Kombrig 1/700 HMS Royal Sovereign (1891)
|PRICE:||$Probably more than 98 cents|
|NOTES:||Resin ship model|
Britainīs Royal Sovereign class of
ships of the line, authorized in 1889, set standards for capital ships that
remained valid until the commissioning of HMS Dreadnought in 1906. The eight
strong class was aimed at standardizing the line of battle after the rather
and varied construction characterizing the previous decades. Britainīs later
designs clearly show the evolution of this successful type of ship. These
vessels were the largest and heaviest of their time, well protected and
nonetheless fast. They were equipped with a formidable array of quick-firing
guns against torpedo boats, the capital shipīs nemesis of the age.
The design stressed good seakeeping and a high freeboard. To this aim, in seven ships the main artillery of four 13.5 in guns were mounted in open barbettes instead of turrets in the classical sense. These barbettes were armed surrounds constructed integral to the hull. They shielded the guns, their machinery and ammunition feeds, all of which rotated inside the barbettes. Hence the armament remained stationary, contrary to classical turrets. These were used in HMS Hood, the eighth ship of the class, by personal order of the First Sea Lord, Lord Hood. These rotating armored turrets were much heavier, and to achieve an acceptable centre of gravity, the ship had to be built with one less deck and without casemate guns. Nonetheless she was a poor seaboat, and she was the Royal Navyīs last turret ship. All later gun turrets are principally barbette types, with an armored tube as an integral part of the shipīs structure, inside which the gun mechanism rotates, under an armored cover which is usually referred to as turret but isnīt one in the original sense of the term.
Upon entering service, the Royal Sovereigns displayed a strong tendency towards rolling, until bilge keels were fitted. Originally serving in the Channel and Mediterranean, they rather soon became obsolete and were relegated to home waters and secondary duties. Upon the outbreak of World War One, only HMS Revenge was active, conducting shore bombardments. She was the first vessel to receive anti-torpedo bulges. In 1919, she also was scrapped like her sisters before.
Length 410 ft 6 in / Width 75 ft / Draught 27 ft 6 in mean
2 three cylindre triple expansion steam engines / 8 boilers / 11,000 hp / 2 shafts
4 x 13.5 in / 10 x 6 in / 16 x 6-pdr / 12 x 3 pdr
Top speed 16,5 kn / Range @ 10 kn 4.720 nm
Russian manufacturer Kombrig offers a stunning range of resin kits, covering even rather exotic subjects. More than a dozen kits of British Pre-Dreadnoughts are available, with Royal Sovereign being one of them. The resin parts are superbly mastered, molded and cast, yet they are crammed into a ridiculously inappropriate small box made of waste paper and filled with styrofoam chips. This calls for breakage, but I was lucky in this respect. Another weak point is the kit instruction, which are very brief and could use some improvements re the layout. There are neither decals nor PE parts provided. Some of the resin parts in my kit were warped, especially masts and gun barrels, but these were slated for replacement anyway.
Being openly anglophile and interested in the Royal navy a lot, I had for a long time planned to build a pre-dreadnought from the RNīs pinnacle of power, the Victorian era. I wanted to use the so-called Victorian Livery of black hulls, white upperworks and buff funnels.
The shoreside rails are WEM 1:350 SMS Koenig railings, trimmed in height. Plants were simulated using a mixture of dried marjoram and white glue, painted in appropriate hues. The figures are from my rather large stock of Lion Roarīs 1:700 figures. I know of no horses and carriages in 1:700 scale some of those would have made the shore scene much livelier. The visual style I tried to achieve was a somewhat stylized one, a bit like seamenīs souvenirs from the period I had seen in a Danish maritime museum.
Upon checking my references, I found nothing major to alter in the kit here may be many modelers more critical than me in this respect, though. I concentrated on detailing the kit instead.
My friend Burkhardt Masch of BMK Kleinserien helped me a lot by producing crisp brass barrels for the very visible main guns. These go a long way in improving the looks of the vessel. I also used BMKīs conically turned brass for the masts, which are much straighter and sturdier than the rein items. Another crucial item was AIZU ultrafine masking tape, a Japanese product I discovered at a model show. Itīs available in strips as narrow as .4 mm and eases applying the fine trim of the Victorian Livery a lot. I also used various styrene stock and fine brass wire in diameters as fine as .2 mm. To compensate for the missing PE, I used the very handy WEM sets for HMS Tiger and the cruiser Askold.
Further painting was done by brush and using acrylics. I aimed at a very well-maintained vessel oozing the spirit of spit-and-polish, so weathering was no issue apart from the inevitable signs around the anchors. The well-kept decks were painted Vallejo Dark Sand, for the funnels, vents and masts Vallejo Buff was used. I have no definite info re the colours of the upper decks and flying bridges. After studying images and discussing the issue with modeling friends, I used linoleum and dark grey paints even if it lacks authenticity, it looks nice.
During this time-consuming phase I
addressed further subassemblies. The funnels need minimal cleanup and were
completed soon. The upper deck levels and the flying bridges needed removing the
cast-on bulwarks. The massively cast rudder station was also removed and
replaced by a more open version, using 1:600 PE ladders for bridge windows. The
bridge railings were don e
with PE railing covered with white glue to simulate the canvas dodgers. At this
stage, the masts were also built using some of the resin parts for the fighting
tops, QF guns and searchlights, combined with machined brass, fine wire and PE
footropes. The numerous shipīs boats were cleaned up and painted, most of them
with wooden insides and white hulls; the steam launches received blue upper
hulls. With captainīs or admiralīs barges, almost any paint scheme was possible
(except pink I wonder if you read so far, Greg ;-) so blue or green would have
been fine anyway. All the subassemblies were not mounted on the hull for the
time being, due to the principle of working from the center of the model to the
periphery in order to improve access and minimize damage.
e with PE railing covered with white glue to simulate the canvas dodgers. At this stage, the masts were also built using some of the resin parts for the fighting tops, QF guns and searchlights, combined with machined brass, fine wire and PE footropes. The numerous shipīs boats were cleaned up and painted, most of them with wooden insides and white hulls; the steam launches received blue upper hulls. With captainīs or admiralīs barges, almost any paint scheme was possible (except pink I wonder if you read so far, Greg ;-) so blue or green would have been fine anyway. All the subassemblies were not mounted on the hull for the time being, due to the principle of working from the center of the model to the periphery in order to improve access and minimize damage.
mounted on PE cradles from the abovementioned PE sets. PE oars were used from
the same sets.
ere mounted on PE cradles from the abovementioned PE sets. PE oars were used from the same sets.
the rest. This material is about as fine as thin stretched sprue, yet much
stronger. Heat may also be used to tighten it.
ng the rest. This material is about as fine as thin stretched sprue, yet much stronger. Heat may also be used to tighten it.
A very attractive vessel, especially in this paint scheme; a fine yet demanding kit, surely not suited for the beginner in resin kits. I do like the display box which has withstood a lot of travel already. All in all a sunny day in the Mediterranean Fleet!
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