musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: Warship

Fleet Manoeuvres

Regular readers of this blog may have seen posts about my slowly expanding fleet of Triang Minic Ships. The fleet occupies 2 display cases and a smaller plastic box and has become somewhat too large for the few harbour parts that I do have. This weekend I hauled the ships out and set them up on my kitchen table and took some pics.

The ships alongside here are mostly Triang Minic in 1/1200 scale, although I did sneak in one or 2 1/1250 scale ships that fit in with the others. Only the smaller warships are in this layout.

The dominant ship in this image is the RMS Queen Elizabeth; she is one of my original vessels and I really want to buy one in a better condition. Also in view is the Ivernia, Flandre, 2nd Mauretania, United States and QE2, with the Pendennis Castle underway. The piers are lengths of stripwood while the cranes are all Triang issues.

The dominant ship here is the Caronia while the Nieuw Amsterdam is in front of the venerable Aquitania.

And while the Pendennis was sailing the Pretoria Caste was arriving

The two Union-Castle ships are part of my Union-Castle collection that was also in port on this reasonably sunny day. 

Unfortunately, only while I was packing away did I realise that the Reina Del Mar was not in this image and was probably away cruising somewhere. I did rectify the matter in a later pic.

I also gathered the Cunard fleet together for a photo session.

I lined up the battle wagons for a rare airing too, fortunately they did not open fire on each other or there would have been bits and pieces all over the place. 

My newest addition is the SS Australis, but she is in limbo at the moment as she is not scaled according to what she should be.

She may be returning back to her supplier, although I may keep her and finish her off anyway because I really did like the original ship. 

The fleet is now back in its display, and the table has been restored to its former state. That was a lot of work, and I am not likely to do it again for a  long time. I do have a smaller project on the go that may end up here, although sometimes my ideas are a bit better than the actual end result. Watch this space as they say in the classics.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 26/11/2016

Updated: 01/01/2018 — 16:30

Triang Minic Ships

Many years ago. I had a huge collection of model ships and boats, including two radio controlled tugs. The smaller waterline diecast vessels I had never really indulged in because I did not know that they existed. A visit to the home of one of the friends of a friend opened my eyes because he had the three major liners (Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and United States) in 1/1200 scale, and they were the start of my collection. The links in this page all point to the page, but there is no way of knowing how long that page will exist. 
The first Triang Minic ship I acquired was the Aragon. She was in a poor condition and minus masts and half of her bridge wing. I repainted it and made masts out of pins and put her on my shelf as an oddity amongst my collection. I still have her today, bad paint job and all.

Then things went quiet until I picked up an advert in a local newspaper for somebody selling a collection. There were 2 Cunarders in it, as well as the Queen Elizabeth and two tugs and a light vessel and some bits and pieces of harbour. This was in the pre internet days so there was no real way of finding out what was available. He also wanted R500-00 for it, and given my dead end salary it was really out of my price range. I came very close to buying it, but never did. Awhile later I picked up a slightly used Queen Elizabeth and added her to my collection too. She was resprayed by a friend and her funnels need a lot of work.

I have recently found masts for her, and one day will do something about the funnels.
That was the sum total of my collection for many years. There were rumours of a huge collection being sold out of the country, but I had no way of knowing what was available apart from the two Cunarders I had seen and the three major liners. Nothing happened for a long time but I used to haunt the hobby shops hoping to build onto my collection and at some point I managed to pick up a Queen Mary.
The model above is not my original Queen Mary though, this one I found in Salisbury in 2014.  
I also found a mint United States in South Africa which was really surprising. By now we were in the internet era and I would haunt the net looking for more ships, the problem was no longer a lack of ships, it was more about an exchange rate that made them very expensive and postage that was never guaranteed.   
My last South African acquisitions were on a local auction site, namely the Aquitania which does need a lot of work. 
as well as a Canberra in a poor condition
and a mastless model of the NS Savannah
I have since replaced my Canberra with a better one and found white metal masts for the Savannah. 
Triang also had a range of warships, and while I did not really look for them I would buy them if they were affordable, and I managed to acquire a DKM Bismarck
as well as an IJN Yamato
When I left South Africa in 2013 I left my ships behind, but hoped to get them back with me at some point and to add to my collection until then. 
In 2013 I attended the Maritime Festival in Southampton, and on display there was an almost complete collection of Triang Minic ships and I was able to see what I was missing (and there was a lot).  My first acquisition in the UK was the Queen Mary pictured above as well as a Naval Harbour Set.
That set included HMS Bulwark and HMS Vanguard.
I also started watching ebay and buying modern warships that interested me. Including HMS Daring, HMS York,  HMS Chatham and of course HMS Ark Royal.
I also picked up three very nice C4 Mariner class cargo ships. 
and even bought a Ellermans container ship: City of Durban
and a thumping great bulker too.
I brought my collection across in 2014 and it was still small compared to what it could be.

The 2014 Maritime Festival in Southampton once again had a Minic collection on display and I did quite a lot of drooling over it. 

More importantly, I was able to add the Caronia to my collection, she has since had her upperworks painted in a lighter green. 
and bought a Canberra in a better condition to replace my existing one. 
My most recent acquisitions were DKM Scharnhorst 
as well as SS Nieuw Amsterdam 
Sadly she is in need of a lot of work, but considering that she is quite an oldish model I was lucky to find her. Those missing Cunarders still haunt me though (Carinthia, Carmania, Franconia, Sylvania and Saxonia), but considering how many years it has taken to get to this point anything can happen. I am also on the lookout for an SS France to complete my major liner collection. 
and I would like to add an American battleship to my battleship collection
But that is for the future. Anything can happen in these collections, it seems to happen in spurts and bumps, and who knows what I will have tomorrow.

My passenger ship collection.


The Triang Minic ships are nice momentos for a ship buff like myself, but once again, they are only of worth to a collector like myself, and not to somebody else. So hands off my stash!  (I have images of my 2016 expanded harbour available too)
There is a part 2 to this post which may be found here 


© DRW 2016-2018. Images migrated 02/05/2016. Added pointer to part 2 of the post 20/08/2016, added “open in new tab” option to links and unbolded them. 12/11/2018
Updated: 12/11/2018 — 09:26

Preserved ships: HMS Warrior

On my first visit to Portsmouth in April 2013, the first ship I saw was HMS Warrior. You cannot really miss her because she is berthed almost parallel to the station.

I remember reading about her preservation in the old days before Ships Monthly was priced out of our reach by the CNA. I never expected way back then that I would be seeing this ship in real life. The best description I could give when I first saw her was: “larger than life” because she is so much bigger than I expected.

I visited her on 28 April 2013, along with HMS Victory. The weather was grey and did not do this ship justice. Maybe it is time I paid her a return visit? 
There is no doubt that she was a ship from a different era altogether. If anything she was a ground breaker, and when she entered service there must have been many people who sat up and realised that she was the future, albeit for a short period. 
The upper decks are much more spacious than I expected, and I think this is why I was so surprised at her size, although the only ship that could be a close parallel to her would be the SS Great Britain.


However, compared to HMS Victory she is light years ahead. Victory was small and cramped, he is large and spacious, and probably the crew was much smaller too. Although she would have to carry a new breed of sailor for her engineering department.

Her gun decks still had not changed much since the old wooden walls though. Lines of guns that would be run out of gunports in the sides. Although the guns were probably a bit more accurate than the canon used on the Victory. Even her galley was an improvement, although it was probably still coal or wood fired.
It is interesting to note that the stove is resting on a brick laid deck. Fire was a major concern on board ship, and when you have wooden decks the risk is even greater. However, Warrior was not destroyed by fire, she became obsolete, and she has survived all those who came after her.
The officers country was aft, and the standards were much higher here than that of the crew areas. But that has always been a feature of ships, and Warrior was no exception. 
Actually she does have that windowed stern gallery that seemed to have survived the transition between wooden wall and iron hull.
Of course probably the worst place to be on a ship like this would have been the stokehold, feeding coal into the furnaces. 
And I am sure that if anybody that had served on her had seen the pristine boiler room today they would have collapsed in fits of laughter. It was a hot, dirty, steamy and badly lit place to spend your working day, with back breaking labour just added in to make you miserable.
The two cylinder trunk steam engine is not an easy thing to see or photograph in its entirety, and that is probably true for most ships that I have visited. Marine steam engines are big, and Warrior had a large plant too. I would have really liked to see more of this engine, but I am afraid that was something I did not achieve.

Being a warship meant that she carried not only large caliber weapons, but small calibre and rifle calibre too, I expect she even had a detachment of Marines. Certainly there were rifles to hand.
 And of course there was naval issue rum, probably one of the highlights of any sailor’s day.
HMS Warrior carried a formidable armament, and there were early breech loading guns on board. Yet, It doubt if she ever fired these guns in anger. It must however have been very interesting to watch gun drill with a large breech loader like the one above.  Of course large calibre weapons also needed supplies of powder and shot, and a fire in a magazine would usually doom the ship.
I seem to recall that this was part of the powder magazine, with all the attendant risks associated with it. 
Warrior was unique in that she could either be sail or screw driven (of both at the same time), and she had a propeller that could be raised when not required. It also gave her an additional edge in range, although how often sails were used is questionable. There were proponents of sail and proponents of steam, and at the end of the day steam won the race, and warships with multiple masts and yards were on their last legs.

I have no doubt that she must have been considered somewhat of a novelty to those drafted to serve on her,  although how she would have performed against a similar opponent would have been very interesting. She was a formidable vessel, but only until the next design comes along.


Her restoration was quite an achievement,  and she is in a magnificent condition, and really worth visiting. My only gripe was probably that I was not able to appreciate her engine better, but I do understand the limitations on displaying something like that.
It was soon time to leave this beaut behind and head off elsewhere, I had seen her, but she definitely needs another visit to fully appreciate her. Besides, I never found the heads!

© DRW 2013-2018. Created 01/03/2015, images recreated 03/04/2016
Updated: 01/07/2018 — 08:11
DR Walker © 2014 -2019. Images are copyright to DR Walker unless otherwise stated. Frontier Theme