1/700 Scale HMS Warspite 1915
Model Number: 05780
At the end of October 1912 the keel was laid down on second Queen Elizabeth Class of battleships, the HMS Warspite. Just over 639 feet long the Warspite’s displacement was 33,410 tons and capable of a designed speed of 24 knots. Commissioned on March 8, 1915 she was fit with the following:
8 – Mk I 15 inch/42 Main Guns (4 turrets with 2 guns per)
14 – Single M XII 6 inch guns
2 – Single 3 inch anti-aircraft guns
4 – Single 3 pdr (47mm) Saluting guns
4 – 21 inch submerged torpedo tubes
Changes in late 1916:
2 – 6 inch guns removed
8 – 15 Inch Main Guns
8 – 6 inch guns
8 – 4 inch MkXVI anti-aircraft guns
32 2 pdr anti-aircraft guns
4 – .50 Cal. Quadruple machine guns
Nicknamed the “Grand Old Lady”, the HMS Warspite would go one to serve the Royal Navy in both WWI and WWII gaining the largest number of honors bestowed upon a ship in the Royal Navy.
For discussion purposes only
Truly battle hardened the Warspite was hit 15 times by heavy shell during the Battle of Jutland in 1916. After repairs were done, she collided with her sister ship, the HMS Valliant. Once again repaired, in mid-1917 she collided again, this time with the HMS Destroyer. The very next month she was moored next to the HMS Vanguard at Scapa Flow when one of the ammunition magazines exploded on the Vanguard killing hundreds of sailors. In 1918 she received the German High Sea Fleet into internment upon Armistice.
For Discussion Purposes Only
Her service would carry on into WWII serving predominantly in the Mediterranean. She would prove a formidable opponent sinking and damaging several ship of the Nazi War Machine. She would suffer more damage after a single bomb hit during Operation Excess and again from aircraft in the Battle of Crete. After heading to the United States for needed overhaul repairs in 1941, she would be deployed to the Indian Ocean after the Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor. In 1943 the Warspite was deployed back to the Mediterranean Sea Where she would take part in many more battles where off Salerno she took fire from newly used rockets where three hit their mark and she would not be fully repaired. However the HMS Warspite would go on to bombard the coastal entrenchments during the Normandy Landing and more off other parts of France and the Walcheren Landings.
For Discussion Purposes Only
In February of 1945 the Warspite was decommissioned, struck from the registry in 1947 and finally scrapped in 1950. A long and illustrious career for the one called the “Grand Old Lady”.
The Kit Contents:
Trumpeter’s 1/700 Scale HMS Warspite 1915 comes with the typical attractive artist rendering depicting the model contained within the standard top slide off box. At first glance the box is well packaged to protect the part inside. There are several sections and sprues within the box protected with foam wrap.
Contents of the Box:
6 – Light grey styrene sprue
1 – Upper hull section
1 – Optional lower full hull section
1 – Optional waterline lower hull plate
2 – Grey styrene deck sections
1 – Decal sheet
1 – Sheet of photo etch parts
1 – Black styrene display base
1 – Instruction booklet
1 – Painting and marking guide
Starting off this review with the instructions you will notice it is an 8-page booklet for, black and white illustrations in and exploded view format. There 14 steps to the construction show in these instructions.
Page one being the booklet cover.
From page 2 to halfway down page 3 shows the parts legend.
Step 1 – Shows us the construction of the bridge superstructure. Please note there are several photo etch parts that you have the option of adding in this step. I would be best to pre-bend and dry fit all of the pieces prior to installation. I would suggest that this photo etching be installed as this will add much missed details in the molding on the kit.
Step 2 – Is the construction up the upper bridge section of the main superstructure and mast.
Step 3 – Shows the construction of the 15” Mk I main guns into the Turrets.
Step 4 – Shows the construction of the various life boats and launches on the ship.
Step 5 – Shows the installation of 12 – 6 inch guns into the upper hull section. The fore deck and rear deck are installed in this section.
Srep 6 – This part cover the construction of the aft superstructure.
Step 7 – Show the installations of first level of the superstructure sections on the fore deck part. In addition, this step shows the installation of four of the life boat and level 2 of the bridge tower superstructure.
Step 8 – Shows the construction of the aft mast part including the starfish platform.
Step 9 – This step covers the installation of the bridge tower superstructure and mast sections, more small boats and the aft main turrets.
Steps 10 & 11 – This is the construction of the two funnel stacks.
Step 12 – Shows the installation of the two funnels, the remaining life boats and launches and the forward turrets.
Step 13 – This part show the installation of the propellers, shafts and rudders into the lower hull section (omitted if waterline depiction).
Step 14 – Attaching the lower hull, full or waterline, to the entire upper section of the ship. Display base construction is covered under in this step.
Out of the Box:
Configuration for full hull assembly
Configuration for waterline assembly
Mountings for the 6 inch guns
The fore deck and rear deck sections
The Bow section of the fore deck
The stern section of the rear deck
Spue A – Contains superstructure parts, fore and aft as well as some launches
Sprue B – Contain fore and aft superstructure parts, funnel stacks and the name plate for display base
2 x Sprue C – There are two sprue C in this kit. These two sprue contain the rest of the launches, search lights and the 6inch batteries
2 x Sprue K – There are two sprue K in this kit. These two sprue contain the propeller shafts, propellers and the Mk I 15” main guns
I am rather a big fan of 1/700 scale models, not only for the space saving size but from the challenge of the construction, painting and weathering. Trumpeter has presented a decent little kit here. All in all, this kit could be built straight out of the box making a very nice display model, however, there are a few items I would like to point out that may or may not sway ones decision to build this kit depending on how fussy one is.
First let me say that the molds are nice and well defined on this kit. I did need research a bit more than normal in regards to basic structures and layout of the ship before I started writing this review so that I could familiarize myself with the parts. Once I started to look into the ship and her history, it occurred to me that the design crew at Trumpeter seemed to overlook a couple of small things as in the fact that the ship had been refit in 1916, 1924, 1934-1937 and repaired several times prior to 1941 where she was refit again. Best I can tell that there is a mix of years in the ships dating vs. armament I will try and give an unbiased look at these inconsistencies and list them out.
1 – There are a few issues in regards to the portholes and their placement in the upper hull and various superstructure sections. There appears to be too many in some areas. This is noticeable to some builders, but not a big problem to others. If you wish to correct the placement and quantity of these portholes this should be fairly easy. Simply fill and portholes you wish to remove with putty and sand lightly. If there is any that you wish to add, simple use a small pin vise and drill bit to drill out the new ones. There are a few excellent photographs that show placement and quantity of the portholes if you so choose make the alterations.
2 – There are several vertical raised features on the outside of the upper hull sections. At best, I think that the designers of the kit may have been looking at the post-Spanish War pictures and/or plans of added armor and modifications. This is easily corrected, if you wish to depict the ship in the 1915 configuration, by simply sanding these down.
3 – The Turrets details, albeit very nicely detailed with rivet patterns on the entire top, this was not the case in 1915. After studying some pictures prior to the ships’ scrapping in 1950 and 3D models it is plain to see the rivet pattern is from at least the WWII modifications to her main guns. I have a reference link I will list at the end of the review that has some excellent #D renderings showing the turrets and how they would have looked. Again, the modifications should only be some sanding and the addition of styrene stock parts…otherwise this would actually go unnoticed in your final construction by most.
4 – The largest clue to the mixing of dates in the design would be the 6 inch guns. The HMS Warspite was commissioned with 14- 6 inch guns along her sides just below the weather deck. In late 1916, the two forward gun were removed hence leaving 12, to which the kit has shown. If you truly wish to go through the effort of making this ship as she was in 1915, then you will have to make some scratch-built modifications to match the existing 6 inch guns placing them for ward of the rows on the port and starboard sides. This could be easily done with some styrene flat and rod stock. For all intents and purposes this model will build up to a very nice version of the 1916 newly modified version.
So my conclusion on Trumpeter’s 1/700 Scale HMS Warspite 1915 is that this is a solid model kit for the price. There are plenty of decent details in the mold, especially for this scale. There are a few quirky issues with the design, but if these small items do not affect you or if you just enjoy building 1/700 scale ship out of the box, then you will be happy with this kit. There are ways to improve the kit through the use on aftermarket sets but the costs will need to be weighed out against the cost of the kit and the level of detail you are looking to obtain from the build.
With that out of the way, I will be building this kit myself soon and plan on building her as she would look in 1916…still classic, still beautiful lines…less scratch building in 1/700 scale. Looking deeper into what can be done with this kit I found two aftermarket kits available to enhance her looks.
- 1/700 ArtWox Wood Deck for Trumpeter HMS Warspite 1915 (TRP5780)
- 1/700 Artist Hobby HMS Warspite in WWI (1914-1918) Upgrade Set – AH270003
The wooden deck is a nice way to add a nice look of real wood to the decks of this beauty. The average cost for the deck add-on is about $25USD. The cost of the wooden decks come real close to the cost of the kit itself and will have to be weighed out. This is also the case with the photo etch set. The price tag will run close to $60 for the full set. Sections of the set can be purchase individually as well letting you decide to what level of detail to add. Personally I have decided I will be using the full Artist Hobby PE set which will arrive soon. They are fairly new to the market and the product looks to be and all-inclusive fix for me on some of the minor shortcomings of this kit as well as enhancing the overall look of the kit. I will plan on making a complete review of the Artist Hobby Set AH270003 soon to accompany this review.
HMS Warspite 3D renderings – http://www.warspite.dk/Old/index.htm
This kit can be purchased from http://hobby-space.com/Default.aspx]Space-Hobby.com – 1/700 Trumpeter HMS Warspite 1915
I would like to thank Hobby-Space.com for supplying the review sample
Thank you to Inscale.org for the opportunity to make the review.
Special Thanks to Troels W. Hansen and Jacob Christensen for their work on the HMS Warspite Website – http://www.warspite.dk/Old/index.htm Beautiful 3D renderings