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HELP HMS Exeter 42 aircraft catapult
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 12:04 PM UTC
Hello,

Looking for some help and references into HMS Exeter's catapult in 1942.

I've recently gotten the Aoshima 1/700 kit and it has the prewar twin catapults. From what I can gather, these were removed in repair and refit following the battle against the Graf Spee in 39 and replaced with a single catapult on a turntable.
Judging by the rest of the kit, mostly the additional AA guns and twin 4" turrets, the rest of the kit shows the Exeter as it appeared in 42.

Most photos I'm finding aren't very clear about this area. I can see the catapult, but not how it's fitted or what the turntable looks like.


Any help would be appreciated.

Stephen
adplumb
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Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 12:36 PM UTC
According to Raven&Roberts, p.266, both York and Exeter had their E11H catapults replaced by S1H catapults "of the standard revolving type", during 1938-39. P.430 on war modifications agrees, no catapult changes shown after River Plate.
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 01:03 PM UTC
So have Aoshima made a mistake here?

What I could with are some good clear photos or drawings of this area.

I'm only working with Ospreys British Heavy Cruisers, which is limited to say the least.

Admittedly, ships aren't very well represented in my references currently.
adplumb
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Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 04:03 PM UTC
Profile #13, however, claims that Exeter still had the two-crosswise catapults at River Plate. I can't tell from the blurry photos.

Don't know for certain, just what my references say. (Exeter has always been a favorite of mine.)
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 11:58 PM UTC
I think this is why the kit is as it is. Lack of references so Aoshima have just gone with what they could find.

I wonder if I could trim off the angled catapult mounts and box structure on top of C11. Then fit on a section of tube with the kits catapult on top?
Looking at Aoshimas own etch set, they just replicated this area and made no correction.
Cosimodo
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2020 - 01:09 PM UTC
Hi Stephen,
What were they catapulting? Was it a Walrus? If so, you could use the set-up they had on the Leander cruisers which had single turntable.


cheers
Michael
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Monday, March 30, 2020 - 11:20 PM UTC
Thanks Michael.

That's a good thought. It's an existing design so why not go with it?
Will have to dig out my old Airfix Ajax to get a good look at the catapult mounting.

Pretty sure they would have still been using Walrus on the Exeter in 42. I think by then it had been widely adopted and others like the Seafox had more or less disappeared from service.



adplumb
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Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2020 - 07:32 AM UTC
According to Friedman's "British Cruisers: Two World Wars and After" (just got it recently, this is my first reading), "During her 1940-1 refit the fixed catapults were replaced by a single trainable catapult sufficiently powerful to launch a Walrus". So, part of the Graf Spee repairs. I'd say that if you see an Exeter with pole masts, she'll have the two fixed but extensible catapults, whereas if she has tripod masts the catapult will be rotating/trainable. Don't know if it would be identical to Ajax, but probably similar.
phantom_phanatic309
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Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2020 - 09:56 AM UTC
Thanks Allan.

I hadn't noticed the masts before. Most photos I'm finding a are pre or early war and definitely has a taller single pole mast.
The kit has the later tripod.
Something I'll keep my eyes open for while I'm looking.

I'm also going to have a good look at wreck photos in the hope it may reveal something.

I've also managed to find my Airfix Ajax. The turntable is a very simple shape. Just a circular box with the catapult on top.
Might make for a good restoration project if I can strip the paint off it.

adplumb
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Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2020 - 10:47 AM UTC
Exeter definitely had pole masts before Graf Spee, tripods after. And various other changes, but that's the easiest to spot.
PJD49
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Posted: Friday, April 03, 2020 - 12:40 AM UTC
According to Leo Marriott in his book on Catapult Aircraft at the bottom of page 11, she received two SIIH catapults during a refit in 1938/39, which were mounted in fixed installations angled to port and starboard and replaced two earlier EIIH catapults fitted in 1932. These were retained when the ship was rebuilt following the Battle of the River Plate in 1939. HMS Exeter was the only cruiser with a Heavy Slider Type catapult.
PJD49
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Posted: Friday, April 03, 2020 - 02:00 AM UTC
Profile Morskie #119 HMS Exeter (1942) Has a number of clear photos of both port and starboard sides which show two fixed angled catapults.
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Friday, April 03, 2020 - 03:01 AM UTC
Thanks Patrick.

Seems like the plot thickens.
Are digital copies of those photos available online?

Incidentally, trying to find some photos of the wreck last night I was pretty shocked to discover that the Exeter, along with several other wartime wrecks off the coast of Indonesia have been illegally salvaged for scrap metal.
Exeter, two E-class destroyers, 3 Dutch cruisers and several Australian and US warships have been completely scavenged leaving virtually nothing remaining.
While I want to keep this on topic and avoid this becoming political, how on earth are war graves allowed to be plundered like this? And why has this seemingly gone unnoticed, here in the UK especially? Only in the Netherlands did this make headline news.
PJD49
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Posted: Friday, April 03, 2020 - 04:12 AM UTC
The only place I have seen these photos is in the Profile Morskie publication. It also has plans based upon these photos.
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Friday, April 03, 2020 - 05:15 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The only place I have seen these photos is in the Profile Morskie publication. It also has plans based upon these photos.



Thanks Patrick.
Had a look on Amazon and eBay and unfortunately can't find a copy. Curiously, Amazon has none of their books available. Are they still publishing?

Will keep looking in the meantime.
adplumb
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Posted: Friday, April 03, 2020 - 04:21 PM UTC
True, before Graf Spee. After, not so much. As noted, Raven&Roberts says the same thing about an update in 1938-39, but two other sources say Exeter was in the Caribbean and was not updated pre-war. And, there are pictures post Spee with a single catapult.
PJD49
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Posted: Saturday, April 04, 2020 - 09:08 AM UTC
I have seen pictures in her rebuilt config with the two fixed catapults as I stated above. They are very clear, not blurred as some are. I will go with pictures over text only every time. No author is infallible.
adplumb
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Posted: Sunday, April 05, 2020 - 04:24 PM UTC
I'd agree that pictures are better, but not having seen said picture I'll withhold judgement.
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Monday, April 06, 2020 - 05:04 AM UTC
The best photo's of been able to find are these from the old Orbis magazine 'War Machine' issue on WW2 Cruisers.
Neither shows the catapult clearly, although all the other features of the refitted Exeter (as the kit represents) are present. The only thing that is obvious is the presence of one Walrus.




The only thing that could have cleared this up is a dive and extensive survey of the wreck, but that's now impossible thanks to the thoughtless plundering.
FrancisMcN
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Posted: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 - 01:19 AM UTC
As I bought the Aoshima kit and PE set I am also concerned about this issue which I don't recall arising before.

I will ask on Steelnavy forum as it might be possible to get more on this from Alan Raven who a while back said he had done a plan of Exeter post River Plate sorting a number of issues and which he would provide to anyone doing a new injected mould model - I don't get the impression that Aoshima took this offer up.
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Wednesday, April 08, 2020 - 09:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

As I bought the Aoshima kit and PE set I am also concerned about this issue which I don't recall arising before.

I will ask on Steelnavy forum as it might be possible to get more on this from Alan Raven who a while back said he had done a plan of Exeter post River Plate sorting a number of issues and which he would provide to anyone doing a new injected mould model - I don't get the impression that Aoshima took this offer up.



Thanks, would be interested in learning anything you can dig up.
kb4003
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Posted: Thursday, April 09, 2020 - 05:41 AM UTC
I tried to PM you a couple of pics that more or may not be useful. Let me know if you got them?

regards
phantom_phanatic309
#372
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Posted: Thursday, April 09, 2020 - 07:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I tried to PM you a couple of pics that more or may not be useful. Let me know if you got them?

regards



Thanks Keith, have received your email.
FrancisMcN
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Posted: Friday, April 10, 2020 - 02:44 AM UTC
I have had responses to the catapult issue from 2 of the resident experts at SteelNavy and the consensus is that the kit is correct and Friedman is wrong:

https://members.boardhost.com/Warship/msg/1586498581.html
phantom_phanatic309
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Posted: Friday, April 10, 2020 - 06:20 AM UTC
[quote]I have had responses to the catapult issue from 2 of the resident experts at SteelNavy and the consensus is that the kit is correct and Friedman is wrong:

https://members.boardhost.com/Warship/msg/1586498581.html[/quote


Thanks Francis, that's really useful. And great photos too.
I'm going to have a look at what I've been able to find and come to some sort of conclusion. I'm pretty sure I have a front on plan drawing of pre-war Exeter to compare the IWM 1942 photo to.
I wonder if I could order the overhead photo from them? That would certainly answer the question.

Ste