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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:16 am 
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I figured I'd start this thread since I might be starting a build of Giulio Cesare or Conte di Cavour from the old waveline kit soon!


What we have on the market (AFAIK?)
1/700 Delphis Giulio Cesare
1/700 Waveline Conte di Cavour(OOP)
1/700 Regia Marina Andrea Doria/Caio Duilio
1/700 Delphis Andrea Doria/Caio Duilio

I do believe we'll see all these kits realized by Trumpeter in the future, it's only a matter of time. It's a shame it's taken so long as I think they're probably all amongst the most beautiful warships ever built (along with the Scharnhorst and Littorio class!)


Now, on to my question. Did Cesare ever receive disruptive camouflage? I know the ship was in service though not heavily used when almost all other major Italian surface units received disruptive.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:53 am 
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drdoom1337 wrote:
Now, on to my question. Did Cesare ever receive disruptive camouflage? I know the ship was in service though not heavily used when almost all other major Italian surface units received disruptive.


Yes she did, and she also wore a quite nice scheme, one of the first experimental patterns conceived by the official RM naval painter Rudolf Claudus

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The colours were light grey (grigio cenerino chiaro), black and light blue. I don't know the FS for the latter, but the colour on the drawing is spot-on and you may refer to it.
The decks had the air recognition stripes on the forecastle, extending aft to the first bollards, then dark grey (grigio scuro) on steel decks; the wooden deck aft was left unpainted.

Besides, in mid-December 1941 the Cesare had to get out of Taranto in a rush for the escort mission that was to lead to the first Battle of Sirte. She was then being coated with this new scheme, but the crew could only complete the paint job on her upper works, and the hull was left in light grey for that mission

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:23 pm 
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it seems odd that the scheme was symmetrical, I can't think of many ships where this was common place. I like it though, and I will definitely be building my kit like that. I was also under the impression that the ship really didn't receive many upgrades throughout the war. Perhaps some light AA? I don't even think that, most Italian ships didn't get heavy overhauls.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:40 pm 
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drdoom1337 wrote:
I was also under the impression that the ship really didn't receive many upgrades throughout the war. Perhaps some light AA? I don't even think that, most Italian ships didn't get heavy overhauls.


Indeed her light AA arrangement did change during the war, but it's difficult to define an exact timeline.

- Sometime before the beginning of the war: the 13.2 mm twin mounts that were on the tripod were to be replaced by 20 mm twin mounts. As the platform on the tripod was too flimsy to withstand the heavy recoil of those mounts, the 20 mm that should have been there were installed on the main deck aft, on the centerline

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- Sometime after the action off Calabria: all her remaining 13.2 mm mounts (those on the main turrets) were replaced by 20 mm twin mounts.

- Sometime toward the end of 1941 (possibly after the Battle of Sirte): a pair of 20 mm twin mounts was added on circular bandstands on the roofs of the foremost 120/50 turrets. See the link below for photos

http://www.italie1935-45.com/mer/equipements/corazzate/cavour/cesare.php#

Another minor upgrade concerned the bridge. The railing on the upper platform, as visible here...

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... got replaced at the beginning of 1941 by a steel bulkhead. Windshields were also added.

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The photo below is quite mysterious: it shows Cesare at Naples, February 1941. The outer window framings on the navigation bridge are gone. But in later photos, as the one above dating from late 1942, they are back.

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Perhaps the outer windows had been removed and then reinstalled as soon as the "upgrade" proved to be a "downgrade"

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Last edited by Secondo on Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Maybe it's just the angle of the photograph and issues with light? I can't see why they would remove the windows then put them back unless there was some sort of issue with sight or stability.

The more I look at the Conte di Cavour kit, the more I realize there might have to be some extensive modification to represent Cesare in 1942.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:52 pm 
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drdoom1337 wrote:
Maybe it's just the angle of the photograph and issues with light? I can't see why they would remove the windows then put them back unless there was some sort of issue with sight or stability.

The more I look at the Conte di Cavour kit, the more I realize there might have to be some extensive modification to represent Cesare in 1942.


I have the same photo in a much bigger definition and the windows aren't there for sure: I think it had to be an experiment to improve visibility from the conning tower while at battle stations. Anyway, the plans for the refitted Cavour, which would have been ready for the beginning of 1944, show no windows at all on both levels of the bridge.

Cesare and Cavour were almost identical, the only notable difference being the bandstands for the 20 mm guns on the upper turrets: on Cavour there were two separated bandstands secured to the rangefinder's armored hoods; Cesare, as you can see in the previous posts, had a larger position for both guns on the turret's roof

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Let's get precise now :heh: There was an external ladder leading to the navigation bridge platform: on Cesare it had a direct flight, on Cavour there were two flights with a landing in between

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On the secondary conning position on the tripod: Cesare had six windows, Cavour had eight :crazy:

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The ship's crest on the bow: Cavour had the Di Cavour family coat of arms

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But I still don't know what there was on Cesare, maybe the coat of arms of the City of Rome as on the battleship Roma, but I'm just guessing.

Finally, the unofficial motto on the rangefinder: Cesare had "Guai agli inermi", a loose translation of "Vae victis", Cavour had a then famous quote from Mussolini, "Molti nemici Molto onore", many enemies, much honour. Note that those were not the ships' official mottos: those were respectively "Caesar adest!" (Caesar is there) and "A nessuno secondo" (Second to no one)

So, to turn your Cavour into a 1942 Cesare you'll have to rebuild the bandstands on the main turrets, to build those on the secondary turrets and eventually to add the two 20 mm mounts on the aft deck. Check out the number of lifeboats you embark (Cesare only had one for most of her active career), add a windshield to the bridge upper platform and you should be done.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:39 pm 
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While we're at it, if someone feels like building something unusual...

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Cavour too had a nice Claudus scheme in December 1941. She wore it for the navigation from Taranto to Trieste to complete her overhaul, during which she didn't carry neither her main nor her secondary guns, only some light AA.

Below, you can see how the refitted Cavour would have looked if completed in 1944. The light AA mounts that have replaced the twin 100 mm and 37 mm are single 65 mm shielded guns. The 120/50 naval guns had been replaced by 135 mm DP guns (but the turrets were the same).

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:38 pm 
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That certainly is unusual, although the camouflage itself is beautiful.

On the topic of both the Cavour and Doria class, was it really worth overhauling and converting these ships? I mean, wouldn't more Zara's and finishing the Imperio or Aquila have been a better use of resources?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:32 am 
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drdoom1337 wrote:
On the topic of both the Cavour and Doria class, was it really worth overhauling and converting these ships? I mean, wouldn't more Zara's and finishing the Imperio or Aquila have been a better use of resources?


This is a question that is still being debated, but the consensus is that, at least for Cavour and Cesare, it was a waste of money. In fact, those rebuildings were the issue of a political decision, as Mussolini wanted some capital ships, no matter how powerful, to counter the rising French naval power. Numbers and "titles" were more important than combat worthiness, he wanted four battleships and, with the avaiable resources, this was all that could be achieved. Prestige gained over realism also while deciding to refloat and refit the Cavour at a time when all shipyard resources were required to complete the ships badly needed for the convoy war, but those are things that happen under a totalitarian regime.

However the pre-war Regia Marina tactics had some deal of trust in the qualities of the rebuilt Cavour: in a combat against British battleships they would have relied on their superior speed and presumed firing range to keep them outranged and outmanoeuvred, and the first phases of the action off Calabria conformed to this tactic.

The question is less drastic for Duilio and Doria: yes, they also drained precious resources away from the Vittorio Veneto program (Aquila was still far in those days), but at least they proved to be useful ships in convoy escort duty, thanks to their relatively heavy AA armament.

All considered, given the kind of war that the Regia Marina was to fight, an equal tonnage of destroyers and torpedo boats would have been infinitely more valuable than the two Cavour. But, as I said before, the Regia Marina during fascism was more shaped in the form of a political and propaganda tool rather than into an effective Navy. Convoy war was tought to be something that the old torpedo boats could deal with, and the top brasses wanted a battle division to get into Tsushima-style surface engagements. In this respect, the Regia Marina did the same mistake as the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Oh, well, if totalitarianisms didn't do mistakes such as this one, they could never be defeated. The regrettable thing is that those who paid with their lives were those sailors who went at sea in battleships whose guns couldn't even pierce the belt armor of their opponents.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Well from my studies, it seems that all the upgrades were done to counter the Dunkerque class. I think the people making the decisions in Italy at the time were not the best suited for the job. While I understand that upgrading Dulio and Doria was proved useful during the war, I don't think it was necessary at the time. Upgrading one and scrapping the other might have been a good way to finish the Impero. The Cavour class could at least counter the Dunkerque class in terms of speed and firepower. Doria and Dulio were just an insurance policy that proved ineffective against the superior British naval might. Four Littorio class BB's with proper air cover from two completed carrier plus the two Cavour rebuilds and perhaps just Dulio would have definitely tipped the balance of power in the Mediterranean. I mean, the British had quite a bit of trouble early in the war due to the Italian fleet in being. The French vessels were ultimately scuttled and "useless" save Richelieu which saw little action in the Atlantic. So I think pitting my hypothetical fleet along with an armada of cruisers (3 or 4 more Zara's?) and light vessels against the British might have made the war in the Mediterranean more of a bottleneck for the allies than it actually was.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:56 am 
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Unfortunately the carrier was seen as an unnecessary luxury good by both Mussolini (who was also the Minister of the Navy) and the armed forces. There was a truly ferocious rivarly between the Regia Marina and the Regia Aeronautica during the fascist regime, each one competing against the other to gain support from the public and fundings from the Duce.
Besides, the Navy wanted to gain its battles by gunfire alone, without planes messing in and sharing the glory, and the Air force didn't want to lend its planes to the Navy, let alone to spend money in developing specific carrier-borne planes. It's the same reason for the self-induced faith into the effectiveness of high altitude level bombing against naval targets shared by all the Air force strategists: it's not that they really trusted it, it's just that they didn't want to divert resources into the developement of a tactic that was different from those already used in operations against land targets.
So, altough between the wars many professional low-rank officers of both arms advocated a closer cooperation between naval and air assets and some projects worth of attention were drawn by illuminated naval engineers, it took the lessons of Taranto night and Matapan to get projects underway, but by then it was too late.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:05 pm 
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So I'm going to be picking up the Regia Marina Cavour class upgrade set tomorrow. I'm wondering though, are there any brass barrels that closely resemble the ones on the Cavour class? The kit's resin barrels are molded on the guns and seriously lacking...

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:15 am 
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Look for British 305 mm barrels: the real guns too were 305 mm rebored to 320 mm, so they retained the external dimensions of the 305 mm.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:23 pm 
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I think I've found an applicable set from NNT, but I have to order the barrels from Europe as I can't find anybody on my end of the pond with them. It's not a big deal because I have to order the PE set straight from RM anyway... I think a big issue on the Waveline kit is the aft planking. The wood deck really wasn't cut out well in the resin, it looks reminiscent of an old Heller kit. I'm trying to finish this 1/700 Shokaku I've been working on an off on for about two years before I tackle the Cesare so I do have some more time to plan ahead. Another big area of neglect in the kit is the secondary armament. Everything is cast in white metal, and I can't find anyone that makes replacements.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Well, that's not surprising :heh:

I think the RM detail set includes the light AA (37 mm & 20 mm), however, here's a drawing of the 37 mm

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Quite complex, as most of RM AA mounts; that's because the mount was manually stabilised by two additional gunners.

About the 100/47 OTO Mod. 1928 twin mount; it was somewhat unique in that its trunnions were mobile, lifting up when the cradle was elevating in order to provide enough clearence for the breech recoil.
The mount loosely looked like this :heh:

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Those are the poor reproductions I had done for my 1/160 RC Cesare, but there's enough detail for 1/700. I'll provide the drawing if needed.

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There's not a lot to do about the 120/50 turrets as those were quite featureless. Just note that the middle turrets were slightly larger than the others as they housed a firing computer for the whole group of turrets; they also had a small periscope on the right and a sighting hood on the left, which the other turrets didn't have.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:32 pm 
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Does anyone have hull lines or plans for either class from before reconstruction?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Does anyone here know if either Guilio Cesare or Conte di Cavour ever visited Venice during World War II?

I'm wondering because the thought of using Loose Cannon's Venice diorama set with either of the two ships might be a possibility to build.

Dr. Doom.

It seems you forgot to add HP model kits of Guilio Cesare and Conte di Cavour on your list above..

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