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Project Notes

#640 HMS Sheffield in Troubled Waters

Reproducing a famous photograph of the fire-fighting efforts aboard the HMS Sheffield after is was hit by an Exocet on 4 May 1982.

Build

Notes

A old Dragon kit of the HMS Sheffield in 1:700 landed in my lap just in time for the Falklands 40th Anniversary group build organised by Peter Chiang of Hobby Bounties. The group build entries were displayed - along with much more - a the brilliant Kits for Kids event held at ITE on 2022-06-18.

The kit I have is from around 1996 I think. The decals died long ago, but the molding and detail is actually very good and stands the test of time. Modern re-boxings are still available with some extras like PE for fittings including the big ass radar. I used some generic 1:700 left-over PE for railings etc, but that radar would have been a nice addition.

kit_box

About the HMS Sheffield

The Type 42 or Sheffield class, was a class of fourteen guided missile destroyers that served in the Royal Navy.

HMS Sheffield (D80) was commissioned on 16 February 1975.

She was part of the Task Force 317 sent to the Falkland Islands during the Falklands War. She was struck and heavily damaged by an Exocet air-launched anti-ship missile from an Argentine Super Étendard aircraft on 4 May 1982 and foundered while under tow on 10 May 1982.

The loss of the Sheffield was one of the notable shocks for the British task force. Historigraph covers this in an excellent documentary “Exocet Attack on HMS Sheffield”:

clip

Diorama Inspiration

There is a famous press photo of the HMS Sheffield taken within hours of the strike. It was reprinted in the Guardian article: Revealed: catalogue of failings that sank Falklands warship HMS Sheffield.

This became the inspiration for the build - aim to reproduce the photo reasonably accurately. The fact I’ve only seem this in B&W meant that certain artistic license was required especially when it came to sea and smoke colouring.

HMS-Sheffield_1-pager

Paint Scheme

To the extent I kept track of this…

Feature Color Recommended Paint Used
fittings etc Silver H8  
propeller Gold H9  
lower hull Flat Black H12  
ship’s boats Wood Brown H37  
deck dark grey H82  
life rafts grey H325  
upper hull Grey Blue H337 70.989 Sky Grey + smidge 70.992 Neutral Grey
superstructure     70.973 Light Sea Grey
various details     70.992 Neutral Grey, 70.993 White Grey

Construction Log

It is an old kit but pretty well detailed for all that! I got this as a club “pass around” and I think everything is here, although decals were DOA.

build01a

Roughing out a base from high-density foam

build01b

Basic ship build complete. I added railings prior to painting so that all the CA sins get hidden. Possible in this case because there’s no complicated masking or deck paint scheme required.

build01c

Test fit on the base.

build01d

Building up the base with foil, tissue and mod podge.

build02a

Before the seascape painting begins…

build02b

Primed the base in black then applied a first series of paint layers:

  • 70.899 Dark Prussian Blue - pick out the darker areas
  • 70.992 Neutral Grey - contrast
  • 70.870 Medium Sea Grey - contrast #2

build03b

Then a layer of mod podge gloss (this will be the pattern for a few layers : paint then mod podge gloss to build up some depth):

build03c

sponge 70.907 Pale Grey Blue

build03d

spray heavily thinned highlights:

  • 70.868 Dark Seagreen
  • 70.973 Light Sea Grey

build03e

deeper shadows 70.899 Dark Prussian Blue + dab of black

build03f

Helicopter

The photo depicts a Sea King coming in to land and I presume help with the crew evacuation. I used one from the Trumpeter 03438 1:700 Sea King kit.

build04a

Crew

The crew are gather on deck in preparation to being evacuated on the attending frigates Arrow and Yarmouth. I used I-don’t-know-how-many from the excellent ION Model 1:700 3D-printed Royal Navy Chilling on deck. They got painted over a few evenings!

build04b

Parts Coming Together

All the basics are now ready for assembling the diorama…

build04d

Diorama Construction

On the base. Note the Sheffield has grown some aerials (stretch sprue) and some rigging. Water hoses are hanging over the side - used by a fire-fighting crew operating from a small ship’s boat to attack the fire from seaboard-side.

build05a

With some effects building up:

  • smoke (cotton wool - small tufts sprayed with Mr Hobby flat matt topcoat for stiffness and adhesion)
  • heli rotor wash
  • fire-fighters in a ship’s boat directing their hoses on the damage

build06a

Approaching the end:

build06a

build06b

build06c

Build Complete

build07a

build07b

build07c

build07d

At the Kits for Kids Exhibition

Taken by a friend with a much better camera;-)

build08a

build08b

build08c

build08d

build08e

build08f

Credits and References

About LEAP#640 CraftFalklands
Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects, usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting (IMHO!).

The projects are usually inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the sources such as:

Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know. See the individual projects for credits where due. There are even now a few projects contributed by others - send your own over in a pull request if you would also like to add to this collection.