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HMS Roberts build log
McRunty
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Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 - 07:42 AM UTC
Since I was a wee lad I have been a fan of naval vessels, especially those of the Royal Navy. This was caused through a combination of things but one of the main influences was the writing of Douglas Reeman. And my favourite of his books was HMS Saracen, the story of an Erebus class Monitor and her midshipman/captain through WW1 and WW2.

The idea of this ungainly, ugly duckling of a ship stuck with me and I have always had a special place in my heart for WW1/2 RN Monitors.

Sadly, I have never been able to source an Erebus class but I do happen to have the HMS Roberts in my stash. Since I am waiting for all the bits and pieces for my next big modeling project to arrive from various locations I thought I would take the time to build her up and get her on the shelf.

Since I have spent a whole lot of $$ on the upcoming project my piggy bank is empty so I will be building her OOB, with the only additions being spares etc that I have in my stores.

This means that while I know I should switch out the kit 40mm AA for 20mm, I just don't have the bits to do it. (I totally wanted to crib Todd Michalak's idea for the twin 20mm mounts from his 2014 build log)

I have started the build. Hull is together and the deck is on though I still have to fill and sand the gaps. I have also built the main turret. I was able to switch out the horrible kit barrels for spares from my HMS Warspite build. They aren't as good as turned brass but they are still 100x better than the trumpeter ones.

sdk10159
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Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 - 07:51 PM UTC
I'll be following this with interest.

I'm building the Trumpeter HMS Abercrombie kit over on another site.

https://www.plasticpanzers.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1596

The kit goes together well with no issues so far. I replaced the barrels with turned aluminum and brass - much better than the kit's.

TRM5150
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Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 - 08:16 PM UTC
Looking forward to seeing you bang thins one around Rory! Even with the kit parts, it will build up to a great looking display! To be honest, some tiny bass rod could be popped in place of the 20's all around, and work just fine. Enjoy the build!
d6mst0
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Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 - 09:52 PM UTC
Rory,

Nice choice. I have this one in my stash along with barrels and PE. Looking forward to progress updates and good luck with the build.

Mark
McRunty
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Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 05:01 AM UTC
Not much progress today as I was focusing on tank thingies.

I did get the hull sanded down and ready. I also started work on the superstructure. Apart from the gun shields and breakwater nothing is glued down yet.



I do want to pick the brains of y'all. Were the 20mm uniform across the whole ship or just on the twin mounts. I found a picture that seems to show there were 40mm installed.



The circled guns seem to be too big for 20mm. Every source I have found says it only had the 20mm's but maybe a refit?
TimReynaga
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Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 06:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The circled guns seem to be too big for 20mm. Every source I have found says it only had the 20mm's but maybe a refit?



I agree with you Rory. Those weapons look like 40mm singles to me.
sdk10159
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Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 04:37 PM UTC
Temporary install perhaps during the Husky or Avalanche landings?

I've got one other picture of Roberts that shows this, but none of the history that I've read says either Roberts or Abercrombie had 40 mm Bofors installed.

One strange thing, though. The after gun is shown where the aft Pom-pom gun director should be. Why would they remove the gun director?
RussellE
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Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 04:56 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Temporary install perhaps during the Husky or Avalanche landings?

I've got one other picture of Roberts that shows this, but none of the history that I've read says either Roberts or Abercrombie had 40 mm Bofors installed.

One strange thing, though. The after gun is shown where the aft Pom-pom gun director should be. Why would they remove the gun director?



Following along with interest Rory!

They look like 40mm Bofors to me too!

Hard to say why things on board were not as per official documents, but oftentimes in war things were trialled ad-hoc and not recorded aside from the few obscure photos we have surviving to this day.

Personally i try not to get too caught up in what is/isn't correct if there's not official information. If you can't find out what was correct, what are the chances the rest of us can
McRunty
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Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 11:29 PM UTC
Just a bit of random trivia which I found fascinating and adds a personal touch.

One of the guns mounted in HMS Roberts came from HMS Resolution, a Revenge class BB. The gun was removed and placed into storage in 1938 - 1944 when it was mounted on Roberts.

After the war the gun ended up being mounted outside of the Imperial War Museum which I just so happen to have visited and like any good lover of naval history I of course touched the guns.

So in a way I have come as close to HMS Roberts as is possible



Obligatory shot of the guns taken by yours truly! The one furthest away is from Roberts.
McRunty
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 12:14 AM UTC
I have been doing some research regarding the 40mm bofors and while there isnt much to go on I have come to this conclusion. I believe she was fitted with the bofors for use in the Pacific against the air threat there. The image I posted earlier of her in port was when she was in Malta on her way home.

Based on her operational history and this statement:

"In January 1945, She prepared for duty in British Pacific Fleet and prepared for foreign service in support of planned operations But was was not required for service after VJ Day and returned to Devonport with call at Malta on 5th November 1945."

And this one from: http://www.worldnavalships.com/roberts_class.htm

"HMS Roberts was used more during world war two than her sister ship HMS Abercrombie. and in July 1945 an extra eight single 40mm Bofors added. "

That being said I believe the camo pattern represented in the kit instructions are wrong. I can only find pictures of her in that scheme until some point in 1944 and the 40mm's are not visible. The only pictures I can find of her with the bofors mounted have her in basic admiralty grey.

So if I want to paint her accurately then it looks like she will be in 507C with 507B decks.

Will make my life a little easier without the masking I guess
TRM5150
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 03:09 AM UTC
Your thought on the camo being inaccurate is most likely solid. I am still looking through some dusty books I have to see if there are any profiles. I do have a copy of British Warships by John Roberts and there is mention of the armament. From a profile (as fitted) by John Brown c.1942:

Armament:
Two 15 in. MkI (1x2)
Eight 4 in. MkXVI (4x2)
Sixteen 2pdr (1x8, 2x4)
Eight 20mm (8x1)

The book goes on to explain the funnel was raised in 1942 by 12 feet.

Further noting in 1943...

"All but two single 20mm guns abaft the breakwater were replaced with twin 20mm MkV mountings and in 1945 she was fitted with eight 40mm Bofors. The latter were located: one on the roof of the 15in turret and in place of the after pom-pom, the two single 20mm, the 44in searchlights abreast the funnel and the aftermost pair of twin 20mm guns."

The only plans included are that of the layout for 1942. If I remember correctly, the MkV's are included in this kit and if you go by this description, date the Roberts kit between 1943 and 45. The picture above could possibly be the Roberts...it is not the Abercrombe judging by the mention of the barbette being round and not faceted like on the Roberts. You can see two more of the 40's just forward the funnel..one looks to be slightly obscured in the sunlight on the port side. I will keep looking to see if i have any color profiles kicking around!
McRunty
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 07:22 AM UTC
Work continues.

Majority of the fiddly bits are down on the deck. I find it easier to hand paint the tiny things after I have sprayed the deck colour, especially now that I have decided to go the whole 507C route on her colour scheme.

I will likely install the rudders and get paint down on the hull over the weekend.




Working on the superstructure now and its going pretty well. In this instance the majority of the fiddly bits will be left off and painted separate.



Some of Trumpeters decisions regarding PE seem a bt questionable to me. Some doors are PE but some aren't. Since the molded doors look pretty good I find myself wondering why the went this route.
Cosimodo
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 12:27 PM UTC
It's looking very good Rory.
As for Trumpeter's decision making, I believe there is university degree in that now which tries to fathom the design philosophy of Trumpeter's kits

cheers
Michael
d6mst0
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 04:58 PM UTC
Rory,

Very clean work with the PE. I didn't realize that the Roberts was such a wide ship for it length. No wonder its cruising speed was so slow. She must have been a very stable gun platform and be able to move around in shallow water.

Mark
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 05:35 PM UTC
Nice work so far Rory, coming on really well.

On the question of the Light AA, I am afraid I have no photos, but according to "British Warships of the Second World War" by John Roberts,

"In 1943 all but the two single 20mm abaft the breakwater were replaced with twin 20mm MkV mountings, and in 1945 she was fitted with eight 40mm bofors. The latter were located one on the roof of 15" turret and in place of the after pompom, the two single 20mm, 44" searchlights abreast the funnel and the aftermost pair of twin 20mm."

The photo you looks to me to show the pompom still in place and the 40mm in place of the original pompom director.

Hope that helps.

will be following along.

Cheers

Si
McRunty
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 06:11 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Rory,

Very clean work with the PE. I didn't realize that the Roberts was such a wide ship for it length. No wonder its cruising speed was so slow. She must have been a very stable gun platform and be able to move around in shallow water.

Mark



Queen had it right. Fat Bottomed Girls really do make the rocking girls go round
TimReynaga
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 06:14 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Rory,

Very clean work with the PE. I didn't realize that the Roberts was such a wide ship for it length. No wonder its cruising speed was so slow. She must have been a very stable gun platform and be able to move around in shallow water.

Mark



Queen had it right. Fat Bottomed Girls really do make the rocking girls go round



LOL!
McRunty
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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 06:35 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Nice work so far Rory, coming on really well.

On the question of the Light AA, I am afraid I have no photos, but according to "British Warships of the Second World War" by John Roberts,

"In 1943 all but the two single 20mm abaft the breakwater were replaced with twin 20mm MkV mountings, and in 1945 she was fitted with eight 40mm bofors. The latter were located one on the roof of 15" turret and in place of the after pompom, the two single 20mm, 44" searchlights abreast the funnel and the aftermost pair of twin 20mm."

The photo you looks to me to show the pompom still in place and the 40mm in place of the original pompom director.

Hope that helps.

will be following along.

Cheers

Si



Definitely think I will be modelling her after the picture. The picture was captioned as Malta 1945 so I am almost 100% sure it was taken on her return to England after VJ day. All the weapons shown are included in the kit and pretty much as per the kit instructions.

I also like the idea of doing her in the Admiralty grey. While the kit camo is interesting it would make everything so dark its hard to see details, much like on my HMS Warspite or my Measure 21 Fletcher and England.
Cadeus
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Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 05:18 AM UTC
“I was just a skinny lad, never knew no good from bad, but I knew life before I left my nursery”


Looking good, following along.
McRunty
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Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 06:07 AM UTC
Not a lot of progress today. I was forced to build the spotting top out of order. If I have one complaint with this kits it's that the PE is so fine it gets damaged very easily. I had to build the spotting top because the parts for it were just falling off the fret just from handling it and I didn't want them to get lost.

I also noticed some of the antenna have been broken already and of course there are no plastic parts to substitute in.

Cant tell you how much I am looking forward to trying to scratch build new ones


Anyways:



After looking at this pic I saw one of the PE platform supports was not sitting right which I have already corrected.



Its not a 100% perfect circle but I am pretty pleased how it came out.



Waiting a day or so for the CA to dry completely. I will then go back and clean up the excess.
d6mst0
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Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 04:54 PM UTC
Rory,

I can't make a perfect circle with PE either. Your PE work is wonderful and it will really enhance your project.

Mark
McRunty
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Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 07:25 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Rory,

I can't make a perfect circle with PE either. Your PE work is wonderful and it will really enhance your project.

Mark



Thank you

Following on from what I said above, in my opinion PE should always be an enhancement or a replacement for a kit part. It should never be the only option because its waaaay easier to screw up teeny PE than to screw up plastic.

As I mentioned the PE parts on this are extremely thin and fragile and my antenna have been damaged on the fret.



There are 2 sets of the indicated antenna and they have both lost the little end bits as shown. Not sure how I am going to fix it. I could just trim the horizontal parts but the end bits tore off and left different lengths of horizontal. Any suggestions? I think I may be able to scratch built replacements from wire and plastic rod but I really don't want to.
d6mst0
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Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 10:30 PM UTC
Rory,

I think you would be happier if you used plastic and wire to recreate those pieces, plus they would be stronger.

Mark
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Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 11:14 PM UTC
Hi Rory,

Three choices as I see it, pick up a set of aftermarket British Radars, I believe White ensign & Toms Modelworks provide same, scratchbuild new units, or replace all horizontal dipoles and top units with wire.

Cheers

Si

sdk10159
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Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 06:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Rory,

I can't make a perfect circle with PE either. Your PE work is wonderful and it will really enhance your project.

Mark



Thank you

Following on from what I said above, in my opinion PE should always be an enhancement or a replacement for a kit part. It should never be the only option because its waaaay easier to screw up teeny PE than to screw up plastic.

As I mentioned the PE parts on this are extremely thin and fragile and my antenna have been damaged on the fret.



There are 2 sets of the indicated antenna and they have both lost the little end bits as shown. Not sure how I am going to fix it. I could just trim the horizontal parts but the end bits tore off and left different lengths of horizontal. Any suggestions? I think I may be able to scratch built replacements from wire and plastic rod but I really don't want to.



Rory,

I won't be using those PE radars from the HMS Abercrombie kit. If you'd like, I can send them to you. Just PM with your address and I'll drop them in the mail.

Steve