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HMS Penelope

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John Davies:
This one actually isn't based on Deans parts but it very easily could be. Maybe it ought to be!

The hull is a simple modification of a Dido. The Didos, designed in the rushed days with war obviously looming, used a slightly modified Arethusa class hull. The Arethusa class were a tiny bit shorter... the discrepancy is so small that if you don't want to cut and shut the hull it can safely be ignored. The armour belt has to be modified but that is not difficult. The main turrets are visually identical to the secondary armament on Nelson and Rodney. Secondary armament, boats, hatches, lockers, etc were generic.

The Norman Ough drawing is available, though note it only takes her up to 1941. In 1942 she was extensively modified, but there are enough good photographic references available to depict her in her later guise.

I would love to build her as a running model, based on the Deans Dido class hull. Alas, I have far too many projects already. But I offer the idea to anyone who wants to take it on and create an attractive model of a ship with a most distinguished record. I think on the water at a scale 30 knots she would look stunning.

An Arethusa Class Cruiser would be an excellent subject for a Deans Ship. All of the Class had fine War records mostly in the Med and D Day although two of the Class were lost the Galatea off Alexandria and the Penelope at Anzio.

John Davies:
I don't know if we should expect Deans to produce her as a kit, because kit development is expensive and time consuming and I'm not sure how many copies of a five foot cruiser model they could expect to sell to recoup the investment. But producing a semi-kit might be largely a matter of packaging, as most if not all of the fittings already exist in their range. Putting together a fittings kit ought not to be too demanding or time-consuming. The hull is a slightly modified Dido and the modifications are within reach of a resourceful builder. It is then a matter of buying a load of plastic card, measuring, marking and cutting out.

The fun starts with the research. The Ough drawings cover her up to 1941, but do not cover the alterations she underwent thereafter, which were extensive. There are some good photographic references but a certain amount of guesswork is inevitable if she is to be depicted after her major refit, carried out in the USA in 1942. All of the Arethusas were modified as the war progressed and while the modifications followed the same general pattern, no two ships were identical. But as the photos show, it can be done.

James Milne:
The book British Cruisers of WW2 by Raven and Roberts has excellent drawings of all the cruisers and detailed information on modifications during their service I used their other book Battleships of WW2 to build the Anson and Howe from a Prince of Wales Kit and the Valiant and a Late Queen Elizabeth (1945) from the the Queen Elizabeth 1943 kit

There is an excellent book British Cruisers of WW2 by Raven and Roberts this book covers all British Cruisers it has excellent drawings showing the alterations throughout their service. I used the companion book British Battleships of WW2 by the same Authors this allowed me to Convert Tamaya Prince of Wales 1941 to Duke of York 1943, Howe 1943 and Anson 1944. I also Converted Queen Elizabeth 1945 and Valiant 1944 from Trumpeters Queen Elizabeth 1943.


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