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wingsofwrath's avatar

Imperial Skies Turret Cutaway

I've recently done a series of commissions for an upcoming tabletop miniature game called "Imperial Skies" which will utilize the "aeronef" range from Brigade Models, mating it with an all new ruleset.

This is the forward turret of the "HMS Camperdown", a "Benbow class" flying ship. I've chosen the name Camperdown in reference to the ship which, in real life, was Benbow's fellow of the "Admiral class" and which collided with and sunk "HMS Victoria", Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon's flagship during manoeuvres off the coast of Tripoli, in modern day Lebanon.

Since I had to follow an existing design with a very shallow hull I had trouble adapting a regular barbette design, so in the end I went for a cross between a turret from the American monitor "USS Monterey", the real life Camperdown's barbette and a fortification turret.

Also, since the ship is airborne, I added a bottom armour plate which does not exist in regular, "wet-navy" ships.
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morion87's avatar
Of course, Victoria's sinking was 99% Tryon's fault for ordering the turn in the first place. Benbow was the other 1%, or at least I think so.
wingsofwrath's avatar
Considering the fact his last reported words before he sank with his flagship were "It is all my fault", I believe Sir George pretty much agreed with that assessment himself...
Marzipanzers's avatar
It definitely gives that claustrophobic feel.
Willsormiston's avatar
Gosh, I missed this drawing somehow on your galleries. This is fantastic. I love cutaways! The detail is extraordinary.
IsoGraph60XYZ's avatar
Nice Cutaway view.
JDunk1971's avatar
I like the engineering compromise you drew into this; makes it seem like an illustration from the old Time-Life series of books.
AriochIV's avatar
I love these kinds of things.

I hope the ammunition loaders don't get lazy and leave the doors open to the hoist while loading ammunition!
AriochIV's avatar
...though it looks like they're storing a lot of ammunition right in the turret... gonna be bad it it takes a direct hit.
wingsofwrath's avatar
It turns out it's more common than I'd originally thought, actually, since a lot of US ships also stored their shells in the barbette trunk with the powder in a separate, isolated compartment (example 1, example 2).

And, amazingly, this design proved viable, when, in 1989, the Battleship Iowa's number 2 turret (identical to the second example linked) exploded, probably due to mishandling old powder, but the resulting fireball failed to detonate the shells stored inside it, despite completely wrecking the turret and killing everybody inside it. Here's an actual diagram of the path followed by the explosion, as well as a wikipedia link to the incident.

By way of contrast, the Royal Navy always had separate powder and shell rooms, yet, ironically, they left the flash-proof doors open at Jutland in order to speed up loading, ending in the disastrous loss of HMS Indefatigable, HMS Queen Mary and HMS Invincible...
AriochIV's avatar
Yeah, the Jutland losses were what I had in mind. Those silly Brits and their obsession with rate of fire...
wingsofwrath's avatar
Yeah, I can see why that would be the first thing to jump into one's mind at the sight of a gun turret filled to the brim with powder and shells...

And that is one lesson they did learn the hard way, even though there should have been no reason for them to learn it in the first place, because they already knew not to goof off with cordite.
After all, even when the ship is sitting quietly in port, things sometimes go terribly, terribly wrong (and that's ignoring the loss of French battleships Liberté and Iéna in 1907 due to unstable nitrocellulose based powder).
IsoGraph60XYZ's avatar
True-the Dangers of having Tons-[and Tons]-of things that go 'Boom' in a closed space.The Italians lost a BB pre-WW1,1911 or'12,the Leonardo Da Vinci,while anchoed in Harbor.They salvaged the wreck post WW1 and scraped it.Dito HMS Vanguard in Scapa Flow in WW1 during Ammo resupply.Sank almost at once,but read that the turret over magazine/Barbette that detonated ended up on small island they were anchored near.
The WW1 -1916-Russian BB ,maybe a pre-dreadnaught-Empress Maria suffered the same fate.And lastly the IJNs Mutsu in 1942,same circumstances as Vanguard,at anchor in home waters next to Ammo ship/Barges.
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