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Building the Vnimatelni Torpedo Boat

Vessel History

The four funneled Vnimatelni class (literal translation = alert/watchful) of 5 units were built for the Tsarist Navy in France, with the subject of this model being built by Normand, laid down in 1898 and completed in 1901. Decidedly French in design with their turtle decks and suspended main deck of grating they resembled somewhat the Durandal class and were swift and elegant. The fate of these sisters was mixed, two being sunk by IJN gunnery, two eventually being taken over by the Royal Navy in 1918 and subsequently scrapped in 1921, whilst the subject of this model, Vnimatelni was wrecked on 26 May 1904.

Vessel Specifications

Length: 185 ft. 8 in.
Displacement: 312 tons
Propulsion: Coal fired boilers, 5200 iHP
Speed: 26.5 kts.
1 x 11 pdr
5 x 3 pdr
2 x 15 in Torpedo tubes
Complement: 59 crew

The Build. . .

This model was built using the Combrig 1/700 resin kit; which appears to be based on the side elevation, perspective and cross section drawings found in issue No 1/ 2000 Morskaya Kollektsiya, a really excellent publication which I used extensively as reference myself along with a number of photos from various on-line resources. Upon opening the box one is initially surprised by the diminutive size of the hull in 1/700, not even 3 1/4 inches loa . The kit comprises the essential parts of hull, deck, TT and guns.

Alas the cast deck is way to thick in scale. I was tempted to replace it with thin styrene but was put off by potential later warping problems , a new brass deck was discounted due to differential expansion problems of dissimilar materials. I elected to use the supplied deck but scraped away at the edges to near scale , tapering inboard so as to maintain a near scale height above the hull.
The deck was supported on the real ship by a myriad of struts and girders on the model this was simplified by supporting the deck on funnel and hatch stubs. I then added the through deck gun mount struts and stays, as well as a number of struts around the deck edge. Ammunition hatches (and the shaft trunks between under deck and hull were added) I wished to portray the vessel at speed (inspired by the cover illustration of the MK magazine!).

About the Author

About JimBaumann


Nice model. Thanks for the article.
SEP 19, 2007 - 10:33 PM
What an interesting little boat, and a challenging model. Thanks for sharing.
SEP 19, 2007 - 11:01 PM
(another) Excellent dio, Jim! It'a always a pleasure to read and see your builts! Thank you for sharing it with us Skipper
SEP 20, 2007 - 01:04 AM
What's one forum visitor being calling Jim Baumann lately? "the top dog" I think it was. I thought that was very funny and so accurate too, like this model in fact. Once more top dog of a boat, top dog of a painting, top dog of a sea, top dog of pictures... top dog really!
SEP 20, 2007 - 02:13 AM
Amazing piece of work for such a tiny model. I showed a mate at work. He didn't believe what I was showing him. He thought the pic with the pencil in it was trick photograpy.
SEP 21, 2007 - 07:54 AM
Nice work Jim, Al
SEP 22, 2007 - 06:46 AM
A beautiful little build by the master, and something worth doing for every 1:700 scale modeller as it concentrates the mind and eye far much more than the larger ships. Don't forget your "optivisor" though otherwise the finer detail is impossible to see and do. Cheers, Peter F
SEP 24, 2007 - 12:46 AM
Hi Peter Not if you are 'blessed' with being very short sighted like me, just take your glasses off! Mike
SEP 24, 2007 - 04:55 AM
Great build, but the size would strain my old eyes. Gunny should be proud because I have went out and bought a 1/700 Ent. So I'll join the 1/700 club and the flat top club in one stroke.
SEP 24, 2007 - 07:18 AM