by: Gremlin56 [ ]
I arrived back from my holiday in Lisbon to find a heavy envelope from Kagero in Poland in my mail containing the two latest additions to their magnificent Super drawings in 3D series. This is rapidly becoming a very desirable collection of reference books for the model builder. The first of the two books I will review is something that I have very eagerly been looking forward to: HMS Dreadnought in 1907 configuration.
In the by now familiar format of 70 pages of colour renderings and including the fold out black and white line drawings of and armament etc. the book provides a very detailed reference on what is arguably one of the most important warships ever built.
Text and 3D are by Stefan Dramiński, translation text by Piotr Kolasa and captions also by Stefan Dramiński. ISBN number: 978-83-62878-68-0.
The plan for an “all-big-gun” warship became feasible after John Fisher became First Sea Lord in 1904. One of his first acts was to sell 90 warships and put a further 64 into reserve making the legendary statement that they were “too weak to fight and too slow to run”. In January 1905 Fisher became President of the Committee on Designs and work began on what would become a battleship armed with 10 12” guns and capable of speeds around 21 knots. This battleship would become the HMS Dreadnought and her name would become synonymous with the type of battleship that would be copied all over the Globe.
In spite of the impact the design of the Dreadnought had around the World, her service history was remarkably uneventful, consisting mainly of patrolling and exercises. The HMS Dreadnought also did not take part in the battle of Jutland.
Her service career lasted from October 1906 to March 1920, when she was sold for scrap. The ship that changed battleship design was broken up in 1923 at Inverkeithing.
Kagero’s book contains a comprehensive technical summary of the HMS Dreadnought that very adequately sums up the ship’s design, history and technical details.
The drawings show some fascinating details of the very Spartan superstructure and deck details. I was mesmerized by the details of the compass platform and navigation deck, the 9 ft. Barr and Stroud rangefinder that could be moved from side to side on rails, the magnificent brass breech work of the 12 pounders and the amazing complexity of the signals deck. Of special interest are the drawings of the torpedo nets in deployed and stowed conditions. This must have been a hellish system to work with for the poor sailors. Deploying was probably fairly easy but to get the steel nets back on board, stowed properly and lashed down tightly must have been a dreadful .
The aft observation platform is another place you would not want as an action station, being right behind the stack with exhaust fumes replacing the available oxygen.
The rigging is finely detailed in the drawings and in the black and white fold-out, which will enable you to do a top notch of the extensive and complex rigging on a model of the Dreadnought.
The fold-out also contains detailed drawings of the armament and ships tenders and launches, as well as a large drawing of the Dreadnought with her torpedo nets deployed.
If you are building or considering building a model of the HMS Dreadnought get a copy of this book, even if it is only as a guide to rigging her. I have always wanted to build a model of the Dreadnought and my heart is now telling me to get hold of the model, PE parts and get building her with torpedo nets deployed. My brain is telling me at the same time that I have so many projects left in my stash that it is extremely unlikely that I would find the time to build her and that the torpedo nets would be an amazingly fragile addition to the build.
Once again a big thank you to the gentlemen from Kagero for giving me the chance to get a first look at their excellent books.
Their HMS Dreadnought reference gets a healthy 95/100 from me, I loved every page of it.
Click here for additional images for this review.