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HMS Queen Mary by Joe100 - FINISHED - 1/1500 - miniature by Joseph Lavender

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Greetings,

 

I thought it was time to share some WIP photos of my HMs Queen Mary scratch building project. 

 

As always, she’s constructed to 1/1500 scale, an odd number but the math is easy to do when converting the measurements and it prevents me from using commercial parts. The hull is made from boxwood, a superior wood for carving, maybe the best. The balance of the detail is mostly brass with some styrene here and there but very little. I’ve even included the armor plate and bow/stern hull plates which really adds a lot of visual interest. You’re looking at almost as many pieces in this hull as would be contained in an entire 1/700 battleship kit. 

 
Next up will be rigging the torpedo net booms; they require 2 pieces of rigging each, plus the deployment rigging. This will account for over 100 more individual pieces. 
 
I have a photo gallery website if you'd like to see more of the finished models. 

www.josephlavender.com
 
Stay tuned 

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Great!  Another one of your beautiful little jewels to watch growing.  Thanks for the heads up on your web site.

 

John 

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An observation I made in one of my book reviews is that ships like this one were probably the most advanced examples of technology that existed in their day. Although in their B&W photos they look rather hulking and brutish, maybe even primitive, to the 21st century eye, they were actually pretty astonishing evidence of the degree of sophistication that engineered systems could attain over a century ago.

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Indeed. Dreadnoughts or Dreadnought Cruisers in this case, were extremely complex machines. All ships are, but the days of sail and primitive steam engines were still within living memory at this point. The tolerances needed for their armament alone were fine and their ability to manufacture those complex weapon systems using nothing more than a slide rule always surprises me. I've always felt it a little sad that our most complex machines are machines of destruction.  

Personally, I’ve always found the RN dreadnoughts to be visually appealing, but their battlecruisers not so much. I think it’s their funnel size and location. Imbalanced. However, that also makes them interesting to build. Nothing I hate more than building 50 identical structures and that’s one of the reasons I don’t often build WWII-era ships. Everything is just copy-paste in terms of secondary armaments and anti-aircraft guns. The WWI era ships looked like castles gone to see, with their casemate crenellations.  

 

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I'd be terrified of knocking those railings during further construction.... Very impressive so far!

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Thanks! The whole thing is so fragile that knocking anything would cause damage. The railings are the least of my worries! Haha 

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At this point I’m sharing this WIP photo since I’ve passed an important milestone, the parts count is now over 500. Actually, 502 to be exact. The number of individual pieces I use on a ship model is something I’ve found interesting as an academic statistic. It’s of note that my first scratch built battleship had a parts count somewhere in the mid 500s for the whole ship. I’m roughly half way complete with this one and surpassing that number easily. Mary also Fontaine’s 8 of the smallest piece I’ve ever made; the triangular supports for the breakwater. They’re so small I couldn’t even measure them, but maybe 1/3mm? 

On all of my other battleships, I simulated the casemate guns with some extremely careful carving of the hull sides, however, here I wanted to up the ante a bit and build casemates that had a visible interior. It’s something I felt was possible so I went ahead and did it. I think the results are above and beyond what I could have expected and I’m very happy with how they’ve turned out. In total, there are 16 individually built 102mm (4in) guns, all recessed into the superstructure. 

The rest of the ship will be built with my usual techniques of boxwood, aluminum, and brass and I can’t think of anything else I want to try to do differently on this model. The funnels are something I’ll document a little more closely. I always build them with aluminum sheet with full internal and external piping with extremely difficult to make panel lines and caps. It’s fiddly but the results are structures that are much thinner than a piece of paper. In my opinion, they make the model. Funnels of this era are delicate structures in real life, but in 1/1500 require a little extra work to make them appear as thin and detailed as possible. 

More construction information can be found on my website, www.josephlavender.com

 

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I take my hat off to you sir. This ship is exquisitely built and detailed. I have no idea how you do this level of complexity at such a scale - and as well as this the ship itself is a thing of beauty and elegance. 

 

Steven 

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Thanks everyone! We’re getting there. Today’s project is fitting the coaling chutes and building all of the winches. 

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Fascinating arrangement of the ship's boats inside the superstructure island. I assume there will be a crane that lifts them out?

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Joe,   I just picked up on your build and am very  happy that I did.  Amazing work at this scale, or any scale for that matter.      I am not sure there are magnifiers with enough power for my old eyes to do such tiny work, but would love to see more details on how you do make these tiny parts.   I suspect you have a pet spider spinning the railing materials! 

Allan

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Thanks!

 

I have most of the usual tools, but in a much smaller size. I have a belt sander that would fit in the palm of your hand, it’s extremely small and I use it constantly to shape parts. Most of the detail is brass, but the funnels are a thick aluminum foil I shape around a form. 
 

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