HMS Abdiel - Scratchbuilt 1/192
By: Steve Sobieralski
is a scratch built model of HMS Abdiel in 1/192 scale. The genesis of the model
occurred many years ago while in college when I purchased the Warship Profile
on the Abdiel Class Fast Minelayers. Although I had been a ship modeler from
the age of six and had lively interest in WW2 era
warships I was, up to that time, completely ignorant of these unique ships.
I was immediately taken with them, particularly Abdiel as she was portrayed
in her Admiralty disruptive camouflage scheme in the beautuiful color double-gatefold
artwork in the center of the Profile. In the back of my mind at the time was
the idea that someday I would build a model of her - 27 years later I have.
Hopefully I've done her justice.
The model is constructed entirely of sheet plastic and various plastic shapes (rods, tubes, bars, strips, etc.) by Evergreen Plastics. The hull was built using a skin-on-bulkhead method. Solid pieces of plastic were used to fill in the extreme bow and stern and sanded to shape. The hull was then faired with putty where required and finally finished with several sanded coats of Gunze "Mr. Surfacer". All very similar to standard practice for building wood plank-on-bulkhead hulls only using plastic instead.
My main sources were the Warship Profile and the recent Profile Morskie and a plan set I acquired of Ariadne. I did no extensive independent research, so any errors inherent in these sources have probably been incorporated into the model. The ship is shown at the time of her loss in 1943 when she wore a striking four color Admiralty Disruptive scheme. After doing some research on the camouflage I was still unsure of the exact colors used, so I posted a query on the Snyder and Short ship camouflage site which resulted in a reply from Dimi Apostolopoulos. Dimi wrote that sources strongly indicate that Abdiel's 1943 camouflage consisted of G10, B30, G45 and white, but he also noted that there was some speculation that the G10 might have been B15. After looking at the colors on the S&S paint chips I decided go with the B15 simply because I liked the "blue" B15 more than the "green" G10. I enlarged the Profile Morskie color profiles on a copy machine to 1/192 scale and used these to cut masks for the camouflage pattern. In all there are eight colors on the hull - four hull camouflage colors, two deck colors (G20 and semtex), red below the waterline and the black boot topping - a challenging masking and spraying job.
Superstructure and deckhouses were built up with .030-.040" sheet plastic for sides and decks. .010" material was used for gun tub spray shields. I also used a lot of Plas-Struct .020" rod, which I find more consistently round in the smaller diameters than the Evergreen rod. This was used for handrails along the deckhouse sides, funnel grills and the restraining bars around the 20 mm mounts. The three 4" dual-purpose guns were scratch-built using small diameter plastic tubing and rod as was the four-barrel pom-pom. Mounts and shields were fabricated using sheet plastic. Abdiel carried seven 20mm Oerlikon single mounts for which I utilized the available Bluejacket cast metal product. I did, however, cut away the integrally cast shields and added photo-etched replacements as well as adding the shoulder rests at the rear. Perhaps the most time consuming components to make were the two cargo cranes, which are carried on either side of the aft deckhouse, and were used to load mines and other cargo.
Copyright © SMML 2002