"This "inbox style" review is of Admiralty Modelworks, full resin offering, HMS Courageous, as fitted in 1917."
HMS Courageous, a warship of the Royal Navy, was built at the Armstrong Whitworth shipyard. Built as a "large light cruiser" during World War I, Courageous, her sister HMS Glorious, and half-sister HMS Furious, were the brainchildren of Admiral Jackie Fisher, and were designed to be "light cruiser destroyers".
They were originally intended to be heavy support for shallow water operations in the Baltic, which ultimately never came to pass. She saw action in World War I, and then was converted into an aircraft carrier, and sunk in World War II, killing more than 500 crewmembers.
The design was for a light battlecruiser, having 15 inch guns, but she was actually classed by the British Navy as a light cruiser, because of her light armour protection. Her keel was laid down on 28 March 1915, the ship launched 5 February 1916, completed on 28 October 1916, and Courageous was commissioned on 4 November 1916.
Her machinery was essentially similar to the earlier light cruiser, HMS Champion, with two sets to drive four shafts. Her secondary guns were a new type of triple 4 inch gun, intended to provide a high rate of fire against torpedo boats and other smaller craft. However, as it turned out, the loaders for the guns would get in each other's way, and the rate of fire was actually slower than three single mountings. Because of her light construction and other faults, causing more than average time in the repair yard, she was nicknamed 'Outrageous'.
During trials, Courageous received structural damage to the forecastle area while steaming full speed in rough seas. Side plating buckled, and there were leaks in oil tanks and reserve feedwater tanks. Repairs included additional structural stiffening in the damaged area.
Name: HMS Courageous
Ordered: 14 March 1915
Builder: Armstrong Whitworth
Laid down: 18 March 1915
Launched: 5 February 1916
Commissioned: 4 November 1916
(completed 28 October)
Reclassified: Converted to aircraft carrier June 1924 to May 1928
Fate: Sunk by U 29 on 17 September 1939
Displacement: 22,560 as battlecruiser
26,518 tons full load as aircraft carrier
Length: 786.5 ft (239.7 m) overall
Beam: 81.5 ft (24.8 m)
Draught: 25.8 ft (7.9 m)
Propulsion: 18 Yarrow small tube boilers, 235 psi
Four Parsons geared turbines producing
91,195 shp (67 MW) driving four shafts
Speed: 30.8 knots (57 km/h) (trials)
Range: 5,860 nautical miles (10,850 km) at 16 knots (30 km/h)
(9,400 km at 30 km/h)
3,250 tons oil
Armament: (as built)
Four × 15 in (381 mm) (2 × 2)
18 × 4 in (102 mm) (6 × 3)
Two × 3 in (76.2 mm) AA
14 × 21 in torpedo tubes (4 × 3 on deck, 2 submerged)
Upon commissioning, Courageous served with the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. In the spring of 1917, Courageous was fitted as a minelayer. Over 200 mines could be carried on mine rails on the quarterdeck. She was fitted like this for only a short time, and was never used operationally as a minelayer. On 17 November 1917, along with Glorious and Repulse, she was briefly engaged with German light cruisers in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight, and sustained minor damage. Later in World War I, she served with the First Cruiser Squadron in the North Sea. In 1918, short take-off platforms for aircraft were mounted on both 15 inch turrets. On 21 November 1918, she was present at the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet.
the kit, and what's inside...
The kit arrives to the modelers bench packaged in a very sturdy, top lidded style cardboard box, measuring in at 16-3/4" x 4-1/4" x4-1/4". Inside the box, you will find multiple smaller packages of kit parts, totaling in at 90 resin parts, an 8" lngth of anchor chain, one photo-etch fret, decal sheet, instructions, misc. brass and styrene rod, and of course, the wonderfully cast, solid resin main hull assembly.
The first thing that will strike you upon opening the box is the care and quality of the kit's packaging...each resin lug is placed in it's own bag, which is lined on the backside with index card for added protection. The Admiralty's packaging process is engineered and carried out by Pavel's better half, who carries the task out quite masterfully, I might add...the bags are then arranged in a manner around the main hull assembly, which itself is protected by multiple layers of bubble wrap, and topped off with the kits paperwork...all surrounded again by a boxfull of packaging peanuts that keeps everything looking as if the kit was just removed from the molds...very impressive!
The next thing that you will notice when examining the parts is detail...detail, detail. and alot more detail! It's actually quite amazing, folks, how some of the most intricate details of the vessel has been captured, and reproduced in resin, en masse...I could talk about each and every fine line and pattern, but I'd rather just let the images do the talking.
Pavel's resin is a medium weight product, has good mass and feel, not too brittle, and cleans up quite easily...at times when examining and working with these parts, you forget that you're actually working with a resin kit! Again, the details are all clean, clear, and crisp, with nearly no flash apparrent at all...actually, the only flash apparent in this kit sample was a very, very slight amount at the waterline of the main hull casting, and most of this came off immediately with my thumbnail, so any clean-up should be only at the lug removal spots.
Next, we'll list each cast resin part by number, for easy identification in the accompanying images of this review:
3.15" Gun Turrets (x2)
4. Paravane (1x)
6.Bridge Top (bottom)
7. Bridge Top (upper)
8. Fore Top/Fighting Top
9. Director Platform
10. Funnel Searchlight Platform
11. Rear Tripod Fighting Top
12. 15" Fore Director
13. Fore Director Platform
14. Port (P) and Starboard (S) Funnel Searchlights
15. Fore Tripod Mast Platform
16. Rear Tripod Mast Platform
17. Rear Director
18. Main Derrick Boom Support
19. Port (P) and Starboard (S) Fighting Lights
21. Balsa Raft (x2)
22. Double Stacked Life Raft
23.Single Life Raft
24. 3 Pounder Gun
25. Wasteny Smith Stockless Anchor (x3)
26. "H" Mark II Mines (X24)
27. 4" Triple Mounts
28. 4" 45 Cal. Gun Barrels
29. 3" HA Gun Mount Base (x2)
30. 3" HA Gun Barrels (x2)
31. 15" Brass Gun barrels (x4)
32. Main Derrick Boom
33. Fore Upper Mast
34. Main Upper Mast
35. 30 ft. Gig (x1)
36. 32' Cutter (x4)
37. 36 ft. Sailing Pinnace (x1)
38. 50 ft. Steam Pinnace (x2)
39. 45 ft. Admirals Steam Barge (x1)
40. Aft Mast Top
41. Boat Chocks
The main hull of the Courageous is cast as a single piece waterline hull, with incredible, shapely, lines and contours, along with some of the finest cast deck details that I've seen thus far in my hobby career...once again, I'll let the pictures do most of the talking here, mates...
photo-etch, and other fiddly-bits...
Also enclosed in the kit is a laid out stainless steel photo-etch fret, with all necessary PE upgrades to super detail your build, including doors, hatches, railings, platforms, stairways, etc., very clearly and cleanly etched. You will also find a length of tiny link chain, to be used as the ships anchor chain, very true to scale. Brass and styrene rod is include in various diameters for mast building, as well.
The kit's decals are well drawn, full color Cartograf printed, an all-purpose RN decal set, with Blue, Red, White and Battle Ensigns, Union Jack, and various pennants.
A first class addition to top off your build, is the finely detailed, cast resin ship's crest, which when finished off, will clearly enhance and add the "coup de maître" to your walnut display base.
now, the paperwork...
The instructions.....to me, one of the most important facets of any complex kit is of course, the instruction manual...and following along the lines of the rest of this kit, Dade's instructions prove to be one of the, if not the, finest set of build instructions that I've ever run across.
These instructions are drawn by a gent who is more than just an artist, he's an artist who builds ship models
...so, you know what the end product of his work is?...well, one of the best thought out, well laid out, sets of construction steps around!
These instructions actually make sense, without the modeler having to second guess himself and re-arrange a faulty construction step...and this is all accomplished without nearly any words at all (and none are needed!). The diagrams are extremely well drawn, with parts placements numbered accordingly. Photo-etch placement is also addressed where necessary, and a very well drawn, full page rigging diagram is also included. The last page of the manual is a full page text that explains some of the more key, complex areas of the build, most notably, the intricate mast works, armament, and funnel work.
In addition to the full manual, another plus is the full size (11" x 17") paint/marking/flag plan view, with top and side views professionally drawn, with color swatches and recommendations for WEM Colourcoats to be used for supreme accuracy in your build. A very helpful piece of literature, indeed!
WWI Naval Combat