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HMS Minotaur (1947 design Z) Modernized


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     Gidday All, I've decided to commence another ship build. Although I have HMS Glamorgan on the go here for the Falklands Anniversary GB this model is for a GB on the ATF. Their GBs usually run for two months and as it's already started I can't wait any longer.

     As the title suggests, this class of ship, known as the Minotaur class had it's design started in 1947 I think but all ships of the class were cancelled before construction began. They would have been large light cruisers armed with ten automatic 6-inch DP guns in five twin turrets, disposed three forward and two aft, IJN Mogami style. In addition sixteen automatic 3-inch guns would be shipped in eight twin turrets, all on the beam. A heavy torpedo armament of sixteen tubes was to be carried in four quad mountings. AFAIK no smaller weapons, depth charges or aircraft were to be carried.

     A requirement of the design was improved crew habitability. The previous Colony and Dido classes were cramped and overcrowded. To achieve this, and to carry the weight of the heavy armament a large ship was required. She had a stated length of 645 feet PP, which would have resulted in a length oa of about 660-670 feet I think. The beam was 68 feet.

 

     To build the model I'll be using a stretched Airfix HMS Suffolk hull, plus the guns and much of the superstructure from two Tiger kits I have. This won't give me enough guns so I plan on building the ship as she might have appeared after a midlife refit, with some of the guns replaced with missiles.

MNTR10 parts

   The ship will probably look like a larger version of HMS Tiger hence the box art is appropriate I think. The parts above include the hull, deck and midships shelterdeck of HMS Suffolk and the superstructure and guns (both sets) of HMS Tiger. The instructions are somewhat superfluous I think.

 

This'll do for now. I've started lengthening the hull, and will make another post when it's done. So stay safe, and regards to all, Jeff.

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Gidday All, here's my next update on HMS Minotaur. To lengthen the hull I've used two Suffolk hulls, one cut to give a long bow section, one cut to give a long stern. Each cut was 15mm from the centre of the hull, you can just see the pencil mark. This will lengthen the hull by 30mm.

MNTR20 hulls cut

      I assumed (erroneously) that the hull would be fullest and the torpedo bulges highest midway along the hull. Not so. When I went to rejoin the hull there was a slight discrepancy and hence the two sides of the join didn't match. I'd have been better off doing the join about 25mm further aft. Oh well, that's what filler and sanding is for.

 

     And rejoining the hulls.

MNTR40 hull joining 2

The block of wood helped keep the hull straight and level.


And now rejoined and reinforced:

MNTR50 hull reinforced

You can compare the longer hull with the deck of the Suffolk hull. I've lengthened the hull by 30mm but I'll lose about 7mm of this when I give the ship a transom stern. The two short hull halves in the photo might become a stumpy cruiser whiff one day.
     I don't think I can use the kit deck. All the deck houses that are molded on are unsuitable, plus I want to fill in the quarterdeck cutaway. A complete new deck might be easier. I might use the extreme bow with the anchor fittings though.

 

And here's the hull almost done, including building up the quarterdeck to it's original level and fitting a transom stern. The transom looks skew-if but that's the angle to the camera.

MNTR80 Hull almost done

AFAIK all RN cruisers from the Colony class onwards had transom sterns so it follows that this vessel would have one also. It was quite easy to do actually, as was building up the stern. I discovered that the quarterdeck on the model slopes downward by 1.5mm as you approach the stern. No problem, I simply cut tapered sides to compensate. The sides and stern are of 0.5mm styrene sheet, so the sides would bend easily (but slightly) to conform with the existing hull, and the stern so to be easy to trim after gluing. That area still needs a little filler and sanding work.

     Next will be to do the deck, but probably not tomorrow. This weekend I make my pilgrimage to the temple of models - WASMEx - our annual model show.  Near the right edge of the cutting mat is the bit that I sawed off the stern to make the transom.
     In the background is HMS Glamorgan
Well, that's it for tonight. Stay safe, and regards to all, Jeff.

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Gidday All, another quick update, HMS Minotaur now has her hull weather deck fitted. I cut and shaped it this afternoon and glued it this evening.

MNTR100 hull decks done

The white deck is Evergreen 4030 V-grove sheeting, 1mm thick. The middle section has another 1mm thick plain sheet glued under it for rigidity. This bit is 140mm long and 16mm wide. A full length sheet isn't long enough for the entire hull as you can see, but that's no problem. I cut the bow section from the Suffolk kit deck and used that.
     I cut the deck a little wide and managed to force the sides apart to gain me another 1mm in width, which equates to two feet. This gave me a tight fit and hence very little tape was needed while the glue set. The ship now has a beam of 70 feet which is the same as the contemporary USN Worcester class I think.
     Well, that's it for tonight. Back to WASMEx tomorrow, so stay safe and regards to all, Jeff.

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Gidday All, not much further construction has taken place on HMS Minotaur but I've been planning. I don't have any plans to work off with this and I don't want to glue some stuff on only to find later that there isn't enough space for other items. So to help me visualize what the ship will look like I've cut out a hull from cardboard (a breakfast cereal box) and am arranging things on that. I don't wish to drill holes in the model hull yet (for turret trunks) until I know the final locations, hence the cardboard.

MNTR110 layout planning

Although I don't have enough turrets to portray the ship in her original guise I have to fit those that I do have in their original positions.
     I'm planning to fit four Exocet launchers in place of 'B' turret. And I'll replace some of the omitted 3-inch turrets with some other weapon system(s). I have a couple in mind. The four 3-inch turrets on the port side are the original dispositions of them. The temporary funnels are simply leftover trial funnels from previous builds. And between the forward and aft 3-inch turrets are bits of plastic representing a whaleboat and two sets of quad torpedo tubes.
     Well, that's it for now. Not very exciting I know. Thank you for your interest and responses. Stay safe and regards to all, Jeff.

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Hi Jeff. Do you have Friedman's British Cruisers: Two World Wars and After? (If not, its well worth getting, its a treasure trove of material).

 

Page 267 has a plan view of design ZA (ZA and ZB were generally the same layout as Z, just slightly different tonnages from different weight distribution).

 

Your layout above is very close - there is a narrow deck extending back from your C turret all the way to X turret. A single crane behind the forward funnel serves the boats stored on this deck between the funnels. There is another deck on top extending the forward superstructure (which is very narrow to give the 4 AA directors good arcs) to under the funnel, and a matching narrow deck after carrying the rear funnel, mast and 3" directors (one AA director per turret, plus one MRS per pair). Your superstructure parts look too wide, but I'm sure you can justify that if you want to (more room needed for radar operators etc). Oddly the funnels are slanted like a town, not vertical like a colony or Tiger.

 

There are eight 3" as you have them, but the middle pair are a deck higher on sideways extensions from the funnel deck level. Two whaleboats on davits abreast of the forward mast and a pair of quad torpedo tubes (!) on each side (maybe the RN had been studying Japanese cruisers) on each side of the crane/boat area.

 

Personally I'd build it with 4 6" twins, it will look better and more room for the huge magazines required. Per Friedman P.373, design Z2, Z2A, Z2B and Z2C had 4 turrets. There were 3 and 5 turret designs as well, with slightly different dimensions. Some even had quad 3" for max dakka.

 

If such a ship had survived to the Exocet era then Seacats would have replaced some of the 3" and possibly Sea Slug in place of a 6" turret - maybe even two, one at each end if you can cram in the fire control (Shipbucket has some GW25 designs with 6" and Sea Slug). There would need to be room for the big magazine and loading system. No TTs by then. Helicopter deck?

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Gidday @TallBlondJohn, thanks for the info. The diagrams I'm basing the ship on are from a wargaming site, "World of Warship". I can't remember where I got them from, it was a while ago. Maybe their ship was based on Friedman's too. The forward turret arrangement I'd planned doesn't quite work for me. I might bring the superfiring 6-inch turret forward into the traditional 'B' position and mount the Exocets behind it. I only have four 6-inch turrets.

     And yes, it's a tight squeeze with the Tiger bridge and the 3-inch turrets beside it. Not enough space for the crew to get past, or the directors. I might have to rethink that too. BTW, please excuse my ignorance but what's the MRS you refer to?

    The middle 3-inch turret positions will be raised, they were just on the cardboard last night for spacing. And I was thinking Seawolf instead of Seacat. I'm not really considering Seaslug. Without knowing a lot about it other than what I've read about the County class destroyers I'm wondering if Seaslug would have been too much of a hassle to retro fit to the ship, due to it's magazine. The County's were designed specifically for it AFAIK. It might be obsolete thinking but I want the ship to be deployed primarily for surface targets. I was going to omit the TTs (but the 3-inch turrets have to be spaced to accommodate them originally, and I hadn't thought of a helicopter deck.

    I didn't want to get too bogged down with this as the ATF GB only runs for two months and I'm not a fast builder. But my builds have a tendency to get more complex than I originally intend. Oh well, I have to be happy with it in the end so I guess it's worth it. And I greatly appreciate everyone's comments and input. Many thanks.

     Regards, Jeff.

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Aha, you mean World of Warships:

 

Minotaur_wows_main.jpg

 

Yes this is a close match to the Friedman plan. To be picky, no way these ships would ever have lasted long enough for Seawolf and even Exocet is unlikely. I'd just drop a 6" turret and scratch build the extra 3" pair as that is one of the designs that was considered.

 

MRS = Medium Range fire directors. There was one for each 3" pair, so 12 secondary battery directors in total. I think the picture above has them as those small round things just ahead of each main 6" director.

 

For a modernised version, Seaslug would be fun and appropriate for the 60s. Maybe drop some 3" for Seacats and both X and Y 6" in favour of a Seaslug and two radars? Like this but 3 turrets forward (Shipbucket design). The missiles would come up through X turret's barbette for loading into the launcher in Y position.

 

file

 

 

 

 

You are right, no TT by this time but you have to make the space.

 

 

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Gidday @TallBlondJohn, yeah that's the site and the ship I'm basing mine off but I haven't seen that particular image before. And I agree, she would have been expensive to build, crew and operate hence probably a short working life before disposal due to economic hard times.

     But I have a penchant for large gun cruisers, so besides the ship being a whiff my scenario will be too. It's a fun thing for me, while still being as plausible as I can get it. As I'm aiming for a Falklands era ship I might rename this thread, maybe to something like "HMS Minotaur (1947 design Z) modernized" or something similar. That might be a more accurate title.

 

On 5/4/2022 at 5:57 AM, TallBlondJohn said:

and a pair of quad torpedo tubes (!) on each side (maybe the RN had been studying Japanese cruisers)

It certainly looks like the Japanese IJN Mogami influenced the design here.

Anyway, I've got plastic to butcher so many thanks and regards, Jeff.

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Gidday All, HMS Minotaur is certainly taxing my grey matter. Trying to position everything such as turrets, directors etc where they'll be effective themselves and not foul firing/tracking arcs of other equipment I'm finding rather complex. I've started the shelterdeck.

MNTR120 layout planning 2

The hull deck is glued but everything else is dry fitted. As you can see, the forward shelterdeck has been extended to carry 'B' turret which has been elevated, the Exocets (indicated by that bit of styrene square section) will replace 'C' turret and sit between 'B' turret and the bridge. One of the 3-inch turrets is in position and the platform for it's superfiring mate is just behind it. The hole in the deck abreast of the aft superstructure is for the aft 3-inch. I haven't done the aft platform yet. The funnels are in their approximate position and I've made a bridge structure from cardboard to help me with planning. It's the width I'll be making it but much too long at present.
     What is making this difficult for me, besides the lack of any plans or comparable ships is the narrow beam I have to work with. The model is 342mm long which at 1/600 makes her 672 feet long overall. I could only force the sides out by 1mm due to the molded bulges which made the hull more rigid. This gives me a ship with a beam of 70 feet. I think the actual planned ship had a beam of 76 feet (3mm wider at 1/600). My version of HMS Minotaur will have almost the exact dimensions of the USN Baltimore class of heavy cruiser. Although the American ships had wing 5-inch turrets they only had four directors, two on each superstructure and all mounted on the centerline. My ship has at least one director for each turret with most mounted on the beam to cover the same firing arcs (naturally) and this means I cannot have the wide bridge structure intended for the ship. The shelterdeck is 15mm wide and the bridge structure will be limited to 12mm. The crew has to be able to get past the turrets and directors hence I need to leave gaps for them to pass.
     Anyway, as you can see I've started on the shelterdeck, made barbettes for the 6-inch turrets and base rings for the 3-inch turrets. I've also made the anchors as those supplied with the Suffolk kit are too small. The kit (HMS Tiger) directors are included in the photo. The upper hull has it's first coat of paint, Hu64.
     Enough of me yakking, it's nearly 1am here. Time for my beauty sleep, which doesn't work. So thank you for your interest, advice and comments. Stay safe and regards to all, Jeff.

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Gidday All, I've been working on HMS Minotaur's shelterdeck. In the photo below it's inverted to show the extra supports inside. These not only give support but also give more surface area for gluing. This is pretty much standard for me with my scratch built structures now.

MNTR130 shelterdeck 1

As you can see, the shelterdeck runs all the way from 'B' to 'X' turret. The illustration I'm basing the build on shows the shelterdeck fully enclosed for it's entire length. I find this surprising, I would have thought there'd be a passage way across the ship somewhere in the midships section so I'm creating one in the torpedo tube area. You can also see the four deckhouses under the platforms for the four superfiring 3-inch turrets.

     The aft shelterdeck is basically built now I think. You can see that the sides of it are recessed inwards a little adjacent to the 3-inch turrets to give crew access past them. The gap is 2mm (equates to four feet) which I think is sufficient. You can also see that I've started doing the same for the forward end of the structure.

     On the upper deck of the hull I've glued some of the positioning guides for the shelterdeck. I'm planning on starting the bridge structure next, to see how I go with the directors. If I need to I might be able to widen the shelterdeck abaft the forward 3-inch turrets. That will depend on how I go with the bridge structure.

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

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  • ArnoldAmbrose changed the title to HMS Minotaur (1947 design Z) Modernized

Gidday All, here's the latest dry fit test of HMS Minotaur.

MNTR150 layout planning 4

 I've decided to try and use the superstructures and funnels of the HMS Tiger kit rather than scratchbuild them. As you can see, the bridge structure had to be narrowed by 5mm to fit and sides added. In the foreground is another I butchered and discarded for another build aeons ago. It shows the original width of the piece.
     The match sticks forward of the bridge show where I intend to mount four Exocet canisters. The funnels are stuck on with Blu-tack at present and the boats between them indicate where the crane and boats will be shipped. In the foreground to the right are five of the Tiger kit directors, and in the middle are two directors (DCTs) from a Belfast kit. I'm thinking of fitting them also if I can, for long range surface targets. The masts aren't shown here but I'm planning on using the Tiger masts but modified a little. I want to mount a single bedstead radar scanner (from a Devonshire kit) on one of them if I can.
      I'd better start giving some thought as to the locations of the wing directors now that I've got superstructures to mount them on.     But not tonight.
Thank you all for your interest. Stay safe, and regards, Jeff.

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Gidday All, I have a little bit more to report on HMS Minotaur. I've been fiddling with funnels and superstructures.

MNTR170 layout planning 5

    Everything is still dry fitted at present as I'm hesitant to glue stuff down until I know where everything is going to fit. The bridge structure has it's sides cladded now, and has been extended rearward a little with a grey structure that came from an Airfix Ajax kit. Both funnels are sitting on casings that came from Airfix Belfast kits. (Belfast kits are a great source of spares). I originally had a casing for the forward funnel as part of the forward superstructure. That's it in the foreground. But I decided to cut it off and use another Belfast casing instead, partly to increase the amount of Airfix plastic in the model and partly because it already has the boiler room air intakes attached.
     I've assembled the two masts, they're rather rough. I'm planning on fitting a bedstead radar scanner on the main mast. That's it lying on the deck. This came from the Devonshire kit I'm using for my Glamorgan build. HMS Glamorgan being a second batch County had a double bedstead, which I'll have to scratchbuild.
     I plan on widening the shelterdeck midships between the 3-inch turrets, to carry the boats, cranes and a couple of additional fittings. The image I'm basing the ship on had one crane, as did each of the Tigers but as I have two Minotaur's going to get two.
     I've painted the hull now except the boot topping, plus I've glued the three anchors. Once the boot topping is done I'll need to do the foc'sle breakwater, plus the shafts and struts. The rudder is already fitted.
     I haven't included the turrets in this photo. Every time I take them out of the container there's a chance one might go "ping" and disappear into the carpet monster's pantry, and I don't have any spares.
     That's it for now. Thank you for your interest. Stay safe, and regards to all, Jeff.

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Looking very good. Perhaps the Exocets would be set to launch sideways like Harpoon to clear B turret?

 

If your carpet monster is big enough to eat a 6" turret that's quite worrying - but then again its Western Australia so anything is possible I suppose.

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Gidday @TallBlondJohn, if you saw the state of my modelling desk at present  .   .   . 😲

Regarding the Exocets, I was thinking of having them on a slightly raised platform, front end elevated further and if required also a little splayed outward to achieve the clearance of B turret. I didn't think of a Harpoon configuration. Did any RN ships carry them that way? Regards, Jeff.

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On 15/05/2022 at 05:14, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Did any RN ships carry them that way? Regards, Jeff.

 The Dukes do, aft of the VLS. But your platform idea sounds good, should look cool (which is what matters)

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     Thanks guys. I looked up the Type 22 (batch 3) and 23 frigates regarding Harpoons, and you've got me thinking (yeah, I know, dangerous). Depending on time restraints maybe I could do a set of Exocets and Harpoons mounted on bases and see which I like the best. But having both would probably be greedy, I'd have to choose. I greatly appreciate the info. But first I'd better get a bit more done on the ship itself. Currently I'm doing the shafts and breakwater.

     Regards, Jeff.

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Great work as ever, I wish i could scratch stuff like this:clap:I imagine someone at airfix looking in and thinking, Doh! Why didn't we.....!

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Gidday All, here's my next update on HMS Minotaur. A short time ago I completed the shafts and struts.

MNTR230 shafts comparison

As you can see, they're scratch built. Included in the photo are the kit offerings. Instead of two struts (legs) to each shaft forming a 'V' or 'A' frame these each have a solid wedge of plastic that are supposed to fit into those great canyons in the hull. I think I can be forgiven for not using them. Not included in the photo are the screws. They'll be added much later I think. I plan on using the screws from my recent HMS Hood. Believe it or not, the Hood kit screws are slightly smaller diameter than those of the Suffolk kit, despite the ship being about four times heavier. Go figure!
     On this occasion I decided to paint the majority of the hull before doing the shafts and struts. It made masking for the boot topping much easier. Tomorrow I intend to paint the rest of the underwater hull, then I can continue on the uppers. 
    So until then it's goodnight all, and thank you for your interest and responses. Stay safe, and regards, Jeff.

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Gidday All, HMS Minotaur has her hull and upper deck done and the model is now screwed to her building block. This I consider a milestone in a ship build.

MNTR240 hull done

     As you can see, the shafts are painted and the breakwater added also. The ground tackle (anchor handling stuff) still needs painting. In case I haven't mentioned it the colours are: anti-fouling paint is Humbrol Hu73, boot topping Revell Re8, upper hull is Hu64 (as will be the superstructures), planked deck is Hu94, bow steel deck is Re79 and superstructure steel decks painted with Hu67 (if the tin numbers can be believed). The breakwater is scratch built and the forward faces of it weren't easy to paint. I think I've done a mediocre job of them.
     In the foreground are some of the other weapon systems I'm contemplating for the ship. Two are done, one obviously is still under construction. Do you recognize them? Actually there's another done, I forgot to add it to the photo. I've also started busying the shelterdeck with door hatches and scuttles, not very evident in this photo.
     Well, that's it for tonight. Thank you for your interest. Stay safe, and regards, Jeff.

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Gidday All, here's some of the extra weapons I plan to fit to HMS Minotaur.

MNTR250 extra weapons 1

There's two sets each of paired Exocets with their blast screens, Seawolf GWS-25 launchers, STWS triple torpedo tubes, Vulcan Phalanx CIWS and quad Harpoon missile launchers. The Exocet containers came from the Airfix HMS Leander kit of the Falklands set of models. Everything else is scratchbuilt. The Harpoon launchers consist of 11 pieces, the Vulcan Phalanx 12 pieces and the GWS-25 17 pieces.
     As I'm building to a 1982 Falklands time frame I won't initially include the Harpoons. But the Exocets will probably be mounted on a raised platform so I'm going to try to make it removable and have another with the Harpoons interchangeable. That's the plan anyway.

I also want to add some single 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikons. I haven't made them yet.
     Regards, Jeff.

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