Airfix 1/600 HMS Marlborough
photo etch for Airfix Iron Duke
Master machined brass barrels ; # 700-033 British 16 in für main guns, # 700-006 japanese 15.5 cm for casemate guns
The British Iron Duke - class of dreadnought battleships comprised four vessels. Apart from Iron Duek there were HMS Emperor of India, Benbow and Marlborough. Ordered in 1911, they were commissioned around the outbreak of World War One, fighting in the Grand Fleetīs frontline squadron. As compared to the preceding King George V - class, they fielded a stronger secondary battery with twelve 6 inch guns instead of sixteen 4 inch. The higher weight necessitated an increase in length and displacement, the latter around 2,000 tons. The main battery of five twin 13.5 in turrets was identical to the preceding class, same as the machinery. This class was to be the RNīs penultimate coal-firing battleship class.
Despite the larger displacement, the secondary battery had to be mounted lower than in the preceding class, rendering the guns unworkable in poor weather. Nonetheless the ships proved successful and popular in service.
Iron Duke served as flagship, Grand Fleet under Admiral John Jellicoe from August, 1914 to January, 1917. She survived the longest, being demilitarized in the early 1930s and used as a training ship up to the outbreak of World War Two. She was then moored at Scapa Flow for use as afloating AA battery and stores ship. Damaged by a German air raid already in September, 1939, she hat to be beached, was later repaired provisionally, and returned to service. After the war, she was sold for scrap, refloated in 1946 and broken up over the next two years.
HMS Marlborough sustained damage at Jutland and was used to rescue members of the Tsarīs family (and relatives of King George V) in 1919 whilst in the Black Sea. She served on during the 1920s, being decommissioned in 1932. After use as a target she was broken up.
r middling, being neither one of the best nor one of the weakest
offerings of the company. Despite the shape of the hull being acceptable, the
superstructure is markedly too high, and most details are rather clunky.
Moreover, the kit does not depict any one unit of the class at any given point
in time, but is a mix of fits, pun not intended. It is nonetheless a base for
r middling, being neither one of the best nor one of the weakest offerings of the company. Despite the shape of the hull being acceptable, the superstructure is markedly too high, and most details are rather clunky. Moreover, the kit does not depict any one unit of the class at any given point in time, but is a mix of fits, pun not intended. It is nonetheless a base for detailing.
The now defunct company White Ensign Models produced a dedicated PE set for the kit in the late 1990s. This is on the smaller side, compared to the sets for, say, Belfast or Warspite. It comprises two small frets with very delicate parts, one of them containing generic parts like railings, ladders, anchor chain and inclined ladders. The instructions refer to the unclear fit of the model and suggest doing research. It is not on the level of helpfulness and clarity of later WEM offerings or what Peter Hall offers these days with his own Atlantic Models kit range. You need to research, and do a good think now and then.
I hadnīt built this kit in my youth, being not really interested in WW1 back then. So it was a sort of a first contact when I bought the kit a few years ago, and I must say I was underwhelmed. As I said before, Airfix did better then that, and with my lack of interest in the period the kit (and the complimenting PE set, which didnīt rock my boat that seriously, either) gathered dust for a while.
To accept the new main guns, I had to shape styrene plates to the insides of the turrets and drill holes into them. The brass barrels for the secondary guns were glued into small holes drilled into the precut styrene tubing. At the model, I closed lots of oversized holes in the decks using plugs made from sprue stretched to the appropriate diameter. There were quite some seams to be addressed, too. The raised "deck planking" suffered from removing the plugs and the very clunky boat cradles, so I used really coarse files to restore some longitudinal structure here.
The various boat booms were made from brass wire and rigged with the abovementioned .1 mm wire.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
The model was painted with acrylics, after a solvent-based primer coat. I used the new Coastal Craft / AKAN acrylic paint for the very light AP 507C on all vertical surfaces, the appropriate shade for service in the Mediterranean Fleet. The paint worked well, but I still prefer the Vallejo type bottles I can get single drops out of. The wooden deck was painted with some of my dwindling supplies of JPS IJN deck tan, those decks I reckoned had linoleum covering applied were painted JPS IJN Linoleum. Irregular application of some slightly differing shades and some washing added life to the large wooden deck areas. I did not aim at the basket ball court look, but at a well-maintained wooden deck which is holystoned on a daily basis. The photo showed that the boats were painted in some colour, which I reckoned might have been blue, which I used on them. The insides of the beautiful open Kombrig boats were painted a rich brown and received a dark wash.
Having painted the various subassemblies, I was able to attach the railings. I used generic 1:600 WEM Kriegsmarine railings combined with some of the railings from the PE set, which were rather too delicate for my ofentimes ham-fisted approach. Canvas dodgers were simulated by applying white glue to the railings and painting it deck tan. The conspicuous awning over the open bridge was made from white glue over a frame of .1 mm wire, the white glue being applied with an extra-long brush. The cured glue was painted tan and some washing was applied.
The model was then crewed with Lion Roar PE figures. The stern walk was partially rebuilt using stock styrene, PE grating and fine wire. The model was then rigged using UNI Caenis thread. The numerous isolators were hinted at with droplets of white glue which were painted grey.
Now the ship might still have had the dreaded cage aerials in 1922, even though I hope they phased them out after the war, same as the tedious torpedo nets. But: These antennae hardly ever really show in period photos, and they are utterly difficult to make at all, and it is even harder to end up with a result that is so delicate it is not visually distracting and just looking crude and heavy. For the sake of my sanity, I am comfortable to do without them.
The model was weathered very lightly using ochre oil paint, always bearing in mind that this was a well-maintained vessel in peacetime fresh out of a refit.
The base was made after my usual method in a Trumpeter display box.
All in all this was an exciting and rewarding project, being more of a challenge than earlier Airfix builds and needing some techniques new to me. Even if you can build 1:700 scale high-end resin kits of this class, my model is unique, and it is mine, warts and all.
I would like to dedicate this model to the fine people of WEM. You and your products helped me tremendously over the past ten years since I rediscovered ship modeling, and your company is sadly missed.
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