by Joe Lavender
1/1500 HMS Queen Mary (Scratchbuilt)
After 5 weeks of work, and 946 individual scratch-built pieces, my model of the battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary is finished.
The scale is 125’ to 1” or 1/1500.
The model depicts the Royal Navy battlecruiser as she appeared just after commissioning in 1913. HMS Queen Mary was part of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron during the battle of Jutland in 1916. She was hit twice early on by the German battlecruiser SMS Derfflinger causing a detonation of her forward magazines destroying the ship almost instantly. There were only 18 survivors.
The model was made using the John Roberts plans and photographs of the ship. These plans were reproduced in 1/200 and 1/1500 scales and measurements taken from them. The hull was constructed from a single piece of boxwood. Single piece hulls are much harder to create accurately, and require constant checking of the work to make sure it’s correctly aligned. It’s easy to sculpt an asymmetrical hull if one is not careful. The bulk of the detail is brass and boxwood. The funnels were constructed from a thin aluminum sheet so they’d be closer to scale thickness. In 1/1500, funnels appear very delicate and I try to replicate this on all of my ships. Working with aluminum is difficult since it doesn’t glue well nor does it take paint. With a little witchcraft I was able to overcome this. The rigging is 3 grades of tungsten and molybdenum wire.
The water base was carved from wood and painted, and the whitecaps are canvas paste. No fancy resin needed, all traditional materials. The base itself was made from several exotic woods I had on hand which I cut and inlayed.