HMS LION (1910): building a model need help with details

Discussion in 'History' started by TeeCeeCee, Feb 10, 2009.

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  1. Hi lads
    I'm restoring/finishing a large scale model of HMS LION, the WW1 battlecruiser and I'm stumped on some details. I've asked on a few fora and, to be frank, no-one knows much about her. So I'm trying here now and casting the old net further and amoung sailors who used to sail the blxxdy things. Well the grandsons thereof... :)

    Can I ask my questions here and see what comes of it? Thanks.

    First off (and in no particular order) on top of the hawse pipes are some gratings of capital ships, the LION plan shows solid plate that looks set down from the rim... yet all (2) of the images I've found showing these plates on a capitl ship show them laid on top of the pipe.

    Here's LIONs plan:

    and heres wher I'm up to on the model. I'd built it years ago and put solid plates just a touch inside the pipe. I then aquired some nice brass fittings for these plates (2 are sat atop 2 of the pipes). I need to know if these new gratings are used along with the solid plate further down or instead of?


    Here's the 2 images that show these gratings is use:



    What is the policy regarding these plates? Where are they stored when not fitted to the pipe? Are they fitted 24/7/365? Does the LION plan show them as solid plates or is there a solid plate in some hawse pipes and the grating goes on top of the rim?

    Anyone help?

    Does anyone know what a 'searchlight control position' was like on these ships? What it entailed?

    Likewise, Main derrick boat hoist controls. I have a brief image of them but I could do with more info, really.

    Another thing is the twin 24" searchlight fitting used in early WW1 RN ships, has anyone got a clear view of one of them?

    Around 'X' turret barbette was a 6½" towing hawser that was 'clenched to the fore side of 'X' turret. Anyone got any info on how that looked?

    Here's 2 images of the top/aft of her aft superstructure: The first is from off the bow looking aft:


    The 2nd is from the rear looking forward at the same area of the same side (port):

    I could do with identifying the 'unknown mounting' and what are the bases by the question marks? Are they saluting gun mounts?

    And that brings me to what is the tower in the background? A torpedo control tower with rangefinder? does that structure have a roof?

    Or what is the white column I've marked as a '4" sighting hood'? The 4" sighting hoods where in this area, they were little steel domes with a slit in them that just poked through the cortiscene deck there. But they could have altered with updates to equipment.

    Lastly, I could do with speaking to a signaller who could design a rig for a set of flags at Jutland. Say, give me a hoist with a meaningful message with maybe advice about the battle-ensigns. I do have a colour painting of her at Jutland but have no idea about what the flags are saying:

    As you can see, I'm a confirmed landlubber who has no idea about the finer points of the navy, I've read a lot but I haven't found the answers to these queries yet... but I know an awful lot more than I did in 93 when I started her, (I didn't finish her and got tired of it and I'm just starting to finish it now... but to a better standard)

    So I'll leave it there as I've asked an awful lot, but I don't know wheer else to approach except the national museums and I'm not sure of their policy. Thanks for any help

    p.s does anyone know anything about the 'fighting lamps' on these ships? I know they were dim blue and I think I've identified them on this image:

    Are they are 3 lights across the top of that short wall? They look over the top of 'X' turret and face the rear. Would different ships in this class have a slightly different arrangment of lights to identify during night?
  2. National Archives at Kew have a section on ship as commissioned photographs. Usually 4 views ,both sides & bow/stern. They are really sharp. Look in ADM 176 Catalogue reference.Copies can be ordered
  3. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Don't know about meaningful, but the signal from Jutland that has assumed almost iconic status (there's even a plaque about this at the Signals School at Colingrad) is "Equal Speed Charlie London". Explanations on this can be found here with more general signals information , here and here .
  4. Hi Nobby
    I've used the IWM for photos in the past so it's hard to order these images unseen incase I'm duplicating what I have or images that are of the wrong date (I'd rather buy images of the date I'm building her at)

    Cheers for the Nat Archives idea... I hadn't searched that before and there's some things I didn't know excisted.. the trouble is I'd need a week in london what with all the museums and archives that have bits on her. The ideal would be having the items available on the internet.

    Flagwaver, what pendants are flown from LIOn is the painting I posted?[​IMG]

    The equal speed charlie flags set is not applicable to LION, surely? The b/cruisers were a separate part of the Grand Fleet and aren't depicted on the linked to chart of [that point in] the battle.

    What do LIONs pendants signify?

    Cheers mate
  5. Could your unknown mountings be single 3" AA weapons ? My WWI Janes gives the armament of 2x3"(anti-aircraft) and 4x3pdr, which I think are saluting guns, but the pictures are too dark to spot them accurately.
  6. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    I think the 3-pdrs were originally to be used against torpedo boats and would have been installed for this purpose on board Lion; once on board they would have been the natural choice for saluting. Later they continued in use as saluting guns but that was some sort of historical accident. Typical examples would be date-stamped to the 1890s! which is what I seem to remember from Triumph when she was cadet training carrier. Later still they were supplied to e.g. Leanders as a portable rig which was bolted to the deck by the OAs before eachoccasion oif use (in spite of small ships not being Saluting Ships under QR & AI). But they started life as the real thing when the Admiralty got rattled about the threat to big ships from much faster small ones.
  7. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Re the anchorwork, the second pic is of course either Nelson or Rodney hosting a Families Day late 20s /early 30s. There used to be a complete model of Nelson's FX at Dartmouth for teaching anchorwork - wonder what happened to that? The answer to the original qn might lie in early seamanship manuals of which there are various 'back numbers' in the top floor reference section in Portsmouth central public library.
  8. No mate, the 2, 3" are abrest of the fore funnel... plus there was a 3rd 3" added here but it's after Jutland... and the period I'm modelling. BUT that is a big thing and is clearly not these guns. It can be seen on this:

    Those mountings are probably the bases for the saluting guns, as you say, there was 4, with one for and aft of each s'light on either side. And 'unknown gun?' could be the 6lber Hotchkiss AA gun (which I believe replaced a lost 3lber)

    But what stops me thinking that is the 'unknow mounting' in this image:


    You see, that is different than any of the other 'mounts' but it is not big enough to be a 3" mount.

    Unless... that 'unknown gun' is a 3lber and this is the mount for the 6lber? That would make sense. Does that 'unknown gun' look like a 3lber?

  9. Seaweed, does this 'unknown gun' look like a 3lber that you can remember?

    OAs? Ordinance Articifers? Jeez... 15 yrs ago I'd have grabbed you by the collar to the nearest pub and stood you pints while I filled my boots with naval lore as I was once interested in all this and every answer to my questions led only to more!! Now it's a means to an end... I never finished this model and I recently got it out to show someone:


    so I decided to finish it and stuck on all the bits I'd made all those years ago but as I progressed around xmas, I wasn't that impressed with the build quality first time around so I've now stripped a lot of the ship back to the deck and all the fittings of the superstructures and I'll redo a lot of it, funnels, main armament, torpedo nets that lot.

    In short, I'm trying to make a silk purse from a sows ear but while I should probably rebuild it, I'm just not into it anymore. BUT I DO still have alll those old questions buried away.

    SW mate, is there any other form on the net where old Battleship hands go to meet? I guess not as it'd be too techy for them, eh?

    What hinders my 'research' is I'm in the wrong part of the country (merseyside) and all the naval museums and institutes are in London or the south coast. I think the Meryside Maritime Museum just has merchant ships and maybe the naval 'trade protection' stuff? Plus maybe whatever came from Cammell laird. Cheers mate, sorry I put my point across badly in the thread about b'cruisers.
  10. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Somepeople's wives would have really loved having that dusty model indoors!

    It's difficult to answer yr qn based on the rather fuzzy photo but the 3 pdrs I knew were mounted on a pedestal at a convenient height for the aimer to lean against a sort of padded thingummy against his shoulder while he pulled the trigger. Whether this was the same for firing shtted rounds for real I don't know. Try writing to Brian Witts at the Whaley museum to see if it has anything about these guns (?drillbook???) -if you try phoning he is only there Wednesday mornings.

    I liked the booms for the anti-torpedo nets on the model.
  11. Hi Mate,
    that's the guns... with the shoulder rest. The complication is they doubled for duty on the front of the picket boats.

    Re: writing to Brian W. That's a good idea about writing the guy, have you got the proper name for that institution? cheers.
  12. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Sorry, Lt Cdr Brian Witts, HMS Excellent, Portsmouth should find him.
  13. Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty, would have admired your project. I wonder if any of his offsprings are out their ??
  14. That's very flatterin scouse.. but I'm realist enough to know that it's a 'pond' boat, not a museum model.

    But I am trying to get it all as right as I can as I'll only ever build her once... and probably will be the last one I ever build so...

    However, I did make a decison on the gratings over the hawse pipes. I put them as in the hOOD and NELSON on the resoning that every capital ship forecastle was the same basic design with maybe the differen fittings (cable holders) fro the respective builders suppliers.

    But they all shared the dsame layout so...

    So you wait, I'll find out in a day or so that she did have some plates lower down in the hawse pipes. :) Always the way!
  15. His old family home is round the corner from where i now live. Howbeck/Stapely Cheshire. It used to have two Lions mounted on the driveway walls :wink: :wink:
  16. Hita Mate
    Me mother does the family history and she has all those box sets of births, deaths and marriages... I'd bet she could follow the family though the decades? Well the late 1800s (1880-90 and that era)

    I have an image from a book showing LION steaming 'On the 1st of June, 1916' that was credited to 'The Beatty Collection'. It found it great as it's pretty unusual to get an image dated like that. I wonder where that [the collection] ended up? As that will be a little gold mine for me. ;-) That was a good image as well as you colud see what fittings was on her, etc.

  17. Their was a lot of pictures like that in the book" The life and letters of David Beatty" if my memory serves. When the squadron was stationed in Roysth. :wink:
  18. Scouse, was there any 'on deck' images? As that's what I'm short of.

    At one time, I had a bit of a list of books I wanted to read on Beatty, Chatfield, etc, and on the actual ships 'With the Battle Cruisers' by Filson Young? Actually, was on Amazon last time I looked.

    Anyway, I have the actual appearence of LION now, her lumps and bumps in outline, I just need on-deck images to fill out that detail.

  19. Sorry not sure, just remember the similar photos as yours above.
  20. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Just had a look in The Life and Letters book - don't think the two pictures of Lion would help much with this exercise as they are taken from Wylie paintings and don't really show any detail..

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