The Neptune Association
Ship Models of HMS Neptune

Andrew Parker's 1/192nd scale model

John Pechell Parker served on HMS Neptune, joining the ship during 1937 as a Paymaster Lieutenant and, by late 1940, due to the ill health of the then Paymaster Commander, he was temporarily promoted to that rank. He was acting Commander until the arrrival in March 1941 of 35 year old Paymaster Commander John Harvey McGregor, father of Neptune Association Chairman, John McGregor and his brother, fellow Association member, Richard.  John Parker served under John McGregor until leaving the ship in July 1941.  John McGregor was lost with HMS Neptune in December 1941.

Having spent four years aboard HMS Neptune, John Parker always retained a great affection for the ship and his friends aboard her.  In consequence,  his son Andrew had this large splendid model made in Hong Kong by modelmakers Zakoske as a gift to his father.  Andrew Parker describes the circumstances of its creation here:

"In the early 1970s I worked in a building next door to the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon. In their arcade they had a show window of Ships models by Zakoske. There were the usual ones of Victory, Cutty Sark and Endeavour but also some very unusual ones and there was a sign to say that models could be built to order to Museum standards.
In the early 1980s I thought it might be nice to have a model made for my Father’s 70th birthday and asked him what was his favourite ship that he had served on. He said Neptune.
By this time I was working in Singapore so wrote to Zakoske to see if he could build Neptune. Slightly skeptical as Zakoske was an American. He wrote back to say that he was very busy with building models for the constant launching of Super Tankers for Y.K.Pao and C.Y. Tung ( who would give a model of the ship to the person who launched it ) but yes he would be interested in building Neptune and that he would obtain the Admiralty plans as he had already built other RN ships for RN Museums in the UK.
It actually took nearly three years to complete Neptune and I almost gave up hope of her ever being completed !
During those three years I visited Zakoske on one occasion and he had his workshop in the back streets of Sham Shui Po and all the workers he employed were disabled people.
My Father subsequently visited Zakoske on several occasions during the three years, as my Sister was at that time living in Hongkong.
During the visits Zakoske and My Father would discuss various details of Neptune and how these differed from the Admiralty plans.
Sadly Zakoske died shortly after Neptune was completed."

 It now resides in Bali with Andrew who has kindly supplied these photographs.

Unlike Graham Beeson's model (featured elsewhere on the website), this model depicts HMS Neptune in her pre war or early wartime days consistent with the period of John Parker's service aboard.  She is painted in Overall AP 507C Light Admiralty Grey which was traditional for Royal Navy ships stationed in the Mediterranean until the adoption of wartime camouflage schemes beginning in November/December 1939.

She still carries the type EIIIH seaplane catapult with which she was originally fitted. Mounted on the catapult is a Fairey Seafox, the type which replaced the Hawker Osprey in August 1937.  The catapult was removed from HMS Neptune in July 1941 and the space utilised for an additional anti aircraft gun mounting.


The "plan view" above demonstrates that, at this scale of 1/16" to 1 foot, HMS Neptune's 555 feet length translates into a sizeable model over a yard long.


The detail view above shows the area around the forward main armament, turrets "A" and "B", each mounting two 6-inch guns.  Also visible are the locations of the four paravanes stored beside and behind "B" turret.


Moving aft, the photograph above shows the bridge, foremast and funnel area.  During the war, Neptune would be fitted with much more robust tripod masts to carry a radar fit becoming progressively heavier.

Also shown is the ship's secondary armament, four twin 4-inch guns mounted in partially shielded turrets.  Originally Neptune was built with four unshielded single 4-inch guns at these locations.


Moving further aft, this view covers the port and starboard quadruple 21-inch torpedo tubes, seaplane catapult, crane, boat deck and base of the mainmast.

As noted above, the catapult was of the EIIIH type originally fitted to all the Leander class cruisers and at the period represented by this model a Fairey Seafox seaplane was carried.  HMS Neptune actually carried out the first sea trials of the Seafox at Gibraltar and shipped a pair of the aircraft from 716 Flight after her refit of March - September 1937.

Curiously, the Seafox's only markings look like the wartime blue and white style roundels used in South East Asia between 1942 and 1946 (when the traditional red centre was omitted to avoid confusion with the red hinamaru 'rising sun' worn by Japanese aircraft).  These are actually unlikely to have been carried by HMS Neptune's aircraft as the ship was lost before they came into use but is perhaps an understandable error as the model was constucted in Hong Kong.

It can be seen how many boats were carried on the boat deck (in addition to the two on davits in the previous photograph) and it reminds one of the definition of the term "ship" as opposed to "boat" sometimes used as being a vessel capable of carrying other vessels.

As with the foremast, the mainmast was later reinforced with two struts to form a stronger tripod structure to carry more equipment. 


Further aft still, the photograph above shows the area behind the main mast and the location of the aft main armament, turrets "X" and "Y", each  with their twin 6-inch guns.  Just in front of the turrets is an elevated Vickers L62 quadruple anti aircraft gun surrounded by railings.

The ship is modelled with the accommoation ladder deployed from the starboard davits.  When underway the ladder would be swung inboard and secured on the quarterdeck.








This really is a splendid model giving the best representation of how HMS Neptune appeared at the outbreak of hostilities in 1939.

Our thanks to Andrew Parker for providing these photographs and his kind permission for us to make them available to visitors to the Neptune Association website.




  © 2002-2018 The Neptune Association, Registered Charity No 1103413.