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Hunt Destroyers HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Middleton 1/700


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I've quite liked the cute little IBG Models 1/700 Hunt II destroyers for a while and fancied building one or two, so I bought a couple. I desperately want something easy and relaxing rather than another deeply-involved chew that never gets finished. I appreciate that different people like different things and that being in a different place in life may mean there are more or less numerous competitors for time and energy but I'm almost maxed out on time at the moment. I say that because whilst cute, the IBG kits do look clunky in some areas; particularly the mast which looks rubbish and the weapons. Splinter shields are perhaps a bit thick but one has to draw the line somewhere. Trading money to save time, I've bought Micromaster and FineMoulds NanoDread replacement weapons as well as replacement brass masts and yardarms by Master supplied by Micromaster directly, MJW Models and Starling Models respectively. That's all that's happening to these kits - I do not plan to disappear down rabbit holes trying to improve anything else!

 

resized_175567e4-9d8c-488f-a990-aa77e171

 

This doesn't look quite so bad on the sprues but on the finished models these look like a great big Christian crucifix carried amidships

resized_4f464ffa-6abb-4182-ae80-b3a2fca8

 

And some more direct comparisons:

resized_10324208-3d5d-4b87-956b-92b4de6a

resized_34d8bf3c-8735-4d5a-bf3e-23ef5960

 

resized_62fb8047-c9eb-409f-8182-e26abdad

resized_5194fbf8-144b-4743-bc77-5861d49b

 

I've also got quad Vickers 0.5in machine guns available:

resized_d000c5b2-a7ac-46d5-83a2-8826a7c2

 

... As well as single 20mm Oerlikons

resized_3df53075-90c7-499b-9282-29e0e388

 

So, choice of subjects. Back when @dickrd gave me the National Archives file number for the Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders and I learned about CAFO679/42 I've always compared destroyer and small ship schemes to the published standardised camouflage designs. One of the first I happened across which looked to be a direct match for a standard design was HMS Chiddingfold. Let's take a look...

 

The original CAFO679/42 designs were printed in colour thus:

5eaa48b4-f4e1-44ab-85e0-ec890287988b.png

 

We re-drew them like this:

70054842-0374-4fa8-ae7b-4beee7bc30c3.jpg

 

Whilst IWM FL8070 portrays HMS Chiddingfold like this:

cb103f36-ca21-48cb-90b1-75e483a35284.jpg

 

Sometimes these designs can almost be found on real ships but it's clear that it's been modified or colours substituted out somewhere. Might the dark panel forward be MS1 instead of 507A? Perhaps. The pixels are darker than the dark panel amidships, but it would not be the first time changing contours on a hull has misled the perceiver of black and white photographs.

 

One of the kits is sold as HMS Middleton, and this one is another curiosity which piqued my interest:

resized_4a5c4dfa-f717-484f-aaa8-97de31e8

 

The artist who painted the box art has painted the ship blue and very pale grey. IBG have backed Hataka and Lifecolor, both of whom copied Snyder & Short's chips. They say:

 

resized_e6ca2d5e-0681-4b4f-8471-4ae97688

 

...507A and MS3, for anyone who's neck doesn't bend 90 degrees.

 

Now what's quite interesting about this is that I believe both the box artist and IBG's paint guide person are partially correct but I suspect neither knows why.

 

Plate 38 of CAFO679/42 gives a Hunt Destroyer "Dark Admiralty Type" design with 2 colours in the same basic shapes as HMS Middleton, but it used MS1 (near black, as opposed to dark grey 507A) and MS3.

a0295e77-7a55-46c4-9bbe-da26721d89c9.jpg

 

Now let's compare to actual photographs of HMS Middleton:

59408a3d-9ee4-4cfe-8e2a-93f07d0df926.jpg

 

Now any fool can immediately spot two key problems with it as far as matching to Plate 38. Firstly, the stern isn't dark like the plate design. Secondly, whatever the darker paint on it is certainly isn't near black, so it can't possibly be MS1. Does that mean IBG is correct then? No, it doesn't. It means they haven't looked closely enough. Let's zoom in on that aft end:

5e45fe5f-9d82-4fb3-8735-38b1fb969a57.png

 

There's a demarcation there. It's subtle, but once seen cannot be unseen. It's apparent in this photo too, so it's not a feature of one particular image:

hms_middleton-1.jpg

 

This is a three-colour camouflage design, not a two-colour design. Now what do we do? Well, as it happens in October 1942 CAFO2146/42 was promulgated, and something happened which drew my atttention to it again a while ago. It said:

 

 

Quote

C.A.F.O. 1246. – Dark Medium Tone Camouflage Designs for Sea-going Ships


(T.S.D. 1294/42. – 29.10.1942.)


With reference to C.A.F.O. 679/42, C.A.F.O. Diagram 31/42 therewith contains no
examples of the dark medium tone camouflage designs referred to in C.A.F.O. 1112/42,
paragraph 14 (c), et seq.


2. Dark medium tone designs may be produced by using the patterns shown in
C.A.F.O. Diagram 31/42, Plates 28 to 44 (Dark Admiralty type),with the following
modifications in colour:-

 

 

It gave no diagrams, just tabulated conversions like this:

548d66c4-5d20-42dc-873f-9a7d3542abff.png

 

...which is fine but a little difficult to visualise so I decided to recycle all the illustrations from CAFO679/42 and make all the substitutions to produce a graphic representation to accompany CAFO2146/42. I found it has helped me a lot - but sticking with HMS Middleton for a moment, take a look at what happens to CAFO679/42's Plate 38 when converted to a "Dark Medium Tone" type design in accordance with CAFO2146/42's directions:

 

d791680b-d20e-4386-bf70-0b41ff1154b3.jpg

and for direct and easy comparison here's HMS Middleton again. I think this is pretty convincing, personally.

59408a3d-9ee4-4cfe-8e2a-93f07d0df926.jpg

 

The apparently lighter front faces of each of the 4.7" twin mount shields is interesting though, and not something covered by the camouflage documents. There is then the matter of dates. The bum steer on IBG's instructions might possible be attributed to Iron Shipwrights' kit instructions which appear on the internet saying this. The dates are interesting and indeed one of the above photographs is captioned as having been taken during Op Neptune, which would be a remarkable lifespan for MS&B paints hinting that the design may have been carried forward to the G&B series, for which the equivalent tones would be B15, G20 and B30. B15 was a practical replacement for B5. G20 was a practical replacement for MS3. MS4 had the same tone as B6 and both were replaced by B30 which was more like B6 than MS4, so if the dates are correct then she may have looked more like this:

fd208591-deaf-493f-af26-93e99b70be5a.jpg

 

The earliest photo I'm currently aware of showing HMS Middleton in this scheme is 4th August 1943, a few months after the promulgation of the new paints, however, sometimes the dates on the developed prints are known (again thanks to Richard) to be up to a couple of months after the date they were actually taken, and may be explained by who they were taken for and what purpose (e.g. for recognition purposes with our allies) and the time it may take for the recipient to get the films and annotate them. The annotated dates may refer to the date they were received rather than the dates taken, basically. I think there's still a reasonably good chance that those photographs claiming to show HMS Middleton at the beginning of August 1943 may depict the ship exactly as per CAFO 2146/42 in the last of the MS & B paints which were superseded that spring.

 

Finally, a word of caution about the Imperial War Museum's photo library, and in particular their captions. Often the captions are wrong, and dates in particular are quite untrustworthy. Here is a great example. Someone has typed in 12 October 1943, whilst the photographs themselves have had 4.8.43 handwritten onto the film. It's quite unlikely someone back-dated the films on as a practical joke during the war, so it stands as a warning to at least question the captions rather than swallow them hook, line and sinker!

64bc83b6-5aec-4f4f-9e5d-7983d424158c.png

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9 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

I desperately want something easy and relaxing rather than another deeply-involved chew that never gets finished.

You just know that will not happen but will pull up a chair and follow along looks like it will be interesting  :popcorn:

 

Stay Safe

beefy

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I have the same kits in my stash, so I'll take a pew a watch you go down the rabbit hole, sometimes we can't help ourselves. After seeing the quality of the 1/700 Micromaster weaponary, it looks like I've got a lot more expenditure in the future.

 

Stuart

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Hi Jamie, slightly off topic, but as you've got the Badsworth kit out, opinions on her colour scheme?

The IBG kit quotes 507a/507c/MS3, however Alan Raven in Warship Perspectives vol 1 quotes MS1/MS3/White

From this photo:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Badsworth#/media/File:HMS_Badsworth.jpg

The IBG pattern looks pretty close except it misses the midships 507c/white stripe on the profiles but shows it on the box top painting.

Colour wise the photo appears to me to show the light colour to be white rather than 507c, which would incline me towards Alan Raven's interpretation

The MS3 should obviously be a medium grey tone rather than the illustrated grey/green.

 

 

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Interesting choice Jamie, and nice AM goodies haul, which do seem a necessity!

Be sure to pull off ALL the cotton wool fibres on the Micromaster items that do get stuck and keep appearing, no matter how fastidious I try to be :whistle:

 

Bizarrely I was researching Hunt colour schemes yesterday.  Peter Hall posted on Facebook that the Hunt PE was now available and I took it to mean that the HUNT Class Destroyers would be imminent - he of course was referrign to Hunt class Minesweepers :doh:

I'm planning HMS AVon Vale when he releases his Type 2 1/350 version

 

Avonvale

 

White or MS4 - dark stripe 507A or B5 - 2 colours in the dark stripe ????:shrug:  More of that later.

 

They are attractive craft

 

I follow your reasoned arguments throughout, eiither scheme will be coherent and in the absence of original colour film corroboration, as so often, we'll never be able to confirm veracity or otherwise.

The similarity between MS3 abd MS4 certainly explains the subtle aft demarcation and is evident here in Ithuriel

 

DSCF9025

 

Looking forward to seeing it either way.

I've blown up all the Middleton pics to maximum and th 4.7in guns IMHO are only done in 2 colours - the dark colour and the second colour which for me accords with the "MS4" shade.  It looks lighter especially at the top, I feel due to incident lighting only.

Nice to get a straightforward build on the go:winkgrin:

Rob

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1 hour ago, robgizlu said:

 

I'm planning HMS AVon Vale when he releases his Type 2 1/350 version

 

 

White or MS4 - dark stripe 507A or B5 - 2 colours in the dark stripe ????:shrug:  More of that later.

 

 

Rob, That photo of Avon Vale (IWM FL1281) is dated 19 May 1944 so well past there era of MS&B paints and into the era of the May 1943 plus B&G series. The design is illustrated in CB3098R of 1943: 

Avon Vale CB3098 plate 113 LA type (002)

   

Edited by dickrd
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Thanks Dick - that is hugely helpful - I had seen the stern shot of the same scheme attributed to "Malta 1941"  - I had searched on IWM collection for the above pic but had separated "Avon" and "Vale" and nothing came up!!!

That solves my problesm in one easy step - I presume G45 would the hull colour and B55 the superstructure?

As ever I'm in your debt!!!

Regards

Rob

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2 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

Hi Jamie, slightly off topic, but as you've got the Badsworth kit out, opinions on her colour scheme?

The IBG kit quotes 507a/507c/MS3, however Alan Raven in Warship Perspectives vol 1 quotes MS1/MS3/White

From this photo:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Badsworth#/media/File:HMS_Badsworth.jpg

The IBG pattern looks pretty close except it misses the midships 507c/white stripe on the profiles but shows it on the box top painting.

Colour wise the photo appears to me to show the light colour to be white rather than 507c, which would incline me towards Alan Raven's interpretation

The MS3 should obviously be a medium grey tone rather than the illustrated grey/green.

 

 

On this occasion I agree with Raven. There is a September 1941 aerial observation report of Badsworth and Lamerton in this scheme describing it as “white with black-brown disruptions”. There is piece of war art showing Lamerton in this scheme indicating a very green middle colour (see attached). In practice I suspect that this was in reality the distinctly (olive) green grey MS3 on Lamerton rather than the much lighter (pepperminty) Western Approaches Light Green, and hence this was also the middle tone paint on Badsworth, so I have no qualms about the IBG box art representation of this colour - that sort of green grey is how contemporary observers ‘saw’ MS3 at the time.

Lamerton at Falmouth 1941 - Copy

Lamerton a

 

Edited by dickrd
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On 2/12/2021 at 8:57 AM, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:


 

The earliest photo I'm currently aware of showing HMS Middleton in this scheme is 4th August 1943, a few months after the promulgation of the new paints, however, sometimes the dates on the developed prints are known (again thanks to Richard) to be up to a couple of months after the date they were actually taken, and may be explained by who they were taken for and what purpose (e.g. for recognition purposes with our allies) and the time it may take for the recipient to get the films and annotate them. The annotated dates may refer to the date they were received rather than the dates taken, basically. I think there's still a reasonably good chance that those photographs claiming to show HMS Middleton at the beginning of August 1943 may depict the ship exactly as per CAFO 2146/42 in the last of the MS & B paints which were superseded that spring.

 

I agree Jamie. Something tells me this is actually much earlier in 1943 and during the era of MS&B paints. The portside triptych is typical of the sort of set taken at the end of a major refit. I'd like to see her detailed movements for 1943 (not those at naval-history.net even though they would seem to lend credence to my suspicion), Best wishes, Richard

Edited by dickrd
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2 minutes ago, dickrd said:

I agree Jamie. Something tells me this is actually much earlier in 1943 and during the era of MS&B paints. The portside triptych is typical of the sort of set taken at the end of a major refit. I'd like to see her detailed movements for 1942 (not those at naval-history.net even though they would seem to lend credence to my suspicion).    

 

Thank you Richard, that is quite the relief!

 

Thank you also to everyone else above. I have read each post but shall reply over the next day or two. Today is my eldest daughter's birthday (she's 11 - how on earth did the time pass so fast??) and I'm trying hard to finish our bathroom. We're also properly snowed in. For a few hours I regretted selling the Ford Ranger pickup truck we used to have as a commercial vehicle, but earlier this afternoon a tractor got stuck in a snowdrift so I don't think the pickup would have helped all that much. We have winds exceeding 40mph so it's drifting faster than the council gritters and farmers who have plows can clear it. Time to admit defeat!

 

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149452724_10158999038271489_814548670564

 

Split stones are particularly messy to cut!

149988483_10158998854146489_913479794665

 

 

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1 hour ago, dickrd said:

On this occasion I agree with Raven.

Hi Richard, thanks for your helpful views on this, and the fantastic painting as well, not the same ship but looks like the same scheme.

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3 hours ago, robgizlu said:

I presume G45 would the hull colour and B55 the superstructure?

 

Hi Rob, that's correct and a common feature of the CB3098R designs (and some CAFO679 designs too for that matter, at least as far as tone goes).

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Very nice brick and tile work Jamie and fascinating stuff on the camouflage break down I would never have noticed the demarcation line on the aft side until you pointed it out.  :hypnotised:

 

Stay Safe and Warm

beefy

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Nice work on the bathroom and I really dig the hair 

Having gone peroxide white blonde in my time with appropriate audience reaction. I really get that :worthy:

Utterly jealous about the snow-in:sick:

Rob

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I'm having a day off working today, so started gluing together a couple of little destroyers. No great pace, no great rush!

 

resized_36bf9802-a246-4dd0-8d01-4dcd6491

 

The local farmers appear to have had their topsoil stripped by the high winds, because the snow is all brown! I don't know who will or won't be able to see these videos but they show how geographically constrained we are for the time being :)

 

https://www.facebook.com/518181488/videos/10159001166506489/

 

https://www.facebook.com/518181488/videos/10159001190776489/

 

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A few more bits assembled. No two decks are glued together to aid painting. Infact nothing is glued to the main decks. It needs some of the PE from in the box before painting as well as some more bits and pieces cut loose, cleaned up and secured to cocktail sticks or similar for painting.

 

resized_2efef7b2-b744-46d9-9152-99d4397d

 

So much for no work today also. I decided not to trust weather forecasts and considered that if the wall of snow the tractor and plough erected at the entrance to my driveway were to freeze overnight, we would be fairly stuck for quite a while, so I dug it out. I find digging is one of those physical tasks that very quickly finds muscles which just don't get used much otherwise and makes one painfully aware of them.

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Blimey it looks like the colourised edition of World War One round your way :surprised:

 

Nice progress on the boats though. It really is an ill-wind that blows nobody any good :D 

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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This is fantastic timing, I’ve got their HMS Badsworth on the way which I’m hoping to do up as the HMS Beaufort circa 1942, it’ll need a different camo scheme to this I’m sure but I’ll follow the build with interest. Thanks for sharing.

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Best of luck with keeping the gateway clear, and with the big modelling project!

 

Great information, as always, coming out about this class. Plenty of notes taken.

 

These little IBG kits are great, but definitely can benefit from some upgrades. Haven't seen the Finemould Nano bits in the flesh before (orders in now!) they look good, and as for the Micromaster, well, be rude not to.

 

Now whered I hide the HMS Badsworth kit?

 

Geoff 

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Good God! I struggle with photoetch 100 times bigger than what you're using here!

Nuff respect!

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Great choice of subjects there Jamie, will follow this one with interest. And in addition to the main subject, seeing a snow plough in action like that is very comforting from down here in snowless Dorset!

 

Terry

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  • 3 weeks later...

If anyone's wondering why I've fallen off the map, the weather has warmed and dried up somewhat so what free time and energy I can bolt together at the moment is being expended outside in my garage:

 

PXL_20210314_135342250.jpg?v=1615883325

 

PXL_20210314_135314304.jpg?v=1615883326

 

One more frame to mark out and cut and the final two planks (lying on the floor bottom left of the second photo) which are also incidently the largest can be hung then I can begin spot taping the plank seams together with fibreglass tape and epoxy skinning resin. Being a classical Scotsman too, I almost cried yesterday committing to spend £500 on (admittedly very nice) timber for my gunwales, masts and booms.

 

I had been a little worried that I'd botched the lofting of the planks out as I couldn't get the gaps at the bow to close up whilst it was on the floor. Her keel isn't flat, you see, so sitting on the floor she was effectively hogging. I made up those trestles to get her off the floor and automatically the tiewraps forward all went slack and the panels all closed up at the bow.

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11 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

outside in my garage:

That is more like a barn one hell of a size garage

And the woodwork/ ship boat building is coming on a treat. 👍

 

Stay Safe

beefy

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21 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

I almost cried yesterday committing to spend £500 on (admittedly very nice) timber for my gunwales, masts and booms.

 

 

Never mind a timber, question is what about photoetched and 3D parts???

 

****

Very inspiring. In Poland winter has gone but spring still not arrived and  more and more often I look in my rivers-guide-books and I just can't wait for even short river voyage in my canoe (of course in safe and health manner!). And going back once again scottish mountains is another my dream... Maybe someday it happens...

Best regards,

Michał

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