by Dan Hartwell
1/700 HMS Hermione (Flyhawk)
HMS Hermione coming to the assistance of the damaged MV Sydney Star and her escort HMAS Nestor who are being attacked by Ju87's of 101Gruppo Tuffatori on the morning of 25th July 1941 in the aftermath of Operation Substance. Hermione is heeling as she turns to starboard to throw off the aim of a Ju87 that has decided to go for her, delaying its pullout and causing a near miss off the bow. Starboard pom-poms and quad .5's are engaging the Ju87, main armament is engaging the Ju87's over Sydney Star with rear guns unable to engage due to the turn.
Flyhawk Naiad Kit was fantastic but the waterline plate arrived bent beyond use as a full hull. To utilise the fact I now had a full hull I had the idea to have her heeling as she turns hard to port to throw off the aim of a Ju87.
Changes included drilling out and building the HACS without the covers on (given the detail in the rest of the kit its odd flyhawk don't offer this option), scratch built the bridge wing pom-pom directors, funnel caps and fore/aft rigging support. 3DModelparts figures and quad 0.5's. I did experiment with smoke effects but couldnt make it look real in this scale - just photoshopped one of the pics instead.
The Ju87 is from Pit Road Axis Aircraft 1 - I removed the solid plastic cockpit and placed a couple of 'heads' and used clear acrylic medium in its place. A circle of clear plastic was used to represent the propeller arc. No Regia Aeronautica Decals so hand painted.
History: Part of Operation Substance, a 1941 Malta Convoy, Sydney Star was torpedoed overnight by an Italian MAS boat (532 or 533) on the port side of number 3 hatch leaving a 40' by 20' hole. Listing heavily and down by the head, 464 troops of the 32nd Light AA regiment were transferred to HMAS Nestor who remained with Sydney Star overnight despite dwindling AA ammunition supplies. A skeleton crew were able to get 12 knots out of the engines despite taking on 7000 tons water. HMS Hermione met them the following morning and together with Beaufighters from Malta provided AA support allowing the SYdney Star to survive dive bombing attacks by Ju87's and make it to Malta.