Making a Mark 2 6 pounder

It is a sad fact that E Boats are better than Vospers. In the Cruel Seas boxed set you get ten plastic ships, four S Boots, three Vosper Mark 1's and three Vosper Mark 2's. This creates a problem for the British Navy player, as Vospers are designed to sink big ships (shoot and scoot), not engage in protracted battles with the better-armed E boats.

The British Navy realised this and designed Motor Gun boats, like the Fairmile and the Steam Gun Boat to assist torpedo boats and help take on E Boats. However, there was an effort to upgrade torpedo boats to incorporate heavier armament, such as the semi-automatic 6 pounder Molins gun. With a spare 6 pounder (taken from a Fairmile D or the Warlord weapons pack), it is possible to convert a plastic Vosper mark 2 into this late war model.

Basic plastic Vosper

The Warlord plastic Vosper sprues are quite versatile. We start with carefully scoring the 20mm gun casement with a sharp knife, slowly cutting inwards until it comes off in one piece. Be careful not to cut yourself!

Careful with the knife!

Once this has been cut off, space needs to be cleared at the back for the twin 20mm. Remove the back life-raft (if you are careful, you can use it elsewhere). Then fit the 20mm and see how the torpedos fit alongside it. You may need to shave a little off the edges of the tubes to get a snug fit.

A snug fit...

Once this is done, glue down the gun position and fit the 20mm gun. Clean up the front gun position before glueing the QF 6 pounder in place. Now all that remains is to fill in the holes where the forward torpedo tubes would have been.

Fill in the holes left.

A quick paint job and your Mark 2 is ready to take on E Boats on more equal terms! You'll even outrange them, for once...

Ready for action!

Now the Vosper 2 did not see service until the end of the War in Europe, but similar vessels, such as the British Power Boat 72 Feet fought in World War 2 with this weapons configuration (over eighty BPBs were built). And, hell, if your S Boot commander is equipping all his S100s with Quad 20mm Flak (very few were so armed, if any), why ever not?

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