by: Jim Adams [ ]
Fear nothing, but God. This is how the famous HSM Dreadnaught received her name. She was the biggest baddest lady of the oceans at the time. Her name was used to describe all of the big gun ships of her period. Although she was not laid down first she was finished ahead of her rivals.
The new all big gun designs started nearly at the same time in three of the worlds larger navies. The Imperial Japanese Navy authorized the construction of Satsuma, designed with twelve 12-in guns was laid down in May 1905. The designers in the Royal Navy began work on HMS Dreadnought in January 1905, she was laid down in October. The U.S. Navy authorized for USS Michigan, carrying eight 12-inch guns in March 1905. She was laid down in December 1906.
Admiral Sir John Fisher, First Sea Lord of the Board of the Admiralty, is considered to be the father of Dreadnaught. He ordered the design of a battleship armed with 12” guns and a top speed of 21 knots. Dreadnaught was the first battleship to be fitted with a steam turbine engine. She was also the first to be armed with uniform main gun batteries.
Not only did she mount a massive amount of fire power, but she was also the fastest battleship in the world at the time of her competition. Her appearance on the oceans sparked an arms race with the Imperial German Navy.
During the design process of Dreadnaught a special design committee was used. They evaluated known weapons and propulsion systems to pick the perfect match. They studied naval warfare of the period to make sure they chose the proper weapons. In particular they studied the Battle of the Yellow Sea and Battle of Tsushima. What they learned was a fast enough ship with a long range gun can win the battle. It makes perfect sense now, but it actually went against the common thought of the day.
Dreadnaught was started in 1905 but finished in 1906. This made her the first of her kind. She beat rivals from Japan and the US to commissioning. Her design so totally out classed all previous ships that all following ships from all navies were referred to in the generic term dreadnaught. The short construction time was also meant to send a message to the worlds power, Britain can build an unassailable lead in battleships.
She spent her time before World War I as flag ship of the 4th Battle Squadron. She would spend time in the North Atlantic, North sea, and Mediterranean. When war broke out she returned to Scapa Flow. The only time she encountered an enemy ship it was the U-29. The sub was rammed and sank making Dreadnaught the only battleship to be credited with sinking a sub. During the Battle of Jutland she was under going refit. The remainder of the war she was used for costal defense.
In 1919 she was put into reserve. She was put up for sale in 1920. She was sold for 44,000 pounds. Her scrapping was complete in 1923.
Displacement: 18,120 long tons (18,410 t) (normal load)
20,730 long tons (21,060 t) (deep load)
Length: 527 ft (160.6 m)
Beam: 82 ft 1 in (25.0 m)
Draught: 29 ft 7.5 in (9.0 m) (deep load)
Installed power: 23,000 shp (17,000 kW)
Propulsion: 4 shafts
Parsons direct drive steam turbines 18 Babcock & Wilcox water-tube boilers
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Range: 6,620 nautical miles (12,260 km; 7,620 mi) at 10 knots
Armament: 5 × 2 BL 12-inch Mark X guns
27 × 1 12-pdr 18 cwt Mark I guns
5 × 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes
Armour: Belt: 4–11 in (102–279 mm)
Deck: 0.75–3 in (19–76 mm)
Barbettes: 4–11 in (102–279 mm)
Turrets: 3–12 in (76–305 mm)
Conning tower: 11 in (279 mm)
Bulkheads: 8 in (203 mm)
The model comes in a heavy duty flip style box with a painting of Dreadnaught plowing through the ocean firing her guns. Inside you find seven sprues, decals, paper flags, and instruction sheets.
Here we get the two halves of the hull. As the hull is supplied you can build either the full hull or water line version. On the inside of the hull there is a line for making the waterline version. The hull has recessed port holes and other raised details along its length. The hawes pipes are open so you can display the anchors correctly.
Sections of the deck, superstructure, and hull are present. Bilge keels are molded as separate parts. The decking of the ships has fine wooden planking textured onto its surface. The decks have different features molded on them as well, winches, ammo boxes, breakwater, and even some curved ladders. Bulkhead sections have recessed portholes and watertight doors present.
More of the smaller detail parts of the ship are here, along with the ships boats and one turret. The ships boats are split down the middle. So when you put them together make sure to be careful of the seam. You also get anchor chains molded in plastic. These are not too bad looking, but I would replace them with chain. There are also a few small plastic ladders. Again, PE ladders will look a great deal better.
Weapons are the main focus of this sprue. The ships main guns are split into top and bottoms like typical. The main gun barrels are solid and have an attachment point n their ends. I suggest using replacement barrels when they are available. There are also smaller secondary armaments present. They are sort of plain looking.
Here is a transparent sprue. Search light lenses and bridge sections are the clear parts. So, no need to cut our windows, just mask and paint.
This is the most unique base I have seen in any kit as of late. It resembles rock and is rather nice looking. It is a change of pace from the dull flat uninspired rectangular stands that so many companies include with their kits.
The instructions are printed front and back on two flat sheets of paper. You can fold these into your own booklet if you wish. Text is in Russian and English. The construction follows a decent logical sequence. The instructions are fairly easy to follow as well. Painting guide is in black and white with only Model Master colors are called out.
We have all seen the lists of dream kits in 1/350 plastic. When Zvezda announced they were making the Dreadnaught in plastic people took notice. I remember some being excited, while others were not. While this kit is not on par with some of the other companies out there one fact stands out, Zvezda took the chance to make the kit. Their previous ship kits reflect a different approach in plastic kits.
I am a fan of the pre-dreadnaught style of ships. To me these ships have more personality and less of an industrial look. It seems that after Dreadnaught there was more of an industrial look to ships. Hope that makes sense to people reading this, sometimes my mind goes a little strange.
OK, back to the kit. It is beyond great to have this ship in a plastic kit. As we all know there will be plenty of AM items out there for the super detailer. The kit looks to be a very good base for a super detailer. Or, if you just want to build her OOB you will have no problems. I am sure this one will be in plenty of stashes rather soon. It is a fair price for a ship of this size and historical significance.