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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:05 am 
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The COVID-19 tragedy and lockdown has given me some time to finally make some progress on this. A 1/500 Scale HMS Royal Oak converted from the Ark Models (ex FROG) 1/500 HMS Royal Sovereign kit. The Ark Models offering is really better described as a scratchbuilding aid rather than a kit as it has taken significant work to get it even this far and it is still nowhere near complete. Having said that the kit's hull and basic superstructure shapes are quite good, when you eventually assemble them and use plenty of filler to hide all the gaps and make up for the terrible fit of the kit. It is the only plastic kit available for the 'R' Class, which is bizarre given how many attractive camouflage schemes and AA Gun configurations the class sported throughout their long careers.

I added torpedo bulges and piping from Evergreen strip, also portholes from North Star Models, and scratchbuilt most of the bridge structure from Evergreen strip. The entire casemate section was cut away and rebuilt using Evergreen Strips. I am using the excellent Atlantic Models 1/500 Detail Set, plus MicroMaster Shapeways 3D Printed main gun turrets and 4 inch AA Guns. The casemate guns will be scratchbuilt from Evergreen tubing with brass tube barrels, as to my knowledge no manufacturer makes them in 1/500 scale. Also using a Mk1 Design 1/500 Wood Deck Sheet cut and fit to size after being partially masked off and darkened somewhat.

My intention is to model Royal Oak in 1937 after her refit and with the Spanish Civil War Neutrality Stripes on 'B' Turret. They add a good splash of colour I think. I contemplated depicting her anchored in Scapa Flow with the Daisy II alongside just before she was lost, but reading up about it it seems she suffered damage from heavy seas and had several of her Carley Floats and Boats lost or damaged. That would be difficult to model convincingly so I settled on modelling her in a happier time, not long after she was refitted.

I have made compromises everywhere throughout the build thus far and will continue to do so. Therefore the model will be nowhere near 100% accurate. Hopefully however I can drag the old FROG Kit (kicking and screaming) up to a somewhat acceptable standard. That is the fun of working on such an old kit, I can detail up the parts and sections I deem worthwhile and not bother with the ones I don't.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:05 pm 
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Some progress over the past couple of evenings after work.

Handrails added to the superstructure. Funnel and armoured conning tower and main battery rangefinder added too. Ships' boats mostly assembled and painted. These are a mixture of the kit boats and Atlantic Models etches together with some Micromaster Shapeways 3D printed examples. H.M.S. Royal Oak seemed to carry plenty of boats. Same as most battleships in peacetime I suppose. Main gun turrets painted also, again these are 3D Printed versions from Micromaster / Shapeways.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:02 pm 
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Location: West Sussex / Cornwall
this is looking good

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:57 am 
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I love the concept of the build: a somewhat unusual subject, a kit which could have many shortcomings, and an uncommon scale.

That midships section once again reveals the workmanship that we have seen in your other work. I'm looking forward to watching you decide what needs to be focused on and what does not.

Thanks for taking the time to post these photos.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:09 pm 
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Thanks guys.

Some more progress. Casemate guns fitted to both sides. Royal Oak need no longer fear marauding enemy 1/500 Torpedo Boats or Destroyers.. I got the derrick on the mainmast rigged also and the ships' boats removed from their cocktail sticks and fitted to their cradles. After paint touch ups to them and the cradles they will be ready to be placed aboard. The Steam Pinnaces are the kit supplied versions but I scraped off the superstructure down to hull level then scratchbuilt new superstructures adding portholes from Flyhawk and funnels from short pieces of brass tube. The circular bases were made from Evergreen Sheeting using a punch and die set.

Next up will be installing scratchbuilt vents and hatches at deck level. Then the rigging of the masts. Easier to do that before adding the deck level handrails, leadsman's platforms and life cutters and davits.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 5:31 am 
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Some more progress. Anchor rubbing strips, deck details added and some saluting guns scratchbuilt.

The breech ends are 1/500 Tom's Modelworks 20mm Oerlikons and the pedestal is Evergreen rod sandwiched between two circles of Evergreen Sheet. The barrels are brass rod. A bit crude, but they will hopefully look OK at 1/500 once primed and painted.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 9:31 am 
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1/500 scale 3d printed 20mm guns. http://www.3dmodelparts.com/1-500-singl ... nt-16-pcs/


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:30 am 
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Cheers for the link.

I don't actually need any Oerlikons for Royal Oak as she was sunk very early in the war and never received any. The Atlantic Models Photoetch set I am using includes some Oerlikons which assemble nicely. I used them on my previous build of Arkhangelsk / H.M.S. Royal Sovereign in 1/500 and was pleased with them.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 5:42 am 
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She is finally starting to resemble a battleship. I have added the handrails, the ships's crane and all the boats on the shelter deck. Added some rigging too.

The handrails still require final adjustments and paint touch ups. Plenty of small details still to add too like the cutters on davits and leadsman's platforms on either side. Scratchbuilt searchlights, boat booms and paravanes to be added also.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 5:49 am 
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A rare outbreak of sunshine allowed for some brighter photos. Amazing how much brighter she looks in natural light. She is almost complete. Still needs boat booms, anchors, anchor chains and crew figures among others. Paint touch ups too and a final spray of varnish to hide the glue marks. I need to do a sea base for her too.

I am not sure if the 'RO' aerial recognition letters were ever actually painted on 'A' Turret as I have depicted. They were definitely painted on 'B' and 'Y' Turrets at various times. Though I am not sure if ever at the same time, I don't have any photos clearly showing both turret roofs simultaneously.

But I like the look of them so I have surmised that they might have been painted onto 'A' Turret when the neutrality stripes were in place on 'B' Turret. The Pocket Battleship Deutschland was bombed around this time during the Spanish Civil War so I imagine aerial recognition was taken rather seriously thereafter. The letters would have been straightforward enough to paint up and I imagine could be done in a matter of hours.


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 10:44 am 
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That looks really good!

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 10:03 pm 
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Beautiful work, sir. :thumbs_up_1:

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 1:24 pm 
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Very respectable work on this dog of a kit! Overall a really pleasing end result.


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 2:14 pm 
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Thanks all for your kind comments. I am pleased with how she has turned out thus far. I really must get started on the sea base and add the final details to finish her off.

For anyone interested who may not have seen it already here is a good documentary about her tragic loss in 1939:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk9CTEYqPjk


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 1:13 pm 
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I discovered a shot in one of the Imperial War Museum Royal Navy DVDs showing aerial identification lettering on 'A' Turret:


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 1:24 pm 
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And now in model form:


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 4:17 pm 
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I'm enjoying the precise and tidy construction, as well as the nice finishing.
Congratulations on completing this interesting subject with such impressive results.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:32 am 
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She is almost finished now. I got the anchors and anchor chains added today. Still needs boat booms, crew figures, paint touch ups and mounting in a sea base. So almost there. Again between one thing and another I have not had time to work on her since May:

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I used Artwox 1/700 anchor chain primed and resprayed to white. It is likely still too big even for 1/500 scale. But it is close enough for me to accept. It is difficult to make them out in the photo but I used the etched chains in the Atlantic Models Photoetch set for the 'blake slip' and 'screw slip' chains. Painted black and viewed against a dark grey anchor running strip they are unsurprisingly difficult to see. Will post some better photos when she is fully complete.


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