Modelling the Union-Castle Line (2)

Continuing where we left off, my newest additions have arrived and I am about ready to transform them into members of my ever expanding fleet 

new additions are at the bottom of the post

The available affordable UC models had more or less dried up by now, although some were available from Convoy Models in military garb so I decided to get at least one for the collection, and I chose Stirling Castle. The model was outstanding, and it is hard to believe how much detail is on her. She is easier to paint because you only really need 2 colours: grey and black.

Here is my Stirling Castle and her sister Athlone Castle together. Stirling is in front. (image from 10/2017)

Union Castle also had a large fleet of cargo ships, many of which served in the two world wars. I decided that I needed at least one representative of that fleet and I chose one of  “fruit ships” namely MV Rochester Castle,  Built in  1937, 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. I think Convoy has them in military garb too. 

The fleet as at 26/11/2017:

(L-R) Pendennis, Pretoria, Capetown, Stirling, Athlone, Reina, Dunnottar, Durban, Llandaff, Rochester Castles. (back row) Victoria and Victoria

The two ships behind the fleet are both called “Victoria” The right hand ship being the former Dunnottar Castle, that had a very long life. First operated by the Incres Steamship Co and later by Chandris Lines under the names Victoria and The Victoria. In 1993 she joined Louis Cruise Lines as Princesa Victoria and was finally scrapped in India in 2004. 

The model I have is by Mercury I believe, and here she is with her UC iteration. 

The other Victoria on the left is amongst the many ships that I like. She is the former Sea Princess (built as Kungsholm), and she called in South Africa on a number of occasions, although mostly in Cape Town.

My usual source for UC ships also had her available in a resin cast, and she was easily adaptable to Sea Princess or Victoria, a name she carried later in her career with P&O. It was as Victoria that she did the Union-Castle 100 year centenary voyage in the year 2000.

I decided to make Sea Princess in the P&O livery

This sublime model above was in the window of a travel agent in Salisbury. How I coveted that model! 

I am considering repainting her in the Union-Castle livery so that she can join the fleet. 

At this point things dried up for awhile and I worked on other projects, the biggest one being my St Helena project and I also looked at scratch building a Carnarvon Castle, but shelved that idea when I realised that I did not have the eyesight or skills to do it successfully. However, another thought crossed my mind and I did some thinking and reading and decided on a new project. 

SA Oranje.  23/02/2018.

I have since added another Capetown Castle to my collection 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. 

This is what I was aiming for…

SA Oranje in Cape Town (Postcard)

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 reglued 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 really like how she turned out though, and will make an interesting addition to the fleet which now stands at… 12!  I have since drilled out the area between the lifeboat davits on her and on Capetown Castle and Dunnottar Castle, now to retouch the paint. I am kind of ashamed at how many area’s I did not paint on the UC ships though and touching up shall be done! (30/03/2019, work has ceased on the ship as I am liable to damage her more than enhancing her. Make space in the showcase!)

Update 29/03/2018. 

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 signal mast was missing so I fabricated a new one, although it did not turn out too well and really needs to be remade. I always thought her conversion to Festivale enhanced her looks, she never really appealed to me. 

30/03/2018.  The Fleet now stands at 12 (plus 2 cruise liner versions).

(1434×501)

05/04/2018

I managed to buy a Windsor Castle this week, and she is made by Albatros and is really nice. Looking at her signal mast I definitely need to relook the signal mast on my Transvaal Castle and Oranje.

Hopefully this weekend I will get pics of her with the fleet bringing my collection up to 13.

13/04/2018

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.  

I am very fond of the Carnarvon, she just looked “right” although she was much better looking after she was upgraded to a single funnel with a proper bow.  There is a really stunning model of her as an Armed Merchant Cruiser at the war museum in Johannesburg. It is not an easy model to photograph because it is quite large and the glass case reflects something awful.

My newest acquisition is the Albatros AL-148 Dunnottar Castle. It is much better than the resin cast version I have already. My Hein Muck Dunnottar has been painted grey and is now a wartime version. 

I have since acquired a number of other UC ships since this last post update including:

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

Bloemfontein Castle

Rhodesia Castle

and my collection now stands at….  17!

(back to front):  back row: Windsor, Transvaal, Pretoria

Capetown, Llandaff, Durban (wartime)

Pendennis, Stirling (wartime), Rhodesia

Dunnottar, Athlone, Bloemfontein

Rochester, Carnarvon, Reina Del Mar

Dunnottar (peacetime), Oranje

Actually it stands at 18 as I have just managed to snag a very nice Balmoral Castle model made by  Rhenania. Unfortunately it has yellow and black funnels instead of the usual UC red and black. She did have those funnel colours when she was being used as a Royal yacht, although her hull was then white. I have two choices, either repaint the hull or repaint the funnels.

Balmoral Castle

By sheer accident I also picked up a model of the Iolaire which was Donald Currie’s private yacht.

01/02/2019.

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

The fleet looks like this now:

(1500-687)

1st column: Sea Princess (UC 150 anniversary ship), Windsor, Oranje, Pretoria, Llandaf, Dunnottar.

2nd column: Capetown, Capetown, Dunnottar, Rochester, Victoria (former Dunnottar Castle).

3rd column: Durban,  Transvaal, Athlone, Carnarvon, Balmoral, Iolaire.

4th column: Pendennis, Stirling, Reina Del Mar, Bloemfontein, Rhodesia.

The list of additions to my collection also lives on my More Small Ships page, and of course there is a master list of my collection too. What else is available? it really depends on what pops up on ebay, however I would like to add one of the wartime fruit ships to my collection, I am steadily building up a nice collection of freighters in wartime garb and she would fit in quite well. 

29/03/2019.

Just acquired the Southampton/Good Hope Castle (CM-KR-54), by the looks of it she can be used as either ship as both names are underneath the hull.

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

97/05/2019

Edinburgh Castle (CM-KR-50). Lovely model but someone added a black waterline to her. I tried overpainting it to no avail, all I ended up with a brown! I am resorting to my old favourite Trimline and she now sports a bright red waterline. 

Edinburgh Castle (CM-KR-50)

13/06/2019

Walmer Castle by Solent. Completed 1936 by Harland and Wolf for use on the feeder service between Southampton, Bremen and Hamburg. She was of 906 GRT and could accommodate 12 passengers. She was taken up into service as an armed supply ship based at Scapa Flow, and afterwards converted into a convoy rescue ship. In September 1941, while rescuing survivors from Convoy OG75 she was attacked by an FW200 Kondor and set on fire. 

Walmer Castle by Solent SOM007

Gloucester Castle (Navis NM 910)

I also picked up two hand built models that were made by J.G. Cottrell.  They are in 1/1200 scale and while not perfect are much better then anything I would be able to do. Both however are in need of a repaint. 

Windsor Castle

Warwick Castle

I am not sure how I managed to snag this beauty, but I was the only bidder for the wartime Windsor Castle. 

Windsor Castle (Albatros ALK-117)

The Pretoria Castle below has been niggling away at me for some time. I am going to repaint her as SA Oranje as I already have a Pretoria and an Edinburgh in their original mast configurations. I would ideally have preferred converting my existing Albatros Pretoria Castle as I really prefer the CM model in this case, however I would then need to make a few changes to the masts and do some filing in places I shouldn’t. The conversion has not gone well though, I eventually had to removed the original UC lavender and repaint with white as the lavender just kept showing through. Unfortunately the existing portholes in the hull are now buried under paint so I may have to try unblock them.  I also need to add in the green boot topping and repaint (and straighten) the wireless mast. 

Pretoria Castle (CM-KR443) Original mast configuration

Converted to SA Oranje

08/09/2019

RMS Scot (Albatros AL159)

30/08/2019

A real mystery: the Arundel Castle below does not show up in any manufacturers list. It is a resin model and quite detailed and at one point I thought it may have been a Len Jordan creation but it appears as if she was created by Duncan Robinson. How many are out there and what they cost is a mystery as I cannot find any information on them. I have since repainted the hull and am going to redo her masts when I have energy.

Arundel Castle. (1/1200 maker unknown)

28/09/2019

With a bit of digging I can now report that the following existed/may still existed/was available (my own models are in bold):

A great place to see what is out there is http://sammelhafen.de/index.php?p=uebersicht

And there you have it for now. Not an exhaustive list by any means and always a work in progress.

Keep visiting here to read about more of my UC ships. They aren’t spectacular, but are nice to have. 

DRW © 2016-2019. Created 22/07/2016. Updated and shuffled around 25/03/2018, rebuilt page again 05/04/2018, added list of 1/1250 models 05/07/2018, updated with new pics and links 15/01/2019

Updated: 01/10/2019 — 13:51
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