Model Boat Mayhem - Forum

Dry Dock / Shipyard: Builds & Questions => Navy - Military - Battleships: => Topic started by: raflaunches on October 27, 2011, 04:14:16 PM

Title: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on October 27, 2011, 04:14:16 PM
Hello Everybody

From the lack of replies from everyone I can safely say that no-one knows what a WW2 HMS Gnat looks like and I am going to have to use my imagination or as we say in the forces, service by comparison!!! %%

The model is built to 1/32 scale making it 7ft 3inches loa (including the rudders), beam 14inches, and only 1.5inches draught.
It is powered by two 12v car heater motors each driving an in-turning 45mm propeller from Prop Shop.  Due to the large size of the model I wanted to have smoke/steam pouring out from the funnels, this is achieved by two MMB big foggy units.  We used two Electronize 30amp speed controllers, controlled by a Robbe F-14 twin stick Tx.

(http://s7.postimage.org/5dt34wojr/Picture_074.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/5dt34wojr/)


Here is the story so far...

September 2010- whilst I am busy surviving the Leuchar's Air show (for Queen & Country) my Dad, Steve, lays down the keel and builds the entire hull, tunnels and motor brackets, etc... in less than two months :o :o

November 2010- A big tapering wooden box (I mean hull) appears at the Warwick Show on the Wicksteed Park MBC stand.

December 2010- Dad hands over the hull to me and in a typical forces way tells me 'to get on with it or else!'  <*<

May 2011- At the mayhem meet HMS Gnat's maiden voyage

(http://s7.postimage.org/m0eboz8zr/Picture_052.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/m0eboz8zr/)

We recreated the original steering system of push rods and chains around pulleys, and it actually works  :o.
We thought that the steering gear would be the weakest link on the model but it was human stupidity when both prop shafts disconnected themselves from the motors (someone forgot to tighten the nuts, I'm not mentioning names, Dad).

Currently I am trying to finish off the deck fittings ready for the Warwick show (only two weeks to go!!!)
Any questions I will try to answer asap between swearing and cursing at the amount of junk the Royal Navy fitted to their boats.

Nick B

p.s thanks to Paul Millers for the pictures so far.

Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: John R Haynes on October 28, 2011, 10:47:12 AM
There are photos of HMS MANTIS in my Portfolio section on my site www.johnrhaynes.com
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: TailUK on October 28, 2011, 11:03:45 AM
I've got the 1:48th scale drawings, somewhere but they are of Gnat in her original config. Two stuffing great guns, a load of Maxims and the O/R Latrines hanging off the stern.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on October 28, 2011, 02:24:38 PM
Hi Everyone

Thanks to John Haynes for the extra info and the interest so far. 

As with most models the detail is every thing, and the lack of this detail really stopped us building this version of HMS Gnat until recently.  After reading 'Armed with Stings' by A.Cecil Hampshire, whilst there are no pictures in the book the info described by the author gives some exceptional details of the vessel.  For example, HMS Gnat lost her 2pdr pom-pom on May 19th 1941 when she was attacked by a German field gun outside Tobruk but the author does not elaborate whether the gun was replaced!!
Another piece of mis-information in the book states that HMS Ladybird (sister ship to Gnat) was sunk (sitting in 10ft of water) in Tobruk harbour after sustaining heavy damage, which included her 2pdr pom-pom gun being ripped to shreds with its gun crew. But pictures in Paul Kemp's Gunboat book, and on the internet (see British Pathe film), clearly shows the gun in place being used by the Aussies as an AA gun. >>:-(
 
(http://s7.postimage.org/8zj8jaq8n/020569.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/8zj8jaq8n/)

However, on a high note A.Cecil Hampshire did give plenty of confirmed info with the camouflage (or dazzle paint work, I haven't decided what it would considered to be yet {:-{) being black splinters over light Mediterranean grey.
 
(http://s3.postimage.org/zcngu5c1r/005012.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/zcngu5c1r/)

Does any one know where the 3 inch ammo lockers would be located in relation to the 3 inch/12pdr gun, because whilst the NMM plans show the old system from 1915 of a hoist from a davit being lowered into the superstructure to retrieve the shells, 'Armed with stings' states that when Gnat was torpedoed in October 21st 1941 the 3 inch ammo lockers on the battery deck were on fire caused by the calcium flares inside them igniting.  This in turn invited the U-boat captain thinking he was attacking a much bigger target to fire two more torpedos at the already crippled Gnat!

Any way this is the picture I am working from, the last possible time HMS Gnat was photographed whilst she was serving on the Yangtze in 1937.

(http://s1.postimage.org/5tfpg4q97/Gnat.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/5tfpg4q97/)

If any one has any later shot of her I would be very grateful, many of the other pictures from WW2 are of her sister ships HMS's Aphis, Ladybird, Cockchafer and Scarab.

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on October 28, 2011, 05:16:15 PM
Nice model, have always wanted one of these in their WWII guise, all AA guns and ugliness :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on November 28, 2011, 07:34:57 PM
Hi Mayhemers

It's been several weeks since the Warwick show where I have my twice yearly meeting with Steamboat Phil (some would say that once a year could be considered punishment enough). I met quite a few Mayhemers who were interested in the Gnat however my Dad had to hold the fort on the Friday because I was stuck at work until 12:30  >>:-(.
I was asked several times why I chose to portray Gnat  in October 1941 and the simple answer is the height of the model in 1/32 scale!
Many pictures show the Insect class gunboat with incredibly high masts to support the radio aerials and the searchlight  in the crows nest but in 1/32 scale this would put the overal height at over 3ft, too tall to fit into our van safely.  I absolutely hate removing rigging just to lower the masts, something we had to do with our RAF trawler Adastral.  However a bit of research later I discovered that after Gnat's almost catastrophic engagement with a German field battery at Tobruk it was realised that she was too easy to spot and a nightmare to hide her during daylight hours.  In A. Cecil Hampshire's book Armed with Stings, Captain Poland O/IC Inshore Sqn suggested to Lt Cmdr Davenport  (Gnat's captain) that he should remove the upper mast and crows nest to assist hiding her with camo nets, so job sorted the mast would only be 1ft high!  :-))
I'll update the build progress and some earlier building pictures on Saturday when I get home.
Happy building.

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 03, 2011, 12:33:58 PM
Hi Everyone,

As promised here the pictures of the build so far!


(http://s9.postimage.org/a3wcfjxp7/HMS_Gnat_aft_build.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/a3wcfjxp7/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/lp0bdqr2v/HMS_Gnat_aft_build_2.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/lp0bdqr2v/)

(http://s12.postimage.org/sp2cnkc95/HMS_Gnat_Hull_build_1.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/sp2cnkc95/)

(http://s10.postimage.org/d7iiuux9x/HMS_Gnat_Hull_build_2.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/d7iiuux9x/)

(http://s11.postimage.org/cjyhe4d8f/HMS_Gnat_Hull_Build_4.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/cjyhe4d8f/)

(http://s11.postimage.org/5m3jzntvj/HMS_Gnat_Hull_Build_5.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/5m3jzntvj/)

(http://s8.postimage.org/z7r5h8mz5/HMS_Gnat_Tunnel_Build_2.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/z7r5h8mz5/)

(http://s9.postimage.org/4h9msxqvv/HMS_Gnat_Hull_build_brass_strengthener_2.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/4h9msxqvv/)

(http://s11.postimage.org/vfravh8u7/HMS_Gnat_Motor_mount_1.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/vfravh8u7/)

More pictures to come soon.

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 03, 2011, 01:24:19 PM
More pictures...


(http://s7.postimage.org/pi34f6xzr/HMS_Gnat_Deck_Planking.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/pi34f6xzr/)

(http://s10.postimage.org/lepods6b9/HMS_Gnat_Hull_Paint_1.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/lepods6b9/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/sg9a0dkev/HMS_Gnat_Rudder_1.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/sg9a0dkev/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/he8sfofpz/HMS_Gnat_Rudder_2.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/he8sfofpz/)

(http://s9.postimage.org/b37zqtnbv/HMS_Gnat_Superstructure_and_fittings_2.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/b37zqtnbv/)

(http://s8.postimage.org/eh1bh7rkh/HMS_Gnat_Deck_fittings_4.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/eh1bh7rkh/)

(http://s10.postimage.org/ba0nz2jg5/HMS_Gnat_Fwd_6inch_gun.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ba0nz2jg5/)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 09, 2011, 02:23:54 PM
And more pics...


(http://s11.postimage.org/772ae1gm7/HMS_Gnat_Superstructure_3.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/772ae1gm7/)

(http://s9.postimage.org/az686mqpn/HMS_Gnat_Superstructure_4.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/az686mqpn/)

(http://s10.postimage.org/3qqdbuyj9/HMS_Gnat_Test_float_2.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/3qqdbuyj9/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/83cx736yf/HMS_Gnat_Pre_Test_Run_1.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/83cx736yf/)

(http://s9.postimage.org/pl6fmd29n/HMS_Gnat_Pre_Test_Run_3.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/pl6fmd29n/)

(http://s9.postimage.org/z1w8szm4b/Picture_068.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/z1w8szm4b/)

(http://s11.postimage.org/w2dcik9r3/Picture_073.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/w2dcik9r3/)

(http://s8.postimage.org/me7r8d9dd/Picture_131.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/me7r8d9dd/)

Some fantastic advice for everyone...

If you have that sinking feeling that something is wrong, you're probably right!

Whilst test floating the Gnat in my Dad's garage, we loaded up with batteries, foggy units, and motors.  That sinking feeling happened about two minutes into the test when water poured into the hull to about 1cm deep (remember the model is over 7ft long!).  Panicking I ripped all the batteries (x4), foggys (x2) and motors (x2) out of the hull heaving the model out.  Thinking we had a serious crack or hole in the underside of the hull we realised what a pair of wallies we are.  We had not fitted the prop shafts! {-) {-) and two little water jets had formed from the resultant holes.
Happy modelling.

Nick B.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on December 10, 2011, 12:17:39 PM
Surely one was to let the water in while the other was to let it out again?!
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: mark w on December 16, 2011, 12:20:56 AM
Nick,

Great looking model, wonderful "outside the box" subject, perfect size and scale (from someone that has a 165lb tug boat)  :-)).

Mark
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on December 16, 2011, 10:39:08 AM
Impressive model of an unusual subject.

Andy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 16, 2011, 06:30:46 PM
Hi everyone

Thanks for the fantastic comments, you are never sure what people think of a model but with the responses on this thread so far I am glad that other modellers like it.  :-))
Hopefully I will upload some more pictures in the next couple of pages of the steering gear and the 6 inch and Lewis guns.
Thank you.

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 18, 2011, 03:32:16 PM
As promised some pictures of the steering gear and the 6 inch gun with the twin Lewis 0.303 mg.


(http://s7.postimage.org/pwbe514ef/PC180001.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/pwbe514ef/)

(http://s10.postimage.org/sk95rl691/PC180002.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/sk95rl691/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/zahbotklj/PC180003.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/zahbotklj/)

(http://s8.postimage.org/yl3q85pa9/PC180004.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/yl3q85pa9/)

(http://s11.postimage.org/wtw9cq31r/PC180005.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/wtw9cq31r/)

(http://s11.postimage.org/8hqahh1bj/PC180016.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/8hqahh1bj/)

(http://s10.postimage.org/nt0k1gfl1/PC180017.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/nt0k1gfl1/)

The steering gear is a chain and push-rod system which required a bit of thought power to work properly.
The chain is from MMB, whilst the rods are 1mm welding rods and the rod supports are from Dean's Marine brass fittings range.
There are six pulley wheels stolen from my Meccano box and are held in place by split pins (temp job only).  The rudders are constructed from 0.8mm brass sheet with filler in-between. The rudders have a strange 'double pivot' where the rudder is pivoted from the transom but the input lever is behind the pivot, thus creating more of an exaggerated arc instead of a semi-circle arc.
We used a 17kg servo with metal gears because we found out at the Mayhem in May the old plastic geared servo was completely broken within 30mins of constant use.     

(http://s8.postimage.org/faa7be1c1/PC180006.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/faa7be1c1/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/vdm2t8n0n/PC180008.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/vdm2t8n0n/)

(http://s8.postimage.org/7t5l9x16p/PC180009.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/7t5l9x16p/)

The six inch gun was built by my Dad, Steve.  It is constructed primarily from 0.45 aluminium sheet from our local model shop whilst the barrel and mounting were made on a lathe by my Grandfather, Arthur.  The turret shield is made from one piece of aluminium sheet and is designed to be removable so the entire gun and mounting can be removed (if we wish to make it rotate at later date).

(http://s7.postimage.org/vyo2smz5z/PC180010.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/vyo2smz5z/)

(http://s12.postimage.org/t0r79xvy1/PC180013.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/t0r79xvy1/)

The Lewis machine guns are from the Resicast range in 1/35 scale, I know the model is 1/32 but I am not going to split hairs over a fraction of a gnat's leg in scale.  I bought eight of the guns from Historex who are based in Kent, the guns are supplied with full and sealed ammo boxes and are reasonable priced for such small items.  I used John Lambert's plans for the gun mounting and constructed it from aluminium tube with a length of welding rod inside and a few bits of plastic tube for detailing.

I am currently detailing the forward battery deck and conning tower, so when I am finished I will upload some more pictures.

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on December 20, 2011, 10:44:39 AM
Some excellent trad modelling skills on display on this model. Looking good.

Andy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 26, 2011, 03:34:18 PM
Hi Everybody,

I have just finished detailing the conning tower and parts of the forward battery deck, primarily the 3inch ammo lockers.  I have included some pictures of the aft (quarter deck) deck area as this is what I have been concentrating on over X-mas.

(http://s13.postimage.org/5ajracyib/PC260024.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/5ajracyib/)

(http://s15.postimage.org/n3n8htscn/PC260026.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/n3n8htscn/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/ak1alkixx/PC260021.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ak1alkixx/)

(http://s13.postimage.org/m63hn3tmb/PC260023.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/m63hn3tmb/)

(http://s13.postimage.org/44tjgsecz/PC260022.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/44tjgsecz/)

Looking through my pictures I have found some of the bow and forward deck areas.

(http://s16.postimage.org/8929r3xsh/PC260027.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/8929r3xsh/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/6z3zson2z/PC260032.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/6z3zson2z/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/g9r6gqkth/PC260034.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/g9r6gqkth/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/hw9wv6z8b/PC260035.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/hw9wv6z8b/)

(http://s9.postimage.org/8czpv4ngr/PC260028.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/8czpv4ngr/)

The hatch is made from off-cuts of a sterodent tube with a plastic-card top, strip for the sides and hinge points,whilst the locking handle is stolen from a resin hatch. I bought the hatches from the Warwick show a few years back for this model but later found out that they were closer to 1/48 scale but the locking handle was closer to what I wanted. Its not perfect but its as close as I am going to get!  :-))

Finally, thanks for the continuing positive feed-back, especially from Marinemole (Andy), the aim is to complete the model before the Mayhem Big Meet in May/June next year so I can go to the Falklands knowing that it is finished.  (Now I know I'm telling big whoppers now, not a single one of my boats are actually complete yet! :embarrassed:).
Have a happy new year.

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Martin [Admin] on December 26, 2011, 08:47:53 PM

   That's coming on nicely;!  :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on December 27, 2011, 12:05:32 PM
The hatch is made from off-cuts of a sterodent tube

Steradent tubes :-)) Very useful source of plastic tubing. Presumably not yours {-) Can't/won't reveal my own source. ;)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 27, 2011, 05:55:23 PM

You should see what else I use on the other models I have made, I don't think my Mum would be happy to know that her Fairey liquid tops are now cunningly disguised as radar domes {-) {-)

Nick B

P.S Thanks Martin, its nice to know that you are watching the build so far, I'm taking orders for penguins does anyone want one? I hear they taste horrible! :D
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: pugwash on December 27, 2011, 06:13:34 PM
It looks excellent Nick - Vick tubes are also excellent for slightly smaller pipes and biros of all shapes and sizes.

Geoff.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: mark w on January 02, 2012, 04:53:05 AM

Keep it coming  :-)).

Mark
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on January 07, 2012, 01:05:46 PM
Hi Everyone,

Time for more pictures..

(http://s18.postimage.org/wfa5u2aw5/P1070012.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/wfa5u2aw5/)

(http://s11.postimage.org/52780wrov/P1070013.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/52780wrov/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/du0ap7glj/P1070014.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/du0ap7glj/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/gtxw78597/P1070015.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/gtxw78597/)

(http://s16.postimage.org/ohfqsexld/P1070016.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ohfqsexld/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/nlnuqpdb9/P1070017.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/nlnuqpdb9/)

(http://s9.postimage.org/qbpbvb2q3/P1070024.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/qbpbvb2q3/)

(http://s16.postimage.org/7i6sd5mdt/P1070025.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/7i6sd5mdt/)

(http://s16.postimage.org/jb4lhditt/P1070027.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/jb4lhditt/)

Gnat's crest, I will be making a 2x2cm version for the bridge of the model (hope my hand is steady enough, maybe stay off the sloe gin the night before {-))

(http://s18.postimage.org/f8mr9s3hh/P1070028.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/f8mr9s3hh/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/vmc99f6vv/P1070031.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/vmc99f6vv/)

(http://s16.postimage.org/s59qn2qvl/P1070032.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/s59qn2qvl/)

The large carley floats are from Macs Mouldings, technically they are 1/24 scale but I couldn't find any big enough in 1/32.
The lifeboats are from Quaycraft and are 1/32 scale 16ft clinker lifeboats, glad I only needed two!
The large rope reels are another cunning scratch built item, built from cotton reels for sowing machines (this time not stolen from Mum but kindly donated by Paul Millers!)
The original pictures of HMS Ladybird (sorry about the flash) are from The Royal Navy and the Sino-Japanese Incident 1937, and show some excellent detail of the fore and rear decks, unfortunately some details can not be used  because  pictures of Gnat show some detail differences primarily in the folding gun screens around the 6inch guns.
Thanks for the comments so far.

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on January 22, 2012, 04:42:46 PM
Hi everyone,

Its been a few weeks since my last post, just doing some niggly little bits and pieces such as the final cowl vents, etc.
I have included some pictures that I have found recently that are a lot clearer than the previous ones I have been using.

(http://s18.postimage.org/los3ci4r9/P1220070.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/los3ci4r9/)

(http://s13.postimage.org/ke3mpr0ir/P1220071.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ke3mpr0ir/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/ald2kn8ut/P1220072.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ald2kn8ut/)

(http://s14.postimage.org/by0a30til/P1220046.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/by0a30til/)

(http://s11.postimage.org/ddtbre13z/P1220047.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ddtbre13z/)

The final two picture show the large carley floats now stuck in position either side of the officer's WC, and the final section of railing stuck in place on the stern, thank goodness!
The stanchions are from caldercraft but I was not aware that even though they have the same part number on the pack and in their catalogue the newer ones are slightly lower in height, something I did not notice until I stuck them into place >>:-(.

The history of HMS Gnat is quite interesting in WW2, this has taken me about six years to piece together any help would be gracefully accepted if you know better than I.

Sep-Nov 1939 Gnat converted for minesweeping duties.  Lt Cmd Davenport takes command.
Nov 1939-Jan 1940 Gnat, with Cockchafer, sails to Singapore.  Armament removed for transfer to Mediterranean.
Nov 1940 Force W, Gnat deployed for minesweeping  and bombardment duties along the north African coast.
Dec 9, 1940 Force W bombard Tobruk to support ANZAC troop landings.
Dec 17, 1940 Gnat returns to Alexandria
Jan 6, 1941 Gnat joins the 'Inshore Squadron'
Jan 21, 1941 The Inshore Sqn bombard Tobruk
Jan 30, 1941 Gnat bombards Derna
Feb 6, 1941 Gnat bombards Benghazi
Feb 25, 1941 Gnat with Ladybird sent to guard Massawa but was cancelled
Apr 14, 1941 Gnat bombards Sollum- Whilst trying establish communications in a motor sampan, the sampan capsizes drowning the coxswain and stranding two men.  Gnat enters shallower waters to retrieve and to glimpse the raging battle, a figure appears (appearing to be a British officer) and waves to the Gnat.  Suddenly shells burst around Gnat hitting the 2pdr pom-pom, a signalling projector, a lewis gun and a boat davit.  Furious at the deception, Davenport returns fire at the German field battery with Gnat's 6inch main guns destroying the enemy guns.
Apr 15, 1941 Gnat returns to Mersa Matruh for repairs
May 14, 1941 Gnat replaces the sunken Ladybird at Tobruk
May 20, 1941 Gnats topmast and searchlight is removed to aid camouflage
May-Oct 1941 Gnat becomes a night raider
Oct 19, 1941 Gnat accidently engages a German shore battery, unknown to the gunboat men the enemy gun was controlled by a primitive radar set, Gnat is straddled four times before she pulled out of range.
Oct 20, 1941 Gnat ordered to intercept and escort a convoy of A-Lighters to Mersa Matruh
Oct 21, 1941 At 0334hrs U-79 fired a torpedo at an unusual unidentifiable enemy vessel 32.08N/25.22E off Bardia.  The explosion was catastrophic.  The torpedo struck Gnat below the starboard anchor hawser completely destroying 15feet of her bows and tearing the hull plating for a further 30ft.  The torpedo tail wrapped its self around the anchor chain sending flying ripping the forward 6inch gun off into the sea.  The column of water rose approx 200ft in the air and swamped the Gnat causing her to list and start to capsize.  Luckily she managed to self right in time rocking heavily on her beams.  Then unfortunately the violent movements ignited the calcium flares inside the 3 inch ammo lockers lighting the gunboat up.  The Uboat captain thought he had hit a bigger more wothwhile target and fired two more torpedoes which passed under the stern of Gnat.
Oct 22, 1941 After drifting for a day Gnat was spotted and towed back to Alexandria by HMS Griffon and HMS Jaguar where she remained as a floating AA platform until she was scrapped in 1945.

Hope this was of interest...

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Norseman on January 22, 2012, 05:54:18 PM
Hope this was of interest...

It sure was - research is frustrating sometimes but great fun also  :-))

Dave
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: farrow on January 22, 2012, 09:39:08 PM
Lovely model of one of my favourite class of warships, my mums uncle served in them on the China station in the between war period. I do not know if it is of interest to you, you may already have the book, but Osprey have published a book on the China gunboats, an this class features in it. I remember as a kid my Grand Mother showing photos of the crew during the inter war period with a good one of a landing party, all in white, gaiters, knapsacks on back, bandoleers with .303 rounds in them, huge Victorian type straw hats with Lee enfield rifles with bloody great bayonets on them.
Nice to see so detail gone into the model, hope to see it at Wicksteed this year.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: pugwash on January 22, 2012, 11:10:13 PM
An interesting class of ships originally built to patrol the River Danube but called China River gunboats to disguise their final destination.
In WWI were used on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers for the Mesopatanian campaign and on the Dvina river in Russia supporting the white Russians
in 1919.  Some of them finally got to Chinese waters after the war then were used extensively in the North African campaign in WWII where they
could sneak inshore for bombardment purposes  with their 4 ft draught and 6 inch guns. Some came to grief there.

Geoff
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Norseman on January 27, 2012, 11:21:37 PM
There are some insect class to be seen in here http://www.scribd.com/doc/69346009/ONV181-Yangtze-River-Gunboats-1900-49
You can dowload the doc - you might have to register - not sure. Have a look anyway  :-)

Dave
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Norseman on January 28, 2012, 12:05:19 AM
Here's a 1942 mention (torpedoed in Oct 41) of some of her brave crew.

SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 24 FEBRUARY, 1942 page 903

For resource and devotion to duty:
The Distinguished Service Medal.
Petty Officer John Coats, D/J.102874, H.M.S.
Gnat.

Mention in Despatches.
Lieutenant-Commander Samuel Reginald Halls
Davenport, Royal Navy, H.M.S. Gnat.
 .Lieutenant Richard Hill Sandys Litchfield,
Royal Navy, H.M.S. Gnat.
Sub-Lieutenant George Irvine Finch Twyman,
R.N.R., H.M.S. Gnat.
Acting Chief Engine Room Artificer Arthur
Ronald Gilbert Dyett, P/MX.476i4, H.M.S.
Gnat.
Acting Petty Officer George Edward Debell,
C/J.114115, H.M.S. Gnat.
Acting Stoker Petty Officer John Henry
Wootton, P/K.66908, H.M.S. Gnat.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: John R Haynes on January 28, 2012, 10:30:04 AM
Another interesting vessel of this ilk was LIWO run by Jardine Mattherson . This had a very interesting short life after being adapted to carry weapons in Singapore  [ before the fall ] and sent to Batavia to collect the remains of our forces there but en-route came into contact with a Japanese task force which it then proceeded to attack !
Liwo was sunk after damaging a Japanese  cargo vessel and the surviving crew were taken prisoner . This episode did not come to light until after the war. The commanding officer was awarded a Posthumous  VC .
I built a large scale model of this vessel which sits in  Jardine Mattherson's offices in Hong Kong in a dedicated VC room
I have many photos of this model build which was difficult to do since there were no surviving plans . however the IWM had a model I could make plans from to effect the build. It was a typical tihree-tier job with external walkways and a very shallow draught. I believe there is a Liwo society that maybe on-line.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: John R Haynes on January 28, 2012, 10:40:23 AM

(http://s18.postimage.org/p37ikfgtx/Liwo_finished_001.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/p37ikfgtx/)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on January 28, 2012, 06:24:24 PM
Hi John

You have tempted me with another project, fantastic model of the Liwo, I never heard of her until now.  This is the sort of models I like to make, the unknown vessels which have not received any recognition or come to the public light.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention, who knows there might be another model in the next couple of years.

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on January 28, 2012, 06:32:25 PM
Hi Dave (Norseman)

Thank you for the extra info about Gnat's crew commendations it's always nice to know that the crew was recognised after they lost their ship.
PM received, again thank you for the pictures of the crew and gnat in her early days on the Yangtse, it's good to put faces to names that are mentioned in 'Armed with stings'. Research has always been one of my favourite parts of modelling finding out about the ships little known actions and what the crew achieved.
Thanks.

Nick B

Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on January 28, 2012, 06:37:47 PM
Hi Dodes

Thanks for the recommendation, I bought that particular book and the pictures are very good, the info about living conditions on board the insects were quite shocking especially the toilet facilities!  :o

The other boats shown in the book have also given me ideas for future projects particularly the woodlark and tern classes.

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on January 28, 2012, 06:48:15 PM
Hi Pugwash

They sure had a varied careers, after reading Armed with Stings I was amazed by audacity of the crews of the surviving insects.
There is several mentions that one gunboat captain entered a harbour on the Lybian coast  unsure whether the town was in British, Italian or German hands.  So to make sure he and his first officer rowed to shore and walked around the town for half an hour until they heard voices in a house, getting closer they could make out that they were Germans.  So calmly they got back in their boat and rowed back to the gunboat, then proceeded to bombard the harbour sinking six transport vessels and then left the harbour unscaved!  :o
Can't imagine the captain of any royal navy ship being allowed to do that today!

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on February 12, 2012, 04:28:22 PM
Hi everyone,

Its been a little while since I posted anything on this thread about the Gnat since I have been building my K boat in between projects, too many boats not enough time...

Any way I have just started again, I have started to build the additional 1inch bullet-proof splinter shields for the fore and aft 6inch gun crews.  They are made from 0.7mm plastic card sheet with 90degree angle and some 1mm square plastic rod to represent the supporting structure, the external face has four 5mm lengths of plastic rod and little 90degree angle brackets to represent the hinges as the upper part of the shields could be lowered allowing the 6inch guns to transverse without destroying parts of the gunboat.
 
(http://s13.postimage.org/rlgupmxf7/P2070098.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/rlgupmxf7/)

(http://s10.postimage.org/ue4gid8px/P2070099.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ue4gid8px/)

(http://s16.postimage.org/jn9424wy9/P2070101.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/jn9424wy9/)

(http://s14.postimage.org/k2t439got/P2070102.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/k2t439got/)

(http://s12.postimage.org/yrg9z3s6x/P2070103.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/yrg9z3s6x/)

(http://s13.postimage.org/e3j54u01f/P2070104.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/e3j54u01f/)

The final picture shows two of the many (14 per side, I think...) gooseneck vents that litter the deck edge,  they are all from Mobile Marine tug fittings range, these are last two to be painted and glued in to the deck. 
Some of my local club members have asked to what the flaps are for in the aft superstructure, we discovered that they are air intakes!
They vary from Insect to Insect but there are usually four panels per side which are hinged to allow air flow into the engine rooms.  Some pictures show large sections of superstructure missing but my theory is that most of the sides where removable to allow some airflow in to the engine room, galley and officer of the watch's day room.
Regards,

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Norseman on February 13, 2012, 02:57:18 AM
Hi Nick

thanks for posting up lots of photos - can't have too many I say

Dave
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: roycv on February 13, 2012, 10:57:49 AM
Hello have you come across a new book called Yangtze River Gunboats 1900 - 49.
Osprey publishing in 2011. at £9.99

www.ospreypublishing.com

regards Roy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on February 13, 2012, 11:57:03 AM
Hi Roy

Thanks for advice, already have copy in my collection, it's an interesting book which gives an excellent insight into gunboat diplomacy and living conditions on board the boats.  The cutaway is especially helpful but not representative of the class, it's of HMS Cicalia, a rather odd-ball boat with a strange bridge structure not seen on the other Insects.  Well worth a read.

Hi Dave (Norseman)

Hoping to keep everyone interested  :-))

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on February 19, 2012, 06:34:03 PM
Hi everyone

A quick update so far...
I have added the support stays to the port additional gun shields and secured them into place as seen in the pictures of HMS Ladybird.
The port anchor and chain has been painted and glued into place, the chain is hung in an unusual way as this was the custom for vessels on the China station to prevent the collection of dead bodies being caught on the anchor and/or chain  :o.
I will upload the pictures on Friday, until then, happy modelling.
Regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Norseman on February 19, 2012, 07:15:06 PM
the chain is hung in an unusual way as this was the custom for vessels on the China station to prevent the collection of dead bodies being caught on the anchor and/or chain

It's like the old Batman series - give 'em a cliff hanger ending  :}

Dave
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Norseman on February 20, 2012, 11:29:06 PM
I didn't mean that the way it sounds ...... that would be a bit sick  {:-{
I meant I was looking forward to the next set of photos of the anchor set up  :embarrassed:
I'm sorry if anyone thought otherwise, it only just occurred to me it could be read wrongly.

Dave
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on February 21, 2012, 08:05:14 PM
Hi Dave

Don't worry I knew what you meant!

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on March 04, 2012, 03:12:29 PM
Hi everyone,

Bit later than I expected to continue with the Gnat build, spent the last weekend digging out the model boat lake at Wicksteed Park!
Any way, as promised some more pictures so far... (especially for Norseman)...

(http://s17.postimage.org/ur1esflm3/P2280013.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ur1esflm3/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/5298sq95j/P2280014.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/5298sq95j/)

(http://s9.postimage.org/fem9c5yx7/P2280018.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/fem9c5yx7/)

As mentioned earlier in this build, the anchor and anchor chain were hung very high to prevent dead bodies collecting in them!
Pictures of the Insects still show that the anchors were positioned this way though out the war.

(http://s16.postimage.org/tu0yjfeap/P2280011.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/tu0yjfeap/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/idt5z9lbf/P2280012.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/idt5z9lbf/)

(http://s15.postimage.org/agmmx2ot3/P2280015.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/agmmx2ot3/)

(http://s13.postimage.org/sc9j805c3/P2280016.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/sc9j805c3/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/ns14yapt7/P2280017.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ns14yapt7/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/qw77hch85/P2280023.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/qw77hch85/)

The pictures above shows the newly positioned searchlight on the upper bridge, it was originally built in the crows nest but after the upper mast was cut down it had to be moved back to the WW1 position!  The searchlight itself is from Reade Plastics whilst the body is a dis-used superglue lid/cap, the little wheels are from a fantastic fittings supplier called Modelling Timbers who I see at the Doncaster show every year. 
I realized that the upper bridge protective shield looks to high for a man to stand behind and see what's going on, but careful studying of all the pictures I have show that it was this high, however, you can see men quite clearly peering over the side.  Using my imagination, never a good thing :}, I decided that a raised floor would be required, not only for the men to stand at the correct height, but so the searchlight could be operated by them too.  The floor was raised by approx 8mm and a brass grid placed on top to represent the gratings you sometimes see on warship bridges to allow water to drain away.  The hatch is to allow the crew to climb up through the lower bridge and positioned to be out the way to allow maximum space on the upper bridge, and I made up a locker/table in the opposite corner partially because I wanted something else up there and partially, okay mainly, because I had run out of brass grid! :embarrassed:
 
The second searchlight on the port wing is also from Reade Plastics but the next size down, the base is made from a 4mm plastic tube and a metal 6mm washer to represent the deck attachment plate.  For your information the lights are designed to work (Reade Plastics have the wires and LED all attached) but I decided not to bother simply because they were rarely used at sea by the Insects as it would give them away to the enemy vessels, etc, (also as I found out the LED is the wrong colour to represent a WW2 searchlight which is a yellow to white light whilst the Reade Plastics examples emit a blue-ish coloured light).   

Finally, the last picture show the hand rails fitted to the rear ladders to the upper battery deck, these are simply 0.75mm brass rod bent to shape and drilled/glued into place.

Hopefully she will be ready for the Mayhem at Wicksteed event in three months time... I can't keep a straight face... if its finished by then, I'll eat my tin hat!

Regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on March 04, 2012, 08:52:48 PM

I realized that the upper bridge protective shield looks to high for a man to stand behind and see what's going on, but careful studying of all the pictures I have show that it was this high, however, you can see men quite clearly peering over the side. 

Sorry! For a moment or two I misread this {-)

Model looking great. Congratulations.

Andy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on March 08, 2012, 09:15:11 PM
Hi Andy

Thanks for the compliment, trying my best to complete it to the best of my abilities, after all she will be the flagship of my fleet for a while!
Really must buy a better thesaurus to prevent mis-reading :D

Regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on March 11, 2012, 04:24:10 PM
Hi everyone,

Hopefully I will upload some pictures tomorrow of the build so far.
Spent this morning building the port boat davits from 6mm copper brake pipe using a miniature pipe bender, some 6.5mm brass tube and some 4mm brass tube.  Glued all together they form the basis of the boat davit which will be detailed later.  I had to make these today as I wanted to complete the stanchions that run along the deck edge, but they have to go around the outside of the davits which are drilled into the brass deck over-hang.  So to prevent certain destruction of the railings from the drill they had to be made first and positioned before I started the final section of railings!  Probably that's why I stopped the positioning of the railings last year! :}
Regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Norseman on March 11, 2012, 08:14:12 PM
Looking forward to the new photos Nick
.... see what you meant about the anchor arrangements.

Dave
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on March 27, 2012, 09:42:46 PM
Hi everyone

Hopefully pictures will uploaded soon once my Internet suppliers start talking to each other!

Update so far, the stanchions have all be fitted and wire pushed through to create the railings.  The davits have been stuck into position and everything has been painted to match the camouflage pattern.  I realised that I did not have enough Lewis machine guns so I had to order some more from Historex agents in Kent, they arrived in less than a day, that's what call a postal service!  So they will be made to match the port side guns ASAP before I forget about them or more likely, break them.

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on April 06, 2012, 06:42:34 PM
Hi everyone

As promised t'internet at my end is fixed :-) so I have some pictures to share...

(http://s10.postimage.org/9p9p2w29x/P4010065.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/9p9p2w29x/)

(http://s16.postimage.org/5dqdk8pht/P4010066.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/5dqdk8pht/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/xuykgto91/P4010067.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/xuykgto91/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/ohl2mou0b/P4010068.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ohl2mou0b/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/wmt2e5ptx/P4010069.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/wmt2e5ptx/)

These are the fantastic 1/35 scale Lewis 0.303in machine guns available from Historex Agents in Kent.  They have minimal clean up and are ready to painted and quite cheap for four guns and loads of ammo boxes.

(http://s14.postimage.org/kolhcv5ct/P4010073.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/kolhcv5ct/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/dwffza8rv/P4010074.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/dwffza8rv/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/6uhid3563/P4010076.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/6uhid3563/)

Last Sunday HMS Gnat went duck hunting at Wicksteed Park lake and chased bikerdude999's super duck for a while!
The camouflage is starting to work and really breaks up the hull and superstructure, unfortunately I run out of the Humbrol paint I was using to represent the faded black paint work, so only one side is painted in the 'dark' paint.   

(http://s18.postimage.org/cw5fm15hh/P3270024.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/cw5fm15hh/)

(http://s14.postimage.org/4k89b4grh/P3270025.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/4k89b4grh/)

(http://s13.postimage.org/479iiyuwj/P3270029.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/479iiyuwj/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/io5jt6fb9/P3270030.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/io5jt6fb9/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/v11cfp623/P3270036.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/v11cfp623/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/7bdp98lt3/P3270046.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/7bdp98lt3/)

Until next time...

Regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: oldiron on April 06, 2012, 07:15:46 PM
You were looking for more pictures of Gnat class vessels. You may have already seen this pic, but i offer it up anyway. Its a US Navy shot included in the book the "Panay Incident" by Hamilton Darby Perry.
 It shows the USS Oahu, HMS Bee and HMS Ladybird.

John


(http://s14.postimage.org/mbpftlvx9/HMS_Ladybird.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/mbpftlvx9/)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on April 06, 2012, 07:28:24 PM
Hi everyone,

I have some more info for any one interested in Insect class gunboats.
Once again this is on-going research that has currently lasted 10 years, but I would be very grateful if any more info came to light.

The fates of each of the twelve Insects are very surprising and can be quite shocking how they survived as long as they did.

Aphis- Survived both wars and sent back to Singapore in 1946, only to be scrapped two years later.

Bee- Flagship of the RN Yangtze gunboats from 1925 to 1938, completely worn out and scrapped at China Station.

Cockchafer- Survived both wars, served at D-Day, like Aphis sent back to Singapore before being scrapped in 1948.

Cicalia- Sunk at Singapore after surviving for three days being attacked by Japanese dive bombers, she was the biggest ship left in
          Singapore.  She received three direct hits before her stern was blown off.

Cricket- Immobilized, beached and scrapped.  Cricket was attacked in broad daylight by Junkers Ju87s and Ju88s dive bombers which
           continuously missed their target due to high maneuverability of the Insect class.  However, they changed tactics but Cricket
           out maneuvered them but the shock waves caused by the bombs detonating beneath her wrenched the hull and twisted
           her ripping the hull open.  She was towed to Alexandria where they discovered that her back was broken.

Glowworm- The first Insect to go, in 1919 whilst serving on the Dvina river in Russia she went to assist a burning barge, unknown to
                her crew the barge was an ammunition lighter.  She pulled along side when the lighter exploded.  The gunboat had no
                armour and the little gunboat hull was badly holed and her superstructure ripped to pieces, killing 10 of her crew.
                She was rebuilt in 1920 and went to serve on the Danube but the damage was too extensive and she had to be scrapped
                at Malta in 1928.

Gnat-  Torpedoed off Bardia whilst escorting a X-lighter convoy.  Her bows were blown off and the hull plating torn for 30ft.  
          The forward 6inch gun was ripped off its mounting.  After drifting for a day she was spotted and towed back to Alexandria.
          An idea was formed to fix the bows of the crippled Cricket to the surviving hull of Gnat but a dry dock was not available.
          She became a AA barge and eventually scrapped in 1945.

Ladybird- Perhaps the most famous of her class.  She was eventually caught like Cricket in daylight, bombed by Junkers Ju87 Stukas in
             Tobruk harbour and sunk in 10ft of water.  However the upper deck remained free from water so her AA guns were used
             to defend the harbour.  Nothing remains of her now the harbour was dug out and she was pulled out and scrapped.

Mantis- After surviving the Great War she was sent to China where she spent her days patrolling the Yangtze, in 1939 in she was
          declared worn out and scrapped in China.

Moth- Scuttled to prevent capture by Japanese forces.  Refloated and renamed Suma, she was eventually mined and sunk.

Scarab- Survived two wars, to be sunk as a gunnery target off Cyprus.  Her hull is now used by divers to explore as part of a diving
           holiday in the Mediterranean.

Tarantula- After surviving the Great War she served in China but was moved to Ceylon to become a floating workshop in 1940.  She was
               scrapped when the war ended in 1945.

The five Insects which served in the Mediterranean during the war gained a reputation from the Axis forces in North Africa.  They were the smallest named vessels to be mentioned in German and Italian orders to be sunk at all costs!  These little gunboats caused havoc everywhere they went, often engaging targets five miles inland, guided by LRDG personnel.  Virtually silent they could appear in a harbour un-noticed, destroy their target and disappear again.  After Ladybird and Cricket were knocked out, the gunboats only came out at night hiding by day under camo nets.  In 1940 when they entered the Med for the first time in 20 years, Admiral Cunningham was pleased that these little boats were his to command and was upset when they were lost one by one.

Hope this has been of some interest, either that are gave you something to fall asleep to!

Nick B
    
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on April 06, 2012, 07:32:50 PM
Hi Oldiron

Thank you for a new picture, its one of the few I have never seen!  These were the vessels that went to the aid of the Panay in 1937, Ladybird actually shot down a Japanese bomber defending the Panay, but was too late to save the stricken gunboat.  Ladybird's Captain got a 'ticking off' for shooting down a foreign aircraft when the British were supposed to be neutral but I guess a quiet 'well done' was probably issued too!

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: bikerdude999 on April 06, 2012, 07:53:59 PM
You may have been hunting my duck, but I rammed HMS Gnat, albeit unintentionally....   :embarrassed:
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on April 08, 2012, 04:01:58 PM
I thought I had to wipe some feathers off!  {-)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Norseman on April 08, 2012, 04:21:19 PM
Hi Nick

I'm back after the meltdown. Nice to see your progress and those pics.
I loved the history bit too - I really like to see peoples research items. O0 :-))

Dave
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on April 08, 2012, 04:58:45 PM
Thanks Dave

(and welcome back to the chaos world of mayhem  :})

I was going to take her out on the water today but I looked out and thought better of it!  ;)

Here's to hopefully finishing her by June 2, 2012...

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on April 15, 2012, 03:55:51 PM
Hi Everyone

After months and months of putting it off, I decided that it was time I start to build the upper deck 3inch (12pdr) gun.  I tried looking everywhere for a kit in 1/32 scale (even tried 1/35) but there appears to be none available.  Biting the bullet I unrolled my copy of a John Lambert drawing of the 3inch gun and settled down to start drawing it out to my scale.  The drawing is to 1/12th so after a bit of number crunching I had started to mark out on the 0.8mm plastic card to outline of the mounting.  After cutting it out and started to detail the mounting with angle plastic card and rod, I realised that I did not have a gun barrel! Looking through my brass/aluminium stockpile for a suitable piece of tubing I discovered an old broken yardarm spar from my Strath class trawler in the box.  Cogs and pulleys started to turn in my head and I formulated that with a bit of hacking and bashing I could modify it to look like a 3inch gun barrel.
So with a plan, a broken aluminium spar and a bit of imagination I have created my version of a 3inch (12pdr) gun as fitted to an Insect class gunboat from 1928 onwards.  The turret shield appears to be unique to the class and I had to rely on old Aussie photos of the sunken Ladybird to get an idea of their shape and structure. 
Anyway enjoy the pictures, now with a bit of experience I might start on the 2pdr pom-pom on the after battery deck! :-))

(http://s17.postimage.org/ooz28f9aj/P4100084.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ooz28f9aj/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/4kxxstr4n/P4100085.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/4kxxstr4n/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/gd7wkx1aj/P4100086.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/gd7wkx1aj/)

(http://s7.postimage.org/ebzuwjezb/P4100087.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ebzuwjezb/)

(http://s13.postimage.org/kwqj27zir/P4100088.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/kwqj27zir/)

(http://s13.postimage.org/660ci1ksz/P4100089.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/660ci1ksz/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/678htevnv/P4100090.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/678htevnv/)

Best regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on May 05, 2012, 02:14:19 PM
Hi everyone

It has been a little while since I posted anything in to this build log, but I have started to finalise some of the details.
Some of the eager eyed members might recognise the men standing by the 3inch/12pdr gun as LRDG personnel. Gnat was often used to drop off LRDG and agents on to the North African coast at night and I thought it would be something different to see on the deck apart from sailors.
I have started to 'rig' (not sure if thats the correct term) the anchor davits and the lifeboat davits.
I am using the brass fittings range from Deans Marine for the pulley blocks and some thin cord for the rope.
Last year I bought via Hannants some 155mm shells for 1/35 scale tanks and artillery pieces, but they don't look too out of place as 6inch shells in 1/32, only problem is that I will need some more as the pictures I have of the Insects show these shells scattered everywhere around the 6inch guns!
Finally from the Coalville show I  bought a steam whistle/horn from Modelling Timbers and I have fitted it on the starboard funnel as per the original drawings. Might not be accurate for a WW2 variant but its something different to break up the funnel area.

(http://s10.postimage.org/8meucbalx/P4300104.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/8meucbalx/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/xzwpz33xh/P4300105.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/xzwpz33xh/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/4mhiwzeez/P4300106.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/4mhiwzeez/)

(http://s8.postimage.org/ujh1b4081/P4300107.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ujh1b4081/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/695ejm8px/P4300108.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/695ejm8px/)

(http://s15.postimage.org/xwt375ch3/P4300109.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/xwt375ch3/)

(http://s13.postimage.org/jqnyd0xdf/P4300110.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/jqnyd0xdf/)

(http://s9.postimage.org/8fuuops4r/P4300113.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/8fuuops4r/)

Hopefully the bank holiday will allow me to continue the detailing of what is made already.
Regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on May 20, 2012, 04:06:20 PM
Hi everyone

I have just got back from Windsor marching around the castle for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee parade, see if you can spot me in the arena, bet you can't! Neither can I the pictures keep flitting too much to spot myself  <:(
Anyway, today I have completed the stanchion supports and added the chains to the entry gangways, the White Ensign has been raised permanently and starboard carley floats and supporting structure have been made.

(http://s18.postimage.org/dpoxhso11/P5150119.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/dpoxhso11/)

(http://s18.postimage.org/j3nppcdr9/P5150120.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/j3nppcdr9/)

(http://s14.postimage.org/40zzxzorx/P5150121.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/40zzxzorx/)

(http://s14.postimage.org/5jve2yvcd/P5150123.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/5jve2yvcd/)

(http://s14.postimage.org/92bzd3lm5/P5150124.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/92bzd3lm5/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/chb42rgrf/P5150126.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/chb42rgrf/)

Whilst glueing the final stanchion support I spotted this on the starboard rudder. For a start I thought that the nut and bolt on the steering arm were loose so I tightened them up but the rudder still moved up and down 5mm, but after closer inspection I discovered that the solder holding the steering arm to the rudder has worn away allowing the rudder to move up and down, strangely the other rudders are not affected in any way so it must have a weakness on the starboard rudder, so I know what dad will be doing soon (burning his fingers resoldering the rudder arm!)

(http://s15.postimage.org/dymx3gi2f/P5150125.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/dymx3gi2f/)

See you at the Mayhem weekend at Wicksteed, Gnat will be there showing off her amazing steering skills! {-)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: dodes on June 07, 2012, 07:23:11 PM
Saw her at wicksteed and she looks better in the real than in the photo,s a brilliant model.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on June 08, 2012, 06:39:13 PM
Hi Dodes

It was nice to meet you in person at Wicksteed, I enjoyed our chat about the Gnat and her sister ships. Just a shame that the weather was not better and Gnat could have had another sail around the lake but even though she is over 7ft long and 14 inches wide she found it difficult to remain stable with other boats moving around her!
I have just started again after a week off by completing the remain structure supports for the upper battery deck and and the nylon wire for the hand rails near the funnels, found a missing pulley block on the rear mast so another item to add to the list for Doncaster!
Regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on June 23, 2012, 06:30:38 PM
Hi everyone

I have started on the final paint on the superstructure, the bridge looks completely different to how I expected, it looks more like the German battleship Tirpitz camouflage pattern than anything British!
I have sobered up enough to paint the ship's badge, a golden gnat on a black background, the entire thing is only 2cm square and required the finest brushes in my paint box to get the detail I wanted. It is painted with Tamiya acrylic on a piece of plastic card cut to shape.
I have also finished detailing the upper battery deck superstructure doors, the door knobs are from Modelling Timbers and the rest is various bits of plastic card, angle and rod.
Finally I have started on the folding armour plates on the upper battery deck. Its not as easy as first thought as each section has to be curved to match the profile of the structure below, I have made the first two sections and glued them into place, only another four to go!

(http://s12.postimage.org/4mp8rjrzt/P6230150.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/4mp8rjrzt/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/vrtanrlnf/P6230151.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/vrtanrlnf/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/n8ei3r2or/P6230152.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/n8ei3r2or/)

(http://s13.postimage.org/btc3mugmb/P6230156.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/btc3mugmb/)

(http://s8.postimage.org/x7fb4n8cx/P6230169.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/x7fb4n8cx/)

Regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on July 01, 2012, 03:45:12 PM
Hi Everyone

I started detailing the boat davits this weekend, much more difficult than I imagined!
I had to constantly cross refer to all the pictures I have with some of my anatomy of the ship books to get the mechanisms to work properly, or at least look like they could work. It appears that the supporting boom which stops the boat smashing in to the superstructure or swinging wildly is in different locations on each gunboat as are the lashing straps which hold the boat against the boom. So once again the imagination had to come out to get the best result.

(http://s13.postimage.org/owjo5t4xv/P6300170.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/owjo5t4xv/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/p7rw3eoyz/P6300171.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/p7rw3eoyz/)
 
Regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Norseman on July 01, 2012, 09:52:11 PM
Smashing work Nick :-))

Dave
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: mark w on July 02, 2012, 08:18:25 PM


Very nice  :}.

Mark
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on July 02, 2012, 08:47:22 PM
Hi Dave and Mark

Thank you for the comments, hopefully I will upload some more pictures of the ships boat davit detail
on Friday  :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on July 22, 2012, 03:58:02 PM
Hi everyone

This will be my last uploading of pictures of the build log of HMS Gnat due to my 4 month detachment to the Falklands.
I have finished off all the extra gun shields and rigged the funnels and fore mast. The port ship's boat has been fitted on to the davits and all associated rigging and ropes have been attached, this was achieved by careful studying of the known pictures of Gnat and a very useful diagram in the anatomy of ship book Warspite. Also, I have eventually made the port sea mans heads on the stern.

(http://s12.postimage.org/t3ktj14yh/P6260153.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/t3ktj14yh/)

(http://s17.postimage.org/ktlr3rliz/P6260154.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/ktlr3rliz/)

(http://s16.postimage.org/urngs1dgh/P6260155.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/urngs1dgh/)

(http://s9.postimage.org/yuamo7smj/P6260156.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/yuamo7smj/)

(http://s10.postimage.org/962hqywqt/P6260157.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/962hqywqt/)

(http://s12.postimage.org/5u39ux74p/P6260158.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/5u39ux74p/)

(http://s16.postimage.org/8x7199zs1/P6260159.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/8x7199zs1/)

My Dad will be displaying her at the International Model Boat Show at Warwick in November and at the Deans Marine open days in September on my behalf.
I will be able answer any queries but won't be able to upload pictures from my location for next 4 months so hope everyone is happy with the pictures so far! :-))
Best regards

Nick B
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Norseman on July 22, 2012, 05:44:48 PM
My best wishes for you Falkland's detachment Nick

Dave
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on August 29, 2012, 04:55:53 PM
Hi evreryone

Bit a while I know, I still can't build anything because of my deployment to the wintry falkland islands!
Today I have received a picture from a kind gent from the World Naval Ships forum of Gnat during WW2 and another gent is sending me another picture of her also in WW2, all this time and now towards the end of the build I get two pictures that could have prevented a lot of head scratching! Unfortunately it means that some of my efforts were in vain, the toilets are completely wrong on the stern, the are more light calibre guns on the deck and other positions, there are less carley floats fitted, and all that work getting the extra gun shields around the 6inch guns was pointless because they were removed! Oh well more work when I get back.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on September 09, 2012, 02:26:43 PM
I have been studying the picture again, really annoyed myself with some stupid mistakes on my half!
I have been drawing up all the differences and realised that the rear superstructure and rear mast are in the completely wrong position >>:-(
The entire structure and mast requires moving aft by about 4-5inches, that is not main problem, in its current position it hides the rx and switches, so I am doing a bit of artistic licensing and modifying the structure to incorporate the two large water tanks I can see on the picture and making them wider to hide the big hole in the deck. Its either that or planking the exposed hole/hatch over and trying to blend it in with the deck which was completed almost 18months ago.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on November 28, 2012, 01:11:21 PM
Hello everyone


I have arrived home from my 4 month detachment with the RAF in the Falklands. Now that I can upload some pictures I thought I would show the picture that has changed it all, HMS Gnat in 1941 at Alexandria, with thanks to the kind gentleman on the world naval ship forum.


(http://i47.tinypic.com/28rk1mo.jpg)


Compare the above picture to the one below to see the corrections required!


(http://i48.tinypic.com/sxol6c.jpg)


I have started to correct the rear superstructure and mast by cutting down the mast, moving the superstructure back towards the stern by 3 inches and cut out the new 'water tanks' to sit in front of it. The mast will sit in the centre of the new structure and will be removable.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on January 05, 2013, 07:08:29 PM
Hi everyone


Thought a would update the build so far with the new corrections as per the evidence!
I have removed the old rear mast and its socket and build it in to the new rear superstructure. The mast has also been cut down by 6inches and the mast light relocated to the lower part of the mast. The flag yard arm has also been removed completely.
I have reused as much of the old rear superstructure as possible and extended forward to create what I will call 'water tanks' as I can't see what else they could be! On the new structure I have built an Oerlikon 20mm cannon stand from 0.75mm plastic card and 1mm plastic strut. A ladder purchased from Mobile Marine Models was suitably modified for the task. I have also started to construct a crew for the gunboat using the old Airfix 1/32 scale Desert Rats figures which have been sculpted to fit the ladders and around the guns. The extra gunshields I built before my departure for the colder climate have also been removed because the new picture clearly shows them with out them. The strange radar looking item on the mast isn't a radar scanner from modern times, its the remains of the cutdown searchlight platform and upper mast. This was recreated with a bit of plastic card wrapped around a tiny cotton reel and a 5mm length of plastic card tube. Two new features have appeared on the bridge wings, first the nav lights have been relocated from the battery deck side to the bridge wing ends, and secondly a half roof has been fitted on top of the bridge wing made from 0.75mm plastic card and some plastic structs and angles.
The toilet blocks on the stern have been demolished and are being replaced with individual units made from 1mm plastic card sheet. New ammo boxes are being made to sit around the new rear superstructure and some of eagle eyed of you may have noticed that the rear most cowl vent has suddenly move 6inches forward. The angle brackets on the forward battery deck are to support the folding sides to prevent them banging against the metal work on the real vessel, here they are stuck on to look like something vaguely like this!
And finally the tarpaulin supports have been made from 0.75mm metal rod coated with plastic, this took an unbelievable amount of time to construct and glue in to position, as did the battery deck side support rods which can be seen in the first picture.


(http://i46.tinypic.com/2luuxaq.jpg)


(http://i49.tinypic.com/1z3750z.jpg)


(http://i45.tinypic.com/34hxqiw.jpg)


(http://i50.tinypic.com/2vanyph.jpg)


(http://i45.tinypic.com/wgx9vs.jpg)


(http://i48.tinypic.com/33vggmf.jpg)


(http://i50.tinypic.com/4j182u.jpg)


(http://i47.tinypic.com/snf32u.jpg)


(http://i50.tinypic.com/2vnifls.jpg)



Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on January 07, 2013, 01:13:10 PM
Looking superb.  :-))  A model with character. I admire the effort to update tbo new information. Don't think I could be that dedicated.


Andy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on January 13, 2013, 05:55:10 PM
Hi Andy


Thanks for your comments, my Dad has also commented that I am mad to change so much and has even tried to persuade me that the picture is not HMS Gnat!!! :D


I have continued today my making a third stern seaman's head and painting it light grey. I have also started the final push to complete the deck hatches- only two more to build!
Planning to buy some 1/32 scale 20mm oerlikons if I can't modify some 1/35 scale versions from an old tank kit! Fingers crossed that the spare ones in my Italeri 1/35 Crusader Mk III AA Mk 1 will fit the bill. :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on February 08, 2013, 06:51:11 PM
Well last weekend I bit the bullet and started on the final big gun- something I wasn't looking forward to because of the openness of the weapon i.e. no enclosed turret!  {:-{
After looking though the forum I realised that I had seen someone else making a 2pdr pom-pom and it looked fantastic. So I must thank ggeorge for his picture build of his 2pdr pom-pom for his flower class corvette, this solved so much and saved me alot of time working out the basic parts from the John Lambert drawings. The only difference between mine and ggeorge's version is that I used plastic card to build it instead of brass, primarily because my soldering is not super fantastic like his!
Everything other than the muzzle, mounting plate and wheels is plastic card, the muzzle is made from a servo mounting ring coated with filler and sanded to shape- not 100% but looks better than some of my earlier attempts! :embarrassed:
The mounting plate is a white metal fitting that has sat in my spares box for so many years that I can't remember where it came from! But it looks the part.
The wheels are from Modelling Timbers and are luckily the right size! The elevation gearing is from an old tamiya r/c truck which stopped working when I was knee height to a grasshopper and was stripped at the time, it has been sitting in my spares box for years too!!! I know one day that the bits will eventually get used. The gun is not fully complete yet but is getting there, I need to make the sights and a few more bits and piece here and there and it will be ready for paint soon.


(http://i46.tinypic.com/6opdvk.jpg)


(http://i46.tinypic.com/23krqq0.jpg)


(http://i46.tinypic.com/2pzctu8.jpg)


(http://i49.tinypic.com/1zyfus4.jpg)


(http://i47.tinypic.com/nlsmmu.jpg)

Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on February 09, 2013, 06:08:08 AM
Looking very smart and lethal. :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on February 09, 2013, 04:31:38 PM
Thanks Andy


Its looking the part, I had hoped that it had been replaced by a 20mm Oerlikon cannon after the original gun was destroyed in May 1941 but as I found out it wasn't and was fitted with a replacement! Its an interesting little model in its own rights, at least you can see the detail in it compared to the 3 inch gun so its not all wasted! :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on March 17, 2013, 03:00:38 PM
Hello everyone


It's been over month since I posted the build log of the Gnat but don't worry I haven't been idle! :D
In preparation for the show at Model Ex in Northamptonshire, I have started to paint the superstructure with the final camouflage scheme. Using the picture sent to me last year I have worked out the scheme and marked it out on the superstructure sides and gun shields. The upper works is different to the hull paint work by being very block orientated instead of angled splinters, the bridge then reverts back to splinter style camo and the funnels are blodgy and circular. All very confusing but I am guessing that to an enemy vessel it would very hard to identify her with the disruptive pattern. Just got to finish the light grey paint then mask her up for the dark grey paint and she should be ready for the Mayhem at Wicksteed show in May (I know I said that last year but hey I'm human, I think, could be the penguin speaking in my head again  %% {-) ).


[size=78%](http://i46.tinypic.com/297f29.jpg)[/size]


(http://i48.tinypic.com/kas4zl.jpg)


(http://i46.tinypic.com/281yiw4.jpg)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on March 18, 2013, 11:26:59 PM
Good luck in getting her finished for the show. I'm sure the model will attract a lot of attention.


What's next?




Andy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Sandy on March 19, 2013, 09:01:38 AM
That is a really nice model of a really nice little ship.
Looks great,
All the best
Sandy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on March 19, 2013, 05:47:27 PM
Hi Marinemole and Sandy


Thanks for the positive comments, would be nice to see it completed soon. The paint work will be quite glossy but this allows the weathering to stick to it better when I use my experiences with 1/35 scale AFV to dirty her up a bit!
I have already started another project  which is another unusual subject, HMS Protector. She was originally built  as a net layer in 1936 and rebuilt in 1954 to become the Falkland Islands and Antarctic patrol vessel, serving 15 seasons in the ice before being scrapped in 1970. See the build thread so far under the title HMS Protector in the warship section on this forum, I have just started to cut out the frames and keel.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on March 19, 2013, 05:50:51 PM
Looking good, last saw the model at Warwick in November, I do love a good River Gunboat and this one ticks all the boxes. Like your new pop gun :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on March 19, 2013, 06:22:36 PM
Thanks Unbuiltnautilus
Glad you liked it at the Warwick show, only wish I could have been there but unfortunately duty got in the way! I'm actually quite glad that I built the pop gun as I didn't know what I would put in its place until I was sent that picture of Gnat in 1941 which I would have killed for two years ago!  {-)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on March 24, 2013, 03:40:54 PM
Hi everyone


The paint work is coming along very well, with the starboard side almost complete.
I have painted the 2pdr pom-pom with the darker grey and the 3inch/12pdr gun the lighter grey which the photo seems to indicate. I have painted the starboard carley floats Humbrol Matt 29 Dark Brown which seems to match the colours of these particular life saving devices.
I have also started to paint the funnels the lighter grey and will simulate the damage/wear and tear with the darker grey and some weathering paints/powders from my AFV modelling equipment. The entire model will receive weathering in some form to dull down the glossy paint work, the reason its glossy is because in AFV modelling the weathering pastels/powders/paints etc for some reason like gloss finishes than matt finishes. So at the moment the entire superstructure looks a bit toy like but it won't last long! I have purposely kept the rough finish of certain parts of the superstructure to represent the damage and repair work carried out. After my visit on a modern Type 42 destroyer last year the amount of welds and repair work on the superstructure was quite obvious so I am including these on my model, after all, by the time this ship looked like this model she was over 26 years old and had suffered a long hard life on the Yangtse River!
Whilst I am at work this week during my evenings I will be constructing the crew and painting them so it gives a bit of scale to the model.


(http://i49.tinypic.com/27zvmeq.jpg)


(http://i46.tinypic.com/dp8wh0.jpg)


(http://i47.tinypic.com/f1mxr9.jpg)


(http://i45.tinypic.com/20gem3d.jpg)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on March 29, 2013, 06:56:27 PM
More pictures of the paint work and of the crew and ship's guests, the LRDG men!  :-))


I have decided to make up the port side scheme since I don't have a picture from that side but I have kept it to the specifications of the starboard side with some modifications to the pattern. It's only been a week since the superstructure was painted but the glossy finish has started to fade enough to knock of the shiny mirror effect that made it look toy like. The bridge has had the camo scheme marked out on the port side and is currently being painted with the light grey. The crew are being made and will fit into specified locations positively, for example the man seen climbing the aft ladder in previous pictures has been modified to grasp the ladder rails if the glue fails therefore ensuring that he doesn't fall over! The 3inch gun will have a gun crew, the bridge is currently manned, the LRDG men are discussing their next raid on the upper battery deck and a few men will be placed around the main deck to liven it up abit. Remember there were over 50 crew members in peace time and over 75 in war time so there has to be men everywhere!  %%


(http://i47.tinypic.com/2eoh9ao.jpg)


(http://i48.tinypic.com/mmg7l4.jpg)


(http://i46.tinypic.com/hu4qaf.jpg)


(http://i49.tinypic.com/2eg5v0m.jpg)


(http://i48.tinypic.com/2sbrcia.jpg)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Bob K on April 05, 2013, 11:16:52 AM
Looking forward to seeing HMS Gnat again.  So much great work done since I last saw her.
Was it at Wicksteed ?
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Circlip on April 05, 2013, 12:16:34 PM
The SAS get everywhere  {-)
 
  Regards  Ian.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on April 05, 2013, 06:55:13 PM
Hi Bob k


It certainly has got a lot more 'junk' on the deck and detail work since you last saw her, I think it was Wicksteed Park we last spoke face to face, I was stuck in the Falklands for the Deans Marine open day.
Hopefully she should be finished (or close to be) by the Wicksteed show this year. Hope to see you again soon, only seven weeks to go!


Hi Circlip, the SAS certainly do get everywhere! You should read the book Armed With Stings to see how they put up with the rough sea conditions whilst they were aboard the Gnat! They were not best pleased!  {-)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on June 09, 2013, 06:29:21 PM
Hi everyone


As per my thread on the CMB of WW2 we decided on the Mayhem weekend to check our solder joins and discovered on the Gnat that the port rudder lower bracket had failed and was completely missing!
We had to take the steering system apart and pull the hinge pin out (luckily we thought of this possible problem of maintenance and easiness to dismantle!) and stripped the paint off. A new bracket was made from a brass square length and after a few swear words Dad managed to solder the new piece on to the rudder. The steering system was re assembled, tested and worked again much to our relief!
Hopefully back to normal service soon with the on going modifications as seen in the new photo I got last year :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on June 09, 2013, 07:26:53 PM
Life in the Fast Lane! Well done!


Andy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on June 09, 2013, 07:58:58 PM
Thanks Andy shes getting better now!

Some pictures from Mayhem at Wicksteed 2013

(http://i41.tinypic.com/jtarg5.jpg)


(http://i43.tinypic.com/2n6xfv9.jpg)


(http://i39.tinypic.com/fc8v3b.jpg)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: mark w on June 25, 2013, 04:42:46 PM
 
Nick,
 
Looking better and better  :-)) .
 
Mark
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on June 25, 2013, 07:58:58 PM
Hi Mark


Thanks for the encouragement, she is certainly improving every time I spend a few hours on her!
As per the photo of her in 1941 I have cut down the bows in the anchor flats, she looks a lot like a Victorian era battleship now with the funnels side by side. I'll be working on her again this weekend to complete the bow end before concentrating on the superstructure again. I'll post some pictures this weekend of the build so far. :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on July 08, 2013, 08:58:50 PM
I had hoped to upload some pictures last weekend but certain events over took me taking the pictures of my modifications to the bows. I am now a Uncle, my sister gave birth to a little girl she has called Willow.  :-) Obviously we are all very proud of the new addition to our family, but I was stuck at home patiently waiting by the phone for news, a little bit of modelling did occur and I have used something used primarily in AFV modelling. I bought from Creative Hobbies a weathering pigment called AK salt streaks, its an oil based weathering pigment which you liberally apply to anywhere where salt water could collect and run down, leave for a few minutes then rub down with a clean cloth to the desired effect. The bows now look a little bit dirtier and given that used look that this type of vessel would have endured for the 18 months of active service she saw in WW2. Promise to upload some pictures is weekend! :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Martin [Admin] on July 08, 2013, 10:09:15 PM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Uncle Nick!

Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on July 08, 2013, 10:35:17 PM
Thanks Martin, I'll of course pass on the mayhems best wishes to my sister and her fiancé and of course baby Willow. I was at Deans Marine speaking to Ron (being very naughty buying another kit!) when I got the call from my mum saying that my sister was being rushed in for an emergency c-section, it later transpired that it was not much of an emergency as she was not taken into the theatre until 10pm!
When Willow was 'born' she weighed 1lbs 6oz because she was 13 weeks premature. But she's a little fighter and is already given my sister a taste of motherhood. Dad is very proud of his grand-daughter and has visited her with Mum tonight to see her for the first time.
Hopefully I can be the mysterious Uncle in the RAF who disappears for days on end! :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on July 14, 2013, 03:42:55 PM
Hi everyone


A bit late than I thought I'd be but as promised here are the photos of the re-build so far...


The four carley floats on the superstructure have started to be detailed, using off-cuts of plywood and ramin strip I have had the internal planks to the floats. The tie down points have been added to the shelf that the floats sit on, these are little copper eyelets. I will be making the paddles that sit inside the floats soon.


(http://i39.tinypic.com/erjts3.jpg)


'The modified bows': The areas around the anchor beds had to be cut down and the bit behind them has to be built up. I marked them out and masked off the area, carefully using a junior hacksaw I removed the bow sides. Using the off-cut piece I glued it behind the anchor beds to save wasting a piece like this. The sides of the anchor beds were built up with plastic card sheet. The anchors were also modified and had a shackle fitted on the centre of gravity  so that lifting davit has something to tie to and 'lift' with. Anchor supports were made from scrap bits of plywood and cut to fit the anchors.


(http://i40.tinypic.com/kb4wok.jpg)


(http://i43.tinypic.com/xe041v.jpg)


(http://i42.tinypic.com/ie0da1.jpg)


As can be seen in the picture below, the AK salt streaks weathering pigments were applied to the upper bow areas as a trial. The best thing about these pigments that they can easily removed with a bit of white spirit if you don't like it.
It also knocks the gloss coat down a notch, I've got the anchor chain to do next with a bit of rust and grime pigments.


(http://i42.tinypic.com/fl92c0.jpg)


(http://i39.tinypic.com/vxmcg4.jpg)


The final picture shows the gun shield support angles fitted, these are made from plastic strut and glued into place with odourless superglue. Only another 11 to make!


(http://i42.tinypic.com/3023zp3.jpg)


Until next weekend... :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on August 14, 2013, 04:33:45 PM
Hi everyone


Now that I'm leave for a couple of weeks I have some un-interrupted time to myself!!!
I got a bit fed up making guns from scratch so I cheated this time and bought some 1/32 scale kits from Nautical Marine Models of the 20mm Oerlikon cannons. Made from a mixture of resin and white metal parts the kit requires very little clean up and builds very quickly into the final product. I must congratulate Nautical Marine Models for their quick delivery service- I ordered the kits on Monday evening and they arrived this morning at 0730am! Very good service.


(http://i39.tinypic.com/ri6rs9.jpg)


(http://i40.tinypic.com/34e5i5e.jpg)


(http://i39.tinypic.com/14u83ea.jpg)


I have painted the carley float planks to match the floats themselves- it also hides any little discrepancies!


I have noticed on some ships that the 6inch guns had a canvas cover rolled up on the turret roof- presumedly to stop water and sand blowing in when the gun is not in use- so I have used some thin cotton sheet and rolled it up as tight as possible attaching it to a piece of plastic strut and gluing it in position. I then used some off-cuts to make the three straps that hold it in place.


(http://i39.tinypic.com/2lborno.jpg)


The bows are finished for the moment whilst I wait for some fittings that I have ordered from Modelling Timbers, I've had a nice chat with Keith Jewell (owner of Modelling Timbers) and the good news that he is on the mend after his collapse prior to moving to the Isle of Man.
I'm just waiting for some single pear block pulleys for the anchor davit and I can complete the bows completely with the rigging and ropes and chains.


(http://i42.tinypic.com/dy2fif.jpg)


Then I'm going weathering mad on the bows with rusty chains and salt streaks to make her a war weary gunboat!
(not too much though! :-)) )
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Netleyned on August 14, 2013, 04:44:46 PM
Looking really good.
Just a bit of info for a crab {-)
The open guns are Mountings with a weather cover
at the open end.
They are called Turrets when they are completely
enclosed.
I think the last ships built with gun mountings were the Type 81
Tribal frigates.

Ned
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on August 14, 2013, 04:50:09 PM
Looking really good.
Just a bit of info for a crab {-)
The open guns are Mountings with a weather cover
at the open end.
They are called Turrets when they are completely
enclosed.
I think the last ships built with gun mountings were the Type 81
Tribal frigates.

Ned


You learn something new everyday! But of course as a crab we haven't had a turret in an aircraft since the Shackleton! So you can forgive me for that!  {-)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Netleyned on August 14, 2013, 05:18:48 PM
what about the 'City of Lincoln'
Had turrets last time it flew over
my house. As long ago as last weekend :-))

Ned
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on August 18, 2013, 03:13:53 PM
what about the 'City of Lincoln'
Had turrets last time it flew over
my house. As long ago as last weekend :-))

Ned


 {-)  Ok, I meant aircraft I have worked on... mind you apparently the Lanc does have a purpose if we went to all out war- maritime patrol armed with some bombs and escorted with the Spits and Hurricane- not a job I would want to do!


I realised that I didn't include the pictures of the completed carley floats...


(http://i39.tinypic.com/2nth76d.jpg)


The new 20mm Oerlikons have had their resin bases cut off and replaced with a plastic card circle cut using my Olfa compass cutter. The bases were too big and heavy so they were replaced with more scale items. I have started to paint the mountings too before they are permanently fixed to the deck.


(http://i41.tinypic.com/r8c6z9.jpg)


(http://i40.tinypic.com/3sv9g.jpg)


I have started to detail the bridge once again and have added to the access door the bridge, there will be a ladder attached to this once the bridge structure has been fixed to the conning tower. The door handle is from Modelling Timbers. I have also sanded down the paint work as I was entirely happy with it so I have rubbed it down with some flower paper and filled some of the little holes I missed- I will be painting it in the near future...


(http://i42.tinypic.com/33dhzj9.jpg)


(http://i41.tinypic.com/30crewp.jpg)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on September 28, 2013, 07:40:28 PM
Hi everyone


I haven't been lazy recently building the Gnat, just painting and touching up here and there where I missed or thought I could do better!
Anyway at Deans Marine open day I bought a new flag from the flagman who hand paints silk flags! The flag now hangs and flutters more realistically than the old cotton one.


(http://i41.tinypic.com/2prtouu.jpg)


(http://i42.tinypic.com/2ujggav.jpg)


Tomorrow she is going for a sail again to get some practice in, pictures will be coming of her tomorrow afternoon.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on September 29, 2013, 06:50:19 PM
Hi everyone


Gnat had her sail today in the most glorious of sunshine with a little breeze. Practiced a few tight turns and some high speed ones too, the foggy units worked a treat too. The new flag looked brilliant fluttering in the slight breeze.
Chuffy had his 1/32 scale Lady Wooes tug in attendance both to keep me away from the side and for me to hunt down and order him to surrender!!!  :-)) %)
A thoroughly enjoyable mornings sailing at Wicksteed.


(http://i41.tinypic.com/296lu69.jpg)


(http://i40.tinypic.com/2cg1v8n.jpg)


(http://i43.tinypic.com/111hz6e.jpg)


(http://i40.tinypic.com/oa9pip.jpg)


(http://i44.tinypic.com/2cmre5z.jpg)


Funny thing is she still has her 'squeak' screeching across the lake emanating from the push rod and chain steering gear. A bit of grease from the engine room might fix that- can't have her give her position away with a noise like that!  {-)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on September 30, 2013, 12:36:22 AM
Looking great. Glad you had a good day out. Like the shot with the smoke.


Andy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: mark w on September 30, 2013, 04:06:13 AM



Very cool  :-))   :embarrassed:


Mark
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: suffolk1928 on September 30, 2013, 07:34:15 PM
Looks great Nick!


I saw a book called 'The pre-dreadnought revolution' at the weekend- wondered if it would be of any use for your Majestic class build? It's on Amazon.


Good to see you and the fleet at the Deans show


James
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on October 07, 2013, 07:23:52 PM
Hi James


Hope you didn't think I was ignoring you, I've had a few connection problems with the Internet at work and at home, both fixed thankfully!
Many thanks for the book suggestion I've got it coming through the post soon, it looks quite helpful.
Wish I could have taken the Gnat to Ron's open day but there wasn't enough room in my Dads van.
This weekend I have been painting the rear superstructure again, and finishing off the port Lewis guns on the upper battery deck. The bridge has been reprinted with its new battle damage repair patches, so hopefully she will look like a warship for Warwick.


Nick
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on October 24, 2013, 04:01:11 PM
Hi everyone


This week whilst I am on leave I have been trying to finish off the Gnat to a  'near-enough done' standard!
After reading some books for the Majestic battleship project I found out how the anchors would have been attached to an anchor bed like the Insect class and the associated mechanisms that make them work.


(http://i42.tinypic.com/110vfcl.jpg)


(http://i39.tinypic.com/2ni1y7c.jpg)


Whilst I can't be 100% sure of the accuracy of these mechanisms, in one of my many pictures of the Insect class gunboat I have one of the Gnat ploughing her way up the Yangtse River and in the fuzziness of the picture a similar looking mechanism is sitting on top of the anchor bed, so I presume its similar to the ones fitted to predreadnought battleships but on a much smaller scale!


I have also started to detail the 6inch gun mountings with small nuts bought from Modelling Timbers and are simply superglued to the aluminium mounting and painted light grey.


(http://i43.tinypic.com/2aenrf4.jpg)


The worst job I have started this week, something I have been dreading because I'm not usually very good at it, is the glazing of all superstructure windows. A few years a go I bought a guillotine for cutting card and spying it out of the corner of my eye decided it was perfect for cutting my acetate glazing. A bit of Deluxe Superglue for glazing was used to glue the 20mm by 18mm squares to the battery deck superstructure. Once dry they were surrounded by strips of 0.2mm by 1mm plastic strip from Slaters plastics which I had pre-painted the night before so all I needed to do was touch them up with some fresh paint when they were try.


(http://i40.tinypic.com/zsv8yv.jpg)


I have also started to re-do the mast rigging again using some tiny turnbuckles, not easy to thread the cord through but look quite realistic when they are finished-pictures will be coming soon for them!
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: derekwarner on October 24, 2013, 10:28:57 PM
Nick B........that studded main anchor chain looks brilliant....however you could consider blackening the surface instead of painting it grey.......
Here is an image of Black Patina [25% nitric acid + copper, selenium & silver]......works very well on brass surfaces :-)) .....Derek
 
 
 
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on October 25, 2013, 08:36:17 AM
Thanks Derek


I'll have to get some of that to 'blacken' the chains. I had heard of something silmiliar in the AFV modelling world but could never remember what it was called.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: SteamboatPhil on October 25, 2013, 01:48:37 PM
Blimey Nick, its a monster, looking really good can't wait to see it all done at Warwick  :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on October 25, 2013, 07:04:30 PM
Hi Phil


Wait until you see the other monster we are bringing!!! Its hardly been built yet and it weighs close to 27lbs!!! :D


In preparation I am trying to match my Dad's build of his monster sub and complete the Gnat to a decent completed finish for the Warwick show.
Inbetween glazing the battery deck superstructure and the bridge windows I have been adding turnbuckles to the masts rigging and painting them gunmetal/steel colour to hide the fact that they are thin brown cord!


(http://i41.tinypic.com/2e57bjl.jpg)


(http://i41.tinypic.com/14dm6ue.jpg)


The rear superstructure is also nearing final completion, the glazing complete and the 20mm Oerlikon glued in place, and finally the rigging is complete- just the camo nets to be added and thats done.


(http://i43.tinypic.com/33xknie.jpg)


I'm taking the 1/32 and 1/35 scale figures to work next week to finish them off at night so I have a crew.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: mark w on October 25, 2013, 07:25:46 PM
 :-))
 
Mark
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on October 27, 2013, 03:49:22 PM
:-))
 
Mark


Thanks Mark, she is certainly looking a lot more complete than before, the glazing is almost complete, the bridge is getting more finished too, the ladder to the bridge has been made with the associated structure to support it and the railings along side. I don't thin the weathering will be done in time for the Warwick show though... :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Netleyned on October 27, 2013, 04:15:13 PM
Looking good there :-))

One thing,
Before you blacken the anchor cables, do a bit of research
into the metal used at that time.
Many RN ships have/had anchor cables made of gunmetal.
Worth a check before buying the patina potion.

Ned
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on October 27, 2013, 04:17:50 PM
Thanks Ned


I'll check my sources, might involve a re-read of Armed With Stings to get the info, its a good book for anything about the Insects.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on November 01, 2013, 08:36:37 PM
Hi everyone


Pictures of the crew and the LRDG company being transported to their next target!


(http://i42.tinypic.com/978qqa.jpg)


(http://i43.tinypic.com/2r3f11g.jpg)


(http://i41.tinypic.com/1f7ec.jpg)


(http://i41.tinypic.com/2nwgl.jpg)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on November 02, 2013, 11:39:01 AM
Excellent stuff. Are the facilities on the stern occupied?


Andy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on November 03, 2013, 03:56:28 PM
Hi Andy


I think great minds think a like! We did consider having a sailor using the heads but we couldn't find a suitable candidate for the job, we were going to leave the door slightly a jar too and have a voice shouting out that it's in use! :D


Finishing stuff on the superstructure... The mast rigging has gone all hairy! ok2


(http://i41.tinypic.com/29q1sa8.jpg)


The port anchor davit rigged.


(http://i42.tinypic.com/fzazo5.jpg)


The LRDG from above.  Just visible is the twin Lewis machine guns at different angles.


(http://i40.tinypic.com/2m3jtip.jpg)


The two other LRDG men with their arms and helmets attached, just some painting to complete them.


(http://i43.tinypic.com/1zciclw.jpg)


And finally, a view from the bows...


(http://i39.tinypic.com/2hi88ia.jpg)




See you at Warwick... :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 07, 2013, 10:51:07 AM
Hi everyone


More research and new discoveries for me, and no I'm not repainting the model again. See what you think...


Extract from The Phantom Army of Alamein by Rick Stroud.
Tobruk: The camouflage units lucky break.


Proud's camoufleurs also helped the Royal Navy. One of the most important places in Tobruk and the only means of keeping the garrison supplied was the port itself. All vessels coming in to the port were extremely vulnerable to air attack, including the 'A' lighter flat bottomed barges that ferried supplies in to the port; the gunboat HMS Gnat, which provided much needed artillery support, and the SS Pass of Balmaha, a tanker that had to be towed in to the harbour after being damaged in an attack out to sea.
The port itself was full of half sunk ships, victims of dive bombing and shelling. Proud realised that these could form the basis of his naval camouflage work. He used the humble camouflage net on a vast scale to turn the hulks into hiding places. Working at night, booms were rigged, jutting out from the sides of the wrecks, nets were stretched between them, making covers under which the A lighters could shelter as they were being unloaded. The A lighters were met at the harbour mouth and guided to their hiding places. Once moored they were boarded by Proud's camouflage squads who covered the open sides with more netting, snugly netting them in.
HMS Gnat was hidden in much the same way but on far bigger scale. Proud draped a huge net on strung steel hawsers across a cove under which the gunboat could hide. From the air the net looked like an extension of the land and earned the name 'Gnat's Cove'. When she wasn't in action the gunboat's top mast and searchlight were removed so she could slink into her camouflage refuge. The superstructure of Gnat itself was also camouflaged. The naval report reads: After the sinking of HMS Ladybird in Tobruk harbour on 12 May, Gnat arrived and needed concealment. It was sited by a camouflage officer in a cove. The ship was concealed by painting desert colour and shadows broken up by descending planes of nets fixed to the super structures. Enemy aircraft could be seen searching for this vessel, which eventually left the port safely.


Information from Camouflage Division No 44 issued by 9 Aust Division Camouflage Unit Appendix G3-
Concealment of store ships and military landing craft.


Gnat joined to shore by net hung over bridge continued over main lower deck etc., breaking at funnels and concealing 6" guns.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Bob K on December 07, 2013, 11:42:52 AM
More research and new discoveries for me, and no I'm not repainting the model again. See what you think...

Interesting.  However, if your hadn't told us we'd never have known. 
Just in case I will keep an eye out for mysterious areas of netting on lake edges at boat shows next year.  {-)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 07, 2013, 11:44:20 AM
You never know!  :} :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on January 12, 2014, 06:16:36 PM
Hi everyone


Seems an age since I posted anything about the Gnat but in between sorting out a report for my club, I managed to make this...


(http://i44.tinypic.com/1zv79ck.jpg)


(http://i40.tinypic.com/4pujvk.jpg)


(http://i44.tinypic.com/2nm2etz.jpg)


(http://i44.tinypic.com/21d4kdx.jpg)


Apart from model boats some of you might know that I make 1/35 scale AFVs, and on some of these models I have made tarpaulin sheets to add some interest to the model.
It's essentially two part milliput pushed together uniformly and then (whilst Mum wasn't looking) using a rolling pin to roll it paper thin, you can use moulding plaster powder as a barrier to prevent the milliput from sticking to your board. Once its rolled out to your desired thickness you can cut with a knife to create rectangles of any size. Because of the long drying time of the milliput you have plenty of time to fold or drape your tarpaulin over anything you want. In these pictures I have two cable reels covered and a single sheet of tarpaulin draped over the corner of the water tank. It eventually dries rock hard and you can paint it.
Any way back to work now...
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on March 02, 2014, 05:29:52 PM

Hi everyone

I've started doing the finishing details again, but being a compulsive researcher I was checking through the infinite Internet and came across this website.

http://www.frankstaylorfamilyandroyalnavyhistory.net/HMSScarabHongKongRefit.html (http://www.frankstaylorfamilyandroyalnavyhistory.net/HMSScarabHongKongRefit.html)

Wish these photos had been available a couple of years back when started the superstructure and the detail work, they are a modellers dream, the detail in these photos are worth their weight in gold!
I know they are of Scarab but she was a close sister of Gnat, good thing my educated guesses are close to the real thing! :embarrassed:
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: ballastanksian on March 09, 2014, 06:15:20 PM
Keep the camo references in the back of your mind for when Gnat needs her first refit and try them out then.

She is coming along really nicely.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat Prowling at Wicksteed Park
Post by: raflaunches on June 15, 2014, 07:52:55 PM
Hi everyone


As part of the Wicksteed at War weekend WPMBC have been sailing to support the event and I thought I'd enter the waters and take some pictures of the 'Gnat' hunting. My Dad is at the controls whilst I'm kneeling in the centre of the lake. Not a wise idea!!! :}
It adds some thing different to take a photo at water level instead from above. Tomorrow night we are doing a late evening/night sail- I'm hoping to get some good dusk shots of the prowling gunboat.


(http://i62.tinypic.com/jfffbc.jpg)


(http://i60.tinypic.com/nnn0b6.jpg)


(http://i62.tinypic.com/2hx0j5s.jpg)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Martin [Admin] on June 15, 2014, 08:41:56 PM
Excellent!  :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: mark w on June 15, 2014, 10:43:15 PM



Great shots  :-)) .


Mark
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: derekwarner on June 15, 2014, 10:49:51 PM
absolutely superb images Nick........but just a few questions....

1. what sort of focal depth?
2. did you have neck to knee waders...or suffer the cold  {-)
3. are the nav lights clear with RED & GREEN led's

Looking forward to seeing similar evening images....... O0....Derek
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: ballastanksian on June 15, 2014, 11:40:01 PM
The water level imagery makes the vessel look much larger than when taken from an elevated angle. Obviously not everyone has access to a water course that is so shallow but maybe lying prone and shooting would give a similar result.

She looks lovely Nick, a real sweetie:O)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on June 16, 2014, 08:38:50 AM
Thanks for the kind comments, the pictures are certainly a lot better than I expected with my limited knowledge of cameras!
Hi Derek- luckily I had a pair of chest height waders on (insulated too!) but the water is only 18inches deep where I was kneeling, strangely I did have a little leak in the middle of my back but it stopped!?! Unfortunately I don't know what the focal depth was and I can't check on the camera as I've already cleared the memory card in preparation for tonight. I'll check tonight to find out.
My nav lights don't work, my original plan was to have LED lights but after reading 'Armed With Stings' and several other books about Insect class activities the nav lights were painted over to ensure that they couldn't be used at all. The Gnat was used in this era as a night raider so she was darkened at all times so I didn't see much point having working nav lights if they weren't used!

There are stories of Gnat's sisterships Ladybird and Aphis entering Italian held ports at night during Operation Crusader and shelling depot ships in the harbour. They were so quiet and darkened that the sentry guards didn't see them until the two six inch guns opened fire. Ladybird and Aphis destroyed 6 depot ships in Benghazi that night! :o
Until tonight... :-))

Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: marinemole on June 16, 2014, 08:49:24 AM
First class photography and superb model. Look forward to seeing the night shots.


Andy
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on June 16, 2014, 08:54:51 AM
Thanks Andy
I hope it brightens up here so I can get a dramatic sunset in the pictures too but I might have to be content with a stormy 'Mediterranean' evening shot instead!
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: ballastanksian on June 16, 2014, 10:12:32 AM
Armed with stings is a brilliant book especially as it is about a small vessel that probably saw more active duty than some larger and more impressive ships. Your Gnat needs an HMS Terror to accompany her!
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: pugwash on June 17, 2014, 01:04:26 AM
Just caught up with your photos from Sunday - they are excellent as is Gnat
now she is finished.  It certainly makes a difference taking them at the same
level as the model

Geoff
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on June 17, 2014, 08:32:46 AM
Just caught up with your photos from Sunday - they are excellent as is Gnat
now she is finished.  It certainly makes a difference taking them at the same
level as the model

Geoff


Thanks Geoff, wait to you see some of the pictures I took last night, I'm downloading them as we speak and I'll upload them this evening. She looks very menacing in silhouette!


Hi Ian


I love that book, probably the best 1p I every spent! Yes that's right 1p, the post and packaging was £2.80 from amazon! But do have we any takers to build HMS Terror in 1/32 scale? She'd only be 151.8 inches long over all! :o :D
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat in the dark!!!
Post by: raflaunches on June 21, 2014, 12:13:19 PM
Hi everyone


Took longer than expected to post these but here they are at last...


Just picture yourself in June/July 1941 somewhere on the Northern African coastline, probably near Libyan border...


...and your imagine starts playing tricks, did you see a ship? Or was it a wave? The next thing you hear are shells raining down on you and you see in the darkness this!!!


(http://i58.tinypic.com/66ywjk.jpg)


(http://i61.tinypic.com/1y08qx.jpg)


(http://i61.tinypic.com/21bt3lk.jpg)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: ballastanksian on June 24, 2014, 11:36:04 PM
Bang on old chap, she is just right. Am I right in saying that you made the guns controllable?
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on June 27, 2014, 06:45:55 PM
Hi Ian


Thanks she looks brilliant in silhouette and quite menacing! She was going to have rotating turrets but the 12v 7amp/h SLA batteries we use for the foggy units and to power the motors (and ballast!) fill up the tiny amount of height inside the hull so we can't get anything in beneath the turret mountings to rotate them but they can be moved by hand and elevated.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: ballastanksian on June 27, 2014, 10:13:06 PM
If you have any room beneath the turrets, could you use slim pullies with the servos placed in a more spacious place?

Off set if you will.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Rob47 on June 28, 2014, 04:12:17 PM
mini servo in turret driving against a fixed turret race, same as a tank turret :-))
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on June 29, 2014, 07:22:36 PM
Mmmm maybe a future refit project in the next few years and trial fit a prototype turret mechanism in one of my side line projects for testing things like this. Thanks for the ideas and suggestions, plenty of time to think about it this week as I'm on tea bar and key duty at work!
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: derekwarner on June 29, 2014, 11:07:25 PM
 %).....not sure about ''tea bar"...but I once [after Sunday overtime] took the master keys to the complete Weapons Building home [86 kilometres to Wollongong] with me instead of returning & signing them back in with the Naval Police at Garden Island  :embarrassed:

I was not a very popular person the next morning  <*< .....Derek
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- A refit
Post by: raflaunches on December 09, 2018, 08:44:38 PM
Well.... deep intake of breath... its been a while!!! %%


HMS Gnat has patrolled for sometime now in the slightly colder waters of Wicksteed Park (since 2014!) instead of the waters she actually sailed in. And she has received some battle damage over the years and the most destructive came from a fierce gale at Wicksteed at War which snapped her steering gear cables. We had been trying for the last 6 months to find some replacement cable which was not only stronger but more easily available. The actually break was in the middle of the run which was quite surprising instead of the weak points such as the chains, the cogs, the tieing down points on the servo arm... can you see why it surprised us at the break point! {-)
Anyway we found some better cable and she is working again but needs some TLC which started with some grease and oil on the steering gear. Lovely smooth action now with a reduced squeek!
We have decided she needs a refit and will start with the six inch guns being completed to a better standard and some general finishing off. With our improved construction standards we are going to carry out some cosmetic surgery to improve her a little. Keep your eyes peeled, she might pay some visits to some local ports around Peterborough... Farcet Fen possibly if we believe reports from German sources! %)


(https://i.ibb.co/RY1r9nx/IMG-0372.jpg) (https://ibb.co/RY1r9nx)
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: ballastanksian on December 09, 2018, 09:52:53 PM

Are you going to try fitting a turning mechanism for the turrets? I saw you were thinking of it back in 2014 when you postulated a refit around now.



Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 10, 2018, 10:59:30 AM
Are you going to try fitting a turning mechanism for the turrets? I saw you were thinking of it back in 2014 when you postulated a refit around now.



Hi Ian


Yes, we are looking into the possibility of fitting some form of mechanism to turn the turrets, the aft turret has the least amount of space to work with as there is a 12v SLA battery directly beneath the turret base.
We are doing some general tidying up too and some upgrades to Gnat and like modern warships we built in some excess hull space for future upgrades, so it might be that only the forward turret may turn because of the space beneath it is bigger and could mount many different items from servos or even arduino system if I have time.
Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: Geoff on December 10, 2018, 01:47:50 PM
For turret turning may I suggest a sail winch under tyhe bow turret and link this with bowden cables to the aft turret. The cables don't have to be particularly tight but they do have the advantage of taking virtually no room beneath the aft turret. All you need is a large diameter groved wheel.


Love the atmouspheric pictures.



Cheer


Geoff




Title: Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
Post by: raflaunches on December 10, 2018, 10:32:54 PM
That is definitely do-able ( is that a word? Sounds very RAF-tastic!).
I think I have a spare sail winch I can set up a working prototype so some turret turning fun this weekend.
Glad you like the pictures, we had some fun creating the scenes and I think I actually got into the water to get some of the shots.