HMS Royal Oak...

...TopDrawings No.49, new from Kagero, via Casemate Books

Title:  TopDrawings, HMS Royal Oak

Author: Witold Koszela

Publisher:  Kagero

ISBN:  978-83-65437-68-6

We have got to Number 49 in the TopDrawings series of books from Kagero, for HMS Royal Oak.  One of 5 Revenge class battleships built during WW1, she had taken part in the Battle of Jutland.  The class was not modified by the start of WW2 but her firepower still made it a powerful vessel all the same.  Her name was given a sad place in the history books in October 1939 when she was anchored in what was considered the safest place of all, the anchorage at Scapa Flow. The German submarine U-47 commanded by Gunther Prien managed to get into the anchorage, sink the Royal Oak with a large loss of life, and still escape back to open waters.  Today the wreck remains on the bottom, registered as a war grave for those crew members lost when she went down.

Following the opening pages which give the background story and the technical data for the ship in both English and Polish, there are then 18 pages of detailed drawings in a mixture of scales which illustrate the specific detail of individual elements of the ship.  These include not just the main gun turrets, but also all the different secondary armament such as 152mm, 102mm, 76mm guns and the 8-barrelled pom-pom AA weapon.  Add details of masts and aerials, ships boats, superstructures and more.  On the final pages, two sts of 1/72 plans illustrating the ages of the Royal Oak, with a Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter from the WW1 era and the Fairy IIIF Floatplane of later years.

To add to all this, there are two large r A3 sheets of paper tucked into the book which can then be folded out.  These features 1/350 colour profile and top views, along with plans in the same scale of the ship in both 1917 and 1937 and more detailed superstructure elements in the larger 1/200 scale.  All in all another fine set of plans with details that ship modellers will love I am sure.


Distributed by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.