said that I was going to start this because I was waiting on the quarterdeck capstan for the 1/48 HECLA (to display the Wasp)

which was still being turned for me by a friend on a woodlathe.  Well lo and behold, 3 or 4 hours after I posted that, he truned up clutching said capstan, so I shifted target back to the Wasp to get that off the bench.  Havn't had much time this week just gone but its sufficient to get that almost complete, so work should be kicking off in this build this week.

 

Thanks to everyone for your kins words of support.

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Hiya mate, I have found this link to a Flickr page  that shows a rather nice view of Puma, as side note I think I saw here at Pompy during the Navy Days.

 

Anyway  here's the link  -

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/61518268@N00/16060048981/

 

Erk.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally made some progress on this by sanding off the moulding plugs and tidying up the resin (wearing a mask of course).

 

But it has thrown up the first dilemma.  The hull is common to both pre-and post AKE1 radar/plated mainmast modification and the instructions suggest that the trunking that goes to the aft diesel exhausts that is moulded with the aft superstructure should be removed for this version.  What the instructions don't say, is how much should be removed.  This is the part I'm referring to:

 

50632557552_6a8898fb14_b.jpg

 

Clearly the trunking that is on the deck has to go, but none of my reference photos show it clearly enough to understand whether the whole trunking is removed down to 1 Deck level or whether the trunking up the side of the superstructure, feeding into the base of the plated mainmast stays.  Anyone any ideas?

 

Also coming back to the question I posed in the opening post, does anyone know when the red decks were replaced by green.  If I can't show her in a Chatham Navy Days scenario I'd still like to do so at around that period so ~1970.  Clearly red was in use post the AKE1 refit (1964) but would it still have been in use 6 years later/  Also is it the same colour as anti-fouling red or is subtly different?

 

Thanks

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I have a reasonably clear picture of the port side of Jaguar in one of my Royal Navy In Focus series of books. It may not help much as it shows one of the ship's boats around that position. I might be able help though. It's circa 73 I think. Will email you later today.

 

Terry

 

PS Also found a couple of excellent starboard overhead shots of Lynx which might help. These are in Cold War Fleet. I realise detail fit likely to differ but the shots are excellent for general arrangement.

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I'm not a naval modeller but my late father served on the Puma's sistership, Jaguar, in the early sixties (he also served on the Heclar) so I'll be following along.

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4 hours ago, Terry1954 said:

I have a reasonably clear picture of the port side of Jaguar in one of my Royal Navy In Focus series of books. It may not help much as it shows one of the ship's boats around that position. I might be able help though. It's circa 73 I think. Will email you later today.

 

Terry

 

PS Also found a couple of excellent starboard overhead shots of Lynx which might help. These are in Cold War Fleet. I realise detail fit likely to differ but the shots are excellent for general arrangement.

Thanks Terry, that'd be really helpful

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3 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

Thanks Terry, that'd be really helpful

Check your home email!

 

Had a further thought also. With the rebuilt rear main mast, I reckon whatever the trunking was for on the originals, might have been routed up inside the newer rear structure?

 

Terry

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Thanks Terry.  Your emails all received and what excellent photos they are 👍.

 

The thought that the trunking (I'm pretty certain it is the port side aft diesel exhaust) went through the superstructure and into the mainmast was why I really posed the question in the first instance, but on reflection that would be a massive redesign inside the aft superstructure to take it notwithstanding the need to re-route within the machinery space itself.  Given that (I thought) there are two aft diesels and two exhausts that route up through the lattice mainmast on the pre-AKE-1 ships, and two prominent exhaust outlets on the back of the post AKE-1 ships' mainmast but only trunking on the port side outboard of the superstructure, my suspicion was that the exhaust manifold emerges on the port side of the engine so that the starboard exhaust routes direct up through the aft superstructure but the port engine has to route outboard.  That idea though I think is flawed because I have since discovered that the Cats had eight main propulsion diesels as well as four diesel generators with three main machinery spaces and there are three exhausts just under the AKE1 aerial.  

 

I then found this useful image of PUMA that I had missed before:

 

mpl2909.jpg

 

A little grainy but it does show an external exhaust trunking going up the side of the superstucture.

 

I also came across the excellent Solent Archive website where I found a colour image of PUMA  which would seem to prove it beyond doubt that there is an external exhaust trunking there.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Chewbacca
corrected link
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2 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

Your emails all received and what excellent photos they are 👍.

Glad you got them ok. Todays email package should contain original sized images! I get your point re the trunking, and agree with your thinking, given what you have discovered now.

 

I'm paying particular attention as you know, but have yet to decide whether my Type 41 will (eventually) be built pre or post AKE-1 changes.

 

Terry

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Thanks Terry, got the higher res images.

 

Did a bit of lateral thinking and started looking at Cathedral class frigates because essentially the engineering was the same and so it was highly likely that they shared the same diesel exhaust arrangements.  It transpires that there are lots more images of Cathedral class and came across this one which I know is a print rather than a photograph but I would suggest is taken from an original photo and it does show that area very clearly and shows that in actual fact I should remove all of the resin trunking (which is moulded to the side of the superstructure) and replace it with Evergreen rod suitably bent and embellished.

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HMS-SALISBURY-LIMITED-EDITION-ART-25-/272552626017

 

With that finally sorted, I can now set to work with a chisel!

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Finished cleaning up the resin including removing the unwanted elements of the trunking.  Think it looks about right:

 

50641587848_89f355ee40_b.jpg

 

While I was doing that I thought I'd test fit the rest of the major components just to see how it might look:

 

50642422687_56d9a3284d_b.jpg

 

Overall, fit looks excellent with few areas where filler will be needed.  I must confess to being slightly disappointed with the 40 mm bofors in the top image.  Now don't get me wrong, it's not an Airfix blob and it does look like a single Bofors but I'm sure I can do better, especially noting the quality of the l'Arsenal ones I bought for BULOLO.  Question I have though is what mark of Bofors did the Cat class carry post refit?  Friedman is surprisingly a little vague.  I think its a Mk IX; in which case I think I can use the Black Cat Mk VII given that as far as I am aware the only difference was that the Mk IX was powered.  Or I could scratch build one of course!

 

I also drilled out the ends of the forward diesel exhausts though it's a little difficult to see in this image:

 

50641587183_93729a835f_b.jpg

 

Macro photography is so unforgiving - think I need to do a little more smoothing on that white metal surface!

 

Finally I started to clean up the white metal 4.5 in gun barrels when I came across another minor issue.  As you can see in this image, the trunnion seems a wee bit narrow compared to the mounting.  I think that I need to add thin plasticard shims to either side of the trunnion to bulk them out rather than reduce the size of the gap in the mounting but I can't find any definitive images to show it.  This is probably the best for a qualitative view but a scale drawing would be helpful from which I could take some measurements

 

50642347256_dbf08c5980_b.jpg1/350 HMS PUMA by Wookie350, on Flickr

 

 

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I think the white metal parts are probably the least good bits of Peter’s kits - the only place where the limitations of the technology start to show in comparison with modern 3D printed replacements... if you want to spend the money.

 

That said, with careful clean-up and some good painting, you can produce a more than adequate result with the Bofors.  Personally I’d add a brass barrel (& to the 4.5”), because white metal barrels always seem to look ‘lumpy’, however hard you work.
 

 

I agree that the 40/60 is probably a Mk.IX.

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1 hour ago, Chewbacca said:

I think its a Mk IX; in which case I think I can use the Black Cat Mk VII given that as far as I am aware the only difference was that the Mk IX was powered.  Or I could scratch build one of course!

Gidday Chewy, I'm relying on memories of 1979 here in Oz but I think both Mk VII and Mk IX were powered - Mk VII was hydraulic and the Mk IX purely electrical. And I agree with Ex-FAAWAFU above in that I think it is a Mk IX mounting. That largish box structure about the middle of the right side would suggest to me a Mk IX. As I said, very old memories and I could be wrong. HTH.

     I'm enjoying the build you're doing, and you'll probably provide me with info and inspiration if I ever get my Leopard done.    Regards, Jeff.

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2 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

Or I could scratch build one of course!

 

You could indeed if you are keen enough, although the Black Cat one does look pretty good.

 

My grey cells were stirred as I felt sure I had a good shot or two of a 40mm Bofors from  this era, so a bit of searching came up with this one. I took this photo at Chatham in 2009. I didn't record what Mark of Bofors they were, but I think are Mk VII's as I recall seeing reference to the Chatham Bofors as VII's. With all those cable runs (electric?) we can see, I'd initially thought the IX but there is a tell tale manual winding mechanism clearly visible on the right hand mounting? Those far more expert than me will likely be able to explain all those cables. Maybe hydraulic if not electric?

 

D03_6312

 

Anyway, possibly helpful if you go the scratch route!

 

I realise that on that day I took hundreds of detailed shots of HMS Cavalier, so should probably put them in the walkaround section for anyone doing a CA.

 

Terry

 

PS After posting I saw Jeffs' comment, so maybe my layman's guess at hydraulic was right!

 

Thanks @ArnoldAmbrose!

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