HMS Iron Duke

In port photography No. 2

At last, I return to port and submit the following mission brief – I have completed painting the hull. I am quite happy that it has come up as it has – see below photos.

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I finally have painted the black Plimsoll line the correct height and, while using a brush, was generally happy with the overall look of the paint after it dried. Maybe one day I’ll get an airbrush.

It’s taken me a while to get back to this blog with many home and work distractions but I have been reading some excellent naval history lately to make up for my lack of time in port working on HMS Iron Duke.

73 North, by Dudley Pope, tells the story of the Battle of the Barents Sea in World War II. This is a well-researched book that tells how British destroyers held off two powerful German cruisers, the Admiral Hipper and the Lutzow, for three hours while protecting a vital convoy to the Soviet Union.

The destroyers took heavy damage but bravely challenged the German cruisers until help arrived in the form of two Royal Navy cruisers, HMS Sheffield and Jamaica, whose unexpected attack on the Nazi ships forced them to retreat back to Norway.

Their failure to successfully sink any of the convoy caused Hitler, in one of his more bizarre decisions, to scrap the German fleet.

Back to the ship – the next task to glue some plastic card to the inside of the hull so you can’t see through the portholes. Then I have to complete the deck by painting the housing and facings with the dark grey hull colour. This will be time-consuming and fiddly but I will be using masking liquid to help me.

Fleet review part 1 … an occasional series

Having returned from the seaside, I have been busy preparing for a journey to Melbourne and haven’t resumed work on HMS Iron Duke as yet, however, I thought some photos of my completed models would fill the void for you, dear reader.

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In this photo, above, you can see, from left, (clockwise):

  • HMS Duke of York,  British battleship
  • USS Nimitz, American super-carrier
  • Admiral Graf Spee, German pocket battleship (or heavy cruiser)
  • HMS Nelson (in the centre), British battleship
  • HMS Warspite, British battleship.

There are stories associated with the building of each model, which I will tell in subsequent posts in this series, including why there is an aircraft carrier in this fleet. I will also include some information on the history of each vessel.

Their base is a display case, kindly given to me by my friend, John Perryman, who is one of the Royal Australian Navy’s senior historians. When the Iron Duke is completed, I will have to come up with another solution as I don’t think she will fit inside the case, which has a clear perspex cover. 

The next post will be an update on the Iron Duke’s progress. Galactica clear! 

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Naming a warship

There are rules around naming warships, or so I’m told, for the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy. A lot of thought goes into the name for a new vessel, including tradition and history.

It’s highly unusual for a totally new name to be introduced, especially when a navy has a long and blood-stained history.

So how do you name a blog? Well, dive into history and find something unique, like the signal made at the Battle of Jutland by the British admiral, Sir John Jellicoe, to the Grand Fleet, ordering a manoeuvre that would see a line of battle formed.

This tactic saw the German High Seas Fleet have their ‘T’ crossed. In other words, the British formed one long line of dreadnought battleships aiming their guns at the German fleet sailing in column towards them.

The signal was Equal Speed Charlie London. Run up the flag halyards of HMS Iron Duke, it told the Grand Fleet that action against the German fleet was imminent in what the biggest sea battle of the First World War.

I love naval history and I have several books on the Battle of Jutland. Hence, the name of this blog to celebrate a moment of significance and to hint at the nature of what will be written here.

Time to drop the anchor for the evening – hope to be posting again soon.

Leaving port

My first post on my new blog …. this is my attempt to write about my fascination with battleships and making battleship models.

I will post photos and keep my regular readers up to date with my projects.

At present, I am working on HMS Iron Duke, flagship of the British Empire’s Grand Fleet, which fought at the Battle of Jutland. This is an Airfix 1/600 model.

Other battleships I have completed are:

  • HMS Duke of York, the victor of the Battle of North Cape – Revell 1/700 waterline model
  • HMS Nelson – Airfix – 1/600 model
  • HMS Warspite – Airfix – 1/600 model

Happy reading.