At the time I had a very small SLR that used 110 size film and, consequently, didn't produce the best quality images.
However, I have never needed an image to help me recall the sight of Broadsword that morning when I saw a damaged RN warship for the first time. I had seen numerous scruffy and rusty ships laid up in the Tamar in previous years, but cannon shell strikes up the side of a British warship created a lasting impression in my mind.
Here we are 40 years on (and wondering where did those years in between go!) and high time I made a model of the ship I saw that day. The family of our late friend, Bill Gilpin, has many of his models for sale on eBay - including a Broadsword which I purchased.
The casting was 'loose' and had a few flaws, maybe one that Bill had decided not to sell himself. However it suited my purpose. I have checked as many images as I could find on the web and reproduced the strike scars and damaged helicopter deck as accurately as I could.
I decided to emphasise the strike marks to make them distinct from the other blemishes, stains etc on the ship. Drilling the bomb hole through a perfectly good flight deck was something new to me, but I think I have got that in the correct position with just about the right amount of damage showing. I also spoiled a perfectly good Lynx (thanks Klevin!) to place on the deck complete with a damaged nose.
I had some trouble with the shades of paint used and managed to get the decks too light. I might return at a future date and re-do the decks.
So here is Broadsword, my tribute to the brave men who fought the ship back then, proudly battle scarred and scruffy as I saw her 40 years ago in Devonport.
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