Special Cruisers Project.
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So a new project. Cruisers. My favourite ship type. The tale of the three British cruisers beating up the big bad Nazi battleship, well I grew up with that sort of story in written and film formats. One of those cruisers was crewed by New Zealanders (HMNZS Achilles) so it made us young lads of the time doubly proud of its success. The war comics of the time (Battle, Commando) had plenty of Naval actions with cruisers saving the world, again. One of my first plastic models to make was the Airfix Leander class cruiser (Ajax). Airfix never made all of the Battle of the River Plate ships. For some reason they resisted everybody's calls for a model of the Exeter. I had to put up with the Frog brand 1/500 Exeter which never looked right when displayed with the others. Matchbox went on to make a 1/700 scale version, but again it looked out of place and my younger brother had that one. Nowadays the Japanese 1/700 and Chinese 1/350 Exeter kits are very detailed, but again it is difficult to get all four ships in the one scale. I went aboard HMS Royalist (Bellona Class cruiser 5.25") in 1966 just before it was decommissioned. To an 8 year old boy, the Royalist seemed the size of a battleship! It was only a few years later that I had my first reading of HMS Ulysses, by Alistair MacLean, one of the best books of its time and recommended reading for any Naval buff. All of this fuelled my love of warships and cruisers in particular.
My era is the era of steel from 1900 to 1950. The time of the big gun. The cruiser type grew from 2,000 ton scouts through to 18,000 ton heavy cruisers that were bigger than the first battlecruisers. By 1900 the cruiser was in three classes. 1st class 'fleet' cruisers. 2nd class 'protected' cruisers. 3rd class cruisers were for use anywhere and everywhere. The cruisers main job for hundreds of years has been 'trade protection'. Large, long ranged vessels with enough armament and speed to catch and dispatch the raiders preying on the merchantmen that were the lifeblood of the worlds commerce. Even today piracy still abounds on the worlds oceans and seas. Today the trade protection vessels are the corvettes, frigates and destroyers on the oceans while the long ranged maritime aircraft cover much larger areas in half the time, but aircraft do not carry boarding parties.
With the capital ship project I used pretty much one hull with a variety of country specific superstructure and armaments to make up the different types. That is not really what I want to do here. I like the idea of small AA cruisers with 4" guns, right through to large heavy and armoured cruisers with 8"-10" guns, that will not fit on a 'one size fits all' hull. What I do not want to do is just clone ships I have already done. Which is going to be difficult as I have done a lot of cruiser drawings for most countries. Oh well, just have to carry on and see what I can come up with.
|Country||Class Name||Ship Type||
|Italy / UK||Livorno/Durham||CA||15-16x8"|
|UK / Chile /Brazil||HMS Active||CL/A||
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