Friday, 16 September 2011

What's in a name?

A projected German WW2 'O' class Battle Cruiser - looking very similar to the proposed refit of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau except for the two funnels

Yesterday, despite all the turmoil at work, I was able to give some thought to the 1/1200th warship collection and how I would like this to develop. Once again I found myself  recalling the events of the SE Asia WW1 naval campaign and some of the ships that appeared.

The Turkish navy that I commanded was an eclectic mixture of the old, the new and the never was. It started out being roughly similar to its historical counterpart but given its small size compared to the other great powers very soon acquired a considerable collection of additional vessels - with the only Turkish element usually being the name! I can remember the two Eaglewall WW2 County class cruisers appearing as 'El Shufti Zubrick and El Shufti Kush and an Airfix HMS Hood as the fleet flagship - Sultan Fineghar the 1st. I also recall four German WW1 B97 type destroyers featuring as the historical Muavenet-i Milliye type with the only similarity being the fact they were  German! Historically the former was nearly four times the size of the latter.

This has set me thinking about how I will tackle the WW2 naval project when it gets off the ground - should I opt for strictly historical or should I allow a smattering of , shall we say, artistic licence in the selection of ships available?

There are many naval gamers that have happily made use of the German Z Plan as a source of additional ship types and the RN has also featured some ships that may have been projected but never built. HMS Hood was, I believe, one of a class of four so you can see what I mean. As I would prefer to remain using plastic as the sole medium for my models I am limited to an extent that simply does not exist in the metal world - assuming your wallet is of large enough dimensions.

Coming back to the WW1 SE Asia campaign the composition of the fleets became more and more fanciful as losses were incurred - especially in the case of the Central Powers as both the Austrian and the German navies had suffered catastrophic losses by January 1915 - and so WW2 era ships were being employed in an effort to maintain some form of (in)credibility in the latter stages. This culminated in the RN receiving the Ark Royal and the Germans Bismarck and Tirpitz!

I technique I could consider though is to make use of some of the Japanese 1/700th models as some of the destroyers in this scale have hulls that would be really useful as the basis for 1/1200th scale light cruisers so in due course I may look this for inspiration.


Tim Gow said...

On the subject of 1/700 models, Tamiya do a set of tugs and landing craft which are sufficiently small to pass for bigger vessels in 1/1200. If that makes sense!

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

That sounds like a good wheeze for sure. I will have a trundle up to Modelzone and see what they have on offer.

I am going to enjoy this!

All the best,


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Balsa wood bases David

Very cheap and I bet you have plenty of spare parts

David Crook said...

Hi geordie,

I have a modest stockpile of balsa wood which will be pressed into service and I already have a number of scratch builds in mind for which the surplus of bits and pieces from the 6 sets will be most useful!

All the best,