1/350 Warspite, the Grand Old Lady
The mighty Warspite. From the great naval engagement of Jutland in 1916 to 28 years later, 1944, being the first ship to open fire on D Day, a massive legend of a ship. More honours awarded than any other ship in the mighty Royal Navy. Hit by naval fire, grounded, being rammed and being the rammer, hit by bombs and a FritX guided glide bomb and running into mines, the Warspite saw it all across all oceans. Fittingly, on her way to being scrapped and under tow she was struck by a storm, the lines parted and she was washed onto rocks where she refused to be budged. As Admiral Cunningham said of her in 1943 “Operation well carried out. There is no question when the old lady lifts her skirts she can run.”
A ship dripping in history and a project i hope i did some justice to. I was all geared up to do a 1/32 Sea Fury but in my search for the best kit available i stumbled on the Academy Warspite kit. I had a ship planned further on down the line, maybe an old Dreadnought or similar, then i saw the Warspite and had WoW flashbacks, i was sold. At about 55cm long i was hoping it would be an impressive model.
Early on in the build i decided it needed a water type base, unfortunately i had never done one before, man..i had never even built a ship before! So, let the learning curve begin. Plenty of tutorials later, a few test runs with some foam and various products and i jumped on in.
I started with a piece of white packing foam from the bin at the back of a furniture store, carved out the shape of the ship and doubled up the foam so i could hide the hull, two layers of toilet paper over the top of the foam with pva wood glue to afix it and help achieve the wave effect, when hardened it was then painted a home brew deep green mix to act as a base colour. Layers of Vallejo water effects were slowly built up over a week or so with a couple of thin layers of Vallejo Stillwater as a top gloss coat and to help achieve depth. The water was completed by dry brushing some wave tops, the bow waves and stern waves with mixes of white and grey and then all enclosed in a home made wooden frame that i varnished.
Learning curve was decent but interesting and a fun modelling challenge. After seeing ships set in ocean bases online i knew i wouldn’t be happy by simply plonking the finished result on the supplied plastic stand. A Pontos deck was used as well as Infini line for the rigging, the rest is OOB. I still need to add a full railing kit as the one i purchased only had enough to do the hangar and rear gun director area. Total build time was four months.
16 additional images. Click to enlarge.