HMS Lion 1920 
by Jonathan Burns 
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1/700 HMS Lion 1920 (Combrig)

I have built in its 1920s state, which was based on the Combrig  kit.The kit represents the ship in 1912 but I chose to make a model of HMS Lion at the end of its active service life in 1920, which meant a great deal of research (in effect squinting at grainy photographs) and scratch building.

By 1920, the shipís appearance had changed dramatically.  Searchlight towers were grouped around the rear funnel, there were aircraft platforms on Q and X turrets, the fore funnel had a clinker screen, the bridgework had been built up with a tripod mast, a heavy control top, and extended bridge wings; a gun director and three rangefinders improved the surface fire control; a high-angle control system, 4Ē anti-aircraft guns and many Carley floats had also been added.

I sprayed  the hull with Tamiya primer, then used white ensign colour coats for the camouflage and deck. I created extra bridge platforms from aluminium foil and plastic sheet, the masts were made from brass rod and tube. The awful kit turrets were replaced by resin printed items, to which I added sighting hoods from scrap plastic plus spare rangefinders from Trumpeterís HMS Queen Elizabeth, de-capping armour using aluminium foil and blast bags from Tamiya plastic putty. The Searchlight towers were made from sprue runners, Heinkel 111 MG drum storage racks and even two Tamiya 48 Jagdpanther exhaust covers Ė never throw anything away! The 4 in anti-destroyer secondary armament was from master 6 inch barrels and I used their brass tapered yardarms.  I purchased the 4 inch AA and the aircraft from AJM models.  Other details such as the rangefinders, spotting top, directors and derricks were made from scrap plastic bit.

I used the white ensign models etched set for HMS Tiger for much of the detail but decided not to include the railings on the foícísíle  and quarterdeck simply because they are quite heavy and over-scale.  Rigging was from stretched sprue, the white ensign flag is a spare trumpeter decal and the Admiralís flag was hand-painted.

I very much enjoyed building this model and Iím pleased with the final result.

Fly hawk have promised a kit of HMS Lion as fitted in in 1915 and I am very much looking forward to seeing this.

Jonathan Burns


Gallery updated 2/13/2023

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