Tuesday 7 February 2012

A Majestic Arrival

Arriving from the USA and generously donated by Steve Cady (of the blog 'Castles of Tin') is another model for my pre dreadnought 1/1800th scale collection - that of HMS Majestic. The plan is to clean her up and give her a little TLC so that she will be able to used as a suitable master for the moulding idea I am currently pursuing. She will need a little work to get her to this state and so that will be my focus for the next few days.

Firstly, she will need to be stripped (Oooeer Missus!) back to the bare metal and then the real chopping up can commence. Firstly, the funnels will have to come off. Historically these were side by side but the model has them deployed like rugby posts (or American Football) being widely separated. Also, the bridge structure appears to be very lopsided with the 'wings' not matching up when viewed from ahead so I plan to hack this off and replace the same with a Miliput version. I will also remove the wire masts. Finally, the turrets have a very pronounced ring around the base - this looks like flash of some kind - which will need some attention. If that proves to be too difficult then I could always remove them and replace them with some others - I have a number of donor hulls set aside for this purpose. The end result will not have any masts and so these would need to be added later - togther with fighting tops etc. In fact, the keen modeller could make a very presentable model from one of these quite basic castings should they wish.

I appreciate that this may all seem a lot of work for one model but the reason is quite simple. The hull and superstructure configuration of the Majestic class is about as close to being a generic looking pre dreadnought as you are likely to get so if I can pull this off the potential in terms of repeat castings is enormous. Being cast without funnels may seem odd but adding these from plastic or metal tube afterwards is very easy and also has the added attraction of not only being able to add as many as required but also placing them in whatever position is needed; thereby maximising the ship classes the basic hull could be use for. Having said that, once the existing funnels have been removed adding some new ones from Miliput or metal rod would not be too difficult so I may even consider that as an alternative - it will depend on the state of the hull. Once the basic hull has been refurbished and is ready to be cast then the real attraction of this model becomes apparent. For the Royal Navy alone the resultant casting could be used (as long as you are not overly offended by the lack of detail) for any of the battleship classes put into service up to the King Edward VII (I already have Swiftsure). Many foreign navies used a similar looking configuration although anything with a pronounced outward curve of the hull (the 'tumblehome' so beloved of the French and Russians) would not probably not be suitable.

Should my modelling skills not be equal to the task then I  have a 'Plan B' to fall back on - I will concede defeat and use the King Edward VII casting as my generic pre dreadnought battleship. Just think of the superstructure 9.2" guns (one on each corner) as being 6" guns on steroids! They actually look more like casemate types in any event and are also larger than the turret mounted 12" weapons so could be called whatever was desired - scale considerations and fine detail were never a major feature of this range of models!

Once again then, I would like to extend a massive thank you to Steve Cady for his very kind donation and I hope that I shall be able to restore the same to something like its former glory and for future use - I hope to be able send him a newer version back across the Atlantic in due course!


Tim Gow said...

I have great hopes for your project. I expect I'll be able to use some of the models to represent smaller vessels in 1/1200 scale.

Peter Douglas said...


Good luck and enjoy. I'm looking forward to seeing the results.


David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

You might want to take a look at the Axis and Allies War at Sea range which is 1/1800th as well for some ideas.

Things are moving along and I hope to have some good news very soon!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Peter,

So am I! Hopefully it will be soon!

All the best,