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HMS Abelia K184 - Flower Class Corvette 1/350 - Black Cat Models


robgizlu

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Well, for the first time in months I had a full day at the desk yesterday - Bliss.  Multiple episodes of "The Rest is History" and more accomplished than in the last 2 months.

After having put together the raised bridge on the LCT-5 and being in the mood I though I'd crack on with the Flower Corvette from Black Cat Models which needs similar treatment.

 

Jon @Faraway has done one iteration as HMS Begonia

 

And Michal @socjo1 recently opted for HMS Hibiscus which I had orignially eyed up with it's striking zig-zag camo pattern

 

 

It would have been perverse to have 2 ships being modelled with the same camo pattern given the enormous numbers of Corvettes and their multiple morphologies and colour schemes.

So I searched for an alternative - given that this is a short focsle Flower, there wasn't a huge choice until I stumbled across a photo of HMS Abelia.  

 

THE ROYAL NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

 

With many thanks to IWM collections for once again providing such an evocative image.

For once there appears to be consensus that the colour scheme is a variant of Western Approaches

 

HMS_Abelia

 

 

Sadly I have only been able to find this one photo of her in her Short Focsle iteration.

She was slightly peculiar as so many Corvettes are and has a number of distinctive features.

 

From stern forwards:

 

1)  She is fitted with minesweeping gear including winch (Good as the kit supplies all :D)

2)  She lacks rear splash guards

3)  2 pounder platform is amidships (unlike most Canadian vessels including HMCS Agassiz that the kit portrays, (which had the platform at the rearmost part of the aft superstructure)

4)  2 pounder platform has an extended searchlight platform

5)  She carries double Carley floats in an atypical position and a futher raft is mounted at an angle abrest the funnel

6)  The ?14/16ft ship's boat platforms are further aft than for the kit's HMCS Agassiz

7)  She carries 274 radar and was one of the first Flowers to be so fitted.  It is mounted on a tall raised platform that communicates with the bridge deck

8/  The Bridge is almost unique in being a type A with wheelhouse and charthouse below and compass house above.  The compass house has a "Flying bridge" above that, which is solid panelled (vs railings) as evidenced by the presence of pominent wind deflectors.  The radar tower integrates with the bridge deck.  Lantern cover is round and multi-facetted which is a "late" feature.  (Early versions were octagonal and had fewer frames)

9)  There appears to be no secondary anti-aircraft armament - she carries searchlights on the bidge - not Lewis guns.  There might just be a pair of Lewis guns on the rear superstructure

10) Mast is forward of the bridge

11) The 4" gun shield is rounded

12) She lacks portholes beneath the gun platform

 

Some modifications will be required fom the supplied resin kit

 

Sep 20 2023_5863_edited-1

 

2023-09-20_100919

 

The resin hull is beautifully and flawlessly moulded

 

Sep 20 2023_5853

 

Superstructure and Bridge parts are separate and "plug" into the hull

 

Sep 20 2023_5852

 

Sep 20 2023_5855

 

First order of business was to construct the Radar tower.  Without plans the only option is to work from the photo using "proportions" and comparators as to regards size and height.

The supplied bridge deck was definitely extended backwards on Abelia.

I had a Micromaster 274 platform with lantern, so construction of the tower could be divided into base with it's distinctive "arch", square tower abutting the rear bridge deck and likely envaginated by it (Can't take the anatomist out of the modeller :lol:) and finally the lantern platform atop.

 

Sep 19 2023_5847

 

A former is shaped and then stuck to a second piece of plastruct with CA glue so that a second can be shaped accurately

 

Sep 19 2023_5848

 

My little set-square is used to "square" parts up

 

Sep 20 2023_5838

 

The first try was too wide so start again......

 

Sep 20 2023_5837

 

The middle "box" section was constructed using my cheap guillotine to get uniformity of length and the set square to .....ahem "square".  The edges were bevelled with a file so as to get a neat join

 

Sep 20 2023_5839

 

Test fitting showed it was too high so it was sawed down

 

Sep 20 2023_5849

 

The metal "credit card" appeared as a windscreen scraper one Christmas and is one of my most useful tools

 

Sep 20 2023_5851

 

Sep 20 2023_5857

 

Sep 20 2023_5859

 

The "Flying bridge" has been added and comparison with the originial photo shows it is still too high.

More soon 

Thanks for looking

Rob

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You have got to love the IWM caption to that photo of Abelia: "HMS ABELIA, Flower class corvette at Hvalfjord, Iceland after a patrol in the North Atlantic in search of the German battleship TIRPITZ." Good thing she did not find Tirpitz I think! 

 

More seriously, pretty as that colour illustration is, I very much doubt that it was a 2 colour plus white WA scheme. None of the official Western Approaches camouflage designs surviving have all one colour on the hull and all another colour above. Where there are two colours you get alternating panels in each area. Also I see absolutely no difference in tone between the coloured areas in the photo. Normally if there were two colours in a Western Approaches scheme they show as different tones, the green usually appearing (probably due to camera settings, film, filters etc) as darker.

 

(Although this is a 1942 photo the design is pretty close to the Plate 18 one in CB3908R of 1943.) 

 

Personally I suspect we are looking at white and WA blue.

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36 minutes ago, dickrd said:

You have got to love the IWM caption to that photo of Abelia: "HMS ABELIA, Flower class corvette at Hvalfjord, Iceland after a patrol in the North Atlantic in search of the German battleship TIRPITZ." Good thing she did not find Tirpitz I think! 

 

More seriously, pretty as that colour illustration is, I very much doubt that it was a 2 colour plus white WA scheme. None of the official Western Approaches camouflage designs surviving have all one colour on the hull and all another colour above. Where there are two colours you get alternating panels in each area. Also I see absolutely no difference in tone between the coloured areas in the photo. Normally if there were two colours in a Western Approaches scheme they show as different tones, the green usually appearing (probably due to camera settings, film, filters etc) as darker.

 

(Although this is a 1942 photo the design is pretty close to the Plate 18 one in CB3908R of 1943.) 

 

Personally I suspect we are looking at white and WA blue.

:lol::lol:  Thanks Dick.  I had wondered but Raven and Bob Pearson had so confidentlly stated and presented........... and you're right it is attractive:weep: 

However - as ever - I deeply value your input and you've potentiated my suspicion so WA Blue it will be.  (Damn - I did like that green stripe :doh:)

Rob

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Gidday Rob, this looks like a nice build, and a Flower class is always a worthy subject I think. I also like seeing scratch built alterations. But if you don't mind my saying, that platform you've done for the type 274 radar lantern looks VERY high to me. The diagram and photo at the top show the platform with the rails about level with the top of the flying bridge balustrading but in your final photo it looks much higher.

Regards, Jeff.

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19 hours ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday Rob, this looks like a nice build, and a Flower class is always a worthy subject I think. I also like seeing scratch built alterations. But if you don't mind my saying, that platform you've done for the type 274 radar lantern looks VERY high to me. The diagram and photo at the top show the platform with the rails about level with the top of the flying bridge balustrading but in your final photo it looks much higher.

Regards, Jeff.

 

Fear not Jeff - as per my last post - further cutting down was needed.  It's trial and error using proportionality.

 

Sep 20 2023_5860

 

I think that's it.  Next up were the wind deflectors for the flying bridge.

 

Sep 20 2023_5861

 

and while thta was going on - work commenced on the base.  Once again I'll be using some embossed plastic card (Thankyou alan Blythe)

 

Sep 20 2023_5862

 

Sep 20 2023_5864

 

Which gets us to here - it's all dry fitted so don't worry if the funnel etc is a bit wonkey

 

Sep 21 2023_5867

 

Sep 21 2023_5866

 

And you'll notice the aft 2 pdr bandstand mount loose after having been micro-sawed off from it's original (more aft) position.

 

More soon

Thanks for looking

Rob

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13 minutes ago, robgizlu said:

Fear not Jeff - as per my last post - further cutting down was needed.  It's trial and error using proportionately.

Gidday, please forgive me for ever having doubted you -  that looks much for accurate. 🙂

And the detail on that kit looks very good. She's coming along very well. Regards, Jeff.

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Looking very nice Rob, will be good to see her painted up. Always have liked the look of the Flowers with the foremast ahead of the bridge.

 

First time I've heard of embossed plasticard as a water base. Have you got a link to the site you bought it off?

James.

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2 hours ago, Jagdtiger1 said:

Looking very nice Rob, will be good to see her painted up. Always have liked the look of the Flowers with the foremast ahead of the bridge.

 

First time I've heard of embossed plasticard as a water base. Have you got a link to the site you bought it off?

James.

Hi James - Thanks

 

http://www.amera.co.uk/product.php?range=p

HTH

Rob

 

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  • 1 month later...

Back to the bench after an extended roving maritime jaunt.

The bandstand built reasonably OK

 

Oct 31 2023_5911

 

The rear 2 pounder platform had a searchlight platform fitted, so some scratching produced this

 

Nov 01 2023_5907

 

The bandstand supports are fitted and "A Stand" Mig ammo (formerly Alclad) primer is applied after first vigorously degreasing the hull with cycle degreaser

 

Oct 31 2023_5909

 

A quick anti-slip grey is sprayed.

 

Oct 31 2023_5913

 

Reference to the original photo shows areas on the white hull of much darker shade, likely 507A beneath the layer of white paint.

So - I sprayed 507A onto patches of the hull and then applied some liquid mask

 

Nov 01 2023_5906

 

Nov 01 2023_5908

 

And whilst waiting for all this to dry, I committed the cardinal sin of bringing out my last Mirage Hobbies hull :waiting:

Fatal.........before you know it, it's built itself :nodding:

 

Nov 03 2023_5914

 

This wouldn't be such a Silly move IF Ben Druel at Black Cat hsn't just released the new Long Foc'sle Corvettes

 

396840896_908781914044522_2452768790880246461_n

 

And you won't be suprised to hear that HMS Snowberry is winging it's way as we speak soon to be produced at Matthews Shipyards as HMS Mignonette :winkgrin:

 

So in essence we are getting a bit Corvette-tastic !!!  And nowt wrong with that.

The Mirage Hobby hull will be built as HMS Jonquil and I'm not going to blog it as it will mimic the HMCS Eyebright build.

However it is worth mentioning that the hull itself is really excellent with realistic hull plating and detail.  It's just such a shame that the rest is absolute pants, and there is no earthly excuse to build one now with the Excellent Black Cat kits readily avilable.

 

AND - Ben has released "Rope coils" after all my nagging - Yay :penguin::thanks::thumbsup:  Though there's a possibility he'll amend the initial release and add "Flaked" ropes etc.  Either way they are very very welcome and IMHO all should have them :lol:

 

Finally the base is nearing completion

 

Nov 02 2023_5904

 

Not a lot to show for a near 6 week absence!

Thanks for looking

Rob

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Nov 07 2023_5915

 

Nov 07 2023_5919

 

And first Western Approaches Blue sprayed.  Not used it on a model before - what a beautiful colour

 

Nov 07 2023_5921

 

Nov 07 2023_5920

 

It's easy to copy Bob Pearson's profile......

 

HMS_Abelia

 

However careful and prolonged study of the ONLY photo I can find and available suggests some differences....possibly only of interest to the pedants amongst us :nerd:  But if you follow me like a Lidenbrock to my Arne Saknussemm here's some musings:

 

largeAbeliahighlighted

 

 

1)  As @dickrd has pointed out the lower hull colour - not white, is likely WA Blue 

2)  The 2 Pdr bandstand is likely white as is evidenced by the contrast with the obvious WA blue on the searchlight platform (Green circle)

3)  The Funnel has a definite divide approx half way down and in truth the cowl vents appear white below up to the cowls themselves which appear Blue (upper Red circle)

4)  The 273 platform is white from the Compass deck upwards.  I have NO idea what the black rectangle is below the lantern - I'm sure it's not a window.  Anyone got any guesses?  The whole compass platform railings are confused and likely have anti-splinter mattresses untidily hung.

5)  Bizzarely the WA blue appears to run in a band from the lower bridge all the way aft past the depth charges that appear blackish against it.  Magnify the pic and see for yourself, with a distinct line visible above the hull side parapet OR am I confusing things here?  HMCS Eyebright definitely had a similar arrangment but in a dark colour ? the Antislip paint extended up onto the superstructure walls.  I can't say that I've noticed this in any other corvettes.  It seems odd painting the superstrucutre  walls next to the deck where it's largely shielded by the hull sides.  (Lower Red circles)

6)  Oddly the ships boat appears dark ? Grey

7)  The 4" gun side splinter protection Boards could be either white or WA blue - It's really difficult to discern.  Following the examples of some other vessels (HMCS Amherst) I'm opting for WA blue

 

And progress on the hull has slowed as I had some rather nasty sink holes form the portholes I filled that needed refilling sanding, painting and then more sanding sitting too proud.  Damn even with an optivisor the vision is definitley degrading :weep:

 

Thanks for looking 

Rob

 

 

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Hi Rob, looking good so far sorry I cant offer advice on your questions, you know the class much better than me, so I'll just watch and learn usual, out of interest there's some great photos of HMS Alisma on IWM, that, to my untrained eye, looks similar to your build? 

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1 hour ago, Rich75 said:

Hi Rob, looking good so far sorry I cant offer advice on your questions, you know the class much better than me, so I'll just watch and learn usual, out of interest there's some great photos of HMS Alisma on IWM, that, to my untrained eye, looks similar to your build? 

 

Thanks Rich - I was familiar with the colour scheme of Alisma but had not realised how similar she was.  Oh for 3 different views of every ship!  What I did notice was the base of the 273 tower has some cross bars - now added ;)  Dioch yn fawr!

 

HMS ALISMA, BRITISH FLOWER CLASS CORVETTE. 22 APRIL 1942, LIVERPOOL.

 

Of note is the "Reversible" wood liferaft below the carley raft on the stand.  May have a go at scratching one of those.

Rob

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On 11/7/2023 at 9:38 PM, robgizlu said:

However careful and prolonged study of the ONLY photo I can find and available suggests some differences....possibly only of interest to the pedants amongst us :nerd:  But if you follow me like a Lidenbrock to my Arne Saknussemm here's some musings:

 

I follow your builds does that count.  :whistle:

 

Going from the photo of previous post and Bob Pearson's drawing I would think it was just WA Blue and A very worn White you are looking at think the WA Green should be Blue

 

As to my eye both lower hull and forward gun top colour look the same just my point of view mind.

 

Those Black Cat new releases are looking very tempting but have enough to keep me going for a while yet.  :think:

 

Stay Safe

beefy

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6 hours ago, beefy66 said:

 

I follow your builds does that count.  :whistle:

Those Black Cat new releases are looking very tempting but have enough to keep me going for a while yet.  :think:

 

Stay Safe

beefy

 

Certainly does young Beefy :thumbsup:

The Black Cat Models are really things of beauty - superb models IMHO

Rob

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5 hours ago, Rich75 said:

No problem (I had to look that up!) 😁

Hi Rich 

Partly I'm sure because I spelt it wrong :whistle:  Though in fairness it was the wee small hours as you'd sent me on a mission to pimp my tower and begin a scratch build of the "reversible" life raft :lol: :thanks:

Rob

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48 minutes ago, robgizlu said:

The Black Cat Models are really things of beauty - superb models IMHO

Of all the resin models I’ve built, Black Cat are by far the best. I’ve yet to have a part that doesn’t fit. And although they can seem expensive, I don’t think they are, as you don’t have to add ANY aftermarket parts.

Jon

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