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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:10 pm 
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With the upcoming 1/700 Flyhawk Aurora/Chunking release I thought it be appropriate to add this class of HMS light Cruisers to the forum. This way we will have all of the information needed under one topic.






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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:20 pm 
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going to cut down & modify a 1/600 leander class(ajax) cruiser into an arethusa class cruiser.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:15 am 
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DavidP wrote:
going to cut down & modify a 1/600 leander class(ajax) cruiser into an arethusa class cruiser.


The Ajax kit suits a wide range of light cruiser conversion projects. One can expand into Amphion, Dido, and Arethusa classes, as well as other Leanders. Another fine kit to work with is the 1:600 Suffolk, which I am currently planning to "morph" into a Cathedral-class cruiser. Cutting down a Suffolk vs. "bloating" an Ajax, seems the better option of the two.

I haven't decided which one, but am leaning toward a final-configuration Exeter at the moment...but the less well-known Cathedral is very tempting, so long as I can tackle the angled funnels. Once I get comfortable with the more common features of each project, I may do both--while I have the courage!

The toughest challenge seems to be in dealing with the kit's bulged hull, with which previous attempts at modifying were spectacular failures! I have a different approach to the matter in mind, based on my full-scratch RM Vittorio Veneto hull construction method, which was very successful.

I am counting down the days until I get started on them. Good luck with your own Arethusa project! :thumbs_up_1:

:smallsmile:

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Last edited by RNfanDan on Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:58 pm 
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RNfanDan, i'm also doing both york & exeter using the ajax hull instead of the suffolk hull because of that sufflolk torpedo bulge. both hulls were cut in half then widened & lengthened at same time with plastic sheet used to fill the gap between the front half & back half.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:48 pm 
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Not that I am even remotely ready to start on this yet, but I've been reading up on the exploits of Force K recently. The cruisers in question would be Aurora and Penelope, both Arethusa-class ships. I see that WEM offers a 1/700 resin version of Penelope. I don't see much commentary on it. Anyone?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:32 pm 
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What does it take to convert a Flyhawk Aurora to a late-1941 Penelope (while with Force K)?
TIA, Richard


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:29 pm 
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Flyhawk is supposedly coming out with the Penelope, early war I believe. If you can wait a little while, it might save yourself some work.



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:32 am 
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I bought an Aurora kit and the separately-sold PE set in Tokyo last week, very pricey, about $85 US, but it is a really nicely-done kit.
I was not sure from the boxart, but it turns out that this kit is a pretty-much post-war version, presumably just before handing over to the Nationalist Chinese Navy. It is certainly not, as far as I can tell from Wikipedia(!) and other sites, the final wartime configuration of the ship.
I want to build it in that guise, so I suppose quite a bit of adjustment will need to be made regarding fittings, as well as the light AA.
Aurora was completed without aircraft-handling equipment, so her boat storage looked more or less like that from the start. I had no idea some cruisers were completed pre-war without aircraft gear---I learnt that she was intended as a flagship for destroyers, which seems to indicate the Admiralty already saw more fleet roles for these ships compared to their original trade protection role as designed.
In any event, a really nice kit. Photos to follow.

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Last edited by Gernot on Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:19 am 
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AURORA was the only one for the class completed without a catapult, as she was intended as the flagship for Commodore (Destroyers); she had an extra deckhouse on top of the original catapult base. Boats were stowed at upper deck level; there were none on the foc's'le deck as completed.

The Flyhawk kit appears to show her after her Malta refit (June-October 1945); prior to that, and after her November 1943-April 1944 repairs, her light AA was slightly different (five single 20mm, and only two twin 20mm).


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:41 pm 
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Thanks for the information, much appreciated.
As far as I can tell, the kit light AA armament (apart from the two quad pom-poms) is one powered twin 20mm on 'Y' turret, and two single 20mm in the bridge wings. I cannot make out the correct AA changes from Wikipedia (I doubt Aurora received quad Bofors as Arethusa did), and my well-worn Raven & Roberts British Cruisers of World War Two (NII 1987 reprint) has no information I could find, save for a couple of 1940 and one 1948 photo.
I can imagine that with the cessation of hostilities as much topweight as possible was immediately removed.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:56 pm 
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http://www.world-war.co.uk/Arethusa/aurora.php3
http://www.world-war.co.uk/Arethusa/arethusa_class.php3


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:20 pm 
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Thanks David. I did see that site previously, also a Chinese site with the Chunk King story and photos.
Plus this site:
http://www.wwiivehicles.com/great-britain/ships/cruisers/arethusa-class-cruisers.asp

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:34 am 
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Raven and Roberts includes modifications to AA armaments in Appendix 2 (not sure if the 87 reprint includes this Appendix) - hence the detail in my posting of 19 December. This Appendix, photos (and the kit) show the light AA as two quad pompoms (added 1940), three twin 20mm (one on "Y" turret, and two in sponsons abreast the forefunnel) and two single 20mm (at foc's'le deck level abreast the after end of the bridge structure). Photos of the ship as CHUNGKING still show the pompoms and twin 20mm; the singles may have been removed to save maintenance.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:18 am 
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Hi, you are right, I missed both the Appendix 2 (Appendix 1 seems to have left out the entire Armament section for this class, and the main text does not deal with armament changes in detail); I also missed the two powered twin 20-mm abreast the forefunnel in the kit even though I was looking for them. Crazy....! I've now found both, and am swearing off whatever it was I was drinking last night :big_grin: Your summary of the post-Malta refit light AA makes perfect sense.
Incidentally, since this is confusing me still: was Aurora initially put into service with no light AA at all? According to the info in the book and what I could find online, she had a UP mounting and the 2 quad pom-poms fitted during repairs in May-June 1940, and then much later in August 1941 6 single 20mm and 2 quad Vickers 0.5" MGs! I would have thought she entered service with at least the latter 2 as close-range AA weapons. I can't figure out if she might have had some UP mount at the start of her service, or nothing at all save the heavy AA (which as I gather was dual mounts from the start).

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:42 am 
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Photos of AURORA on builder's trials show her without some equipment, most of which appears to have been fitted soon thereafter. A photo in R&R shows her on trials - no for'd HA.DCT (which had still not been fitted by the time of the Norwegian campaign in 1940), no 4" HA at all (four twin mountings were fitted soon after trials - she never carried single 4") and (as far as I can see) no 0.5" mountings (again, fitted soon afterwards abreast the forefunnel, where the twin 20mm mountings appear in the Flyhawk kit). The UP mounts was fitted in 1940, right aft on the quarterdeck - this weapon was only developed in 1939, so would not have been carried by AURORA on completion..


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:16 am 
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Thanks for the further edification. It seems the notes in Appendix 2 are not complete or perhaps the assumptions are not stated (and not clear to me).
  1. If quad Vickers 0.5" were fitted "soon after completion", then in Appendix 2, for August 1941, the addition of 2 quad Vickers 0.5" would refer to a further two mounts, which I doubt.
  2. The addition might be correct, yet it is not noted what is removed when, such as to make space for the noted additions. E.g., the UP mount, and the quad Vickers 0.5" (even assuming only 2 were ever fitted).
I suppose analysis of photos is called for, but there are not that many of Aurora I could dig up for this purpose.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:32 am 
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I've had a look at a couple of photos in R&R, and it seems to me that:
  1. March 1938 photo (P.417): Vickers seem to be mounted in abreast the forward funnel.
  2. November 1940 photos (P.356): Vickers seem to be mounted in abreast the forward funnel, UP mount is visible on the quarterdeck. The quad pom-poms are also clearly visible.
  3. 1941 photo (P.171) in Mountbatten Pink: Vickers seem to be mounted in abreast the forward funnel, I think a 20mm gun tub is visible aft replacing the UP mount, the pom-poms are clearly visible, and single 20mm in tubs are visible on 'B' and 'Y' turrets, as well on the upper deck abreast the bridge. I cannot tell where the purported 6th 20mm might be, perhaps 2 on the quarterdeck?
I do think I grok now what the notes mean for August 1941: they probably intend to give the actual fit, not what was added. I read "fitted" as being an addition, as opposed to giving the current fit. I am not sure whether this means at this date they were also fitted, or whether it is simply an indication of a known configuration at a particular time.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:48 am 
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IWM photo A 5699, captioned as AURORA in October 1941, shows her with single 20mm (without "tubs") on 'B' and 'Y' turrets, none (I think) abreast the bridge and a UP mounting on the quarterdeck. I've seen no photos on which I can identify locations for the sixth 20mm (or fifth, if the object on Page 171 of R&R isn't a 20mm) .


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:17 am 
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Interesting photo, I searched with Google and found it on the IWM site. I will try some IWM searches too later this week for more photos.
In "A 5699", I see 2 20mm on the quarterdeck side by side (starboard one mostly hidden by rear of UP mount), unless my eyes are deceiving me, so that makes at least 4.
The Vickers are also visible, as are the quad pom-poms. As you say, maybe nothing on the main deck, but hard to see in any case with the grey pedestal. There could be something there right near the forecastle break, perhaps barrel pointing up...
On Galatea, it seems (from R&R) 2 20mm were at the rear end of the bridge structure, close to the centerline, before the Vickers, but I don't see anything like that on the photo of Aurora.
Note to self: This mystery is a lot more fun than the normal IJN mysteries :heh:

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:18 pm 
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As per C.B. 01815B, in September 1941 Aurora had 6 x 20mm.

These were: one on B turret, one on Y turret, two on the quarterdeck and one each side of the bridge at deck level just forward of the fo'c'sle break as seen in this photo taken on 10th September 1941:


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