Monday, February 15, 2016

Channel Dash - Escorts

My slow work on the Channel Dash project continues with the completion a couple of the main escorts for the Germans.
The Z-7 (foreground) a Type 24 torpedo boat in back
First up is the 1/700 scale destroyer Z-7 Hermann Schoemann from Trumpeter models. A Type 34A class German destroyer. Overall the kit is pretty nice, but probably too fiddley for most gamers. In addition to a lot of little pieces, it comes with several photo-etch parts (including the ‘starfish’ on the forward mast) that are probably too delicate for most game pieces, especially those that require gamers to handle them.

The model kit box cover
That said, I’m pretty happy with how the model turned out and I will probably put it on a base to help reduce some of the potential handling issues.

The books on German camouflage patterns showed several slightly different versions of the pattern that Z-7 wore during the Channel Dash. But most agree that it was basically a disruptive scheme with dark areas forward, center, and aft. The center portion was carried up to the torpedo deck and aft funnel. Just looking at the center of the ship could almost give the impression of that this was an escort trawler. One of the camouflage source I looked at showed a false bow wave on the aft dark area, which I decided to include because it was an unusual look.
Z-7 from the starboard side
Z-7 from the port side

A three-quarter view
The 1/600 scale Type 24 torpedo boat is from the old Skytrex coastal forces line. It is metal and much sturdier than the plastic model, but doesn’t have as good of detail work.
The Type 24 in the foreground
The kit goes together pretty well, with only minor drilling and filling. But it did need some work to clean up the mold lines and odd bits of flashing. From a distance the Type 24 profile and gives a very similar look to the Type 34A class. But I think the Skytrex kit is missing some light AA guns that would be on the German torpedo boats at this time. But it should work fine without them.

I don’t have any good sources on German torpedo boat camouflage for this timeframe, so I went the general descriptions given in most books of the basic two-color disruptive scheme. I probably should have changed the positioning of the dark areas a little, since it really looks like the destroyer, but I think it still turned out okay. As with the destroyer, I will probably add a base, although this ship is sturdy enough to put up with some gamer rough-handling.
Type 24 starboard side view
A port three-quarter view
With the escorts done, I’m moving on to the cruiser and battleships.

But I also thought I would put up a few photos of the modern Chinese Type 92 ballistic missile submarine that I finished painting earlier in the year. This is a 3D printed model I got through Shapeways, so it did not require any assembly. It painted up okay, but the grainy surface made it a little hard to keep the lines straight. I used a scale black for the main upper hull color and a darker black to try to bring out some of the details of the missile hatches and free-flood holes. Overall it turned out okay, but in these just disappear in some lighting conditions.

Type 92 starboard side view
Type 92 port side view
A little better shot of the missile hatches
The sub will be part of the modern submarine rules I’ve been working on.