Author Topic: NEW RELEASE FROM DEANS MARINE  (Read 2848 times)

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Offline rondean

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« on: 09 August 2018, 13:15:10 »
Latest release from Deans Marine
 We always try to find models that are different to the normal run of tugs and trawlerS, even though they can be difficult to produce as working models.
This is one of the more exotic and different ones.
HMS Mimi and HMS Toutou

  Scale 1/24  Length 520mm Beam 95mm Twin screw fast attack boat
 R /R price  £129.00

     THE KIT.
The model is based on a glassfibre hull,  the main deck and superstructure is LASER CUT from 1mm HIPs plastic sheet for fast assembly, A full set of fittings in cast light alloy give the finishing touch to the model adding the vital clutter that is so much part of this attractive fast launches appeal.
 As in all of the Deans kits a set of running gear is included, consisting of the propshafts, tiller and  full instructions keyed to a FULL SIZE plan with embedded colour pictures to assist in the construction of the model.

   Fascinating story, almost beyond belief, and the basis of the film  The African Queen story from years ago.

HMS Mimi and HMS Toutou were motor launches of the Royal Navy. After undergoing an unusual journey from Britain to Lake Tanganyika in the interior of Africa, the ships played an important role in the African naval struggle between Britain and Germany during World War I. The names mean Meow and Fido in Parisian slang. They had originally been named Dog and Cat by their erstwhile commander, Geoffrey Spicer-Simson, only to have the names rejected by an apparently scandalized Admiralty.

The ships eventually named the Mimi and Toutou were being built at the Thornycroft Yards on the Thames at the beginning of the war. Originally commissioned for the Greek Air Force,[1] the ships were requisitioned by the Admiralty to meet the needs of a scheme to create an African inland navy. Both Mimi and her sister ship HMS Toutou had a length of 40 feet (12 m) and could travel at up to 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) by virtue of two 100 horsepower (75 kW) petrol engines attached to twin screws. This would make the ships the fastest on Lake Tanganyika when they eventually arrived. The British armed them with a 3-pounder in the fore and a Maxim gun aft. Although it was discovered that the frames of the boats could not endure the 3-pounder's recoil when not fired straight ahead, it was hoped that the boat's impressive manoeuvrability would offset this limitation.

 The expedition's leader was A naval officer Spicer-Simson. At the beginning of July they arrived in South Africa, where the ships were loaded onto a train bound for Elisabethville in the Belgian Congo, and finally the village of Fungurume, where the line ended. By 6 August, the ships and equipment were offloaded and the expedition prepared to drive into the bush.

It took nearly a month and a half to travel the 100 or more miles from Fungurume to Sankisia, the railhead for a narrow-gauge railway. The terrain in between was mountainous and broken, requiring the construction of 150 bridges over various streams and gorges.
 The movement was accomplished by the brute force of two steam tractors, dozens of oxen, and hundreds of Africans employed for the expedition. At some points, even this was not enough, and complex winching systems were developed to lever the ships over the more formidable inclines. Even after the railroad was reached, the difficulties continued, as there were still some 500 miles to go.
 Streams which Spicer-Simson had depended on for navigation turned out to be nearly dry: the ships had to be raised on barrel rafts to float, and even then they had to be portaged dozens of times. Finally, however, the wearied expedition arrived at Lake Tanganyika on 26 October.
Naval career

Mimi and Toutou were finally launched around the end of December, and by 26 December they experienced their first action. The German ship Kingani was sighted, and the allied "fleet" gave chase. In the lead of the formation was Mimi, commanded by Spicer-Simson. After evading the initial German fire, Mimi and Toutou opened fire at noon, eventually puncturing Kingani's hull below the waterline. With water coming in and the commander dead, the German ship struck her colours. Mimi struck her while preparing to board, and the damage caused threatened to sink her; she managed to run aground just before foundering. Kingani limped to port under escort, and once repaired, was renamed Fifi and added to the British force.

The British got their second opportunity on 9 February 1916. This time the German opponent was the warship Hedwig von Wissmann. Fifi, now Spicer-Simson's flagship, and Mimi, commanded by a Sub-Lieutenant A E Wainwright, gave chase. Fifi and Hedwig von Wissmann were evenly matched for speed, and due to unusual optical effects on the lake, Fifi's rounds kept going wide of the mark. Ignoring orders to stay behind, Wainwright took advantage of Mimi's speed and zoomed ahead to harass the rear of the German ship. In order to fight back, Hedwig von Wissmann would have to turn around to bring her main guns to bear; when this happened Mimi would dodge away and Fifi could close her range. Eventually, Fifi scored a direct hit and Hedwig von Wissmann sank. For this action, Wainwright was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

Although there were still German vessels on the lake (most notably Graf von Götzen, armed with a formidable gun from the cruiser Königsberg), Spicer-Simson retreated to a cautious strategy, constraining himself to ineffectual support of the land campaign. Mimi would not be involved in further dramatic lake battles. She was apparently taken out and scuttled in the 1920s

Offline colin

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« Reply #1 on: 11 August 2018, 10:46:23 »
Hope you have a few kits made up for the open days... ^^^