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Models depict ships in various ways. The working model attempts to show the vessel in its natural environment - the water; whilst the static model can show the structural details of a ship, often by leaving out, say, some planking to reveal the interior. In contrast, the diorama seeks to tell a story: a selected moment in a particular situation - perhaps a ship in full sail in a stiff breeze. Such models also allow the introduction of a ‘crew’ going about their duties, the launching of a boat perhaps, or a ship in dock, and are a form of ‘three-dimensional history’.

'In for repair'

Scale 1/600

By Clive Nightingale 1999


This diorama shows a Flower Class Corvette HMS Bluebell as she was in 1942.

Some 1170 tons displacement, 205 feet long, and a beam of  

33 feet, her top speed would have been about 16.5 knots. She was armed with a 4-inch gun, a 2pdr pom-pom, two sets of twin Lewis machine guns, and a single 20mm Oerlikon, on each wing of the bridge. Depth charges could be dropped from racks over the

stern, or fired from launchers either side of the engine casing. 

A Hedgehog Mortar could fire anti-submarine bombs ahead of the ship.

The model is shown with repairs being completed to the rudder and screw, and new anti-fouling paint (red) has been applied to the lower hull. Most of the crew are about to board, and are paraded near the gangway, and another contingent can be seen marching into the dock complex. A few others are on the bridge, the deck and the depth-charge rack at the stern. Many dockyard

workers are going about their duties - there are some 150 figures in the diorama. The sailing barge at the dockside is also named 'Bluebell'. The model is scratch built to a scale of 50' = 1".


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