Jump to content

Willie Whizz

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Profile Information

  • Location
  • Interests
    BR (ER) late 50's/early 60's
    Isle of Wight and other small 'island' railways

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

Willie Whizz's Achievements



  1. As Andy the Moderator points out on a Hattons-related thread he recently shut down, "RMWeb is not TripAdvisor". Now, some of us might wish it were ... but that's another story, and if he simply isn't going to let it happen then those of us who would like to hear both sides of such a story, "Warts and All", will need to look elsewhere. Wherever 'elsewhere' might be; don't ask me as I'm not a big fan of YouTube ...
  2. It's a little while since I took an active interest in "modern" British trams, but had I been answering this that few years ago, I'd have said the major problem is that each city insists on (or is seduced into) having its own 'bespoke' design to meet its own needs; so that even if and when much of the under-gubbins is the same, the bodywork usually isn't. And that cuts down the potential market considerably in model terms, just as much as it used to raise the unit costs of the real thing.
  3. In response to Andrew (Headstock’s) post a couple of days back; apologies for the delay – computer time and modelling time are both hard to come by for me at the moment. Can you produce any evidence of the Hush Hush being referred to as being Battleship grey in the 1930's and what version? No. But I think we are getting at cross-purposes here. What I have been trying to say is that IF “people” were referring at the time to the Hush Hush locomotive being ‘battleship grey’, then the colour they were making the analogy with is a dark-ish grey with which Royal Navy ships based in home waters had been painted since the early 20th Century. And you and I both know that there was in reality no one single exact shade of that colour over time, for all the reasons that have been listed (many of which are common issues to railways too). Yet there was no shortage of “colour evidence” for what the Public Mind might have been conditioned with, even without actual colour photography – book illustrations, paintings, postcards, cigarette card images, Naval Reviews allowing large numbers to see the ships in the flesh … all of which would indeed have shown subtly (or not so subtly) different shades … but all of which, if a non-specialist was describing a dark-ish grey painted ‘big something-or-other’, would be recognisable and understood to the layman’s eye by the term ‘battleship grey’. Which, I’d entirely accept, is little use to a serious modeller many decades later ... How many ships can you name that required 15 to twenty hits for it to be disabled or be sunk? Forgive me but It sounds like some silly computer game. My Great uncles Ship certainly wasn't sunk by that rule of thumb. If you don’t believe me that was the inter-war broad expectation I was summarising, would you believe the Royal Navy itself? Andrew Field’s book ‘Royal Navy Strategy in the Far East 1919-1939’ quotes PRO document ADM 186/78 ‘Number of Necessary, Non-Vital Hits and the Percentage of Damage Inflicted on Other Vessels by a 15-inch shell.’ Condensing a complex account, the RN’s assessment of likely damage was based on three types of hits by heavy shell. The first, ‘Vital Hits’, were any hits likely to blow up the target; next were ‘Speed Hits’ which slowed a target down; and finally came ‘Non-Vital Hits’, the effects of which were cumulative and gradually reduced a ship’s ability to fight. You may therefore, for example, assign the 1941 loss of Hood to just the first serious blow landed on her as a ‘Vital Hit’, and the complete disablement of Lion at the Battle of the Dogger Bank in 1915 to the accumulated effects of some 15 heavy but so-called 'Non-Vital' shell hits over time. On this basis, and making some allowance for subsequent improvements in armour-piercing shell technology, the RN broadly expected its older battleships and battle cruisers to be sunk or effectively disabled by about (emphasis on the 'about') 15 heavy hits (i.e. excluding those hitting nothing of importance, such as just clipping stowed boats etc.). More modern battleships, including the recently-completed Nelson class, would take about 18 such hits. The US Navy employed a broadly similar assessment approach with broadly similar conclusions about its own and the Japanese Navy’s ships. One of the lessons from the limited evidence (major sea battles fought to a finish being actually quite rare events) is that timing of when and where any ship is hit during an action is crucial to how we regard the ship. Hood blew up in five minutes of action from the first serious hit, which found a critical vulnerability that had been known about by the Navy for many years but was never properly remedied (for a variety of reasons including the fact that though she was old she was still younger and more powerful than most of the rest of the Fleet so couldn’t be spared for modernisation). Lion on the other hand was finally crippled from damage to a feed-water pipe incurred by (IIRC) her tenth hit received (of fifteen) in a quite lengthy chase action, which even then took a further 15-20 minutes to actually stop the ship - and she was got home and was regarded as having stood-up well to her punishment. It's not a question of a specific vulnerability in an Iowa class ship, one that would upset the gunnery and armour table fanatics. You have to except that any Battleship is vulnerable to being sunk. You also have to except that how a particular shell, or armour, or ships structure performs under a specific circumstance is not allowed for in armour and shell/gun penetration tables. I do accept that, entirely. A warships-related website I also frequent has recently had an extensive discussion on this very point. But the impression you gave me in your earlier comments was that you had heard it said from a reputable source that New Jersey (USN Iowa class) would have been equally vulnerable to the very same shot which put paid to Hood in the very same circumstances. I now understand that was not what you meant.
  4. You didn’t pick up my careful use of the word “if” then ... Though some people before and since the 1930s were calling anything at all painted dark-ish grey “battleship grey”, still do in fact. It is not so very remarkable that Hood was sunk by shellfire as such, given the piecemeal increments to her armour scheme while still under construction after Jutland and the piecemeal modifications (but no real modernisation) since. There was a rough “rule of thumb” that any ‘modern’ capital ship could be sunk or disabled by about 15-20 heavy calibre shell hits. The real surprise and shock - to the Navy and the Nation - was that it happened so quickly, after only the first or second serious hit, and before she herself had laid a glove on the enemy. I have not seen a reference to comparable vulnerability in the American Iowa class as suggested; do you have a source please?
  5. Re “battleship grey”, the following is from the HMSHood.com website, which is about as authoritative as you can get: “Hood was painted in the Royal Navy's Home Fleet standard dark grey shade for the bulk of her service. During the first few years of her career, this was a pure dark grey. The formula was changed in the mid 1920s to include a tinge of blue. The paint was somewhat glossy during peacetime years due to the inclusion of enamel. A matte variation of the colour (known as Pattern 507A) was introduced around the start of the Second World War. This variation was less reflective than the standard 507B which it ultimately replaced. Regardless of official designation, Hood wore the contemporary versions of the Home Fleet dark grey colour for her entire career except for her 1936-1939 assignment with the Mediterranean Fleet.” Consequently, if people were associating the colour of this locomotive in the early 1930s with that of contemporary warships (not just ‘battleships’ of course; that is no more correct than that all vacuum cleaners are Hoovers!) then THIS is the analogy they are making. The Mediterranean Fleet ships were a much lighter grey, more akin (though not identical) to modern RN warships today. The original early 20th Century concept seems to have been to make ships based in home waters more difficult to see against the ‘grey sea and skies’ typical of the North Sea and Eastern Atlantic; ironically WWI demonstrated that the German ships in a lighter shade were actually better for that, but it took almost a generation for the lesson finally to sink home. The site goes on to suggest suitable paints of the appropriate shade for model warships, which presumably would also translate across to the locomotive. Indeed for anyone with even a remote interest in naval history, and Britain’s greatest (yet fatally flawed) warship, it is a fantastic resource.
  6. A revised K2 kit, eh? Jolly good - can a R-T-R version be more than a year or two away now, then? [Oh! Oh, all right, sorry, I'll get my coat ...]
  7. That's the one, thanks for the memory-jog. A bit of digging established that the exhibit goes under the name "Cardboard Works" and is done by a chap called John Frownes. t'Interweb seems to have very little to say about this it seems, but if and when exhibitions resume in the East Midlands in the not too distant future and he still has the urge, you may see him at one, and it's well worth a look.
  8. Just catching-up. Regarding card-built locomotives, there was an exhibitor who in the last decade or so quite often appeared at events around the East Midlands with a large selection of motorised O-gauge card models. They were well-painted, looked authentic to the naked eye, appeared to be robust and have "mass" (ditto), and seemed to move well on the short length of test track. Unfortunately, not being 'my scale', I never attempted dialogue to find out more, and I can't now recall whether it was an individual or a small group (anyone else experiencing Covid-related Brain Fade?), but this may jog someone from this neck of the wood's mind to remember more.
  9. If BR had followed Royal Navy practice (repeated for a fairly recent frigate class), then there would have been no 'Duke of Wellington', but instead 'Iron Duke'. But once again, that had already done with the Britannias.
  10. My "second career" with a Local Authority began in the Education Department; Tony, if you substitute 'Education Adviser' for 'Management Consultant' as seen in the Private Sector then your understanding of the concept will be pretty close indeed. The only material difference I could find was that at this point (early 'Noughties) Schools had fairly recently been given control of their own budgets and the Advisers (nine of them for our Authority, all broadly on Head or Deputy Head equivalent salaries) were therefore supposed to charge the Schools for their services, in order to recover the cost to the Council of employing them. Most of the Advisers, however, were professionally and (I suspect) politically opposed to the idea that anything in Education should come with any form of price-tag (Council Tax payers' pockets being, of course, a bottomless barrel ...). In practice, therefore, it wasn't that the Schools wouldn't and couldn't have paid - they'd been given money to do so, after all - but rather that the Advisors frequently just ignored the requirement to charge for their 'consultancy' services; and my superiors in the LEA didn't have the 'bottle' to make them, so the Department constantly ran at a loss and services in other areas had to be cut instead ...
  11. While on a secondment from my permanent employers some years ago, I worked closely with a very senior management consultant for a couple of years. His view was that, typically, management consultants get about 70% of their ideas and solutions by talking to a Company's own staff. They already know most of the problems, and they already have a pretty good idea of how they ought to be fixed - the problem is, the Company's own management won't ask, won't listen; and if they do, won't believe what they're told by their own people. Whereas a management consultant - especially if they come from a 'big name' accountancy firm charging a very fat fee indeed - is seen as independent and authoritative. (At least half the remaining 30% of ideas come, he said, from having previously worked with other Companies whose solutions could be ported-across; and in most cases those solutions had themselves been reached by the above process).
  12. As my old Dad used to say, though: "You may well be the bravest soldier in the whole Army ... ... but if they only ever put you in the Cookhouse, you're probably never going to win the VC."
  13. Ever think that giving out too much information about shipments of comparatively valuable items might also be a security risk? As Hinge and Bracket used to say: “Patience is a virtue as well as an operetta”.
  14. Sounds interesting - could you point us at where that might be found, please?
  15. Now, in terms of constructional articles, I do find the modern picture-heavy style easier to follow than the text-heavy approach, in the sense that it is much easier to see what the words are meant to be describing - especially if there's a big helpful arrow pointing at the part being mentioned. A nearly-all-words article that says "position the sprocket wangler carefully behind the widget futtock" is not much help to a modeller who doesn't explicitly know what either looks like, let alone what they do. So some change is undoubtedly for the better!
  • Create New...