Model Boat Mayhem

Mess Deck: General Section => Full Scale Ships => Topic started by: Colin Bishop on April 09, 2008, 10:22:15 pm

Title: HMS Belfast
Post by: Colin Bishop on April 09, 2008, 10:22:15 pm
I spent today crawling all over HMS Belfast in the Pool of London in connection with a forthcoming Model Boats article. It's a long, long time since I last visited the ship and I was very impressed with what's on view these days from the compass platform down to the engine and boiler rooms. For anyone who is interested in warships there is a full day out and it only costs just over a tenner! As an added bonus there are some very good warship models of the WW11 period on display as well. If you haven't yet visited the ship then it's well worth it. Details on: http://hmsbelfast.iwm.org.uk/

These pictures give a bit of the flavour.

Colin
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Martin13 on April 10, 2008, 09:50:38 am
colin,

What year was she built - their is a member POLARIS that is trying to find photo's of her around 1936 - 1939. Do you have any as I'm not sure if I have in my collection :)

Martin doon under
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: DickyD on April 10, 2008, 10:00:11 am
There you go Martin, she wasn't fitted out till 1938.

Plenty on web if you google it.

http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/edinburgh_class.htm#HMS%20Belfast
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Martin13 on April 10, 2008, 10:17:22 am
Hopefully POLARIS will see this post. Maybe I will PM him and redirect him here

Thanks Dicky, thought you said you were going in your shed O0

Martin
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Martin [Admin] on April 10, 2008, 12:37:14 pm

More pictures of HMS Belfast here - http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/Galleries.htm (http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/Galleries.htm)
Look under " London 2 "
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Colin Bishop on April 10, 2008, 06:14:16 pm
Polaris and I are in contact already, he's been having some computer problems but has promised me some information on the ship. I think we'd all like to see his own model which is almost complete.
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Martin13 on April 10, 2008, 10:03:07 pm
Polaris and I are in contact already, he's been having some computer problems but has promised me some information on the ship. I think we'd all like to see his own model which is almost complete.
Glad to hear that Polaris is in contact with you Colin. The gent sent me a pm asking if I had a photo of HMS belfast but to date have had no luck. So far only found HMS Edinburgh. I enjoy helping members out but at the moment it seems to be one way traffic, everybody helping me.

Martin doon under
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Colin Bishop on April 10, 2008, 10:09:59 pm
Belfast is a bit unique as, following her mining in 1939, she was extensively repaired and rebuilt incorporating a number of improvements including a "bulged" hull so she no longer conformed to the original design. She is an impressive ship although not so good looking as her earlier sisters due to the odd mast/funnel arrangement which was due to the 4 inch gun magazine being sited forward instead of aft for no apparent good reason that I can find documented.
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Martin13 on April 10, 2008, 10:22:27 pm
I thought those pictures of HMS Belfast looked a bit modern compared to my photo collection - but what do I know :-\

I now understand why Polaris had asked for help. Originally I thought that the collection of Photographs were about 300 in total but mother has informed me its more like 500 plus. On that note, may still find photo of ship in original condition.

Martin doon under
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Colin Bishop on April 10, 2008, 10:34:21 pm
Martin, You probably haven't got a picture of her as the Belfast may never have visited Malta before the war. The reason she looks modern in the pictures I have posted is that in the late 1950s the ship underwent a major refit which included rebuilding the bridge, which was originally similar to that in the Southampton class cruisers in your Dad's collection, and the fitting of large lattice masts in place of the original tripods. There were also changes to the secondary and anti aircraft armament after WW2 which considerably altered the appearance of the ship. The ship as you see her now reflects her appearance at the end of her service life in the late 1960s. For some reason they have recently chosen to paint her in a WW2 camouflage scheme which is completely anachronistic.

Colin
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Martin13 on April 10, 2008, 10:48:37 pm
Martin, You probably haven't got a picture of her as the Belfast may never have visited Malta before the war. The reason she looks modern in the pictures I have posted is that in the late 1950s the ship underwent a major refit which included rebuilding the bridge, which was originally similar to that in the Southampton class cruisers in your Dad's collection, and the fitting of large lattice masts in place of the original tripods. There were also changes to the secondary and anti aircraft armament after WW2 which considerably altered the appearance of the ship. The ship as you see her now reflects her appearance at the end of her service life in the late 1960s. For some reason they have recently chosen to paint her in a WW2 camouflage scheme which is completely anachronistic.

Colin

Totally agree with you Colin, she may have never visited Malta but their is always hope. I would have preferred her not in those colours but as you said, she has been extensively modified - I would love to see photo's of her as built and if I were to build a model of this ship would prefer her as laid down.
Having said that, I think I have just answered my own thoughts - As a next build, I am pondering over HMS Cornwall but was asked, at what time/period with absolutely no idea. It appears that I love these ships in original condition/laid down. Thanks for that Colin - you helped me out once again. O0 O0 O0

Martin doon under
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: DickyD on April 11, 2008, 08:26:02 am
Belfast never went to Malta Martin. She hit a mine in 1939 and repairs took till 1942. She then served in the Atlantic on Russian convoys.
Belfast and Sheffield then encountered the German Gneisenau class battlecruiser Scharnhorst, and with the battleship HMS Duke of York subsequently sank her.
She then  was part of Operation Tungsten in March 1944, a large carrier-launched air strike against the Tirpitz
In June 1944 she took part in the bombardment of enemy positions at the beginning of Operation Neptune, the landing phase of the D-Day landings, as flagship of bombardment Force E.

The ship is currently painted in a camouflage scheme officially known as Admiralty Disruptive Camouflage Type 25. In the real timeline, HMS Belfast carried that paint scheme from November 1942 to July 1944.  O0
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Martin [Admin] on April 11, 2008, 09:01:26 am
Colin, I'd like to see some more pictures of the shell and gun mechanisms if you won't be using them for the article.
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Martin13 on April 11, 2008, 09:26:57 am
Belfast never went to Malta Martin. She hit a mine in 1939 and repairs took till 1942. She then served in the Atlantic on Russian convoys.
Belfast and Sheffield then encountered the German Gneisenau class battlecruiser Scharnhorst, and with the battleship HMS Duke of York subsequently sank her.
She then  was part of Operation Tungsten in March 1944, a large carrier-launched air strike against the Tirpitz
In June 1944 she took part in the bombardment of enemy positions at the beginning of Operation Neptune, the landing phase of the D-Day landings, as flagship of bombardment Force E.

The ship is currently painted in a camouflage scheme officially known as Admiralty Disruptive Camouflage Type 25. In the real timeline, HMS Belfast carried that paint scheme from November 1942 to July 1944.  O0

Thanks DickyD for the info
- it's a pity she never went to Malta but I still would prefer her NOT in those colours. Have you got a photo of her as built ??

Itchin Martin doon under
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: DickyD on April 11, 2008, 09:41:12 am
Your wish is my command o itchy one. O0
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Martin13 on April 11, 2008, 04:25:05 pm
She sure is different now - I prefer how she was born ;D O0

Itchin doon under
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: John R Haynes on April 11, 2008, 05:13:13 pm
Some of the models of Belfast 1939 and '59  at 1/192 were built by me for the IWM many years ago . Also my Scharnhorst built 30 odd years ago is onboard. A few years ago I built  a 1/96 HMS Sheffield for an American client and the midships ammo handling system was a bit of a nightmare to get your head around. A lot of parts are available  for any modellers interested. Pity we did not preserve more of our Navy but I suppose its down to money. Interesting to visit the States and see the vast number of navy ships preserved there.  Johnn R Haynes
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: banjo on April 11, 2008, 05:19:03 pm
 :)
A bit off topic but regarding the preservation of ships overseas..

I was in Japan and even now they still  have a Dreadnought built in the UK for the Japanese Navy.

Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Colin Bishop on April 11, 2008, 05:21:53 pm
John,

I very much admired your models on board Belfast. It was interesting to see how the appearance of the ship has changed over the years. Scharnhorst is very good too.

It's nice to see the models displayed in such an appropriate context.

Colin
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Bryan Young on April 11, 2008, 07:42:18 pm
It could be interesting to see what old ships people on this forum would like to preserve, and for what reason. I agree that we have too few, and all really based in the south of England. OK, I know there are a few others, but you get my drift. "Cavalier" was brought to the Tyne, but due to being in a lousy and inaccesible berth, total neglect by the various local councils etc. it was removed. I don't think it was public apathy. Same with "Plymouth". Just rotted away. "Great Britain"...again in the south. Whatever happened to Liverpool? Methinks there has been no joined up thinking on this subject and the south is going to be overloaded both financially and visitor-wise (except that is a negative...how often does a member of the public visit a ship?). Spread worthy ones around the country and pool resources. BY.
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Colin Bishop on April 11, 2008, 08:10:43 pm
Well Bryan, from where I'm sitting (Surrey) Bristol is "West" but I suppose that from the fastness of Tynemouth it's Southish.

The problem with all these preservation efforts is that support from public funds is negligible, the politicians, local or national have no interest whatsoever in preserving our maritime heritage and the vast majority are probably entirely unaware that we have one.

This means that each vessel has to support itself which is an incredibly difficult task. There are those who criticise the plans for the Cutty Sark as being too "commercial" but without them the ship doesn't stand a chance of survival.

The problem is that when you open an new attraction such as a preserved ship, all the people who are interested and live within reasonable travelling distance will visit it and that's it! The majority are unlikely to return for years. So for regular income the ship has to rely on visiting tourists and by having a business plan which allows it to stage or host various events to bring in the cash. For that you need a good location and a good fundraising operation. It's still precarious though as the Cutty Sark saga shows.

Cavalier is at Chatham at the moment. I visited her a year or two back but before that it must have been twenty years or so since I last saw her at Brighton. I hope to be back on her within the next week or two as Chatham Historic Dockyard is another Model Boats article I have in preparation. Although these articles are written from a model making angle, both Paul Freshney and myself see them as an opportunity to "plug" these historic ships to encourage the readership to visit them so in that way we are trying to do our bit to publicise and support these historic vessels.

The Americans seems to do this so much better, not only do they preserve their own historic vessels but they have quite a few of ours as well such as the Queen Mary and square rigger Balaclutha.

Colin
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Bryan Young on April 12, 2008, 05:42:29 pm
Perhaps there is another way to address the problem of the "just now and again" visitor. I can only give 2 examples in "my" area, but both seem to work. One is in Hartlepool where they have made a stunning display which includes an indoor walkabout and open a couple of old ships. Hartlepool is not quite the centre of the universe but the local council etc. have done wonders with the area and people do seem to want to go there. The second one , of course, must be Beamish. At the moment there is not all that much in the Marime field, but I am told that they hold warehouses full of dockyard stuff and hope to re-create a ship building or repair area. Again, this is not somewhere you vist every week, but one day a year just to see the changes and additions is worth it. The bars is always full when I go there....as is "Dainty Dinahs" tea rooms. Or perhaps it is more to do with the idea that us northeners are more willing to travel south than southerners are to travel north? Or is it just that we prefer to keep the glories of Northumberland and Durham to ourselves. You tell me. Bryan.
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: farrow on April 12, 2008, 05:49:49 pm
Getting back to the thread of the query ref early photo,s there are three in  cyberheritage/plymouth then go down the page until you find navyphotos at the bottom, including one in the war when she had just been hit, also you can download the photos for free.
RMAS master.
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: furball on April 18, 2008, 04:39:43 pm
Quote
I hope to be back on her within the next week or two as Chatham Historic Dockyard is another Model Boats  article I have in preparation.

If it happens to be a Saturday your down on (we're there on the 26th April & 10th May, i.e. every couple of weeks), stick your head in to the lifeboat gallery and say hello.

You'll get a closer view of the boats than the public can get  ;)

Lance
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Colin Bishop on April 18, 2008, 05:04:28 pm
Lance,

Thanks.

In fact I visited Chatham on Tuesday, lovely sunny day, 220 photos! As on previous occasions I think the Lifeboat exhibition is stunning, beautifuly presented. It's a must for anyone with any interest in the RNLI and lifeboats. I've got an invite back to the Dockyard for the official opening of No: 3 Slip on the 29th April which I hope to go to. They were giving previews on Tuesday and there is some pretty fascinating stuff in there too.

Colin

Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Mr Andy on April 19, 2008, 08:35:41 pm
I think Britain should be ashamed at the way they treat our maritime history, you only have to look at the Ships Nostalgia site to see what needs saving and what we have lost. The Americans have ships preserved that they feel belong to the state they are named after, imagine if we did the same! no maybe not we know it just will not happen. Then again look at the Dutch the boats they have preserved, someone here should get a good clean swift kick up the jacksy, for showing a complete lack of interest. Rant over for now.

Andy
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: farrow on June 09, 2008, 09:45:49 pm
Bryan, some years ago when the RMAS ST Margarets paid off, Liverpool council did approach the MoD to buy her. They wanted to put her in their dock complex as an attraction as she was built in Birkenhead in 1943, but the MoD insisted she was sold to the highest bidder, which surprise surprise was Pounds of Portsmouth who eventually sold her on for scrap in Italy.
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Bowwave on June 10, 2008, 10:43:02 am
Unlike our American cousins we as an erstwhile maritime power have responded lamentably over the years to preserving aspects of our maritime past. Having said all that acquiring a warship is not so much,  the hard part. Raising money for on going care and maintenances certainly is.  In the cold light of day  only organizations like the Imperial War Museum have the infrastructure and funding train in place to ensure preservation projects like warships don't end up on the buffers. Even these organizations have acquisition policies and budget limitations but preserving a warship even  small ones presents huge problems. Docking, and painting are just two, which eat into any budget. I often hear cries of why oh why didn't we preserve this battleship or that carrier but as we have seen recently even the old Plymouth and Broninngton are languishing, not so much for the lack of on going maintenance which was always a problem but there was no tenure of berthing so when the chips were down the ships had to go. Since then no other interested party has come forward to show any firm interest.  To place things in perspective  its not so much  the lack of preservation   , as sad as it is but the demise of our ship building  skills and capacity now that is were the real concerns should be.
Bowwave
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Bartapuss on June 10, 2008, 11:19:09 pm
I believe its a sign of the times this country is a facing, no longer are thousands of men employed in shipping, shipbuilding and the associated industries that supplied and supported it such as coal mining and steel making. these people and their families understood the importance of being a strong maritime nation. Successive UK governments seem to have gone out of their way to destroy our  manufacturing base in the name of the foreign share holder and now generations people are dumped on the dole and given money to numb the minds with drugs. Yet our armed forces seem to be constantly realing from cutbacks whilst more and more is asked of them with little or no support form government.
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Colin Bishop on June 11, 2008, 10:18:57 am
As soon as a ship is completed she starts to deteriorate and needs constant maintenance to keep it in check. I recently had a cruise on an older ship and the crew were constantly working on her, recaulking the decks, stripping and revarnishing handrails, repainting the superstructure and, in port, repainting the sides of the ship. I think many people asssume that when a ship is taken out of service for preservation all that's needed is a place to park her and the occasional lick of paint to keep her looking shipshape when the truth is very different. This report on the state of HMS Cavalier gives an indication of just some of the problems faced when trying to preserve even a smallish ship: http://www.hmscavalier.org.uk/specs3/index.html
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: Bowwave on June 11, 2008, 10:20:10 am
Another aspect of funding preserved warships that expose the stark differences of approach and policy that exists between the US and UK is in the strong connections that the USN, and ship associations    have with the vessels being preserved. Also the sense of pride exhibited by the state where the vessel is kept.  Sadly this connection doe's not exist in the UK in any meaningful way. I'm not being unkind here to the various naval associations and volunteers, whos impute is vital and their contribution often understated. But the truth of the matter is in the US   warship association have a more proactive role and because of this can raise substantial sums that go towards the costs of preservation. This approach is well established and ensures that many of the vessels have a future. 
Bowwave
Title: Re: HMS Belfast
Post by: tobyker on June 11, 2008, 11:13:40 pm
I was speaking to my godfather today (the last seagoing captain of HMS Belfast) who was instrumental in setting up the original preservation trust. He said they were so relieved when the IWM took her on as the big expense the trust could never raise enough money for was the dry-docking every 5 years.