HMS Rutherford - 1:350 ‘Captain Class’ Frigate
Last month, I talked through my process of building and slightly converting a Trumpeter 1:350 USS England kit to make the Royal Navy lend-lease frigate HMS Rutherford (K558), and that process can be seen here.
Today, I'm delighted to note that she's pretty much done:
I chose HMS Rutherford for two reasons: firstly because she shares a name with a good friend of mine who's always been decidedly grumpy about my wargaming hobby (the flattery worked! - he's now significantly more indulgent), and secondly because she was in the right theatre at the right time: the English Channel and North Sea coast during 1944-45.
She was also used as a Coastal Forces Control Frigate (CFCF) in the second half of '44, which means she was liaising with and directly supporting the Motor Torpedo Boats around this same theatre - absolutely perfect for my Cruel Seas force of Royal Naval vessels.
In terms of her painting and camouflage, the only photo I could find of HMS Rutherford appears to show her in her US-applied scheme, which would've been changed when she was refitted in Belfast for Royal Navy specs, so - taking inspiration from Malcolm Wright's comprehensive British and Commonwealth Warship Camouflage of WWII - Vol. I (Pen and Sword) - I found what I think is the most likely pattern for her paint scheme....
...And it was really dull (just a horizontal band the full length of the hull), so I took a wargamer's liberty, and mixed the colour palette of one with the more interesting pattern of another.
They were both of the same class and operating in the same theatre, so I don't think it was too much of a leap to make. Sometimes, for want of actual evidence, we have to take educated guesses. And models should look cool.
The colours are my approximation of MS2 Mid-olive and Western Approaches blue, and I went for a dark grey deck, which seemed fairly widespread.
I had to improvise the pennant number, so any fans of both WW2 German fighting vehicles and fonts out there might notice that the numbers seem familiar - they're decals from a 1/56 Hanomag kit; the 'K' had to be drawn on with a micro-fine pen by hand.
A final detail - her 'waterline' base is studded with magnets for storage and transport purposes (the mast detaches, rather pleasingly, which is a great design feature):