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ArnoldAmbrose' whiffed ships


ArnoldAmbrose
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     Gidday All, 1/600 scale warships are my modeling interest, and since progressing from OOB builds I usually try to make various ships that actually existed. However, I sometimes make whiff ships also, and when I do I try to make them as plausible as possible.

    To date I think I've made seven, the first nigh on 20 years ago. This was waaay before I even knew of the term 'what-ifs', or modeling forums such as this. This first was a battleship I named HMS Monarch, and was made from two Airfix KGV kits. I decided to make a ship with four quadruple 14-inch turrets.

    Here is a photo of one such kit, built OOB, and shows what I started with.

HMS Kgv 1940 jm10

This meant that the bridge superstructure had to be moved aft a little, to accommodate the larger "B" turret. Also a complete extra turret was added aft, hence the hull needed to be lengthened somewhat. I also removed the aircraft launching and recovery arrangements, rearranged the boat stowage and added more light weapons.

     Here she is, the battleship whiffed from two KGV.  Quite powerful in fact.

HMS Monarch 1942 jm9 HMS Monarch 1942 jm10 HMS Monarch 1942 jm11 HMS Monarch 1942 jm12

     The two hull halves were joined midships but the deck was joined just fwd of 'X' turret. I also added quite a few light AA guns, as you can see.

I'll add more at a later date. Regards, Jeff.

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     Gidday All, when I typed the post above last night I'd had a rather full-on three days and I could barely keep my eyes open. Thinking straight wasn't an option so with hindsight I could have worded the post better. Oh well .  .  .

     The next whiff is a much more modest affair, a destroyer, and didn't initially start out as a whiff. I began to convert an Airfix HMS Hotspur kit (my third) to HMS Hardy, a flotilla leader. I thought this would simply require an enlarged deck-house between the funnels and a bandstand carrying a fifth 4.7-inch gun on it, which is what I did. The fifth gun came from my second Hotspur build, that depicted the ship converted for convoy escort with 'Y' removed to make way for more depth charges.

    Below is the first build of this kit, OOB, to show what I started with:

HMS Greyhound jm7

     However, as I got into the build I realized that there were more differences than I first thought. The foc'sle deck extended further aft in the flotilla leaders to create more accommodation, the upper bridge extended further forward to cater for the larger bridge staff, and the displaced quad .50cal machine guns were resited on bridge wings. None of these alterations I'd done and was thinking that it might be too late to do them. As a result I cut my losses and suspended the conversion, while I began looking for another Hotspur kit in the shops. (Actually the model was from the Airfix "Destroyers of WW2" set of four). Eventually I managed to track down another set and started the conversion afresh.

     But I needed my only spare 4.7-inch gun for the new conversion so I took it from this my original conversion and placed a scratch built quad pompom AA gun on the bandstand instead. As far as I know this was not done on any 'G', 'H' or 'I' class destroyer so the model was now a whiff. So I went further and replaced 'X' gun with another scratched quad pompom (to give me another spare 4.7-inch gun) and added four single 20mm Oerlikons for good measure. I decided to call her HMS Igraine. I didn't realize at the time that the 'I' class introduced the wedge shaped front bridge to RN destroyers, which this model didn't have, but as every sailor knows it is bad luck to rename a ship so the name stayed. Ultimately the ship was armed with three 4.7-inch guns (3x1), eight 2lb pompom AA guns (2x4), four 20mm Oerlikons (4x1) and eight 21-inch TTs (2x4), plus depth charges. Other than the deckhouse/bandstand addition, the armament changes and some extra Carley floats the build is pretty much OOB.

     Enough of me rattling, here she is, HMS Igraine:

HMS Igraine jm15 HMS Igraine jm19

     The bandstand between the funnels is actually a 6-inch turret barbette from an Airfix HMS Belfast kit. I hadn't discovered styrene sheets, strips etc back then. And the black block the model is sitting on is 10x20mm block of MDF, 6mm thick and screwed into the hull of the model. It looks a bit of an eyesore in the photo but in my display cabinet it is surprisingly discrete.

      Anyway, that's it for now. More to follow. Thank you for your interest. Regards, Jeff.

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Gidday All, this next model I named HMS Reliant and is a modified Airfix HMS Repulse kit. I replaced the bridge superstructure with that from an Airfix Warspite kit, replaced the kit single and triple 4-inch guns with the twins of a Belfast kit and upgraded the light AA gun outfit. The main director, the HACS and Carley floats also came from Belfast, plus other parts from assorted kits. The resulting ship looks to be somewhere between HMShips Repulse and Renown. The camo scheme is modelled on, but not a copy of that of Renown.

     Here she is, HMS Reliant.

HMS Reliant 1943 jm23 HMS Reliant 1943 jm22 HMS Reliant 1943 jm24 HMS Reliant 1943 jm29 HMS Reliant 1943 jm25 HMS Reliant 1943 jm7 HMS Reliant 1943 jm14

     Some of the photos aren't the clearest. Back then I was still learning how to use the camera, with focus and depth-of-field etc.

Regards, Jeff.

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     Gidday All, I have another four ship model whiffs to present. All of them appear in the Maritime RFI section (and three in the WIP) so I've been requested to simply post links to them, rather than repeat all the photos.

     The first is a whiffed Airfix HMS Manxman kit in 1/600 scale. HMS Manxman was one of six very fast mine layers built for the RN, believed to be capable of 38.5 knots under full load and even faster when empty. Because of their speed and large capacity mine deck they were also used as blockade runners to Malta and Tobruk. My whiff model is a fictitious vessel I named HMS Antiope, and modelled as she was converted to a convoy AA escort after receiving bomb damage that destroyed her fwd boiler room.

 I've been okayed to post one photo here of HMS Antiope to whet your appetites. But first a photo of an OOB build of HMS Manxman to show what I started with:

HMS Manxman jfm1

 

And HMS Antiope:

HMS Antiope 1943 jm1

The rest of the photos can be seen through the link below:

Regards, Jeff.

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     Gidday again, Many years ago, about 1970 I think, I read Alistair MacLean's "HMS Ulysses" for the first time, and since then have always wanted a model of the ship. So a couple of years ago I made one, using an Airfix HMS Ajax hull for starters and working from that. The ship is very similar to the Bellona class light cruiser but there are some differences which make this vessel a whiff. This model appears in both the Maritime RFI and WIP sections so I'll simply post a single photo here and links to the threads.

Firstly, a photo of the completed model:

HMS Ulysses 1943 jm2

 

The rest of the photos can be seen in the link below:

 

And for those that are interested in how it was made, the build thread:

      Regards to all, Jeff.

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Gidday All, my next whiff is a battleship, HMS Benbow, of the Iron Duke class. All of these ships except HMS Iron Duke herself were scrapped under the terms of the Washington Treaty. But my scenario is that HMS Benbow was retained as a gunnery training vessel. When war clouds loomed over Europe in the late 1930s she was reactivated as a convoy escort to ward off surface raiders. My model depicts the ship as how I think HMS Benbow might have appeared had this actually happened.

     First, a photo of the base kit, an Airfix HMS Iron Duke kit. This model is not OOB but modified by me to depict the ship as she appeared during the Battle of Jutland, where she served as Admiral Jellicoe's flagship:

HMS Iron Duke 1916 jm14

 

And now a photo of my whiffed version, HMS Benbow:

HMS Benbow 1940 jm2

 

More photos can be found here in the RFI section thread:

 

And if anyone wishes to see the build thread:

Thank you for your interest. Regards to all, Jeff.

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Gidday All, and now for my most recent whiff, well to date anyway. The final two cruisers of the Town (Southampton) class, HMShips Belfast and Edinburgh, were larger than the rest and were intended to carry sixteen 6-inch guns in four quad turrets. This would have made them a match for the USN Brooklyn class and IJN Mogami class. However a suitable quad 6-inch turret was unable to be developed and hence the ships were fitted with improved triple turrets instead.

     My model is that of HMS Belfast fitted with quad turrets after all. Below is a photo of my two versions of Airfix's HMS Belfast. The rear ship is my OOB build, done many years ago. And in the foreground is my what-if version.

HMS Belfast 16gun jm7

 

Again, more photos can be found in the Maritime RFI section:

 

And the build thread:

     Well, that wraps up my collection of whiffed ships, until I do another anyway. Thank you for your interest. Regards, Jeff.

 

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  • 4 months later...

Gidday All, I've just completed another ship.

         In the 1930s Germany began a class of heavy cruisers known as the 'Hipper' class, after the name ship. Three were built, Hipper, Blucher and Prinz Eugen. The latter was built to a slightly different design. Another two were commenced, Seydlitz and Lutzow. These two were to be 'light cruiser' versions of the class, being armed with twelve 15cm guns in four triple turrets. At a full load displacement of over 20,000 tons however they were anything but light, but then it was main gun size not ship size that differentiated between light and heavy cruisers.
     It was decided before construction began however that these last two would also be armed as heavy cruisers with 8-inch guns. By 1940 Seydlitz was about 95% complete as such when her fitting out was put on hold. In 1942 it was decided to convert her to an aircraft carrier. She was renamed 'Weser' and the upperworks removed from her before a flight deck was fitted. She was never completed as a carrier however. In late January 1945 she was scuttled in Konigsberg, and later scrapped by the Russians.
     But what if she was completed as originally planned, with four triple 15cm turrets? She may have looked something like I've built here. I've used Airfix's "Prinz Eugen" as the donor kit and built it mainly OOB except for alterations to her armament. I scratch built triple 15cm turrets to replace the kit's twin 8-inch, scratch built twin 10.5cm twin heavy flak AA mountings, quad 20mm Vierlings and single 20mm AA to replace the kit's mediocre mountings, scratch built the single 40mm Bofor guns added late war, scratch built the boats omitted by Airfix, scratch built the 160cm searchlights pilfered by me for another model and added radar to two of the main battery directors. The colour scheme is based on that of Hipper in March 1942 but the addition of 40mm Bofor guns suggest a much later date in the war.

DKM Seydlitz jm3

 

More photos can be found in the Maritime RFI section.

 

And if you're interested in the build thread:

 

Thank you for your interest. Regards to all, Jeff.

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How have I missed these! Thanks for putting them all in one place Jeff, you really know what you're doing with these 1/600 kits 👏👏👏

 

These are all thoughtful 'what might have beens' rather than fanciful what-ifs, though the work required to fit those quadruple 14in turrets on the KGV might be asking a lot!

 

Alan

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Gidday @Alan P, thanks for the comment. While there's no real rule regarding Whiffs my personal preference is for plausibility, ships that could have actually existed. But that's just me. Having said that my son thought that sixteen 14-inch guns was "a bit over the top!" In actual fact however that ship would still have been out-gunned by the USN "Montana" class had they ever been built.

    That model (HMS Monarch) was the first time I'd altered the length of a hull, it came out OK I think. It was also done waaay before I'd heard of model forums such as Britmodeller and before I'd discovered Evergreen styrene sheets, strips, tubes and rods etc. The barbettes supporting the superimposed B and X turrets were made from 21mm electrical conduit.

     I've got another what-if build in mind that I might do for the "Big and British GB". Not sure yet, we'll see.    Thanks again.    Regards, Jeff.

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Thanks for the details 👍 I've built very few what-ifs but tend to agree with your plausibility factor. You've already found my one maritime whif so far but looking at your work I think there's scope for more!

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1 hour ago, Alan P said:

You've already found my one maritime whif so far but looking at your work I think there's scope for more!

HMS Bellerophon 1982, yeah that's a good model. And I loved the story to it. You had fun with the character's names I see.

       I have two more in mind at present, I was thinking of doing one for the GB as I mentioned above. One is a cruiser, an enlarged HMS Tiger with twice the fire power. I've got spare guns from the hull I used for HMS Jamaica. I was thinking of naming her - you probably guessed - HMS Bellerophon🙂 I'll have to think of something else. I'd probably use a Suffolk hull though. The other candidate is an enlarged HMS Nelson hull, and this one is more likely at present.

     I'll be very interested in any other you choose to do in the future.     Regards, Jeff.

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  • 4 months later...

Gidday All, further to my post to Alan P above, I've completed another whiffed ship, but I ended up doing the cruiser, which I named HMS Minotaur. This model and the story behind it is a companion piece to Alan P's HMS Bellerophon.

     As with my other whiffed ships above I'll only post one photo here, and links to the others.

MNTR370 1982 1

 

For more photos and the story behind the ship:

 

Thank you for your interest. Regards, Jeff.

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