188 Hunt Class (Aberdare type)Minesweeper 1/76


first ship of the Alan Bray flotilla, Aberdare type Hunt class minesweeper. scale model


From Wikipedia: The Hunt-class minesweeper was a class of minesweeping sloop built between 1916 and 1919 for the Royal Navy. They were built in two discrete groups, the earlier Belvoir group designed by the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company and the subsequent (and slightly larger) Aberdare group designed by the Admiralty. They were classed as Fleet Minesweeping Sloops, that is ships intended to clear open water. The Belvoir group were named after British fox hunts. Those of the Aberdare group were originally named after coastal towns, watering places and fishing ports, some of which happened to be hunts by coincidence. However, all were soon renamed after inland locations to prevent confusion caused by the misunderstanding of signals and orders.
These ships had twin screws and had forced-draught coal burning boilers; that is they burned pulverised coal in an artificially augmented airstream. One consequence of this was that they produced a lot of smoke, so much so that they were more usually referred to as Smokey Joes. Another was that if they were fed anything other than the Welsh Steam Coal they were designed for then the fuel consumption was enormous—one ship was bunkered with soft brown Natal coal and burnt 20 tons in a single day. They had a shallow draught (8 ft (2.4 m)). Armament was one QF 4 in (100 mm) gun forward and a QF 12 pounder aft, plus two twin 0.303 inch machine guns. Their counter-mine equipment consisted of Oropesa floats to cut the cables of moored mines.

Six ships were completed as survey vessels, and the majority of the Aberdare group arrived too late to see service during the First World War. Thirty-five were cancelled after the armistice. Interwar, eight were sold out of service, one was sold to Siam, one was converted to an RNVR drillship and 52 were scrapped. The majority of the remainder spent the period from 1919 to 1939 in reserve around the world, with Malta and Singapore having most of them, so that on the outbreak of World War II there were still 27 available for service, to which a further two were added by requisition from mercantile service.

The 5th Minesweeping Flotilla, comprising Pangourne, Ross, Lydd, Kellet and Albury as well as the newer Halcyon-class Gossamer and Leda sailed from North Shields for Harwich late on 26 May 1940, reaching Harwich nearly 24 hours later. After coaling, the flotilla sailed for Dunkirk in the afternoon of 28 May, and was off the beach by about 21:30 hours the same day. At least two ships from the Flotilla (Ross and Lydd) were detailed to collect troops from the harbour mole. Ross alone took on board 353 men and one dog on this first night. The ships of the flotilla made a further three trips to Dunkirk in the following days, working at battle-stations virtually round the clock and returning to Margate for the last time from Dunkirk on Saturday, 1 June 1940. Sutton was also present at Dunkirk.

Five ships were lost during the war, and a further vessel, Widnes was beached in Suda Bay, Crete in May 1941 after being bombed by German aircraft. The Germans recovered and repaired the hull, pressing her into service as 12.V4. In October 1943, now known as Uj.2109, she was sunk by the destroyers HMS Eclipse, HMS Faulknor and the Greek destroyer Vasilissa Olga. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunt-class_minesweeper_(1916)

This model is the first in my Alan Bray flotilla. HMS Pangbourne of the Aberdare group of the Hunt class was the ship that eventually brought Alan back to the mainland after rescuing him from the paddle steamer that was bombed after his initial rescue.
Note, once assembled this model will exceed a meter in length.

Additional information

Weight 2000 g
Dimensions 600 × 400 × 200 mm

1/76, 1/144


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