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Showcase Models HMAS Vendetta - conversion to minelayer and 1939 configuration ( 1/350 V & W Class Destroyer )

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The Showcase Models of Australia Kit
The HMAS Vendetta kit comes in a sturdy cardboard box with an artwork of the ship at sea in 1917 .
You get 5 five sprues , and 3 sheets of photo-etch including etch anchor chain .
I found all the details of the Model to be lovely , and were on a par with a Tamiya or Trumpeter kit
- it was that well made and also surprisingly well-designed ( a real tribute to Australian Showcase Models )
and it above all fitted well together with no flash or any awkward injection-ports visible on the Model when made .

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HMS Walker
Admiralty W-Class Destroyer ordered from William Denny of Dumbarton under the 10th Order of the 1916-17 Programme on 9th December 1916.
The ship was laid down on 26th March 1917 and was launched as the first RN warship to bear the name on 29th November 1917. Build was completed on 12th February 1918 and included facilities for use as a minelayer. She served briefly in WW1. After the Armistice she was deployed in the Baltic was in action against Russian warships.
In 1921 she was in 1st Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet and went into Reserve after 1930. HMS WALKER was not deployed operationally after the end of hostilities and was Paid-off.
The ship reduced to Reserve status and was placed was placed on the Disposal Lost.
Sold to BISCO for breaking up in 1946 she arrived in tow at the breaker’s at Troon on 15th March that year.

 

Note - the Showcase Models of Australia kit only came out at the start of 2017 and is produced as a 1917 era ship - so it needs work to make it a 1939 era ship = ( it needs a wider and taller rangefinder , director control and an extended bridge - with a 2 pounder AA gun needing to be fitted instead of the Kit 3 inch AA gun , depth charge racks and depth charge throwers ) .
I would also sadly stress that Showcase Models went out of business last year - due to the death of the owner / designer -
but his memory is carried on with this lovely model kit - I think the only way now to source one of these models - is to buy one second-hand off Ebay ( I bought mine in 2017 direct from Showcase Models as soon as it became available for sale ) .

The Prior Research
I had the National Maritime Museum plans of HMS Walpole ( cost me £ 70 ) scanned specially for me -

this was necessary as it had never ever been done before by the NMM so it cost me a lot more than normal -

but I got state of the art scanning of the Plans for HMS Walpole in 1/46 scale -
This was of the same class of Destroyer as HMS Walker  , to allow me to get the fine details

so I could get parts designed by Shapeways .
I would estimate that research and buying special Model Kit aftermarket parts from abroad - took 3 months -
and took longer than I first thought would be necessary - due to waiting for replies from Glasgow University and the National Maritime Museum , and then getting parts designed , printed and shipped to me but the hard effort finally paid off .


I must explain I first tried Glasgow University ( as HMS Walker was built by William Denny of Dumbarton ) but discovered that what they had was just described by them as ' nuts and bolts ' drawings - and not detailed line drawings and ship plans suitable for my purposes .


I needed a clear idea of the stern and the bridge as these were vital to understanding what to change from the Kit Model and detailed exactly what HMS Walker was actually like in 1939/1940 after she had a Refit Bridge fitted in the late 1920's .

Note that the Director Fire Control Hood that the ships had fitted in 1917/1918 during completion and was used throughout their careers , but is not present on the Showcase Model !!

 

I knew from my personal collection of Original interwar Postcards that proved HMS Walker had her extended ' Refit ' Bridge fitted much later than other V & W Class Ships ( often in the early 1920's ) and as always research is vital to discover for your own choice of ship , and the timeframe you wish to portray for the particular V & W Class Ship you wish to Model .

This made completely obvious through the looking at the marked changes to the plans , in 1928 and 1929 with refits added in different coloured pen marks to the original 1917 plans for HMS Walpole -

These were that -
Firstly , the original 3 inch HA gun was replaced with a single 2pdr pom-pom AA gun
Secondly , the Galley Exhaust Pipe was moved and trunked into the existing exhaust pipe at the front of the forward funnel .
Thirdly , the Compass Binnacle was moved forward ( when the Destroyer had a Bridge Extension at the Front )
and the new 9 Foot Rangefinder was moved aft - with the Bridge based semaphore moved to the bridge wings instead .
The HMS Walpole plans ( when they arrived as a huge JPEG scan ) solved the Bridge details puzzle -
and luckily I found on the internet , a line drawing of original plans for the stern of a V & W Class Destroyer
that had the mine rails fitted - this was HMS Vanquisher .

I got a Shapeways Designer to make me Mine Rail fairings ( or sponsons ) for the Model ( in the first photo attached to the stern and made in white plastic ) which you can see , are very realistic , and I made special mine rails in photo-etch using 1/350 railings as the ship I will make was constructed as a minelayer with 60 mines on deck - I could not source etch 1/350 Royal Navy Mine Deck Rails .

I also sourced the Polish made AJM Models single mounting 2 pounder pom-pom AA gun set and also added to it to replace the plastic gun barrel - a separate 2pr brass barrel from Master Models ( from another Quadruple Mounting pom-pom AA mounting set ) 2 pounder pom-pom gun barrel ( This Single 1/350 Gun brass 2-pdr pom-pom gun barrel has a hollow end ) .

The Deck was given NorthStar 1/350 Royal Navy Cable Reels - and Alliance Destroyer Bollards
( made for IJN 1/350 Destroyer ships but at that scale not a big deal ) -
The White Ensign Flag was printed off and originally I planned to use a fabric BECC Flag - but the print quality was not good enough .

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I also show the finished stern showing the completed mine deck rail section , and the aft mine rail sponsons .
Note , also the aftermarket Metal Flag Pole ( by Orange Hobby - my only source of 1/350 Jack and Ensign Flag Poles ) - for the Bridge was added two 1/350 NorthStar Royal Navy Signal Searchlights - and 4 Brass IJN Voice Pipes - which all added to the realism .
The 2 Funnels were given added photo-etch grilles ( designed for a different Resin British G/H Class Destroyer ) to the tops ,
and then it was given the new Refit Ships Bridge - where it had fitted aftermarket items to add super detail .

I found the model to be well fitting and I would point out in this review that it is a lovely Model .
1/350 Scale HMS Walker Refit Bridge from Micromaster ( Shapeways ) .
Highly detailed part for those wishing to model the HMS Walker using the Showcase models 1/350 HMS Vendetta model, created to sit atop the model bridge. Accurately created using plans and reference photographs (which were specially supplied by me , to him from the National Maritime Museum HMS Walpole Plans ) .
Details include: Binnacle , Canvas texture around bridge railing , Inset Map reading tables , Bow lights and Bridge instrumentation .
I finally also bought for the Model , a bespoke nameplate made for me on the Shapeways site to replace the Kit Supplied Nameplate - which was well worth the expense .
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several important points to note -
( 1 ) - The Model does NOT have etch railings provided for the 2 ' bandstands ' for the two 4 inch gun positions ( B and X guns ) -
so you need to remember to fit that , as the kit instructions do not mention this -
above all , I recommend you source and fit the ' Master Model of Poland ' HMS Repulse gun barrels set
for four examples of 4 inch guns to replace the kit examples .

( 2 ) There are NO Funnel photo-etch grilles , provided with the model kit - so again you need to source some - I recommend the
( originally made for the resin G and H Class Destroyers ) by White Ensign - the G and H Class Destroyers etch set -
https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/coll ... destroyers
which have 4 different sized etch grilles - and they also offer extra railings and above all , the semaphores for the 2 bridge wings
( the kit provides a horrid plastic semaphore - located on the upper 1917 era bridge )

( 3 ) you will need to source 1/350 Depth Charge Throwers as there are none in the kit provided -

I realise that the V & W Class had two per side but I frankly struggled to locate where they would have been exactly 

fitted at the aft part of the ship - so just went for one as a compromise .
I sourced Rainbow ( 1/350 Rb3545 ) IJN Depth Charges
I had mine made with no Depth Charge loaded ( an empty thrower )- and used Brass aftermarket IJN Depth Charges
that were fitted on top of these and also fitted inside the White Ensign photo-etch depth charge racks at the stern .
This was well worth the effort and you get 40 Metal Brass Depth Charges so you have plenty spare for other projects !

The effort was well worth it , as you don't get any depth charges provided separate with the kit - and the 4 depth charges with the kit
are correctly ( for 1917-18 ) moulded onto the deck - but they are needed to be removed - if you want an inter-war or WW2 Ship .
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( 4 ) As stated earlier if you want 1/350 depth charge racks , rather than the kit paravanes at the stern - you need to source some -
( the WEM G & H set provides them ) and you will need to remove the 4 x 1917 era depth charges at the stern in the little deck racks - as kit plastic - as mentioned earlier .

( 5 ) the aft mast - is 1917 era - and has no upper pole provided - so you need to ideally source suitable brass rod and make it yourself

( 6 ) the Shapeways 3D HMS Walker Refit Bridge had the Bridge windows moulded on , but these need to be removed and replaced
using the White Ensign etch set 1/350 Deck Railings adapted to size ( necessary as sadly the etch supplies H Class 1/350 Bridge Windows are to wide and also don't fit neatly onto the HMS Walker Bridge - this is important to note !!

( 7 ) I highly recommend this Book above all others for research and modelling purposes -
Raven, Alan & Roberts, John (1979). 'V' and 'W' Class Destroyers. Man o'War. 2. London: Arms & Armour.
This is a Soft-Back Booklet that has some wonderful line-drawing detail and original Shipyard photographs found nowhere else !

Hopefully my first ever Ship review on this site is not too bad , but I will happily take any constructive criticism .
Edited by 73north

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Good review! I'm currently wending my way slowly through a hefty volume on the naval side of the Great War, and the discussion of evolving destroyer tactics in the run-up to 1914 is pretty interesting.

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