|Graham Beeson's 1/96th scale HMS Neptune 1941|
Plan views of Graham's model
As luck would have it, at the time these photographs were taken, Graham's HMS Neptune model was displayed above his earlier model of her sister ship, HMS Achilles to the same scale of 1/96. Graham, given his particular interests, has obviously modelled the latter to represent her appearance in December 1939 when a combatant in the Battle of the River Plate before she became HMNZS Achilles. As such she forms an interesting contrast in some of the photographs here (and in other starboard side photographs) with the changes wrought by wartime service on HMS Neptune over the succeeding two years.
The ship's bow showing the amoured area forward of the teak planking which covered the greater proportion of the main decks. The forward area is dominated by the anchor chains and their winch capstans. Aft of this is the steel breakwater which was designed to deflect waves breaking over the bow in heavy seas.
In this and the previous photograph the ship's 'A' and 'B' twin 6-inch gun turrets are shown and the quadruple 0.5 inch gun atop 'B' turret which was a wartime addition to improve anti-aircraft defence. To the rear of 'B' turret are the four paravanes, two on deck and two affixed to the side of the bridge structure, which would be streamed on cables in an attempt to cut the anchors of mines. According to some accounts it was such a paravane which struck the first mine exploded when Neptune entered the minefield on the night of 19 December 1941.
At the top of the bridge structure can be seen the open upper bridge area, aft of and above which is the director control tower for the main 6-inch guns and, aft of that and higher still, the high angle control sight for the secondary 4-inch guns, with the added radar arrays mounted on top.
Behind the bridge, the foremast is the stronger, tripod structure that replaced that originally mounted, as a progressively heavier and more advanced equipment fit had to be supported. Behind the mast is the very distinctive Leander class funnel with the two pipes feeding fumes aft into it from the galley and signalling sirens mounted along its forward upper edge. Powerful 36-inch searchlights are mounted on platforms on the funnel sides.
The four twin 4-inch turrets which were originally single mountings frame the funnel and between them on each side, on davits, are the 27-foot whalers.
This photograph shows the boat deck, devoid of the seaplane catapult removed at Port Said in July 1941. The space made available on top of the now vacant deckhouse had been filled with a quadruple barrel 40mm pom pom gun surrounded by sheet metal anti shrapnel guards fabricated at Port Said. Forward of this are the port and starboard quadruple 21-inch torpedo tubes, which formed part of the ship's original weaponry. The ship's crane is still fitted: although no longer required for recovery of the seaplane it was still necessary for the loading and unloading of ammunition, supplies, etc as September 1941 photographs of the real ship demonstrate.
This photograph covers the area from the after mast back to 'Y' turret. The after mast, like the foremast, was strengthened by becoming a tripod structure to support an ever increasing weight of equipment carried aloft. The after control position structure behind the mast originally carried a single quadruple 0.5-inch automatic gun centrally but by 1941 this had been replaced by a single Oerlikon gun with a pair of quad 0.5s, one on each side. 'X' turret is consequently unencumbered by an anti aircraft unlike 'B' turret.
The quarter deck has the accommodation ladder stowed on the port side of the deck ready for sea. When required for use it would be slung from the davits visible on the port and starboard side. At the stern on the portside is the depth charge rack just forward of the white ensign.
You can view the other detail photographs of Graham's 1/96th scale HMS Neptune by clicking on the relevant descriptions below:
- Overhead views from the port side
- Overhead views from the starboard side
- Waterline views from the port side
- Waterline views from the starboard side
- Other views including some during construction.
© 2002-2018 The Neptune Association, Registered Charity No 1103413.