Selected WW2 70th Anniversaries this month:
Between 2009 and 2015, I have set myself a general modelling theme that marks selected 70th Anniversaries from WW2.
Over the last few years we have seen a remarkable explosion in the availability of good and relatively cheap 1/350 and 1/700 scale models of modern naval ships, including those of the Royal Navy. This is the Hobby Boss 1/350 Astute class submarine, built to go along with my Airfix Trafalgar class SSN in the same scale. The difference in size is notable!
The kit is very well moulded with no flash and fine engraving of details. All mould extractor stubs are carefully hidden in unseen areas so that an absolute minimum of cleaning up will be required before assembly. The hull is provided as separate top and bottom halves, presumably to allow a waterline model if desired,although the true waterline is actually about half way up the upper hull section. Nevertheless, the hull joint is very well engineered with strengthening lips to ensure a precise join that will not need filler, although some sanding is likely to be required.
The conning tower ("fin" to our US cousins) is an integral part of the upper hull, with a choice of tops for a surfaced submarine or one with all masts lowered. I'm not convinced the masts are right and they are much less well formed than the Airfix Trafalgar equivalent. Mine, as you can see, decided not to remain straight as they dried! Control surface and the pumpjet assembly are provided as separate parts, with fine photoetch details as a (slightly pointless IMHO) alternative to the plastic parts, although they do include a rather nice etched brass name plate for the stand. Decals are surprisingly comprehensive for a submarine and really add to the finished model, although some of them are quite tricky to apply since they are rather brittle.
Paint was hand brushed using Humbrol satin black overall, with a lightened grey/black mix used for the flank arrays and a light grey wash into the engraved lines then a final top coat of W&N Acrylic Matt varnish.
1/72 Tamiya Vosper Perkasa Patrol Boat.
The RN operated several gas turbine powered Fast Patrol Boats that were very similar to Vosper's export version seen here. Some were still in service as late as 1981 as FPB Training Boats (they used to attack you during the weekly Thursday War at Portland, usually by creeping up hidden behind a tanker). A "Luxury Yacht" version of this gas turbine powered boat sits in Haslar Marina at Portsmouth. Only one was ever built and it is finished in a beautiful gloss midnight blue; I pass it each time I go sailing and it has fascinated me for years.
These days, I am not sure anyone can actually afford the fuel to start the turbines and take it out to sea!
This is one of the older models in my collection, started in about 1997 and finished several years later. Due to its size, I found it very difficult to photograph nicely and I've never felt the previous pictures on the website did it justice. As a result I have now put together a new set.
The model is beginning to show a few of the effects of age (dust spots mainly), but its still one of the favourites of my collection. I have taken a few liberties - for example I have an entirely RN crew and she is flying the White Ensign. I also painted the decks grey rather than the correct green, plus I left off the very prominent torpedoes as I doubt they would have been carried very often in real life.
Link to many more ships and submarines on my Wetside pages
Picture - inside the cockpit of a De Havilland Sea Venom