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Tamiya 1/350 HMS King George V – Early 1942

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Hi All. I have been a member here for a few years, but this is my first time posting. This is also the first ship model I have built as I usually build aircraft, and occasionally armour, cars, sci-fi, etc. I actually started this model nearly three years ago, but I have had a number of breaks from the project during that time, so I am only now on the home straight. I thought some of you might be interested in the build process, so I will try and document what I have done so far over the next few days or weeks and will update it going forward. Apologies if there are a few steps missing, I have not been very consistent with pictures of the build, but I will show you as much as I can. I also have some questions about various details which I am trying to work out.


This was originally supposed to be a relatively simple build, using the Tamiya Prince of Wales kit and the Pontos KGV upgrade set. However, due to a lack of detail in the Tamiya kit and a few inaccuracies in the Pontos kit, this project has somewhat spiralled out of control and become much more complex. Because I was not happy with my original painting of the hull, I ended up buying a second POW kit, and in addition to the Pontos set, I have also used Eduard photo etch as well as detail sets from North Star models, WEM, Micro Master and various others. I have also ended up doing quite a lot of scratch building to try and get what I hope is a reasonably accurate model.

I decided to depict her in early 1942. The reasons for this were that I didn’t want to do a complex camouflage scheme for my first ship model. I also wanted to include the catapult and Walrus. The catapult was removed in February 1944; however the ship was given a camouflage scheme following the collision with HMS Punjabi in May 1942 and kept this until late 1944. I also prefer the look of the pom-poms to the UP launchers, which were removed in December 1941.


This is the best, and pretty much only picture that I have been able to find of the ship during this period and has been my main inspiration for the build. Despite what the text on the picture says, this is in fact KGV, not the Duke of York, although I believe the date is correct.




As far as references are concerned, I have the following books, one of which in particular turned out to be less than useful, and hundreds of photos and other information found online, mostly from the IWM.




While waiting for the kit to arrive, I made a start on the base. This was a solid piece of oak from an old bookshelf, larger than the model and with a routered edge to allow for a Perspex case.




I also added cut-outs under each end to make it easier to lift




For the pedestals I used some brass handrail fittings, but cut down to around 4cm high.




Next, onto the build



Edited by PeterMachin
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Onto the actual build.


Obligatory photo of the boxes




Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the sprues, but these were the parts in the Pontos kit.




Turned Brass




Wooden Decks




Resin Parts




Photo etch






I started by getting the main structures together. The forward superstructure and hangar were provided as a single assembly.




As these are supposed to be two separate structures, I cut them apart and added a front wall to the hangar. I also opened one of the shutters and scratch built an interior and the large vents on either side. I also started adding the PE.






The funnel built up and some of the PE added. These parts are not fixed in place to allow for easier painting.




I also built up the Pontos foremast




I built up the aft superstructure and removed most of the raised detail, ready for photo etch and scratch built details. There is a Pontos PE part which covers the whole deck and blanks off the large holes. I also started adding some additional detail to the small structure on top.






I got together the main parts for the forward superstructure and bridge, again removing the moulded details.




I also made a start on the hull, version 1. I made some holes for the stand and glued in some nuts with epoxy. I also glued in place the plastic deck and removed most of the raised detail ready for the wooden deck








Edited by PeterMachin
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The first Oerlikon built




Lots more built.




Most references state that there were 18 Oerlikons on the ship at this point. However, looking at photos, there only seem to be three in the area behind the breakwater, these are not in the solid tubs that the rear guns are in, but seem to be a round raised platform surrounded by a fence. As far as I can tell, this puts the total number of Oerlikons at 16.



© IWM (A 15422)  


The Oerlikon tubs which came with the Pontos kit were a bit disappointing. They are too small and a bit warped and squashed.




I decided to remake them. They consist of a short length of brass tube with a stepped floor made from styrene






The Oerlikon tubs for the foredeck




All eight complete, including guards




One of the Pontos cranes built and in place, however they are not particularly accurate, so I will revisit these later.




I built a number of the larger photo etch assemblies, not really focussing an any particular part of the ship


The forward main gun director, funnel cover, one of the pom-poms and the accommodation ladders




The anchor chain runs




The catapult rails




The forward breakwater and other parts of the catapult




Further work completed on the funnels




The main mast is also complete






Edited by PeterMachin
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On 24/03/2022 at 01:35, S-boat 55 said:

Very very impressive so far, I'm amazed at how you have managed to build the pe so cleanly,  not even a hint of glue needing tidying, what is or you use


Thanks for the feedback. To be honest, the tool I seem to use the most when gluing PE is a lighter to burn off the CA when it all goes wrong. For placing the CA I mostly use this:




It is just a thin bit of wire stuck in a balsa rod, however I heated up the end of it until the wire melted into a little ball, which helps it to hold a little bit more glue

Edited by PeterMachin
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I realise I have been going all over the place with this so far, so I think I will focus on each of the main assemblies. First up is the forward superstructure.


As mentioned previously, I started by removing the hangar from the forward superstructure. I also removed the lookout position highlighted in red and moved the small splinter shields highlighted in green to match the configuration on KGV at the time.






© IWM (A 3657)


I replaced the lookout position with a flat wall with an opening leading to an internal staircase which continues up to the No 1 platform level (?). The windows below the signal platform level were opened up and lined them with styrene strip to try and approximate the real windows and I added the lip to the front splinter shield to match the rest of that platform. I also removed most of the rather basic surface detail as this will be replaced






Next up I added the wind deflectors to the compass platform along with the doors and portholes which had been previously drilled out. I opened up a couple of the doors and put walls just behind them to replicate some sort of interior.






I also added the type 271 radar lantern according to the Pontos instructions, however the mounting for this seems to have changed following the December 1941 refit. I will take another look at this later.


Early 1941




March 1942




The Carley floats and cable reels were temporarily blue-tacked on to get their positions, then scratch built surface details were added on around them to represent the various hatches and vents. At this stage I also started working on the deck above, adding the splinter shields for the Oerlikons and some improved navigation lights






After this I moved up to the signal deck, adding the flag lockers from Pontos, but also replacing the rear search light platforms from the kit with scratch built items and supports were added to the splinter shields




Last thing to add here were the searchlights from north star models.




Up to the admiral’s bridge and upper bridge. I replaced the radar lantern mounting with something that looked more accurate, although I couldn’t find any clear photos of it in this configuration. I also replaced the stands for the pom-pom directors and added the different lookout stations.




I tried the main gun director in place but discovered that with the Pontos aerial, it clashed with the roof of the compass platform and couldn’t turn. I measured the mount against the plans and it seemed to be around 1mm too far forward. I removed the plastic mount and replaced it with brass tube in the correct place




And this is the forward superstructure nearly complete, with just pom-pom directors and rangefinders from Micro Master to add. The secondary gun directors are from North Star









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On 3/23/2022 at 11:02 PM, PeterMachin said:


Most references state that there were 18 Oerlikons on the ship at this point. However, looking at photos, there only seem to be three in the area behind the breakwater, these are not in the solid tubs that the rear guns are in, but seem to be a round raised platform surrounded by a fence. As far as I can tell, this puts the total number of Oerlikons at 16.



The contemporary Admiralty armament return lists 18 Oerlikons in April 1942. I think you will be able to reach that number with 7 (not 5) on the quarterdeck.


KGV quarterdeck 20mm March 1942


The aft-most one seems to have been in the old semi-circular zareba where the UP rocket launcher used to be.


Edited by dickrd
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Thanks for all of the kind comments. I have taken a huge amount of inspiration and learned a lot of things by reading about everybody else’s builds and techniques on this site and others.


Please let me know if there is anything I haven’t explained very well and I will see if I can fill in the gaps.


1 hour ago, dickrd said:


The contemporary Admiralty armament return lists 18 Oerlikons in April 1942. I think you will be able to reach that number with 7 (not 5) on the quarterdeck.


KGV quarterdeck 20mm March 1942


The aft-most one seems to have been in the old semi-circular zareba where the UP rocket launcher used to be.



Thanks for the explanation and pictures, the one on the right is an angle I have not seen before. I had completely forgotten about the stern UP launcher position, but the forward most position isn't quite so clear. This picture from 1943 only shows the five positions with tubs, plus the UP Launcher position.



© IWM (A 19484)




I am not sure if the two tubs I have marked are the same one, or if there is an extra one in front.


Is there enough space here for a third gun behind the hatch?




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Yes, I think that there was plenty of room for a third tub there, nuzzled between the hatch and the pair of side-by-side tubs. This is the same location on DoY:




Obviously by the time of your 1943 picture it had been removed:


KGV 1943


Looking at my photos I think it was gone by the summer of 1942 and so was perhaps removed during the May 1942 repairs/refit.


And checking the October 1942 Admiralty armament return seems to confirm this reduction as KGV is recorded then as having only 17 Oerlikons! 



Edited by dickrd
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Moving on to the hangar and boat deck.


I left the hangar looking like this




I realised that the opening I had made between the two hangers was far too large, so I replaced the whole of that panel with a new piece of styrene and also added fine mesh for the vents. I also made some spare Walrus wings and mounted them on the walls. After my first attempt at painting the model, the interior did get stripped back to plastic.






Various smaller surface details were added to the sides




On the top of the hangar, I added some ammo boxes and what I believe are exhaust vents from the hangars. On the raised pom-pom platforms, I modified the are next to the funnel to match reference photos and added supports to the splinter shields. I also replaced the grooved walls of the boiler room vents with mesh.







Edited by PeterMachin
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Next onto the boat deck. I first finished the HACS platform. I replaced the plastic walkways with mesh, to match reference pictures. For the forward side, I used the Top Drawings book as a reference. I don’t know how accurate this is, but as there seem to be very few photos of the boat deck in general, and I have not found a single one of this area, I feel it is the best I could do. I think it looks suitably busy though.


Just to note, I originally used the Eduard doors on this and in several other places. however, they have a scale height of only about 1.3m. I replaced them with a mixture of Pontos and WEM, which seem much more accurate at around 1.8m






Next I added the various small details to the sides of the boat deck. For some of it I didn’t have particularly good references, so I added items which looked about right.






I am not sure if the two protruding splinter shields are correct for this time period, but they do appear in later pictures, and I have assumed that they were installed with the Oerlikons




I made a start on the ships boats, modifying them with the Pontos upgrades, however I wasn’t particularly happy with them. They were a bit basic, and for the KGV there should be one 45’ Motor Launch and three 45’ Medium Picket Boats, rather than two of each.




Unfortunately (for my wallet), I discovered Micro Master and proceeded to buy a number of replacement boats, as well as Carley floats and pom-pom directors. When they arrived, I was blown away by the detail and quality of them. If you have not seen these 3d printed items, they are phenomenal.


This is one of the original 45’ medium picket boats from the kit, which to be honest, I didn’t think was terrible.




This is the 3d printed replacement from Micro Master is on a whole other level though. The detail seems better than some 1/72 or even 1/48 kits




I have not replaced all of the boats. I am going to cover some with tarps, so the plastic versions will be fine for that.


I added the boat stands, which are a mixture of 3d printed and Pontos, and the railings.




I also added some extra detail to the area between the HACS platform and the splinter shields. Again, I didn’t have many reference pictures, so I added some ammo boxes and other bits to make the area look a bit busier.




Prior to the 1941 refit, there was some sort of wood storage shelving at the back of the boat deck. With the fitting of the Oerlikons, I thought they may have moved it back, next to the HACS platform



© IWM (A 3431)


That is all for now




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Hmm. Re IWM A8536, if there had been an Oerlikon immediately aft of that hatch at the time that photo was taken then I think that despite the "people" we would still have seen its barrel pointing vertically upwards like the others and also bits of its curved safety firing rail:


KGV 1942 4 A8536  - Copy


Do we know when Rear Admiral Brind left KGV ie can we date A 8536 within April?  I see now that KGV was at Rosyth 3-5 April so that is another occasion when the extra tub could have been removed after the March 1942 USN aerial photos at Scapa.  


But I'm beginning to wonder now if the second of the March 1942 USN images I originally posted (80-G-464698, the angle you had not seen before) has misled me and there were only ever 6 Oerlikons on the quarterdeck:


KGV 1942 3 k - Copy


Edited by dickrd
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On 27/03/2022 at 16:59, Rich75 said:

Hi I have a picture from white ensign models which shows a "late 1941" fit out,it shows 18 oerlikons if that helps, am I OK to post the picture?


Yeah, feel free to post them, that could be really useful, thanks.


I am a bit confused by the visit to Rosyth from the 3rd to the 5th of April. From the war service record "sailed from Scapa for Rosyth to have two additional eight barrelled Pom-Poms fitted atop B and Y turrets". My understanding, was that the pom-poms were fitted to the turrets during the December refit. The picture purportedly from March 1942 clearly shows an eight barrelled pom-pom on B turret. Also, the common consensus seems to be that there was a quad barrelled pom-pom on Y turret, and later pictures back this up. Does anybody have any thoughts about this?






Edited by PeterMachin
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