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1350
Retribution; HMS Repulse off Kuantan

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"MSW crew-mate Karl Zingheim (CaptSonghouse) shares another of his fine historical dioramas in this MSW "On Display" Feature!"

A 1:350 diorama of HMS Repulse in action off Kuantan


The Situation
By the autumn of 1941 war was unmistakably looming in the Far East and British Prime Minister Churchill dispatched a small but powerful naval squadron to the fortress of Singapore as a deterrent gesture. Intended to comprise the fast battleship Prince of Wales, the battle-cruiser Repulse, and the new aircraft carrier Indomitable, this squadron, designated Force Z, arrived (less its carrier) arrived on 2December to much fanfare. Unfortunately, for a deterrent to be effective it must be credible, and this pair of capital ships was far too little and too late to prevent the outbreak of war one week later.

Force Z got underway towards evening of the first day of the war and spent the remainder of the next day fruitlessly searching for Japanese landing forces along the Malayan coast. The British were detected and on 10 December, the first of a series of air attacks began on the Prince of Wales and Repulse which had no air cover of their own. By the afternoon, both ships were sunkóthe first time maneuvering capital ships were lost solely to air attack.

The Scene
The diorama depicts a moment late in the attack when the Repulse, which had sustained only a single bomb hit, was caught turning to starboard to avoid torpedoes when she was ambushed by a trio of G4M bombers of the Kanoya Air Corps from the other side. After dropping their torpedoes, two of the G4Mís continued towards the Repulse.

The first, piloted by Petty Officer Momoi Satoshi, crashed beyond the ship and exploded. The other, flown by Petty Officer Taue Ryochi, was hit in the fuselage and erupted in flames as it flew past. All three torpedoes struck the Repulse in rapid succession aft, dooming the ship.

The Models
The Repulse is Trumpeterís excellent 1:350 kit and the G4M comes from the old Tamiya Prince of Wales kit. The Repulse was built out of the box, although the pre-war Royal Family deck-house modifications had to be scratch-built. Foil was used for the canvas coverings for the superstructure rails. The main deck railings are PE, although the upper horizontal rails were cut away and replaced with monofilament. The crew figures are from the Fujimi sets.

The Effects
The fire and smoke effects were applied around a rigid armature and lit from within. The smoke trail for the G4M is supported by a wire armature. The water column from the torpedo hit is artificial spider webbing held upright by a plastic armature and gloss spray varnish. It was married to the sea base by a coating of clear artists gel.
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About the Author

About Karl Zingheim (CaptSonghouse)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I am the staff historian for the USS Midway Museum in San Diego. I've been modeling since age 5 and specialize in naval dioramas. Larger scales (for ships) is my preference as is naval warfare up to 1945. The more that comes out in 1:350, the better!