I decided to build the 1/700 B-Resina HMS REPULSE when WEM announced their forthcoming HMS RENOWN, as I felt that with the scale fidelity I anticipated of HMS Renown. I would otherwise probably never build the B-Resina offering and she would fester away in my kits stash if not built first..
Having built a number of Airfix 1/600 HMS Repulse models in the past I felt a certain nostalgia upon opening the B-Resina 1/700 Repulse kit, it all looked kind of homely and familiar. I would be fascinated to know how it is done, but the resin 1/700 kit bore more than a passing family resemblance to the Airfix kit, foibles, warts and all!
I have never really liked the harsh two tone camouflage scheme she wore when sunk so opted to build her immediately pre-war. There are many good clear photographs of her at this stage after the 1936 rebuild and after removal of 4.5"turrets aft but prior to the fitting of the extended engine room vents which are a noticeable feature on most HMS Repulse models. I simply wanted to do something a little different from the HMS Repulse modeling norm.
I used the drawings and photographs in Raven & Roberts British Batttleships of WW2 along with the breakdown detail drawings in the Profile Morskie HMS REPULSE. Further detail came from the Okrety Swiata #12 (Warships of the World), along with my pride and joy purchase, ENSIGN 8 Renown and Repulse, which filled in the missing link photo. Armed with this information, I set to work on the hull looking for corrections and refinements to carry out before committing paint to deck, which is my personal launch party.
I proceeded to reduce and remove the tall bumps and ridges around the deck edge, as these in scale would have been four feet tall and I could not discern them as being that noticeably high in plans or photos. I also could not find any reference to the crease in the armour belt in photos or plans, so I skimmed the crease with auto body filler and sanded back. I also moved the fore and aft extremities of the belt to concur with the plans.
As I had chosen to show her in 1939 before the vents were extended, these had to be removed, as well as the 4 carley floats twixt the funnels, all bulges and platforms for AA weapons along with all solid splinter shields. These were fitted later, as in my depiction she carried mainly canvas covered railings. I was not happy with the thickness of the various decks and platforms or indeed their outline or stacked total height so I made new mast and tripod in alloy tubing. I also made new platforms and splinter shields and added the beading at upper edge(see photos)
While dealing with the forward bridge, I was unhappy with the depiction of the windows in the bridge and spotting top, so set about hunting through all my ladderstock. I came up with WEM Koenig 1//350 narrow ladders. These were a nearly perfect fit and greatly crisped up the whole picture, but I had to remanufacture the bridge roof, I used white glue for this, which worked really well as it was self-leveling.
I then proceeded to add all of the platform and spotting top triangular braces cut from photo-etch scrap with scissors. This was fiddly and tedious as the superglue was sometimes decidedly unsuper. I still have many small brass triangular shards embedded in my carpet. The casting of the bridge structure lacked some portholes. These and all others on the whole ship were drilled, blacked and glazed with white glue. I lightly pencilled in the eyebrows to add depth to the hull.
Tripod starfish where cobbled together using WEM Rodney/Nelson and QE Batttleship sets by cutting and adding bits and pieces. The stairway apertures were cut in and all ladders and companionways installed. Also added all ' tween deck struts while accessible, along with alloy tube for pom-pom platform support and more triangular braces on underside . I removed some resin blobs aft of rangefinder and made new mushroom vents and boxes replacements, which were repositioned according to drawings. The main rangefinder was missing in my kit so I scratched a replacement. The vents ahead of the second funnel had open PE lids so I added WEM ASKOLD photo-etch casemate plates.
The mainmast superstructure and platforms were scratch-built as the kit supplied item was deformed and did not actually resemble what should have been there. I sawed the white metal casting block in half and used brass photo-etch scrap for platforms, automotive body lining tape to fair the whole lot up along with brass and alloy tubing.
It was while the ship was getting masted that I noticed two problem areas. I had been kidding myself that the solid funnels with the cast grilles looked fine and that the forward breakwater would look in scale once painted. OFF they had to come! Note: it is heartrending to grab funnels with pliers and sheer them off once searchlight platform and rails are installed. Even more so when carving off the breakwater. I made a new breakwater from photo-etch scrap and added the braces using a neat method, as it is tricky to cut accurate triangles with reducing heights.
I cut some GMM Goldplus IJN Linoleum fixing strips of VERY thin photo-etch, tacked them in place with varnish at correct angle and later backfilled with thinned white glue, allowing the surface tension effect to do the math for me. I also used the same fine photo-etch strips to make the funnel grilles, which are more delicate and 3-D looking than the usual photo-etch variant. I hollowed the funnels with a drum sanding bit in my minidrill. I took the opportunity to indicate lightly in pencil the riveting/plate lines as the funnels looked a bit plain before.
Rangefinders were reshaped and the canopies depicted as closed. The canvas roofs had the framing lines and 'hollowed' canvas shape filed into their tops. Drum rangefinders were made of alloy tube with white glue giving the lightly domed top effect. The crane jibs required resembled NOTHING I had on any photo-etch set, being shorter and less kinked than the KGV items that they were chopped out and about. The crane cabs were detailed with motors and struts, the basis of which was WEM KGV photo-etch crane cabs
The anchor handling area of the foredeck showed in some photos to have 'ribbing' at angles. This I guess was an anti-slip feature. It was shown only in the Okrety Swiata drawings despite being visible in photos in the other sources, I was unhappy with trying to recreate this in 3-D so went for a painted effect, which resembled the photos.
The stern anchor roller was made from a GMM photo-etch cable reel chopped about. The searchlights were mainly WEM Pro 700, the figures are GMM, rails are GMM Goldplus and WEM. Ship’s boats were partially WEM, kit supplied and Tamiya with oars being made from brown stretched sprue with the ends flattened with pliers.
I painted her in a mixture of Humbrol 64, WEM Colourcoats B4 and AP507A. Decks were WEM teak, washed and dry-brushed with Humbrol Oak and greys.
A special thanks must go Giampiero Galeoti of Regia Marina, who along with many friends from both main shipmodeling web-sites came to my rescue at breakneck speed with Carley Floats of various sizes and shapes in astonishing quantities!
In conclusion; it is NOT my favourite ship model, as with the benefit of hindsight I can see lots of things I could and should have done differently; alas I now have moved on to my next challenge. An interesting point is the sheer size of the model compared with even large ships such as HMS Warspite/Royal Oak; this has an interesting effect in that the whole ship when put under my photo arc lights expanded slightly due to the heat generated in the room. This removed the lovely realistic sag that I had successfully managed to induce in the long sprue fore and aft antenna cables between the masts. In the photos they look dead straight, perhaps I will re-photograph with a conventional 35mm camera with a long exposure in daylight.