Sunday, February 28, 2021

Here, There and Everywhere

 My first thought for this post was to paint several of my modern Royal Navy ships, and put together a post under the title, "The Grey Funnel Line."  Instead, I fell victim to Gamer Attention Deficit, and painted around a couple of different projects.  Hence, this post (and title).

My first turn was back towards the Cod Wars project.  I started off by painting a couple of stern trawlers for that project.  Unlike the sidewinder trawlers, I wasn't able to come up with any specific names for these.  It seems like these more modern ships just didn't have the love and respect that went to the more traditional trawlers.  Loved or not though, they were still used so we need some for the table.  Here they are in all their fishy glory:

These aren't heavily rusted like the sidewinder trawlers, and that's based on the pictures of them I've seen.  That's not to say that they don't rust, especially along the scuppers that line the net handling deck.  They are not, however, as rusted along the sides as a traditional trawler is.  I imagine that's because the sidewinder trawlers are always hauling netting and gear over the sides.

Of course, those little trawlers are going to need someone to protect them from the Icelandic Coast Guard, and for that only one outfit will do.  Enter the Royal Navy.

HMS Gurkha

Sister ship HMS Tartar

My interpretation of the Tribal class.

The ship I chose to model is HMS Gurkha, one of the seven Type 81 Tribal class ships that served from 1961-1982.  The class was originally built for "colonial gunboat" type duties, and had several innovations designed in to make that easier.  Among those were air conditioning, all bunk accommodations (no hammocks), and a combined gas and steam propulsion system, referred to as COSAG.  COSAG meant that the ships could leave port quickly in the event of war, instead of waiting several hours to fire up steam boilers.  Unfortunately, the ships were designed with a single propeller. That, and a hull designed for calmer waters than the Atlantic limited their speed and maneuverability against the ships of the Icelandic Coast Guard.  Both Gurkha and her sister ship, HMS Tartar served in the Third Cod War in 1975-76.  Both ships were activated from reserve during the Falklands War, but did not go to the South Atlantic, serving in home waters as guard ships instead.

Speaking of the Falklands, that is a perfect segue to the next ship.  She's the Type 22 Batch 1 frigate, HMS Broadsword.  I think this model was made by Oceanic back in the 1990's.  Whoever made it , she is certainly a good example of how our expectations have changed over time!  The mold lines and flash were terrible; in fact, I wasn't able to completely remove the mold line around the hull.  The overall shape of the model was also, to put it nicely, rather basic.  I have about 15 photos taken during modifications to try and improve the look of the ship, but decided not to dump them all here.  That poor model and the various modifications might be a future blog post all by itself.

OK, that kind of looks like a ship.

Even these photos don't really show how 
rough the hull is.

Why didn't I go with a Shapeways model?  Well, the problem is that no one makes a Type 22, Batch 1 frigate in 1/1200 or 1/1250 on Shapeways.  One person makes them in 1/600, but he never answered my request for a 1/1200 version.  So, the rough 1990's model it is then.

In truth, I would have been a lot happier with the ship if I could have gotten more of that damned mold line on the hull to grind away.  As it was, I was already on the verge of changing the hull shape so decided to stop before I made things even worse.  So she is a "rough and ready gaming model," but given the lack of alternatives available, she'll do.

I have to say that this post has been about half-written since October of 2020.  Once you get out of the habit of writing and photographing, it is hard to get back into it!  I wasn't completely dormant during that time, though.  Indeed, taking a break seems to have breathed a new life into wanting to blog.  There should be several sailing ships available for the next post, as the Trafalgar Project inches along toward completion.  So, until next time (which shouldn't be four months), smooth sailing.