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HMCS Snowberry & Sub Dio


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Posted (edited)

Hello!

 

I am taking a leap into a ship and submarine diorama and now that Imgur is working again I can upload some photos of where I am.

 

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My idea was to have an upper layer of a flower class corvette sat within a thin but hard seascape that show above water and below water propeller wake including explosions from depth charges.

 

Beneath that is another part of the dio, a submarine diving with air bubble trails and propeller wake with depth charge explosions around it in various shades / types of explosion profile with a North Sea base below……

Edited by Bill1974
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Posted (edited)

As I said Imgur has been broken for a long while but now seems to be fixed so I can post some photo, due to having nowhere to upload photos to I kinda haven’t been taking any so there is a skip to the end narrative to this build…..

 

I have decided to paint it then glue it together as I’d like some crisp lines….

 

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Many small bits….

 

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I’ve added some detail to the boats as they were really plain and looked odd to me, so after searching Britmodeller and watching youtube videos I added some 1mm tape to simulate the wooden slats and added ribs and bottom structure to the insides.  
 

I’m not sure what they’re called but I’ve added the bibs where the oars go and other rope type gubbins to the perimeter.

 

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I’ve seen many previous excellent builds and video and even though it is hardly going to be seen I’ve added some detail to the wheelhouse.

 

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I need to rescribe the wooden deck to the front as I’ve already had a go and mangled it…. Oops.

 

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These are the propeller wakes, large one for the flower and the two smaller ones for the sub.

 

They’re wire bent round paint tubs and brushes then layers of cotton wool glued and covered in gloss medium.

 

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This is my starter for 10 sub base, I need to square this monster up somewhat and add a wooden frame.

 

I had spare bits of foam from other projects that I had saved and used for this once glued and cobbled together with tooth picks and pva, need to square it up and add the wooden surround.

 

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These are the explosions from the flower class corvettes depth charges, I’ve been watching videos and these are my attempt this far of the various types of explosion profile, starting from initial explosion through expanding and contracting secondary gubbins and near final large uprush of heated expanded water and such.

 

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ICM Sub, I scratch built the cabling and grab rails and the guards to the propellers plus a few other bits….

 

Good to be back and hope this meets the high standards all the folks on Britmodeller set?

 

Comments and suggestions welcome 🤓

Edited by Bill1974
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I’ve seen a few Corvette/Submarine engagement diorama’s,  but they have always been on the surface. You doing surface AND submerged is ambitious and huge, sounds fascinating and definitely one to watch.

Jon

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Hello all, 

 

Progress has been slow and as I’m rather new to ships and water dio’s even slower than it might be.

 

I have primed most of it now and sanded down some areas that as usual after priming it’s when you see the marks etc etc and reprimed.

 

I’ve also been adding more detail to the life boats and a few other areas that I will show at later date when I’ve finished typing general progress.

 

The ship part of the duo, water surface is coming along nicely top and bottom (as you’ll be able to see above and below for the ship ~ ship turning with wake and depth charge explosion over and ship hull under with propeller wake and lower below water depth charge explosion) and I have just about finished the sub bio base.

 

All good so far…..

 

However - I have been messing around for ages searching for signal flag sizes and all that gubbins and have come up short as after reading so very very many websites and documents and blogs this and that I have found that my RN Signal Flag part of my brain has melted and is leaking out of both ears!

 

HELP!

 

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This is what I am after, HMCS Snowberry.  I can’t really read the flag or determine what they mean…?

 

I have found this link which has been a great read but only shows me so much (hence the brain leakage)

 

https://tmg110.tripod.com/british19.htm

 

This shows the type of pennants etc but (at least as much as I understand) doesn’t state where or what size they are.

 

The links shows examples at the bottom of the page and specifically gives a flower class corvette pennants (not sizes and where)

 

I’m gonna have to make and paint them myself, I’ve already superglued two thick bits of tin foil (from take away trays) and primed it with Mr Metal Primer-R.

 

What I cannot see or find info for is;

 

- Sizes

- Locations (which bit of rope type / radio line type rigging type thing)

- Other flags that may be shown during a sub chase

 

I have found this (which is useful) but is making my brain hurt…

 

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Where on the two photos below are the pennant flags flown?

 

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Progress thus far…

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Thanks for you help!

 

Comments and suggestions welcome 🤓

Edited by Bill1974
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I can’t help with the flag sizes for your scale, but I can read signal flags. The Snowberry is flying her international call sign on the starboard halyard—every ship has one, and in the case of the Snowberry, it reads top to bottom GQCJ.  These flags are flown by a ship who wants there to be no doubt as to her identity. The phonetic terms for each letter were different back then, and I am not conversant in them. On her port halyard she is flying H, to indicate she has a pilot aboard. This is not an aircraft pilot. She is entering or leaving port, and the pilot is a local expert, familiar with all of the navigational aspects of the waters. I really can’t think of a reasonable scenario that would have a ship in an active engagement of a U-boat flying any of these flags unless she happened to stumble upon it while entering or leaving port. 
 

Hope this helps. 
 

Best,

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeff.M
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19 minutes ago, Jeff.M said:

I can’t help with the flag sizes for your scale, but I can read signal flags. The Snowberry is flying her international call sign on the starboard halyard

 

Hiya Jeff,  

 

Thanks for the steer, I’ve looked up intl call signs and have found a webpage showing  pennant reference and call signs, ( http://jproc.ca/rrp/appendg_sa_to_sp.html) can you be more specific when these intl call signs were used - ie specifically whilst under pilot in and out of harbour before entering into open waters to freely navigate and at no other time?

 

If the intl call sign is used in and out of ports then when would the pennant letter / No. / No. / No. be used - K166?

 

I thought that the pennant number that’s on the side of the bow, ie K166 was her handle or call sign type identifier type thing??

 

I want to model something that’s relevant and in the right place at the right size, it isn’t easy finding much about this as very nearly everything is about picto-gram pages from manuals that doesn’t mean much or tell me what and how it was used in ww2 or about Admirals flags stuffs if they were aboard or leading a group or flotilla etc and the other flags and such for manoeuvring / general communication type stuffs before radio.

 

Thanks. Matt

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A few points to expand on @Jeff.M,s post

In the photo under discussion Snowberry is flying flags displaying the ship's Code Letters and a single signal flag using the International Code of Signals for both. These had started out as a visual means of signalling and were standardised for international use  on1st Jan 1901. With the introduction of radio shortly afterwards the ships code letters were adopted as the ships radio call sign, which is what it is more commonly known as these days. Note that the first character of the 4 character code ( first 2 for a 5 character code) is the country designator. Snowberry, although a ship of the Canadian Navy, for some reason retained the British designator G rather than the usual Canadian C.

As the name implies these codes were international and in use universally - everyone and anyone could read them, and they would be used when communicating with civillian authorities.

During WWII the Royal Navy and AFAIK all Commonwealth Navies used the code flags as per previously posted https://tmg110.tripod.com/british19.htm  when signalling between ships. (note Snowberry's Pendant No. would have been flown as flag K superior, pendant 1, pendant 6, first substitute)

Flags/pendants could be used in plain language or in code, but signal lights (morse) or semaphore would be more common between ships in sight of each other.

The flags being flown on British/Commonwealth ships during WWII would have been imperial, from the size of the crew on Snowberry I'd estimate the code flags as being 6' x 3', the ensign appears slightly larger, say 8' x 4'.

 

At sea during daylight hours she would have flown her ensign at the stern ( in the photo it appears to be flying from a halyard attached to a line fom the top of the mast to the stern, and raised from the aft end of the aft deckhouse)

When engaging the enemy she would have flown a battle ensign (larger than the standard ensign higher up, likely from the mast where the signal flags are in the photo.

She may have flown a specific signal flag or hoist (combination of flags) to signal to other escort ships what she was doing, but this would be coded and unless you have that particular escort group's orders for the time or a photo of the action in which the flags can be seen it would be difficult/impossible to know if and what these were.

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You couldn’t ask for a more thorough explanation than that provided by @Dave Swindell.  I can echo that, to this day, the USN uses the Battle Flag he mentions. As for hoists indicating to others that a ship was prosecuting a submarine contact, as Dave says, that would be well nigh impossible to determine,  absent the (certainly classified at the time) code book in use.  Perhaps there was a standing code book in use then by Commonwealth navies similar to the ATP 1 series used by NATO today (and in my time), I don’t know. If there were, it would likely be declassified by now. Maybe the archives of the Imperial War Museum may be of help. You might even find that photo Dave mentioned of a ship actually in an engagement. At any rate, the IWM archives are a great time sink and fun to peruse. 
 

Best,

 

Jeff

 

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Firstly thank you for your comments, I’m learning a lot, so thank you very much.
 

I’m still struggling a little?

 

Not that I’ll be modelling the K166 pennants as I now understand it should be GQCJ

 

8 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

(note Snowberry's Pendant No. would have been flown as flag K superior, pendant 1, pendant 6, first substitute)


Wouldn’t this be third substitute flag which is the third flag of that type?

 

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If so what is a substitute flag either first or third? (Just for my understanding) is it as the above?

 

I don’t think this is or should be what is flown, it should be GQCJ as the photo (that much is clear)

 

I don’t understand where the white ensign needs to be flown, you’ve said at the Stern, I don’t understand where.

 

Also I am not sure where the GQCJ is flown (main mast, but which line - left?). And where is the larger battle white ensign flown (to the right of the GQCJ?)

 

I have marked up here - 

 

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1 hour ago, Bill1974 said:

Not that I’ll be modelling the K166 pennants as I now understand it should be GQCJ

It could be either, dependant on who the ship was "talking" to - pendant numbers would be displayed for predominantly military purposes, code flags predominantly for civil.

Entering and leaving port it was common practice/courtesy for all ships to fly code flags.

At sea neither pendant nor code flags would not be flown unless there was a specific reason for the ship to identify herself.

1 hour ago, Bill1974 said:

Wouldn’t this be third substitute flag which is the third flag of that type?

Apologies Bill, I'm a little rusty on the substitutes. from the example given on the info page you posted, it would have been the 2nd substitute ie repeat of the 2nd number of the pendant number, the K being a flag not a pendant.

 

1 hour ago, Bill1974 said:

I don’t think this is or should be what is flown, it should be GQCJ as the photo (that much is clear)

If you're modelling Snowberry at sea attacking a U boat, it almost certaily wouldn't be flying pendant or code flags.

1 hour ago, Bill1974 said:

I don’t understand where the white ensign needs to be flown, you’ve said at the Stern, I don’t understand where.

The ensign could be flown from several position, there were two common positons on the Flower class, the illustration you've defaced above shows an ensign staff (flag pole) on the aft end of the aft deckhouse which you've correctly identified. The three view drawing you posted earlier above shows the other common position with the ensign staff right at the stern. Ensign staffs, like the Jack staff right at the bow, were usually able to be hinged down or completely removed. In the photo of Snowberry flying the code flags I couldn't make out the ensign staff and assumed the ensign was on a halyard hung from a line from the mast to the stern, But I've found a better reproduction on the IWM site where the aft deckhouse ensign staff (bigger than I thought) can be made out if you zoom in. 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=Photographs HMCS SNOWBERRY. Image: IWM (FL 5516) IWM Non Commercial License

Where the ensign was flown could depend on several factors - where an esign staff was fitted, Master/Captain's preference, where the shipg was. With the known seakeeping properties of the Flowers I wouldn't be surprised to find that the Stern Ensign position was preferred in port but the aft deckhouse position was preferred at sea, jolly jack wouldn't too happy dangling over the poop up to his waist in the oggin trying to hoist/lower the ensign in twilight in a howling north atlantic gale. An aside, on some container ships I was on with an accomodation block forward of the stern the ensign staff was on the back of the accommodation block, not the stern so the rating didn't have to leg it all the way to the stern to rais/lower the ensign.

 

2 hours ago, Bill1974 said:

Also I am not sure where the GQCJ is flown (main mast, but which line - left?).

There's a heirachy and ettiquette for which flags to fly, when and where, https://www.marineinsight.com/guidelines/nautical-flag-etiquettes/

Snowberry is flying her code flags in the courtesy position (Stbd outboard of the Yardarm), and has the H flag (pilot on board) so is under pilotage, most likely entering/leaving port, and as there is no country courtesy flag flying, this is presumably a Canadian port.

2 hours ago, Bill1974 said:

And where is the larger battle white ensign flown (to the right of the GQCJ?)

If she's flying a battle ensign it's highly unlikely she'd be flying her code flags, or any other flags from the yardarm unless there were any tactical codes that needed to be displayed. The battle ensign would be flown as high and as large as possible for best visibility, so it would be the largest ensign on board, and flown from one of the yardarms. It wasn't unusual for warships to fly more than one battle ensign, especially larger warships. The battle ensign would be broken out just before engaging the enemy, and lowering (striking) the battle ensign during action was  regarded as an indication of surrender, flying several battle ensigns avoided confusion if one was shot away during action. The term "nailing your colours to the mast" originates from this tradition, and indicated that there would be no surrender.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dave Swindell said:

It could be either, dependant on who the ship was "talking" to - pendant numbers would be displayed for predominantly military purposes, code flags predominantly for civil.


 

Dave - wow thank you for the clarity, I really appreciate the assistance and setting out what needs to be shown on my model, making clear in my head what is needed. Magic! 👍

 

I’d quiet liked the idea of adding some flags for some colour and realism (or so I thought) I’m happy to show just a battle ensign on the main mast and at the stern if that is what she would have flown during a sub chase (as that’s what I’m depicting and I want it too look as it should - hence the many questions and required clarity)

 

Again - all - thank you for your advice and time in explaining this to me.

 

(I’m a 70’s kid) so;

 

@Jeff.M & @Dave Swindell

 

Three Gold stars - see me!

 

You guys rock, never doubt it.

 

I’m chuffed so, also a delboy-ism;

 

Lovely gubly!

 

🤓

Edited by Bill1974
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