by Jerry Lloyd
1/700 HMS Ramillies 1944 (WSW)
HMS Ramillies was completed in 1917 by William Beardmores of Glasgow, my model converted from a WSW Royal Oak kit depicts her in March 1944. The R class are often derided as being cheap versions of the Queen Elizabeth class which is just not true, the QEs were conceived as oil burning fast battleships to support the battlecruisers whilst the coal burning R class were to reinforce the main battle fleet with 15 inch guns, as the Grand Fleet battle squadrons operated at 21 knots 23 knots for the Revenge class was acceptable at the time. Despite their low speed they performed a vital role in WW2 protecting troop convoys as no surface raider would dare face 15 inch guns.
By the 1940s all the class had different bridges and Ramillies had a sloped armoured roof. She had a major refit in September 1941 when radars were added for air search and gunnery and her AA outfit was strengthened with quad pom-poms fitted on her turrets. Her type 279 air search radar had a max range of 100 miles, the arrays did not rotate but were pointed towards contacts. In April 1943 her 20mm were doubled and the following June four 6 inch casemate guns were landed so her armament by 1944 was 8 x 15 inch, 8 x 6 inch, 8 x 4 inch, 2 x octuple and 2 x quad 2pdr pom-poms and 20 x 20mm. Her camo scheme was MS1 (very dark grey) MS3 (grey-green) B5 (dark blue-grey) and 507C (pale grey) with MS2 (mid grey) deck patches, her two 50 foot steam pinnaces had been replaced by 45 foot motor picket boats (early version with the stand-up conning position). HMS Ramillies went into reserve in 1945 and was sold off in 1946.