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Gidday All, I've decided to give a build of HMS Onslow a go, using one of the Airfix "Cossack" kits I have. HMS Onslow was Captain Sherbrooke's ship escorting the convoy JW-51B to Russia. His squadron consisted of five destroyers, two corvettes and a trawler when the they were attacked in the Barents Sea by the heavy cruiser Hipper (Kummetz) and three destroyers. The intention of Kummetz was to draw off the escorts and drive the convoy into the arms of a second German squadron consisting of the Panzerchiff Lutzow (redesignated a heavy cruiser) and three other destroyers. For over two hours Onslow and a sistership HMS Orwell held Kummetz at bay until Rear Admiral Burnett's cruisers HMShips Sheffield and Jamaica arrived and chased the German ships off. HMS Onslow was badly damaged and Sherbrooke severely wounded in the action, which won him a VC.

     I'll be using a grey hull with a damaged stern for the model. However, in the introductory photo below I've substituted another hull (blue-grey), because I'd already stated work on the grey hull before I took the photo.

Onslw10 intro

     The drawing is from a book I have, "Sea Warfare" by Ure Smith. I've shrunk and enlarged the drawing to 1/600 and 1/300 scale. As you can see, the Cossack hull will need to be shortened. Due to the superstructures being molded to the deck I'll probably replace the decks, not sure yet.

     The bow needs a bit of work. AFAIK the Tribal class including HMS Cossack had more rake (the slope of the cut-water or extreme edge of the bow) than most other RN destroyers, including HMS Onslow. So I've started to alter the bow. Unfortunately I've re-inforced the inside of the bow join with Araldyte epoxy glue, which will make this a bit more difficult. I think I'll manage though.

Onslw20 bow rake

     The bow of HMS Onslow also has a bit more sheer (the upward slope of the deck) than that of the Cossack kit, so once the rake is fixed I'll have a go at increasing the sheer too. A further complication is that I think the hull is molded about 4mm too deep. This makes the Airfix Cossack model look a little chunky I think, and not so sleek. Shortening the hull will exacerbate this so I'm going to have a go at fixing this too. Otherwise I could simply make a waterline model but I have a preference for full hull model ships.

Well, that's it for now. Stay safe, and regards to all, Jeff.

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Looks great Jeff - I'm also building Onslow at the moment. Good to see interest in her - always think the O's and P's are a bit under-rated, built with whatever was available but all the O's survived the war, the P's also involved in some great actions eg. HMS Petard capturing an enigma machine. 

 

Onslow was also involved on the raid on Vaagso earlier in the war, there is video footage of her passing through the straits during the attack available online.

 

As you say the Tribals had more rake in the bow (clipper bow), the sheer also seems to start later on the O's (by the breakwater) and rise more sharply - more like the J class on which they were based. 

 

Looking forward to the build! 

 

James 

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The Battle of the Barents Sea is a masterclass in using destroyers to keep a more heavily armed and on paper, superior enemy at bay.  If you don't know about this action I urge you to seek out 73° North by Dudely Pound for an in-depth narrative into the action.

 

Drawing up a chair at the bar (long sighted dontcherknow), to follow this.  Good luck with it.

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Thank you all for your interest, but please don't expect too much. It's rather a simple build after all. Getting the hull right I think will be the greatest challenge.

     Back in the late 1960's my father subscribed to a series of magazines "History of the Second World War" by Purnell and I still have some of them, including the issue (vol 3, number 14) that described the battle in detail. I actually feel for the German Admiral, Oskar Kummetz in the Hipper. As I understand it he was operating under crushing self-defeating orders written by those above him that wanted to keep themselves in the clear, all stemming from Hitler's paranoia and fears over losing any more ships. My interpretation of the orders could be summed up as - "Act boldly, with caution, and don't risk the ships". As I said, that's my very brief interpretation, there's no doubt more to it. And the weather didn't help him. The very poor visibility made identifying friend from foe very difficult. Despite all this he actually succeeded in his part of the plan, to draw off the escorts and drive the convoy into the arms of Captain Stange in the Lutzow. But when Stange had the convoy at his mercy, only two miles away and not a single escort vessel between him and his prey he failed to attack, again because of the poor visibility. Then when Burnett's cruisers arrived they caught Kummetz by surprise, and he called off the operation. The consequences for the Kriegsmarine over the failure to sink the convoy were severe, Hitler ordering the entire battlefleet to be scrapped.

     Again, thank you for your interest. And James, I'm interested in seeing your model also. Regards, Jeff.

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11 hours ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Thank you all for your interest, but please don't expect too much.

 

Now you can not start a thread up on hear and not expect us to want to much from you.  :wicked:

 

Interesting subject will follow and add my 2 pence from time to time if I may something going around with these old kits latley.

 

Stay Safe

beefy

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That summary is about right.

Higher command might have well have said "Go and destroy that convoy...But don't leave harbour!"

Are there going to be any more Op Regenbogen builds? Admiral Hipper and Lutzow in 600 maybe?

tuppence or tuppounder pom-pom?

Seriously, Jeff, you should make about 50 of the things and keep 'em handy for future builds.

Tom

 

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17 hours ago, stevehnz said:

Fixed author & link for you Wez. :)I should dig out the copy that resides among my Dads books in the basement, I reckon it is at least 50 years ago since I read it, was still at school.

Steve.

 

Thanks Steve, wrong Dudley, wrong war :banghead:

3 hours ago, Modelholic said:

That summary is about right.

Higher command might have well have said "Go and destroy that convoy...But don't leave harbour!"

 

 

True, but the distinguishing feature of a brilliant military leader is how much they're prepared to ignore their political masters, Nelson did it ("I see no ships"), Rommel was similarly inclined (unfortunately politics caught up with him). 

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11 hours ago, Modelholic said:

Are there going to be any more Op Regenbogen builds? Admiral Hipper and Lutzow in 600 maybe?

tuppence or tuppounder pom-pom?

Seriously, Jeff, you should make about 50 of the things and keep 'em handy for future builds.

     Gidday, I've already done a Graf Spee OOB many years ago, and I don't have another kit of her. I guess if I ever got one I could do the Lutzow, their superstructures were a bit different. I've also done a Prinz Eugen, enhanced a little with the boats and light guns. Both of these are Airfix 1/600 kits.

     I've got five more Tribal kits after this (fifty might be a bit excessive 😁), two are Airfix and three are Mistercraft HMS Eskimo kits. These could be copies of the Airfix kit. There are some differences but the hulls are too deep also. One ship I'd like to do is an "L" class destroyer with the four twin 4-inch mountings. But I've got to get through this build first. I'm having a little trouble reshaping the bow. Not giving up yet, though.

      And I've actually made some pompoms, quads and octuple mounts. They're a bit crude compared to PE items but I prefer to make my own if I can.

UL310 quad 2lb pompom 2lb pompom octuple shipbourne AA gun 30

The bases are 5mm and 8mm across respectively. HMS Onslow will need a quad mount made for it, but not for a while.

     I completed a model of HMS Jamaica earlier this year, and I would like to do a Sheffield some day, using a Belfast kit. I've also done three Narvik class destroyers, Z25, Z28 and Z31. The latter, Z31 was involved in the battle, and ultimately survived the war, being given to France.

Regards, Jeff.

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Wow those quad & octuple mountings 2pdr are tiny! 

 

Another good reference for the whole class is 'Arctic Destroyers' by G. G. Connell. 

 

Some details of my build are here: 

https://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,65010.0.html

 

This is a long term project in 1/96, based on plans from the National Maritime Museum. It is based on a Deans Marine hull, but I'm now trying to scratch-build as much of the rest as I can. Things have stalled a bit with family & work commitments at the moment though. 

 

Hopefully the photos will help with your build! 


James 

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On 31/08/2021 at 04:16, ArnoldAmbrose said:

And I've actually made some pompoms, quads and octuple mounts. They're a bit crude compared to PE items but I prefer to make my own if I can.

Maybe I'm buying the wrong brand, or maybe my sausage fingers are mangling them beyond recognition, but I think your pompoms are quite amazing and hold up well against pe versions. Wish I could do that.

 

Why so many tribals? And how's that bow coming?

 

David

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I will be following this one with great interest. My uncle was captain of B gun aboard HMS Oribi (rather appropriately, since he was a South African) during the Battle of the Barents Sea. For many years one of my sisters kept a 4.7-inch cartridge case he had 'liberated' and brought home from that action - she used it as a door stop!

 

Maurice

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     Gidday All, thank you for your interest and comments. The Airfix Tribals came with the "Destroyers of WW2" sets, of which I've bought four, mainly to do various versions of the RN "Hotspur" and German "Narvik" class of ships. At a model show here a couple of years ago my son saw the three Mistercraft kits and bought them for me as he knew of my penchant for modifying 1/600 scale model ships. To date, besides the Tribals mentioned I have one Hotspur left, stalled half built as HMS Hardy ( a contender in the next KUTA GB?), one Campbeltown and one Narvik Z28, both untouched.

     And Maurice, I imagine your uncle would have a few stories to tell. I hope my recollection of the battle is accurate. (Not that I actually recall it in person). And that's quite a door stop. It would take a rather strong wind to defeat that, I reckon. The biggest cartridge case I've ever 'liberated' is a Bofor 40mm.

   Regarding the bow of Onslow, reinforcing the bow inside with Araldyte glue has made it a bit difficult to add styrene strips inside for packing and reshaping. But I think I've got an idea that will work. I'll post a photo when I've got a little more to show.

     James, thank you for the link to your build. 1/96 will make it quite a model, I think. Unfortunately I can't seem to access the photos, only the text. I'm not very computer savvy. My son might be able to work it out for me when he get's the chance.

     Again, thanks for your interest. Regards, Jeff.

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11 hours ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

And Maurice, I imagine your uncle would have a few stories to tell.

 

All of his service was aboard Oribi (he may even have been what the Americans call a 'plank owner'). He contracted tuberculosis from the constantly cold and wet conditions aboard while escorting Arctic and North Atlantic convoys. This left him with only one lung but that did not stop him smoking 2-3 packets (40-60 cigarettes) a day (preferably Gitanes) until he died almost 50 years later. He rarely talked about his service but he always said the best reward was the result of Oribi's part in liberating Copenhagen in 1945 - the Danish girl who became his first wife. Apparently, it was a classic 'dashing sailor meets naughty nurse' scenario, since that was when he was hospitalised with tuberculosis.

 

Maurice

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Looking good Jeff!

 

As a result of this I looked up 73 North and found a very nice condition hardback on ‘World of Books’ - £2.99 with free postage! Bargain. It arrived today and it looks to be very interesting indeed, lots of great pictures too of HMS Onslow  😀

 

Guy

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2 hours ago, Gisbod said:

Looking good Jeff!

 

As a result of this I looked up 73 North and found a very nice condition hardback on ‘World of Books’ - £2.99 with free postage! Bargain. It arrived today and it looks to be very interesting indeed, lots of great pictures too of HMS Onslow  😀

 

Guy

As a result of that I did the same, £3.19, still a bargain.

 

David

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Great work on the QF 2-pounders.

 

Can that be the same Airfix "Cossack" kit that I made in the 60s? Strewth! That's an oldie.

 

Very interesting engagement.

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Gidday All, thank you for your interest. Maurice, I've not heard the expression 'plank owner' before so I looked it up. And the 'naughty nurse' sounds interesting, I can understand him not elaborating or talking about it much. I believe TB was a bit of a problem for RN ship's crews in that part of the world. Alistair Maclean refers to it in his book 'HMS Ulysses'. Although a fictitious story he served on the cruiser HMS Royalist in the Arctic for a while, and a number of incidents in the book are based on fact.

     The book "73 North" sounds interesting but I don't think postage would be free to my part of the world. Pity. 

And yeah, I think it's the same Airfix 'Cossack' kit of our youth (back in the Dark Ages). As kids my brothers and I used this model as HMS Ulysses in our games.

     Regards, Jeff.

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10 hours ago, Maginot said:

Can that be the same Airfix "Cossack" kit that I made in the 60s? Strewth! That's an oldie.

If I am not mistaken, HMS Cossack was the first of Airfix's 1:600 warship kits.

 

Maurice

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Gidday, that could well be. Like me we're both showing our age.

 

I've redone HMS Onslow's bow.

Onslw120 bow done

     Onslow is the lower hull. The bow is not perfect but a bit closer to the real thing than the original (the upper hull). I've managed to gain a little more sheer but not quite as much as I hoped. Also the bow has now lost a little bit of it's flair, but I think I'll quit while I'm ahead. I'm a bit worried that the more I fiddle with it the more chance I have of stuffing it up. The lower portion of the cut-water is the wrong shape but I'll be water-lining this next so that won't be a problem. Then after water-lining the hull I'll do the stern.

     This is a photo taken earlier while fitting the main deck. It shows how much I have to shorten the hull.

Onslw70 main deck fitted

     You can probably see the damaged stern, melted on one hull half (stbd). Once I've waterlined this I plan to wrap the sides around the deck at the stern. I'm a bit loath to apply heat to the sides in case it warps the deck so if that doesn't work I'll resort to plan 'B' - remove the sides completely from the point where you see the tape and form a new stern. Failing that, well, er, I don't have a plan 'C'. Fingers crossed. 
     Stay safe, and Regards, Jeff.

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