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Ron Bell

1/600 HMS Ulysses from an Airfix HMS Ajax

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Ever since reading this Alistair MacLean book many years ago, I've been interested in this ship. One edition of the book had a cut-a-way line drawing of the ship. Armed with that and what description there was in the texts, I set off.



The ship is described as a one off modified Dido Class cruiser. Well, I didn't want to spend the money to cut up an expensive resin kit of a Dido, so I went the cheap route and got an Airfix Ajax. The Ajax was about 50 some odd feet longer than the Ulysses, so I had to cut down the hull and fair the two halves together. In addition, the cut down of the deck was different, so I had to modify that a bit as well. As the superstructure was different from that of the Ajax, I couldn't use the kit's deck as it had the deck houses molded into it. It was replaced with a sheet of scribed styrene stock for the effect of the wood main deck. I then took to modifying kit parts or making new ones from scratch for the various superstructure parts. I took the 5.5" main turrets and quad pompoms from a KGV kit. Other weapons were taken from various other kits and the scrap box.



I took some liberties with the lay out as the drawings had some illogical placements. For example, in the drawings the forward pompom was located on the same level as "B" turret sandwiched between it and the main superstructure. This would have resulted in a very limited arc of fire. So I added a level of deck to boost it up clear of the turret. There are a couple of other "fudges" as well as I tried to make the layout "work" for a real ship.



The project is still underway, but I've gotten to the point where I wanted to share some of what I was doing. I'll keep posting progress as I go along. In these photos, sub-assemblies and most parts are not glued down but are just set in place.

 

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Guest PetrolGator

Cool thing about the Didos: They're all utterly unique.

 

Worst thing about Didos: They're all utterly unique.

 

I have a 1/700 WEM Dido planned as the Penelope, but love this. Keep posting.

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That looks great! Did you refer to the old Airfix magazine convrsion article, or plan it all on your own?

 

I've just been thinking I need to re-read that book, followed by C.S. Forester's "The Ship", another good cruiser novel.

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My main source is the line drawing of the Ulysses in the edition I have. I couple that with the description in the text to fill out a picture of what the ship looked like. As i said, I made a few adjustments for practicality/reality sake. I'm about to start primering it all to see what mistakes i have to correct, then I'll start the actual paint job.

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I've got the basic hull painted. Now on to the superstructures.

 

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I got the superstructure parts painted. They are laid out as they will go on the deck.

 

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Very cool project Ron! Is that large aluminum airfoil stock being used for the funnels? Also, what colors are those for that scheme? They look very "pastel" compared to most dazzle schemes I've seen elsewhere.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I looked around for color schemes and they are many and varied. "Official" or "authoritative" sources bitterly disagree on colors, patterns and dates. In this case I used Testers Dunklegrau, Camo Grey, and British Extra Dark Sea Grey and White Ensign's Western Approaches Green. Hey, it's a fictitious ship, so I figured I could take some liberty with the scheme.

 

And yes, that's aluminum airfoil for the funnels. Worked a treat.

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That is incredible! I'll never understand how you are able to get all that painting done so clean! I have to constantly touch-up and re-touch up when I paint mine.

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Who said it wasn't? Paint, touch up, re-paint, touch up, ad nauseum.

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Wow, you make it look far easier than all that! Way to go!

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Moving along. I've got all the parts on it, minus the PE, that I'm going to put on it. Here's what it looks like so far. Excuse the working stand.

 

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Very sharp - Airfix will be proud!

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Got the PE in place. Just railings, ladders and the like. No radars in this scale. Not my best work but serviceable. Next will be rigging but that will have to wait until my return from Scale Model World in the UK.

 

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Back from SMW and got a few other projects out of the way, so back to the Ulysses. I picked up a Tom's Model Works PE British radar set at SMW and had to add it. Incredibly fine, thin parts, like a human hair. If I had any I would have lost mine working on this. They still need tweeking and straightening, but look better than the lumps that were there.

 

I built a frame out of bass wood and added a styrofoam "ocean". Cut out a shape for the ship and inserted same. Filled in with scrap stryrofoam and tissue and acrylic get medium. It's still wet, so that's why it looks white.

 

Next up is rigging, my favorite....NOT, and finishing up the water

 

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That's a Styrofoam ocean? What blues did you use to get that great translucent look?

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Happy accident. The styrofoam was glued in place with Elmer's, which sort of sealed the perimeter. I then painted it dark blue overall, but it looks darker where the glue was. Then two coats of gloss medium sealed it all up and gave it a gloss. It will get two or more heavier coats for "waves" as well. It should all blend together in the end,......I hope.

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Well done Ron! You are right, the extra P/E really makes a difference.

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She's done. It has some problems and probably won't win any awards, but I doubt if there are many models around of Alistair MacLean's HMS Ulysses, especially in 1/600 scale. Learned a lot while working on her. Hope you like her.

 

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That is a ship worthy of being in anyone's collection! I am very impressed; you did a remarkable job on this model. Way to go, you should be proud!

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Well Done, Ron ! That same project is on my bucket list (even have the Ajax, some White Ensign details, and some spare parts on the shelf waiting) so I'll save a link to your work here to help me along.

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That looks really great Ron!

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