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Below is some of the blurb I did for my original site with colour photos of the kits I had done and the site ended up at over 145 megabytes. Just a tad too big. I have had to go through and delete most of the model kit photos, only using a few where no other photos are available. Though in the future I may just start "kitbashing" original photos to produce my Alternate Universe ships (see King George V).

The boxes of kitsets go on round the left corner another meter and extends to the right another 2 meters. My list of work in progress is huge.


Modeling 'what might have beens'.

Dealing with reality isn't much fun when playing with model kitsets. I've been collecting ships kitsets off and on for 40 years. My first fleet got scuttled by my ex-wife and I only recently took up the hobby again. I model in 1/700 mainly because no matter what you do - in that scale - you cannot get an exact model using commercial kits. So whatever you call the guns etc is what it is. 20-40mm guns are all more like 6" plus in barrel size, to be real those guns would need barrels the thickness of hairs.

Due to 'battle' damage and leftovers of many kinds (arent kids and pets wonderful) we all end up with a variety of spare parts from building our 1/700 scale ships.

Finding hulls to use to create the ships that 'might have been, never were or own designs' is always a problem. One of my major sources for such hulls for battleships / battlecruisers is the 30cm box scale kits produced by Nichimo, Zhengdefu, Academy, Mini Hobby Models, etc. Best thing about them, they are cheap, so pulling them apart for the 'bits box' is not a hardship.

The 30cm kits all go to a fixed hull size of 689ft or 210m (for those into metrics).

The kits themselves of the ship types are rubbish. The parts, shapes of hulls, lack of details (AA guns moulded into the deck) etc do not lend themselves to the making up of good models of the original ships. They come as motorized or static. Either way the place where the switch for the motor is positioned wipes out part of the secondary/tertiary armament on some ships. But with the work a scratchbuilder is willing to put in the possibilities that these kits provide is only limited by your imagination.

With the majority of WW1 BB's and BC's being in the 550 to 710 foot lengths the 30cm kits can have bits taken out of the middle to add or subtract from the hull to create the length required. The hulls are of various widths.

The 30cm kits besides providing hulls for use for scratchbuilding also provide a large number of usefull spare parts. All of the Japanese BB's (except Yamato) provide you with British pattern twin turrets and guns. The 30cm Yamato main guns with a bit of scraping could probably provide the triple turrets for the Italian Littorio class (thats what i'm using mine for) or even with more shaping British triple 15/16".

The land of "what if" allows the scratchbuilder to explore not only what earlier ships might look like, if they had been retained through to WW2, but also the 'what might have been ships'. What would have happened if the British had managed to get the gun size reduced to 12" at the 1930 treaty talks?. A UK ship with 12 or 16x12" in quad turrets? A battlecruiser with 8x12" (just so happens the 30cm KGV type would have nice quad & twin 12"). Should have the KGV been armed with triple 15" (Where did I put those Yamato triples...hmmm)? Rather than the early Lion class BB's design with 9x16" would they have been better off as Vanguard hulls with 9x16 instead of the 8x15" (The redesigned 'Lion' project of 1943-44 did take into account all the changes advanced by Vanguard, but the new design was an altogether different animal than the original Lion type, the only thing joining the two projects was that they were both called 'Lion').

What about a resurgent Germany building 25,000ton 700+ foot ships with 8x13.8" in 2xquad turrets in place of the Graf Spee type. Scharnhorst/Mackensen types with 12x12" or 9x13.8. Bismarck class with 12x13.8". H class monsters with 12x15" instead of 8x16".

So I find 1/700 great for building "What If's" ( being of similar scale is pretty good too).


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