HMS Oribi WTF [finished -pics bottom of p1]

Started by Caveman, March 05, 2020, 04:54:10 AM

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Before the Queen Bee, there was the Fairey Queen. I've been trying to get some modelling mojo working again and thought I'd do so with a change of subject (which this GB has offered up). So I bought myself the tamiya 1/700 o class kit. Which contains 2 destroyers. The second of which is destined for this GB.

She's going to lose her offensive armament and be refitted to operate some of these little beauties as a fleet AA target ship.

Some 1/700 Fairey Seafoxes which will stand in as Fairey Queens. Going to practice a bit of scratchbuilding with a crane, hangar and catapult... at 1/700... hopefully.
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As Granny Weatherwax might say, "I ent dead". Things (TM) have got in the way somewhat but I now have some time to work this one. I've cleared the greeblies off the aft end of the ship and I'm sizing her up for a fixed diagonal catapult and hangar.

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Oops forgot obligatory ISO standard giant paint tin for reference:

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You could have used a Standard Reference Cat instead..........  ;D
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



So building what is essentially a box in 1:700 is quite fiddly. In retrospect, I should have been able to guess that...

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More progress! :mellow:

Catapult done hangar is loose and will remain so until most of the painting is done. Aircraft are loosely posed too. Rails into the hangar are down.

Top view, the black pencil line is the locus of the right wingtip. It does clear the hangar. But only just, even with the starboard offset.

Family shot with still fitting out sister.
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Nice idea. :thumbsup:

You could always deal with the wingtip/hangar clearance by making the back end of the hanger angled. Either have it at a single angle with a wider roller-shutter door, or have starboard half straign and the port half angled, with conventional side-hinged doors that lock out of the way in the open position.
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '


The hangar is about as minimal as it can be and still fit a pair of aircraft folded. There is clearance already though and at 1:700 it means there is loads of clearance (or at least that's what I'm telling myself)
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Progress pictures. I think I can see the finish line. A few more details and final paint. Tempted to do some weathering but not sure how to achieve something realistic at such a small scale.

Anyway, on with the pics (apologies for the Dutch angles and varied lighting):

So hangar for 2 Fairy Queen target seaplanes. Angled, fixed, catapult. Crane for recovering survivors and positioning stored aircraft on catapult to port. The reposition mast (which will double as the jackstaff) to starboard.

Revised armament forward with B turret being replaced with a quad pompom. The bridge mounted radar (a sea search set) was also relaxed by an additional aa gun.

Got a bit of a backstory to go with it in progress too.
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Very impressive work at such a tiny scale.


Quote from: Hobbes on April 01, 2020, 12:46:38 AM
Very impressive work at such a tiny scale.

I'll second that
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.


Thanks gents :) I have lots more respect for the guys who are able to work PE into their models.
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In the RN the Air Branch are affectionately/derogatorily known as WAFUs by the rest of the surface & sub branches and the bandies (that's a joke about Royal Marines. If you know one, why not ask what instrument he plays next time you chat  :wacko: ). WAFU stands for Wet And F***ing Useless, though they will claim that it originally meant Weapons And Fuel Users - a complaint from officialdom about naval aviation dating back to Cdr Charles Rumney Samson's exploits in WW1 (look this guy up if you haven't heard of him):

QuoteSamson received a signal from the Admiralty asking why Ben-my-Chree had used so much ammunition; he replied "that there was unfortunately a war on".

In fact it stands for Winch Assisted Flying Unit and was used to describe the first trials of seaplane catapult launches from RN vessels, which subsequently caught on. HMS Oribi pennant G66 was an O-Class destroyer converted to be one of the RN's last (and one of the smallest) seaplane carriers. Though seaplane carriers were a rather dated concept by the time Oribi was converted, seaplanes still had one overwhelming advantage over wheeled aircraft for her specific use. They could land on the sea. Which was an advantage because a. Oribi wasn't very large and b. her aircraft were typically unmanned. Oribi's post conversion purpose was to provide the fleet's AA gunners with live flying targets to shoot at. Landing, it turned out, was still something that had to be attempted on most of her aircraft's sorties.

Conversion of the Oribi consisted of a significant reduction in armament. Removing 3 of her 4 4.7 inch guns. And relocating her quad Pom-Pom to replace b turret. All superstructure aft of her funnel was removed and a box hangar installed - the hangar had only 3 sides and remained open to the stern (the target drones weren't supposed to live long enough to bother with corrosion concerns). A fixed steam catapult was mounted diagonally across her stern. To enable transfer of aircraft onto the catapult and recovery from the sea a crane was mounted at the rear of the hangar (unfortunately for the crane operator the control position could be very smokey due to the low funnel and high hangar roof).

Oribi's hangar could hold a pair of folded Fairey III drones, otherwise known as Fairey Queens. These aircraft predated the Tigermoth derived Queen Bees but despite their larger size, would fold down to a smaller wingspan than their smaller descendants and so were chosen for the role. Their larger size was thought to offer more chance of the gunners hitting their targets too.

With a significant portion of her armament removed Oribi suffered the indignation of being downgraded from a destroyer to a frigate. Her formal designation then became WAFU Target Frigate - which was obviously then further abbreviated, as is the whim of the service.

HMS Oribi is seen here with her sister HMS Opportune to show the scale of the changes.

Quartering stern view showing a drone on the catapult and one pushed to the rear of the hangar ready to be launched should the first get shot down.

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I am profoundly impressed, both with 1/700 detail work and a cogent backstory.  Well done!!
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you....."
It  means that you read  the instruction sheet


Thank you. It might help that a large chunk of the text of the backstory is true  :thumbsup:
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