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HMS Tiger battlecruiser and HMS Drake armoured cruiser . . This small diorama represents one of the several British dockyards at the beginning of World War I with two ships from different generations currently in harbour. The big battlecruiser, considerered to be one of the ‘Splendid Cats’, is HMS Tiger and the smaller armoured cruiser is HMS Drake. Tiger was completed in 1914 and armed with eight 13.5in guns she possessed quite a heavy punch, especially compared to contemporary German battlecruisers. But nevertheless, she still suffered from the same weakness that all the British battlecruisers of the era had- thin armour. Her design was modified along the lines of Kongo class battlecruisers designed for the Japanese Navy and looked so good and powerful despite being unsuitable for the role she was given. Because the ship was completed only recently, the crew had no proper training, so it wasn’t a big surprise that she fired over 350 shells during the Battle of Dogger Bank, and scored only two hits. Performance of her gunnery increased only slightly during the Battle of Jutland, and she was hit several times in return, but managed to remain in the line. HMS Drake was a first-class armoured cruiser completed in 1904, ten years before Tiger, but the difference between them is stunning. Altogether she wasn’t a bad design, she was well armed and decently armoured for her size and could achieve 23 knots. The four ships of the class were known for their steaming ability, being capable of consistently running for long periods at high speed. She was lost to a submarine attack in 1917, a fate, similar to many other British ships. The HMS Drake is my first serious attempt at SNOT technique and I hope it turned out fine. I just wanted to use those dark grey pieces to make it stand out a little bit more from the background. After the war, HMS Tiger remained in service as the oldest of the battlecruisers, now also in company of the mighty Hood. Transfer to the Dutch Navy together with modernisation in manner similar to Renown and Repulse was discussed, but at the end she was broken up in 1932 as the last coal burning British capital ship. The slipway is large enough to handle the construction of medium sized liners, but you couldn’t put Titanic on that... This crane is huge, somewhat oversized, but I wanted to use the good looks of the ‘rope ladder’piece...

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