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Author Topic: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat  (Read 48551 times)

pugwash

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #25 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
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Norseman

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #26 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
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Norseman

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #27 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.
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John R Haynes

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #28 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.
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John R Haynes

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2012, 10:40:23 AM »



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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #30 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
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #31 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

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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #32 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
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #33 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
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #34 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.
 












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
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Norseman

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #35 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
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roycv

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #36 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
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #37 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
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #38 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
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Norseman

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #39 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
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Norseman

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #40 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
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2012, 08:05:14 PM »

Hi Dave

Don't worry I knew what you meant!

Nick B
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #42 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)...







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.













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
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marinemole

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #43 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
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #44 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
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #45 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
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Norseman

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2012, 08:14:12 PM »

Looking forward to the new photos Nick
.... see what you meant about the anchor arrangements.

Dave
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #47 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
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Nick B

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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #48 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...











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.







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.   













Until next time...

Regards

Nick B
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Nick B

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oldiron

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Re: HMS Gnat- Insect class Gunboat
« Reply #49 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



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