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Author Topic: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought  (Read 6910 times)

Bob K

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UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« on: December 07, 2013, 03:03:37 pm »

UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
 
  I need some inspiration to fire me up to finish my current build project.  Post retirement I seem to be spending far more time on house duties as CinC Home Forces is still working.  My 1881 semi-submersible Torpedo Ram has been thoroughly water tested but I require a self-kick in the stern to rebuild the electrics and finish the superstructure.
 
Hopefully anticipation of a new project will provide the necessary impetus.
 
I love early warships and have been avidly following the Majestic Class build.  These look awesome completed, although several have been / are being done. 
HMS Dreadnought in 1/96 is too long for my car back seat, as are the early battlecruisers. 
 
HMS Lord Nelson was Britain’s last pre dreadnought, completed two years after the battleship that made her obsolete.  Four 10 inch main guns plus ten 9.2 inch secondary armament in six beam turrets.  At 1.36m she would just fit in my car, and could be unique on the water.
 
Fleetscale do an undetailed hull, plus are finalising a very extensive fittings kit.  I would still need to scratch build the superstructure and deck etc as it is a “semi kit”.  This is what I had to do for Polyphemus so should not overstretch my present skills level.
 

 
High freeboard.  Non-variable waterline.  Something completely different ?
 
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raflaunches

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 04:25:06 pm »

Hi Bob


I say go for it, we can have a fantastic picture in a few years time of a fleet review from 1910 ranging from Majestics to Lord Nelson representing the pre dreadnoughts and I'm sure that there are some other members on the forum who could bring along the dreadnoughts and battle cruisers. :-)) 
There is a book about the HMS Agamemnon called Dardenelles A midshipman's diary by HM Denham all about the last pre dreadnoughts battle against the Turkish forts in 1917.

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Bob K

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 04:49:22 pm »

Many thanks for that Nick.  Book on order from Amazon.
As usual this will need a lot of research, but hopefully that will fire me up to complete my current build.
 
Either Agamemnon or Lord Nelson (1908) would be fine, depending on which I can source the best detailed information for.  Your build of Prince George of 1895 has many useful parallels.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2013, 06:08:56 pm »

Main guns were 12 inch like Dreadnought not 10 inch. In fact The completion of Lord Nelson and Agamemnon was delayed as the guns intended for them went to the Dreadnought instead so she could be built in 'a year and a day'.

Colin
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Bob K

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2013, 08:04:56 pm »

Sorry, my typo. You are right Colin they were 12 inch. 
 
It must have been near impossible to distinguish between shell falls of main and such large secondary armament.  Dreadnought revolutionalised design with a unified main battery, faster steam turbine propulsion, etc. The Lord Nelson Class marked the end of an era.
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Klunk

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2013, 09:00:43 pm »

Right, My younger brother has just started in model boats with his son who is 9. He just purhased SMS Schliessen a pre dreadnought Deutschland class ship which we are currently refurbing!! Bit difficult as we can find no model plans for her!! we are working off pics and plans from the yard. Will post some pics if your interested. Trying to get her ready for a post christmas sail and fully up and running for Wicksteed Mayhem weekend!!
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tonyH

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2013, 09:38:08 pm »

Just as an aside klunk, I presume you've seen the drawings of Schleswig-Holstein and Hannover on the 'dreadnought project' site. www.dreadnoughtproject.org/plans which may be useful. Just in case you haven't, they've also got a lot of other German yard plans of the period and the full set of the French ones.
 
Tony :-))
 
Sorry Bob, not trying to hijack your thread :embarrassed:
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Bob K

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2013, 11:06:36 pm »

No problem Tony.  I had considered Schleswig-Holstein as a project, looked superb in her original 3 funnel format.  As the five Deutschland ships were also the last of their kind in Germany an apt parallel in this topic.  Useful links to pre-dreadnought plans.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2013, 09:13:37 am »

Interestingly the Lord Nelsons were much the same tonnage as Dreadnought but the lighter turbine machinery of the latter enabled it to carry a heavier armament, Dreadnought had slightly thinner armour too.

The 9.2 inch was a good gun and at the Dardanelles I believe it was often favoured over the 12 inch when bombarding the Turkish forts. But, as Bob says, the mixed armament gave rise to serious spotting difficulties against naval targets. With hindsight, a lot of ships of this era had serious design faults. Many of the pre dreadnoughts had transverse bulkheads between the engine rooms with the intention of minimising damage should shells penetrate the side but this turned out to be fatal if the ship sustained underwater damage as the flooding of one engine room tended to capsize the ship. Also, the Dreadnought, and indeed some later classes, including originally the battlecruiser Lion, had the foremast mounted behind the fore funnel which made the control top unusable under many conditions. Apparently this was done at the insistence of John Jellicoe, then serving as a Sea Lord, who wanted the mast positioned to enable it to support the boat handling boom.

Colin
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Bob K

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2013, 12:59:27 pm »

Very true Colin.

Rapid successions of revolutionary designs become rapidly outmoded.  After only four years Dreadnought herself was superseded by the Orion Class super-dreadnoughts with their large increase in displacement, 13.5 inch guns, and all centreline mountings.

Super-firing turrets were not possible with Dreadnought’s open sighting hoods, so that had to wait for the development of electrically computed direction / range finding equipment.  What has always struck me as odd is the long emphasis on belt armour against close range hits when ranges had increased to the point where incoming shells were plunging from 30 degrees or more.
Battlecruiser advantages of superior speed and gun range were thrown away at Jutland in their eagerness to close the distance, with disastrous results.

The Lord Nelson’s were thus a snap shot in time, caught between cusps of history.

( PS:  When I say “turret” I do mean barbette with revolving gun platform and armoured hood. )
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raflaunches

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2013, 04:53:33 pm »

Hi Bob


Another good book if you've got it is RA Burts British Battleships 1889-1906.
Some really good pictures and drawings inside, I use my copy on a regular basis for my HMS Prince George build!
My little friend at WPMBC who is really into his Victorian era warships is ecstatic that you are thinking about building a Lord Nelson, he is building an Italian cruiser which was built for the Japanese in the late 1890s, single funnels at either end of the superstructure with a single pole mast in the middle. He has also built the Russian Askold- a five funnelled armoured cruiser!
Certainly an era of many innovations and different ideas. :-))
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Nick B

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Geoff

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2013, 02:05:56 pm »

John Haynes also used to do a Lord Nelson hull to 1/96 scale, again without plating as this gives the builder the chance to plate or not and get a very sharp line for the plates. I purchased one of these hulls some years ago and completed Lord Nelson http://wmunderway.8m.com/gallery29/gallery29.htm
 
On my model I used two car blower motors which draw 3amps between them on 6v full power. I have a smoke generator for the funnels and all turrets turn and fire (blanks).
 
All up weight is in the region of 40 pounds but she does look good on the water and you will have no concerns about her being top heavy!
 
I used plastic card for the construction of the superstructure which worked well. There was a series in Model Boats a few years ago about someone building LN and believe there was briefly a kit based on the JH hull some years ago.
 
Enjoy the build
 
Cheers
 
Geoff
 
 
 
 
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Bob K

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2013, 06:24:55 pm »

Beautiful model Geoff.  Thanks for the photos.   :-))
 
The hull was taken from the John R Haynes original model, and unlike other sources is sadly undetailed. This will be the first time I have had to add basic plating to a GRP hull.    Most of the fittings are JRH sourced.
 
40 lbs could be a show stopper as my back is not as good as it was.  I have similar sized ships or that era that are half that weight. 
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Geoff

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2013, 06:32:55 pm »

Lord Nelson has quite a full hull form hence the weight. I plated my hull in thin plastic card starting with the main armour belt as this gives a good reference line to follow the plating through. Also the moulded in bilge keels help considerably as does the deck flange but do watch the beam as the sides need to be pulled in a little to get the correct width. I think that no shell expansion plan survived for this ship hence the smooth hull.
 
Good luck!
 
Cheers
 
Geoff
 
 
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John R Haynes

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2013, 08:32:16 pm »

This Lord Nelson hull is taken from my original mould . Fleetscale have all my original moulds so modellers are not getting a second-hand hull . Photos of L/N  are on my site, Portfolio section. The model was built many years ago for an American client. My  fittings for this hull  are available thru Fleetscale and my plan thru Traplet
 Am considering a 1/192 Hood for a client and Fleetscale  would mould my plug then put it into their range, if I make this .  Their 1/128 at 81" is too big for my client and 1/192 gives a hull 53.75"
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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2013, 02:18:45 pm »

40lbs just means bigger batteries and longer run times, just set up things so the batteries can get placed in the hull once it is in the water.. many of the folks I run with have WWII battle ships in 1/96th. A plus added feature on most of these is a functioning anchor. so if they need to take break the ship can just ride the hook for a while instead of being drydocked, never a worry about getting low on charge..
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Bob K

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2013, 03:26:04 pm »

At my age no way can I kneel at the lake edge to assemble electrics and superstructure a foot below that level.  Using lifting straps to get the boat beween my buggy and water anything that mimics a bag of cement is one flying bridge too far.  I have a 1/40 pre-WW1 warship of similar length that is both wider and deeper draft and that tips the scales at 'only' 20 lb.  My boats run at least 3 to 5 hours on a single battery.
 
Mr John R Haynes hull, plans and LN fittings, are all available from Fleetscale as a package. This includes resin cast funnels, 8 turrets, gun barrels, ships boats etc.  No etched brass mentioned in the set, but IMO JRH does the best quality etched frets going so no problem there.
I intend marine ply for the deck and Plasticard for upperworks fabrication.
 
Wonderful book Nick, just arrived.  Lavishly illustrated with loads of tech info.  I am waiting on the 2nd book you recommended to arrive.
 
One aspect has me worried.  There is so much detail that protrudes vulnerably well beyond the hull line, especially several davit hung ships boats, torpedo net trays, etc. 
Was this the last RN warship to have a stern walk?
 
 
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dreadnought72

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2013, 05:00:22 pm »

No, not at all. Several WW1 battleships sported one. Here's Warspite's in '44:



Andy
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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2013, 11:57:19 pm »

Very true Colin.

Rapid successions of revolutionary designs become rapidly outmoded.  After only four years Dreadnought herself was superseded by the Orion Class super-dreadnoughts with their large increase in displacement, 13.5 inch guns, and all centreline mountings.

Super-firing turrets were not possible with Dreadnought’s open sighting hoods, so that had to wait for the development of electrically computed direction / range finding equipment.  What has always struck me as odd is the long emphasis on belt armour against close range hits when ranges had increased to the point where incoming shells were plunging from 30 degrees or more.
Battlecruiser advantages of superior speed and gun range were thrown away at Jutland in their eagerness to close the distance, with disastrous results.


When the ships were designed, they were a neat package with everything thought through.

They were planned when the practice was to enagage at 10,000 yds, where the shells would arrive horizontally so the sides had the armour and the decks where protected in case anything entered.

The 9' rangefinders were acceptably accurate to this range. It was a neat package.

But senior officers (Beatty was one of the first) took these ships outside this comfortable envelope out to ranges where the RF were so-so and shells plunged.

It was the 15" gun that brought with it the need for longer-base RF, the Queen Elizabeths brought with them the 12' RF and they fixed one on the 13.5" ships as battle range had shown they needed one.

Re: the probllems of super-firing turrets: I've just read that in the above generation of ships, the gun-layers and trainers heads where actually in the hood looking through the optics. Thus they feared the blast pressure from a super-firing gun hurting him, or disupt the turrets operation if the men are constantly ducking below. The introduction of periscopes in the hoods, with blast excluders at the bottom, and blast bags on the gun openings removed the problems.

The battlecruisers had fought at least 3 battles by the time Director Firing was fitted (Heligoland, Falklands and Dogger Bank) 
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derekwarner

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 12:12:34 am »

It is assumed that HMS Warspite is in action here "off Normandy in 1944" ....even if the X turret was inoperable ....during action it would have normally be trained toward the target just as the A, B & Y turrets were aimed

Depicting like this is saying  >>:-(...we are down to 3/4 firepower ....Derek
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Bob K

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 01:07:58 am »

Stern walks:  (I knew I'd read this somewhere).  One of the major innovations of HMS Dreadnought was that as the steam turbines were quieter and more compact officers accomodation was moved so they were closer to their action stations, rather than traditionally aft.  Thus no stern walk.  Very unpopular as most were now berthed close to the noisey auxillary machinary areas.  As far as I can tell officers moved back aft for the King George V Class of 1910 and stern walks reapperared on Iron Duke.
 
On gun rages, ranges had been steadily increasing over a long period, but the battle fleet concept imagined ships of the line hammering away at close range in Trafalgar tradition.  In practce however battleships opened fire when they came into range, beyond effective ability of rangefinding using open fronted hoods to look out of.  A major revolution in rangefinding technology gradually evolved, but eventually ranges went beyond the horizon and even optical systems mounted high up were no longer enough.
 
Just about every new class of warship was designed to answer existing problems, but became outclassed rapidly by newer innovations.
 
 
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Colin Bishop

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2013, 09:08:06 am »

Quote
.even if the X turret was inoperable ....during action it would have normally be trained toward the target just as the A, B & Y turrets were aimed

I don't think it was trainable, the glider bomb had distorted the hull structure. At this stage of the war Warspite was only useful as a bombardment vessel with a maximum speed of 15 knots.

Incidentally, USS Iowa finished her career as a two turret ship after a fire in No 2 gunhouse in 1989, while I have been told that HMS Vanguard's B turret was also put out of action due to the stress of gunnery trials cracking the barbette structure.

Colin
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steve pickstock

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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2013, 09:26:58 am »



Andy
Naval gunfire support - when it absolutely must be destroyed on time.
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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2013, 09:34:45 pm »

The reason why the gunnery control on early dreadnoughts was on the mainmast aft of the funnel was because no one thought of a central battery control until just before WW1, in fact it was Churchill who insisted on having them fitted to new build and retro to Dreadnoughts. The Chief constructer would not fit them to the foremast as he thought it spoilt the lines of the vessels, Churchill being an ex Army officer understood the value of a cental battery control unlike the Admirals which only wanted big guns and pretty ships.
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Re: UK's Last Pre-Dreadnought
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2013, 09:44:05 am »

Sorry to disagree but the RN was really quite advanced in it's gunnery control systems up to WW1 and perfected this with the Dreyer fire control table. There was a competing system by Pollen. Either way both needed a high observation platform for spotting. The reason the funnels were before the mast in early Dreadnoughts was simply to facilitate boat handling with the large derrick attached to the central part of the tripod. The effects of funnel smoke were not clearly understood at the time albeit when steaming forwards the funnel gasses tended to pass just below the fore top.
 
With the advent of the aloft director things became much more weighty hence the heavy tripod masts. In other ships the director was not aloft so no such issues with the smoke. It was very much an evolutionary period. Have a look at the King George Fifth class (WW1) they had poll foremast as they used a different system but as the directors were perfected they were supported by flanges and eventuallt a full tripod.
 
Gunnery control was very complicated because each turret needed a corrector mechanism to ensure it would point at the same point at any range otherwise the salvo spread would be over 500 feet wide, the distance between the turrets. With superimposed turrets there needed to be further correctors to allow for the differentt hight of the guns.
 
The practical difficulties of constructing some 30/50 director units was a log jam in production and skilled personel. For a good description have a look at the Osprey Early Dreadnoughts.
 
Enjoy
 
G
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