Mini Ships

This page has really come about as my 1/1200 and 1/1250 scale waterline ship collection grows. As with most things it was not my intention to have a navy and merchant marine hanging around my flat. But, it’s too late now, they have taken over. The majority of my ships are Triang Minic, Albatros or CM that I got off ebay and elsewhere but I do have a lot of others that I bought from Convoy Models. I also have some of the 1/1250 battleships released by Atlas Editions, but was not too impressed by the passenger ships that were released by Atlas. (My complete list) 


Sea Venture (sailed as Pacific Princess for Princess Cruises)

Sea Venture (Model by Carat)


Albatros AL-173 RMS Saxon in Union Line livery.


I have finally managed to acquire Kronprinzessin Cecilie, (CM-135) the last of the 5 German 4 funnel liners that I was looking for. I already have her sister  Kaiser Wilhelm II so technically the two should be identical, however, this model is produced by CM whereas my Kaiser Wilhem II is a Mercator model. I have the pair lined up together in the 2nd image and you can clearly see the difference between the two manufacturers. 


HMCS Sackville (K181) is a repaint of the Navis Neptun 1182A HMCS Snowberry. Navis has made both versions of the Flower Class Corvette (1182 HMS Begonia) and I have at least 4 of them in my collection.  Sackville is the last remaining example of the Flower Class Corvette left in the world. 

Front ship is HMCS Snowberry while HMS Begonia is the short fo’c’stle corvette


Albatros AL-31 Winchester Castle has joined the fleet. 

Albatros AL-31 Winchester Castle


A resin cast Transvaal Castle sailed into my collection last week.  At first I thought that this was a Len Jordan creation but it is not listed as having been made by him. A bit of hard looking revealed that it is a resin copy of the CM-KR53 Transvaal Castle! The model has amazing detail although the example that I got has been damaged along the way. I did complete it as SA Vaal as I already have a Transvaal Castle.

Transvaal Castle (back) and SA Vaal


I have waited a looooong time for this RMS St Helena model and I am suitably chuffed that I finally have it. 

RMS St Helena (Rhenania)


QE2 Mercator M921


Athlone Castle (CM-KR-442)


1/1250 Kronprinz Wilhelm (Mercator CM426)

RMS St Helena (Former Northland Prince). (Albatros 1/1250)


Arundel Castle (Albatros AL-55)


Drakensberg Castle? A Len Jordan model but is a repaint of something else.


Norman (Gryzbowski GLR10A)


Carnarvon Castle (wartime garb, Albatros AL-121)

Kinpurnie Castle (Len Jordan resin cast. Built as Clan Stewart)

Leonardo Da Vinci (Mercury 455)


Arundel Castle. (1/1200 Duncan Robinson Collectables)


RMS Scot (Albatros AL159)


Pretoria Castle (CM-KR443) (Later mast configuration)

Converting to SA Oranje


Australia (Mercury – 451)

Windsor Castle (Albatros ALK-117)


Graf Zeppelin (Atlas Editions)


Warwick Castle (J.G. Cottrell hand built 1/1200 scale)

Windsor Castle (J.G. Cottrell hand built 1/1200 scale)


RMS Olympic (CM-144)


Gloucester Castle (Navis NM 910)


Another Union-Castle ship, and not a very big one either. 

Walmer Castle by Solent SOM007


Two more German 4 funnel liners came my way today. I also have the Deutschland in my collection

Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse (Mercator)

Kaiser Wilhelm II (Mercator)


Shieldhall (Rhenania)


Edinburgh Castle (CM-KR-50) (original mast configuration)


CM-KR-54 Southampton/Good Hope Castle.

Southampton/Good Hope Castle (CM-KR-54)


Albatros AL77 Astor. This is the first Astor that came to South Africa to do cruises for Safmarine. 

Changed livery to reflect Safmarine ownership.


CMKR 40 Achille Lauro. I have been after this model for quite a long time, but never saw an affordable one until now. Funny enough this model is in her darker blue livery although the lighter blue was available prior to this. 


Capetown Castle by CM. I have a Hein Muck Capetown Castle, but really messed it up when I repainted the decks. I was never really happy with how she came out but now have a proper version of her.

Capetown Castle (CM-KR-213)


Balmoral Castle by Rhenania,  The Balmoral is a stunning model although technically she should have the red with black topped funnels, In October 1910 she acted as a royal yacht, HMS Balmoral Castle, with a white hull and yellow funnels, she carried the Duke and Duchess of Connaught to South Africa for the opening of Parliament.

Iolaire in front of Balmoral

The Iolaire was built in 1902 as a private yacht for Sir Donald Currie at the William Beardmore yards and was used as an officer cadet training ship.. Although usually white hulled it is said that she was painted in the lavender grey hull and red funnel livery of Union-Castle when being used for training of deck officer cadets. In August 1914 she was leased to the Admiralty and she became the flagship of the anti submarine patrol at Stornoway. In 1939 she was hired by the Admiralty as a senior officers’ accommodation ship, then purchased by the Navy in 1943 and renamed Persephone in 1945. She was decommissioned in 1946 and subsequently broken up at Blyth during 1948. She is not to be confused with the Iolaire that sank on 01/01/1919 in the outer Hebrides.


Bloemfontein Castle (top) and Rhodesia Castle, both by CM-KR

Bloemfontein Castle (CM-KR-56)

Rhodesia Castle (CM-KR-57)


Dunnottar Castle by  Albatros (AL-148). A very nice model and much better detailed than the resin cast version I have already.


I have not been doing much shipbuilding, painting or buying lately, but did invest in a very nice Mauretania by Albatros.


I will shortly be moving house and so my ships are going to be stored for who knows how long. I will be honest though, I have not done much recently on any of them, and the two that I was painting were never finished.  (Move did not happen and status quo is unchanged). 

Recent additions were:

Empire Bombardier. The next two ships are Len Jordan models and are superbly detailed. Bombardier is interesting, she is really a tanker but has a fake funnel midships in an effort to make her look like a freighter. 

Empire Magpie. 

HMS Belfast. I am glad to have gotten this model as it is quite a good one, and it is Belfast in her wartime garb. I don’t know who the maker is though as it is not marked.

Royal Mail’s Andes. I am not to enamoured by this model, it was originally a wartime version but I ground off all the wartime additions to make it into a civvy version. Unfortunately it is not a very good casting and doesn’t look very good. Painting has also stalled on her which does explain the wobby black painting.

P&O’s Arcadia. This is a Len Jordan model and very well made, painting on her stalled though.

Triang Minic whaler. A very small model and not an original either, but these are not as easy to come by as you would think. 

I have a feeling the person who created this one has built a ship that never was. It is marked “Fredrick Der Grosse” but there was no 4 funnel liner with that name, although two of them did serve as commerce raiders during WW1 (Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse and Kronprinz Wilhelm). I suspect I will never know the origins of the model but it is an interesting ship. 

Frederick Der Grosse


I had a few arrivals this past week but will only paste them once I am finished them.  Newest was the Hamberg America vessel Deutschland by CM (what do you think of my snazzy backgrounds?)

I also added MV Rapana, a Merchant Aircraft Carrier (MAC ship) in resin by Len Jordan.

And City of Durham of Ellerman Lines also in resin by Len Jordan. Sadly the Len Jordan ships have stopped being produced which is quite sad as they were excellent models.

Reina Del Pacifico by Hein Muck. Still working on her though.

Somewhere along the line I also bought an Atlas Editions Lusitania, which I have since waterlined. She now looks like this.


One of the more rare Triang ships out there is HMS Albion in her “Commando Carrier” guise.  I had a spare scrap HMS Bulwark laid up so decided to convert her into an HMS Albion. Here the pair of them are together, Albion being in front. I bought 5 x 1/1250 Westland Wessex helicopters for her and am busy trying to make rotors for them, Ye gads, what a job that was! 

My strange submarine collection also got a boost with 3 new odd submarines from the inter war years to add to my 2 K-Class disasters. HM Submarine K5 is at the back and her sister K26 is in front of her. The next sub is HMS X-1 from 1923, Next in line is HMS M-2, a sea plane carrier with her Parnall Peto seaplane (although that is a tad too big for it to be one) and finally, the cammo version of HMS M-1 with her 12″ guns.


Following my discovery of the two tugs below I found a model of the original RMS St Helena that had been printed in 3d in 1/1250 scale. Following a lot of hoops that I had to jump through I finally got the ship and she looks like this.

The crane booms will go as will the two small cranes on the upper decks, and possibly the mast too.  will replace them with thinner booms and change the mast to what it should look like. The late Howard Burr took the image below of what she looked like when she was in service as the RMS.

She will be an interesting build, and if I had thought of it at the time I would have ordered another and made her into an Avalon iteration. *Update* She proved to be a very difficult ship to finish, I could not get a smooth surface on her and glue just would not stick to her either. Her mast unfortunately broke before I got to do anything to it. She was an interesting experiment though and I see that there is a Falklands Island service version of the ship.  Where did she come from? Shapeways


Sometime recently I saw a post about 3D models that had been printed, and I bookmarked it because the models were of the John Ross and Wolraad Woltemade. I intended buying the pair more out of curiosity than anything else. This past week I placed and order and the two models arrived. (Ross is in front)

For those that are interested, the ships are 1/1250 scale (1,2 x 7,6 x 2,0 cm) and are in nylon and unfinished. There are a variety of different finishes and colours to choose from but I took a low res because I really wanted to see what the the output from a 3D printer looked like. 

What were they like? I battled to get a smooth surface on them, sanding did not seem to work and in the end multiple coats of paint were the easiest. I also battled to get anything to stick to them. The mast of the Woltemade was a battle and the end result is really just a compromise. They are nice models though, esp the Ross.

The Ross has already tackled her first towing job, watched by a passing cruise ship…

The tug models may be found at and I got them in less than a week. 


And, just when you thought I had finished shipping for the month, my ship came in again! RMMV Carnarvon Castle by Albatros. And she is a real beaut, although some spars and masts got bent in transport. I can’t believe I wanted to try scratch build her. Good thing I broke her up on the stocks. 


My ship came in again. Windsor Castle by Albatros.  


Managed to snag myself a Transvaal Castle by CM. She is not in a mint condition, but makes a good addition to my collection. Unfortunately her mast was missing so I fabricated a new one, although it did not turn out too well. I always thought her conversion to Festivale enhanced her looks, she never really appealed to me. 


Another superbly detailed warship, a River Class Frigate from Neptune. I do not understand how they are able to get so much detail on so small a model. 


I bought two more ships from Convoy Models, the first to add to my WW2 convoy. She is Empire Day, a standard merchant ship build by Doxfords from July 1941. What sets her apart is that she is what is known as a CAM ship. These came about as a way to protect convoys from airborne and seaborne attacks by Focke-Wulf Condors and U Boats. It was really just a stopgap until the better airborne protection provided by escort carriers. A single (and expendable) Hurricane fighter was mounted on a catapult on the bows of the ship, and once launched could not be recovered although the ship was still able to continue with its voyage afterwards.  

Sadly Empire Day would be lost sunk by U198 south-east of Zanzibar in August 1944. All 34 crew and eight DEMS gunners survived, although the Chief Officer was taken captive by the submarine which was sunk by  HMS Findhorn and HMIS Godaveri off the Seychelles on 12 August. 

Almost done

Number 2 addition is another Capetown Castle and it is the same as my other Capetown Castle. The reason I bought it was to convert it to SA Oranje. Theoretically I should have converted my Pretoria Castle model, but it is a commercial model and there was no way I was going to stuff it up. 

The only real work I had to do on her was remove the aft deckhouse and lifeboats and raise the funnel. I then modified the deckhouse and re-glued it so that it was only a docking bridge, I also added a pool between it and the next deckhouse and used the top of the original funnel in my newly constructed funnel. I also have to fabricate a new mast for her and of course expend lots of white paint. So far she looks like this: 

I have not decided whether to paint her matt or gloss white. At the moment is matt white but still needs another coat. It has been a very enjoyable model to build, and is almost complete.  I am actually enjoying this model because it has not been such a pain to work on. She is almost done and this is what she looks like now.

I am kind of proud of the name board I added in too.  

I have acquired yet another K-Class Submarine (K5) and she may be seen in the foreground of this image, she is the one with the “swan bow” and was made by Oceanic. I still have to paint her. 

Just to complicate my life I now have another Oceanic version of the RMS St Helena, this one came without davits just to complicate my life. Here she is seen with my partly completed version. The casting of this one is equally poor although the port side is in a much better condition than the other one I bought. If only there was a way to get a better casting of this model (with davits and lifeboats installed). I now know that there are two different versions of this casting; my first RMS was a solid hull, the second is a hollow.  I know all the pitfalls in this model now so can hopefully build a better one than my first attempt.

Progress so far. (25/02/2018)

I picked up a RMS Titanic on the cheap from the Atlas Editions ships, its not a great model and the masts are rubbish, but it makes an interesting addition to the collection. I don’t think I will cut it down into a waterline version, although it would work with my floating dock.

RMS Titanic. Atlas Editions

HM Submarine K-26 (back), HM Submarine E-9 (left),   UB 142 (right)

Castle Class Armed Trawler

HMS Bangor

Flower Class Corvette HMS Tulip (front)

HMS Renown (Atlas Editions)

Quite by accident I managed to lay my hands on an Oceanic built RMS St Helena. It is probably made of lead and is really a very poor rough casting. It came with 3 lifeboats, a funnel and the double crane assembly. Unfortunately the casting is poor and looking at it realistically it will be very difficult to complete. It will however make a very good basis for a new scratchbuild  iteration of the RMS, The other alternative is to created the superstructure walls out of plastic card and glue them onto the very roughly cast vessel, I have not made a decision yet though, I still need to experiment a bit more.

I have been working on her for quite some time and she is looking much better than she does here. My scratchbuild RMS is in the background. I still have some work to do on her though and have another one on its way. I learnt a lot with this casting, and hope to avoid the mistakes in my third one. 


The German submarine tender: Saar. The model was made by Mercator and is incredibly detailed. She will make the perfect mothership for my corvettes. 

A cluster of Flower Class Corvettes. Before I laid my hands on proper corvette models I had a small lead model of one that was theoretically a corvette but didn’t really make the grade compared to the proper ones I have.  These are very detailed models and one of these days I am going to have to send another convoy to sea. The right hand ship is HMS Begonia, and she is a short fo’c’stle corvette while the left hand ship is HMCS Snowberry.

My new cluster of corvettes I picked up off ebay and they have all been repainted by their previous owner. My original ship is the one behind the Arctic camouflaged vessel. The Arctic scheme I painted and it was really to reflect the colour scheme of HMCS Sackville.   

MV Rochester Castle, a 1937 built “fruit ship” operated by the Union-Castle Line, she took part in Operation Pedestal during WW2, and was broken up in 1970. There were 4 sisters in this class: Rochester Castle, Roxburgh Castle, Richmond Castle and Rowallan Castle. Rochester was the only survivor of World War 2. I have since progressed a bit further with the model. 

Stirling Castle as a trooper, seen here with her sister Athlone Castle in peacetime garb.

USS Spruance (DD963), the lead ship of the  Spruance class destroyers.

USS Bunker Hill (CG52), a Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser

HMS Gloucester (D96), a type 42 batch 3 destroyer

USS Guardian (MCM5) An Avenger Class mine countermeasures ship

HMS Bangor (M109), a Sandown Class minehunter. I also have her sister HMS Penzance (M105)

 and finally a Hunt class mine countermeasures vessel. She has no pennant number, although I do have her sister HMS Brocklesbury  (M33)

HMS Achilles (F12) by Mountford in 1/1250 scale. Quite a detailed model of a Leander Class Frigate wielding guns. 

Ton Class Minesweeper. Actually I now have two of them,  the ship on the left (HMS *.ton) I got from The Triang version (HMS Repton) is on the right. 

A particularly rare beastie came my way this month: SS France. I repainted her and added in masts and this is the end result. She was produced by Triang Minic on 1/1200 scale. Unfortunately she never joined the other major liners that were re-introduced in later years from Hong Kong.  

HMS Tiger (Mountford kit in 1/1250)

Built but not yet painted.

TSS Vikingen (Triang MInic)

Since repainted and with masts and cargo gear, although I am not too enamoured by those overly heavy masts. I may rethink those.

And SS Varicella

Since repainted.  She was produced by Triang Minic

I have also been working on a 1/1250ish RMS St Helena and have just more or less completed her. The model is not great, but it was a learning curve. 

I buy my display cases from ebay.

DRW © 2017-2022. Created 16/04/2017, some images replaced 11/10/2020.