Gallery: Euryalus

My next build will be HMS Prince of Wales in her disruptive camouflage scheme. For a while I was planning to build her alongside the Dido-class cruiser HMS Euryalus; they were part of the same group for a while and share a wide range of equipment, among others boats and launches, pompoms, and 5.25″ turrets, and, HMS Euryalus had an equally interesting disruptive camouflage scheme similar to HMS Prince of Wales’. I briefly collected images images of Dido’s and of HMS Euryalus, Cleopatra and Charybdis sharing the early-war camouflage pattern. This camouflage pattern is particular interest as fate would have it, from the roughly 15 images I found all images of Euryalus and Cleopatra are from the starboard side and all images of Charybdis are from the port side. I have been searching deliberately for images of the battle of the Sirte as I expected that would give the best chance of a shot of HMS Cleopatra during the battle; one image I first found in Haynes’ book is a dud as it is reversed, but eventual I found one. The pattern was completed and shown below, doodled into a drawing by Alan Raven, with some liberties taken here and there. A nice aerial show allowed for the deck pattern. As with HMS Prince of Wales, the colours used remain a point of discussion but at the moment(!) I’d guess MS1/B5/MS3/MS4/MS4a.

I needed an excuse to get both ships in the same frame, either exchanging mail or fuel, so I collected images on those subject as well, but meanwhile dropped the idea of building HMS Euryalus altogether and will am now planning to pair HMS Prince of Wales with USS McDougal, an exchange that at least actually happened. Pictures of Dido’s aren’t really scarce with many of them showing a cruiser entering or exiting the harbor of Valletta, Malta. I found one album of HMS Euryalus which was kinda nice, but not really. Some pictures you no doubt have seen earlier; I added a few other decent random shots of ships in her class.

HMS Sirius (1946)

HMS Euryalus (1947)

HMS Dido (1947)

HMS Euryalus (1948/49)

HMS Euryalus (1948/49) next to the Aviso Grille

HMS Euryalus (1948)

HMS Euryalus (1948/49)

HMS Euryalus (not dated)

HMS Euryalus (not dated)

HMS Euryalus (1951)

HSM Royalist (not dated)

Gallery

I’ve been keeping a keen eye on Ebay for several years, looking for photographs or entire albums that can be of interest for my next modeling project (HMS Prince of Wales, and possibly Rodney in 2073). And I have to admit, I have been ‘sitting’ on them, only to post the occasional snippet in a blog post. I occasionally post an image here and there and recently found one shot I uploaded to Worldnavalships.com—from when the Special Warship Pictures thread was still ongoing—on reddit (here). Fine, anything you upload might be used without reference and even offered as a print on Ebay by the worst of the worst (See my ebay post here). Now, recently the Imperial War Museum have expanded their WWII online preview database tremendously; there are more than 600 shots of HMS King George V alone and I can distinctly remember having so few photographs when I built my KGV model in the pre-internet days. The IWM is unfortunately quite expensive but many archives offer their high-resolution images for free, even some that used to be expensive. And then there are several wonderful galleries by e.g. Rick Davis, or websites such as Brent Jones’ USS Astoria or Tracy White’s Researcher at Large, you know, the kind of contributions that made go fine! FINE! Let’s have a gallery..

A note on the images

Now, I host this tiny website myself at very low cost, so I decided to post relative small images (typically about 800 by 600 pixels) but in the highest quality I can manage. I have used my black-belt Photoshop-fu skills to remove scratches and blemishes, a process that can take more than an hour when the original has a lot of damage. I am a twenty-trick pony as far as Photoshop is concerned but it gets the job done. By running over the keyboard my cats actually taught me a few new tricks, as they tend to produce to most interesting and disturbing shortcut key combinations you need to undo. I realize that anything uploaded to the net is up for grabs, so I simply added a small watermark in the corner. And a few filthy WordPress content protection plugins that probably won’t stop anyone; certainly never prevented me from downloading anything I wanted. If you manage to download them that’s fine, or, just shoot me an e-mail.

The first batch is a few shots of HMS Duke of York and HMS Anson prior and during breaking-up. It’s such a sad sight to see these ungentle giants being reduce to scrap and one wonders what it would have been like to walk their decks as a museum visitor. But then again, not being able to adds to my fascination of these historical warships and what life on these vessels was like; living memory for some but to me a distant past.

HMS Anson lying at anchor at Gareloch on the Clyde waiting for the breakers, watched from HMS Duke of York by her commander, Lieut. Neil Pascoe, with another large ship in the far background (possibly HMS King George V) , 1957.

The remainder of the images are postcards from the breakers yard at Faslane, dated 1958.

A very clear shot of the bridge superstructure of HMS Anson.

The rear of the bridge superstructure of HMS Anson, showing her Mk VI high-angle control directors with a type 275 radar, the only ship of the class thus fitted.

HMS Duke of York

HMS Anson

Once you start building funnels you simply cannot resist collecting any photograph that shows you the interior, especially not one as clear as this one. I think this particular shot made me buy the entire batch.

HMS Duke of York. I promise the other galleries will be less depressing. I have about a hundred images standing by and I’ll try adding a new post every month.

Ebay. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany

Most of my gallery material was bought on Ebay and it’s a fun past time to obtain more material. But there is also a problem: Ebay is a sellers website and many of these sellers try to sell warships bric-a-brac and prints; and do I loathe prints with a passion! They fully clutter up your search results and the fine people at Ebay do not think it is necessary to allow blacklisting sellers. You can do it manually but need to do so for each search, or, you need to save your search and manually exclude sellers in that saved search. I have a few of these searches standing by, but they work poorly on some mobile applications and recently some of my templates were reset. Editing them does not work well and the tools to keep them well administrated are non-existing. I find Ebay is an absolutely awful experience as a buyer.

Should you want to buy a few pics for your own, there are a few things to remember when applying for Ebay flagellation to keep your purchasing a “fun” experience and to avoid buying bad items; it will probably happen (certainly at first) and accept that as part of the experience.

  1. The feedback a seller has received is a good indication of reliability. Negative feedback can be particularly telling, but always be critical as some people leave negative feedback for the oddest of reasons (because they are idiots).
  2. A print is not necessarily bad and I bought particularly good ones from the Dock museum (Vickers photographical archive) but on Ebay they generally are terrible. Some sellers simply download images with the most horrendous jpeg compression, print them and sell them; they’ll argue you pay them for the effort or printing and mailing them, but they are worthless. In direct contradiction to the advice above: the feedback for print sellers is often good and apparently people are genuinely happy with them. I am not one of these people.
  3. So fine, not all print sellers are awful people and deserve to be in special hell; I have contacted a few and simply asked them for the digital image. That sometimes works and then you do not have to pay for postage, scan and toss the original. However, the source material is rarely original and you can find it with some effort.
  4. When the seller does not explicitly state that the image is not a print assume he is scamming you with a print.
  5. When you do find a genuine photograph the quality may still be wanting. The preview should be a clear, crisp image; I bought some images with bad previews and none of these images was worth the effort. Good sellers will offer a high-res scan that will give you the best indication. I always download these, just in case. I usually cannot use them for posting on my blog as they are watermarked or otherwise partly spoiled but they may come in handy for your modeling project. Good sellers will also show the rear side of the image that may have some official texts, a stamp where it was produced, and so on.
  6. Be careful with the image size; a 3inch image is of most limited use while a 10inch IWM reproduction is as good as it gets. I have examples where the photographic reproductions from the IWM are even better than an A3 scans they offer.
  7. Never assume that as no one has placed a bid that the item is not being watched as there are many collectors and traders active. The bidding is only over when the clock runs out and many bids are placed in the last second (automatically it would seem). Determine your maximum and submit it at the last moment too. You may overbid yourself if you start an early bidding war or tempt another buyer’s maximum. Do not fret if you loose because you will loose often.
  8. Some sellers post an image for a low amount with high postage costs and when the item is not sold put it up for “buy it now” at triple the price. It’s interesting to see what they offer but I avoid doing business with them.
  9. Some sellers put up an album whole, but others sell the photographs individually, typically with high starting prices. Oh, the fun you can have with these strings of items when you are being outbid consistently by another buyer so you just starting bidding below his maximum (looser bids) on all items just to make him hurt. But of course, even though it’s technically not shill bidding and thus illegal, that would be frowned upon so don’t do that. The entire album is usually not worth it either as there are so many photographs in it that are simply not interesting but nevertheless included in the price.
  10. No need to pay a thousand pounds for that special original photograph of Winston that you can also buy at the IWM or download for free. Do a Google reverse image search on your candidates. Google “reverse image search” if you do not know how. This goes for postcards too; there are millions to be found on Ebay, all the same. Now you know where all these prints come from.
  11. Some sellers do not ship outside their country of residence. This is particularly annoying for a Dutchman to search for British images, because results from local shippers do not show up in your results unless you manually change your shipping country to their location every time you enter a search. Many sellers are unaware they have this local option selected and are willing to ship within Europe so I can only imagine how many fine items went under my radar because of Ebay’s awful search engine. People who refuse shipment out of the UK deserve to be in special hell.
  12. And finally: good and rare footage is simply expensive and you’ll recognize it at such after a few years, so choose your subject carefully. Avoid that rare Tirpitz album with 200 images. You may get lucky, but usually you have to pay. Accept that some items are out of your reach. I do not have any original HMS Hood material because many people are willing to pay very high prices. In all honesty, I have not found any HMS Hood material that was really worthwhile. Except that 5.5inch tampion I just had to let go.

Ever more deckersizing

In my previous decksercising post I more or less stampeded over the details of the planks at the deck edge and received some comments from John Tennier, followed by drawings and documents, to underline I was missing a few key aspects of the deck (which is a polite way of saying I completely missed the point and rightfully so). I left the deck information to simmer for a while, having a bit of a modeling burnout due to a combination of circumstances making 2015 a poor year.  I did plan to spend most of my vacation days around last Christmas picking up the modeling but ended doing mainly more work and the rest of the time, well..

the deck of the hobby room needed some repair after the north wall was modified when our house was refitted, so here I am adding the last bit of the spurnwater in the hobby room and relaying the deck using a mix of salvaged planks and new ones. The fun part is that we need to do the other half this Christmas vacation… But I’ve gathered enough patience to absorb the onslaught of tiny modeling disappointments when trying out something entirely new, such as “perfect” decks details. Naturally, you can buy these wooden decks you can glue to your kit, but there are many reasons why I do not want that; the contrast in the decks lines is too high and I prefer the hand-painted deck look. Plus, I build my models to scale and not to fit some kit so it’s not really an option to try such a deck anyway.

The documents John sent me were “Shipyard practice as applied to ship construction” by Neil McDermain and a CAFO on deck coverings. Most of the info below is ‘recycled’ from these documents. The length of the plank is generally 24ft, or, 20.9mm on 350 scale. Planks are between 2.5 to 3 inches thick and 5 to 9 inches wide (5-7: CAFO, 9″ McDermain), though the Anatomy of the Ship drawing I1 states that the planks aboard HMS Hood were 9 inches wide. That translates to slightly over 0.65mm wide on 1/350 scale. Now, I applied Evergreen 2025 V-grooved styrene to simulate the deck with a spacing of 0.25″ (or 0.635mm) that is just perfect.

Now, if I look at the image above and the what I assume to be a 4″ shell as a reference I get a plank width of about 8″ so that’s a actually bit less. The rest of the smaller images using distances between vents and such result in 7.6, 8.15 and 7.0″ when compared to the AOTS (The last one is a bit lower so perhaps that angled plate was not entire drawn properly to scale in the AOTS?). So, the actual plank width was probably much closer to 8″ than 9″ and we would have wanted a 0.58mm spacing. The only alternative I know of for a deck plate is Evergreen Car Siding 2020 that leads a (scaled) plank width of 6.9″ so the 2025 is actually less wrong and even if it weren’t, replacing the decks would be worse than just starting the entire model over from scratch.

On the edge of the deck with the hull there is a waterway that is laid first and is 15 to 18″ wide. For the ship the planks are laid in the centerline first and the position of all the planks is marked on deck. The planks are bolted to the deck on studs fastened to the steel deck. The plank end would be too fine for fastening and caulking if it were simply cut off at the waterway intersection, so a cut is made about third of the plank width into the waterway perpendicular to the plank and then connected where the waterway and plank first meet . The result is a nice nibbing pattern.

The pattern of nibbing around deck fixtures is not consistent between ships; the top left shows the nibbing around the bollards where a margin plank was present at the short end of the bollard emplacement, but not so for HMS Hood. The top-right image is from HMS Hood, showing the nibbing of the aforementioned quarterdeck deckplate. The lower image is of HMS Rodney; here the nibbing of the planks does not follow the barbette everywhere; there is not even a margin plank.

Margin planks are present at the flanks of the barbette but at what angle they stop differs between drawings and is very difficult to spot on photographs. For my model I simply took the 37 degrees as in the Anatomy of the ship.

This wonderful aerial shot of HMS Queen Elizabeth shows the deck details clearly and there is much to see. Note how the ends of the planks align really well and that there are 4 planks between planks with matching ends. The staggered pattern continues throughout most of the deck. Although it’s not too well visible, it appears the pattern does not continue between the barbettes, as you would expect with a barbette a large interruption of the deck planking. Very large margin planks are visible around the hatch coamings and bollards.

This is HMS Hood again, showing the margin planks around the hawse pipes. Chafing plates preventing damage to the deck by the anchor chain really lie on top of the existing planking and no nibbing is present. The hatch a bit further down in the distance does not have visible margin planks (the hatch coamings in front of the breakwaters and on the quarterdeck were fitted ‘blast plates’ angling out at 45 degrees and other hatch coamings may have other styles?).

The breakwater is slightly more complicated and I do not have good shots of HMS Hood’s. On this shot of HMS Rodney it appears there’s a wide ‘margin’ plank present at the breakwater right and the planking pattern continuing at either side. There is no nibbing present.

However, the other end shows some more detail. A few more planks are visible behind the second breakwater of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Rodney, Prince of Wales and TO BE ADDED BUT I WANTED TO PLACE THE POST ALREADY, with three planks fitted beneath the breakwater and its supports. Tricky, as my model is already fitted with a breakwater and I agreed with myself not to destroy anything (anymore).

A few minor details (Rodney) with no margin plank at the rear of the barbette (A). For the various deck fittings it appears sometimes there is a margin plank (B) and sometimes not (C). This leaves some artistic license when detailing the deck.

HMS Rodney again; near small derricks and eyelets the details appears to be quasi-random. The shot of HMS Hood’s anchor arrangement four images up shows not such planking around an eyelet. The plank nibbing is particularly well visible.

How to actually add all the deck detail is for the next update.