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Completed Critique 'Convoy is to scatter'

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Helm, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    The background to this is the tragic PQ17 convoy which became one of the worst marine disasters of the war. Thirty four merchant ships left Iceland to take vital supplies to Russia through the enemy-infested Atlantic. In close protection were 21 Naval vessels.
    At 12:30 on 4 July, the Admiralty gave Admiral Hamilton permission to proceed east of 25° east, should the situation demand, unless contrary orders were received from Admiral Tovey. This was a reversal of previous orders. As no information in Tovey's possession justified this change, Hamilton was ordered to withdraw when the convoy was east of 25° east, or earlier at his discretion, unless the Admiralty assured him Tirpitz would not be met. However, at 18:58 the Admiralty informed Hamilton further information was expected shortly and instructed him to remain with the convoy pending further instructions. At 21:11, the Admiralty sent a message, prefixed "Most Immediate" ordering Hamilton to withdraw to the westward at high speed. This was due to U-boat information, a fact not shared with Hamilton. At 21:23, the Admiralty — in a message prefixed "Immediate" — ordered the convoy to disperse and proceed to Russian ports owing to threat from surface ships. Again, at 21:36, the Admiralty sent another "Most Immediate" message, ordering the convoy to scatter.[ Admiral Hamilton, Commander Broome, and Commodore Dowding took these signals to indicate an attack by Tirpitz was imminent.[38] The convoy was immediately ordered to scatter, with the escorting destroyers ordered to join the cruiser force and the merchantmen to proceed independently.[39] The Admiralty's decision and orders would not have been so vehement had only British warships been concerned, but the idea the first joint Anglo-American operation under British command might involve the destruction of American as well as British units may well have influenced the decisions of First Sea Lord Pound.
    The stunned escort commanders received the Admiralty's orders in the form of three rapid and poorly worded messages. First message: 2111…Most Immediate and Secret. Cruiser Force withdraw to Westward at high speed…. Second message: 2123…Immediate. Owing to threat of surface ships, convoy is to disperse and proceed to Russian ports…. Third message: 2136…Most Immediate. Convoy is to scatter….
    PQ-17 was stripped of all protection and abandoned. Admiral Pound had decided to save the warships and let the merchantmen fend for themselves. Individual ships stood a better chance of survival against superior surface forces than vessels that were crowded together in the restrictions of a convoy. But scattering in the narrow confines north of the Arctic Circle would prove fatal.
    I leave the final word to a Royal Navy Officer serving onboard HMS Norfolk at the time: “At 26 knots the four cruisers and all the destroyers swept close past the convoy. Our last sight of the merchantmen showed them slowly opening out and separating. The effect on the ships company was devastating. Twenty-four hours earlier there had been only one thought—that at last we were going to bring enemy surface ships to action. I had never known the men in such good heart…Then in the space of a few hours we abandoned our aircraft (which had just been flown off to reconnoitre to the east) and its crew, and we abandoned the convoy. The ship was in turmoil: everyone was boiling, and the Master at Arms told me he had never known such strong feelings before…It was the blackest day we ever knew—sheer bloody murder.”

    I've tried to do this tragedy justice with Mitches Military Models Royal Navy Captain Arctic Convoys Bust sculpted by Steve Leadley (Valiant on P.F). It's not completely finished but it's minor detailing left really. I've also tried to do a snow effect, which as with the rest of the bust I'd be most interested in your thoughts on. All comments,criticism,money and beer appreciated as ever
    Steve
    20140429_195813.jpg 20140429_195614.jpg 20140429_195606.jpg 20140429_195638.jpg 20140429_195823.jpg
  2. Richie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Steve,
    I like that.(y) It's hard to tell but maybe a couple of extra filters of purple and blue to give that even colder feel. Don't rush the finish it looks very good.
    cheers
    Richie
    offo likes this.
  3. ACCOUNT_DELETED A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Interesting and sad backgrounder. The model looks good. Snow is just right.

    Cilin
  4. billyturnip A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Nice one Steve. (y)

    Roger.
  5. DEL A Fixture

    Country:
    Scotland
    What Richie says. I also think you could push the snow a good bit on chest, shoulders and cap.
    Other than that it looks the part (y)
    Cheers
    Derek
  6. malc PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    England
    I watched a documentary about PQ17, .... interesting watch ,
  7. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Thanks guys I might try a couple of light passes of purple/blue on the flesh Richie thanks. Heh interesting a Canadian says the snow is right and Scotsman disagrees tough call this :LOL: I'll see what some others think, Rog is the cap dark enough you think ? I've seen so many different colours of it I think it's ok.
    Steve
    Wings5797 and crf like this.
  8. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Was it this Malc ? A very good if sobering documentary on what must have been an awful experience all around
    Grod likes this.
  9. Richie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    I saw that one Steve a very good documentary.(y)
  10. billyturnip A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    I think the caps were almost black Steve but yours looks fine to me.

    Roger.
  11. Tarracus A Fixture

    What the others said. Here's an (exaggerated) sample of how would feel it
    . c.jpg

    The snow is great
    Dan Morton and DEL like this.
  12. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Cheers Rog it's possible it would fade with age/weather I guess :cautious: That's my story and I'm sticking with it :sneaky:
    Steve
  13. housecarl A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Looks well Steve, good call adding the snow.(y)
  14. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Many thanks Gerard it'll definitely benefit from some blue/purple (y)
    Steve
  15. billyturnip A Fixture

    Country:
    England

    Perfectly feasible.
  16. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Steve - nice to see one with paint on, looks good, so far! Nice snow/ice, by the way!

    Steve(y)
  17. taff edwards A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi mate
    Very interesting story and very sad , great job on the figure I think the face a little colder and it will be bang on the button mind you I had to put my coat on to look at the pictures lol
    Great job and thanks for the info on the convoy
    Cheers Chris
    Helm likes this.
  18. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Cheers Steve and Chris I did a bit of a blueish filter so will see how it settles

    Steve
    taff edwards likes this.
  19. taffjones Active Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Fantastic job Steve, it nice to see some of the less celebrated heroes of the war sharing some limelight and I must admit this piece seems really special because I was on one of the parades to give the veterans their stars. In terms of purple I'd say thats completely up to you. I spent 8 years up in faslane (the coldest place know to man) and never went purple, just saying. ;)
    Eludia and taff edwards like this.
  20. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Cheers Joel glad you liked it (y)
    Steve

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