Even though Lutzow had turned away to the SW and had been screened by torpedobootes with a protective smoke screen, by 2007hrs he had become a clear target  for Orion and perhaps also Monarch. At 2007hrs a shell struck the port casemate
and put the port combat signal station out of action, killing the signal personnel. At 2015hrs a shell struck the right barrel of A turret and detonated just outside the gunport, disabling the gun and showering splinters into the turret. Likewise at
2015hrs a heavy shell penetrated the deck between C and D turrets and destroyed the aft combat dressing station. In addition the electrical cable to D turret was destroyed, leaving D turret on hand training....At 2016hrs a shell struck near B barbette,
causing some flooding and then one minute later, at 2017hrs, a projectile struck the starboard side of B turret, punching out a piece of armour and disabling a gun.
Skagerrak, The Battle of Jutland Through German Eyes, Pen & Sword 1988,
by Gary Staff, at page 138.

The following particulars of the Orion, laid down at Portsmouth on November 29th, are given with reserve. Displacement, 22,500 tons; length, 545 ft.; beam, 88 ¼ ft.; draught, 27 ½ ft.; I.H.P., 27,000; speed, 21 knots. The five turrets will be all
on the centre line, and will be armed with 12-in. guns, although there seems no reason, in the view of naval engineers, why the same mountings should not suit guns of larger bore, although not of the same length.
”  Naval Annual 1910, by T.A.
Brassey, at page 4.

At the close of the predreadnought battleship era, the Royal Navy was complacent. The Admiralty had developed a standard pattern of battleship with four 12-inch guns as main armament and a 6-inch gun secondary. They were content with letting other
navies experiment with new ideas. If an idea was a failure then the country that designed and implemented it would be saddled with the consequences. If an idea was successful, the Royal Navy could adopt that idea and simply out build the competition.
As a consequence of this very conservative policy, the British designs were in danger of falling behind the designs of other countries. This mindset changed dramatically when Jackie Fisher became first sea lord. Against more hide-bound opposition, he
pushed through the
HMS Dreadnought and stole a march on the world.
Other navies were dumbfounded. Their future construction designs were obsolete before they were even laid down. German battleship building came to a stop to allow their designers time to adjust to the new standard. In the meantime the Royal Navy
popped out the
Bellerophon Class, which were only slightly improved Dreadnoughts. The Royal Navy always emphasized the offensive characteristics of their warships, which primarily meant gun power, so the following battleship design was built to
increase the firepower of their battleships. The
St. Vincent Class was still based on the Dreadnought layout and design but the main guns were lengthened from the 12-inch/45 of the Dreadnought and Bellerophons to 12-inch/50 guns. Designers
forecast increased range and greater penetrating power because of a higher muzzle velocity of the shells. The benefits were there but there also substantial detriments. The high muzzle velocity resulted in greatly increased barrel wear. This in turn
resulted in a significant loss in accuracy. The next two designs, that of
Colossus and Neptune, kept the 12-inch/50 and theoretically increased firepower by placing the wing turrets in echelon to allow cross deck fire, and by mounting X turret
superfiring over Y turret. The arc of fire of the far side turret was so limited that there was little increase in actual fighting power over the
St. Vincents. After jetting ahead of all competition with Dreadnought, the following four British battleship
classes had been mere adjustments to the original and allowed other navies to catch up.

HMS Neptune, laid down on January 19, 1909 was an one-off design. The Neptune still carried fore and aft tripods the main gun arrangement changed to allow a limited ten gun broadside. P and Q turrets were placed in an arrangement as in the
Indefatigable to allow cross deck fire from the far turret over a limited arc. There would still be blast damage to the deck and superstructure not to mention the flying boat deck under which the 12-inch shells would pass. The flying boat
decks connected the islands of superstructure and were used to move the ship’s boats off the main decks. The other major change was to place X turret superimposed over Y turret. Neptune still did not have end on fire for X turret because British
designers kept placing the main gun turrets’ sighting hoods on the front crown of the turrets, right under the muzzles of the superfiring guns. The blast of those guns would cause concussions to crew members in the lower turrets sighting hoods.
Other navies had already moved their sighting hoods to the aft crown of the turrets to prevent this so it is odd that the Royal Navy Designs retained the forward hood location for so long. Length increased to 510-feet and beam to 85-feet. The main
guns were still ten 12-inch/50 but secondary guns dropped back down to sixteen. The belt declined another inch to 9-inches. The
HMS Neptune was the last British battleship to carry two tripods. In July 1909 Colossus and Hercules were laid down.
They are best described as half-sisters of the
Neptune. Their dimensions, and guns were identical to the Neptune but the pair eliminated the aft tripod and unfortunately placed the fore tripod aft of the first funnel, a position that had proved poor in
Dreadnought. The reason for this unfortunate decision was to use the tripod center pole as a base for a boat boom, a truly penny wise, pond foolish decision to save a little weight. The elimination of the tripod mainmast and increase in displacement to
20,225-tons allowed for extra armor and the
Colossus and Hercules went back to the 11-inch belt found in Dreadnought. They also changed to three 21-inch torpedo tubes instead of the three 18-inch torpedo tubes found in previous classes.
Also found in the Naval Annual 1910 was an article entitled “Types of Warships”, written by Vice-Admiral Sir S. Eardley-Wilmot. He assessed the battleship designs of foreign navies and contrasted them with British designs. In his analysis of
German designs he stated: “
If the art of warship-building is one easy of assimilation and capable of acquisition in a few years, one would expect to find in the Nassau, Westfalen, Rheinland and Posen elements of superiority to our first
Dreadnought. But they do not present these to my mind. They are certainly larger, being 18,200 tons, and that is a novelty in German policy, for she has hitherto kept to smaller dimensions than we required, but the disposition of the
armament appears faulty.
” He further states, “There is no doubt, however, that these first German Dreadnoughts are fine vessels, and if they exhibit some defects this casts no discredit upon the designers, who had a most difficult task. The
general principles of warship design, as of gun destruction, are well known and no monopoly of any nation; but it needs many years’ experience, practical as well as theoretical, gained at sea and in the office, assisted by the traditions of
centuries, to produce a craft in which everything is located to the best advantage, with the result that besides being the most efficient machine she is not rendered unsightly, lumbered with top hamper, or crowded with weapons which impede
each other.
” (Naval Annual 1910, at pages 100 & 101)

It was time for the Royal Navy to pull out another surprise. Given the Royal Navy’s emphasis on offensive power, this of course meant another increase in firepower. The result was the
Orion Class. It would be easy for Admiral Eardley-Wilmot to
see that this design would further throw the Germans into disarray with their smaller main guns. After all, what country could meet his qualifications for efficient battleship design of “
…many years’ experience, practical as well as theoretical, gained
at sea and in the office, assisted by the traditions of centuries…
”, other than Great Britain. As part of a deception plan, the Royal Navy let it be known that the new Orion Class would mount 12-inch/50 guns in five centerline turrets. However, as
can be seen from the statement at the start of this article, no one was fooled. The
Orion Class proved to be the largest forward leap in offensive power and displacement since the introduction of the Dreadnought.
It was obvious to the Admiralty that further development of the 12-inch gun had run its course. The loss of accuracy at long ranges and increased liner wear were steep prices to pay for increased range and penetrating power. The Admiralty had liked
the 13.5-inch gun, last mounted in the old
Revenge Class. It was decided to develop a new model 13.5-inch/45 gun, which to deceive the Germans was called the 12-inch/50 A. This decision was made after the Neptune was laid down and after the
design of the
Colossus Class but before they were laid down. The four capitol ships for the 1909-1910 Program would be Colossus, Hercules, a battleship and armored cruiser of new designs mounting 13.5-inch/45 guns, which would become Orion
Lion. The 13.5-inch/45 gun fired a shell which weighted 1250-pounds vs 850-pounds for the shell of the 12-inch/50 gun, plus it required a lighter charge. The advantages were obvious, longer range, greater penetration power, better accuracy,
decreased liner wear and less powder needs. Another major decision was to finally mount all main gun turrets on centerline. Sir Philip Watts prepared two designs mounting ten 13.5-inch guns, one with a maximum speed of 21-knots and another
design with a maximum speed of 23-knots but costing 150,000 pounds sterling more. The Admiralty chose to save money with the 21-knot design. These decisions were made in the near hysteria caused rumors of an increased German building
program. “
We want eight and we won’t wait!” was the motto of the press and public who wanted to greatly expand the yearly battleship construction for the Royal Navy. Although the Prime Minister considered the four ships ordered for the 1909
Program more than sufficient, Parliament passed a Supplementary Construction Law that ordered an additional four ships to the capitol ship construction program. These would become the other three ships of the
Orion Class, plus the battlecruiser,
Princess Royal. When the press saw the jump in size and power, the Orion Class were called Superdreadnoughts.

To show how fast British battleship developing had become, the last 12-inch gun battleship,
HMS Hercules, was laid down July 30, 1909 and the first 13.5-inch gun battleship, HMS Orion, was laid down four months later on November 29, 1909.
The three sisterships to
Orion in the Supplemental Program were laid down between April 1 and April 13, 1910. Orion was launched on August 20, 1910 and the other three between February 1 and May 1, 1911. Completion of the ships were in 1912,
between January and November. There was a big jump in length and displacement from the
Colossus Class and Orion Class but very little change in beam, due to the lack of dry docks of sufficient size. In comparison to the German Helgoland Class
laid down in 1908, the
Orion Class was five-feet narrower, constraining subdivision. Displacement was 22,200-tons load draught and 25,870-tons deep load. Length was 545-feet, with a beam of 88-feet 6-inches and draught of 28-feet 9-inches.
Armament consisted of ten 13.5-inch/45 guns in twin turrets, sixteen 4-inch QF secondary guns, four 3pdr QF and three 21-inch submerged torpedo tubes with one mounted in the stern and two on the beam. The armored belt was 12-inches with an
upper belt of 8-inches extending to the upper deck. Turrets and conning tower had 11-inches of armor with the barbettes receiving 10-inches. Armored decks were 4 to 1-inches. Three of the ships had 18 Babcock and Wilcox boilers with
receiving Yarrow boilers. These fed steam to four Parsons turbines, developing 27,000hp for a maximum speed of 21-knots. The trials of
Orion showed that the design was subject to heavy rolling due to a higher meta centric height. The solution was
to fit larger bilge keels. It would take two years before her weight of broadside would be surpassed, by
USS Texas in 1914.
Another aspect of the British battleships designs between Dreadnought and Orion was the decrease in armor protection. As the Admiralty sought to increase offensive power, maintain moderate dimensions and keep down the costs, survivability in form
of the armor thickness was reduced. In the
Naval Annual 1911 in an article called The Dreadnought Era, Commander C.N. Robinson wrote: “For several reasons, less has been said and written about the defensive qualities of the armoured ships of
the Dreadnought era than about their other elements of war worthiness. The Navy Estimates do not contain particulars of the armour of the new ships, and therefore even about British vessels authentic information is scanty. This, coupled with
the fact that up to the present time there have been few, if any, changes in the nature and quality of the protection, and that the gun has absorbed the greater part of attention of naval students, has caused the matter of armour to be somewhat
” (Naval Annual 1911, The Dreadnought Era, 1911, by Commander C.N. Robinson, at page 150) With Orion the vertical armor plan was significantly increased and Orion’s maximum armor belt thickness of 12-inches was the thickest so
far. As battle range was considered 9,000 to 10,000 yards, the increase in belt thickness protected against flat trajectory fire. In a retrograde step the deck armor and internal subdivision of the
Orion Class were actually less than on the previous
Colossus Class. The contemporary German class of battleship, the Oldenburg, had a slightly thicker belt but with five feet greater beam, a much better subdivision.

Admiral Eardley-Wilmot had stated that the Royal Navy had the requisite experience “
to produce a craft in which everything is located to the best advantage”, however, some design characteristics of the Orion tended to show that the good admiral was
somewhat myopic. Previously mentioned was the decrease in deck armor and internal subdivision. Although the
Orion had superfiring turrets, they raised turrets, B & X, had to have stops installed to prevent end on fire. The RN had retained sighting
hoods at the front of the turret and the firing of guns of the superfiring turrets would cause concussion to personnel in the sighting hoods below. Another retrograde feature was the placement of the foremast. With the
Dreadnought, Colossus and
Hercules, the foremast was placed behind the forward funnel. The result was the same, the heat and fumes of the forward funnel made the foretop almost untenable. Since sighting and gun direction came from personnel in the foretop, this was a
serious defect. The Admiralty already knew this when
Orion designed and yet they repeated the same faulty layout. Why? It was another example of false economy. With the tripod behind the funnel, the middle leg could also serve as a base for
operation of the boat boom and a separate boom would not be required. This in turn would save weight and marginally decrease the expense of the ship. This was hardly an example of locating something to the best advantage. The chart house was very
small and cramped and was extended upon commissioning. With five centerline turrets with the heavier 13.5-inch guns, a longer length was required than previous found on earlier battleships. The displacement leaped upward from the previous
, the largest increase in the history of British battleship construction up to that point. Length increased by 35-feet and because of a higher metacentric height the beam was increased by 3-feet 6-inches over Colossus.
HMS Orion was laid down at Portsmouth Dockyard on November 29, 1909 and the other three in the class, Monarch, Conqueror and Thunderer, were laid down in April 1910. Orion was launched on August 20, 1910 and completed in January 1912.
Displacement was 21,922-tons legend, 20,797-tons light and 25,596-tons deep load. By 1918 the displacement of
Orion had shot up to 29,108-tons deep load. The Orion was 581-feet overall, 576-feet at waterline and 545-feet between perpendicular
bulkheads. Beam was 88-feet 6-inches with a draught of 27-feet 6-inches mean and 31-feet 3-inches mean deep load. Armament was ten 13.5-inch/45 Mk V in five twin gun turrets with sixteen 4-inch/50 singly mounted secondary guns. The class was
the first to have 21-inch torpedo tubes designed into the ship. She was equipped with three submerged tubes with a total of twenty torpedoes. Light guns were one 12pdr and five Maxim machine guns.
Orion carried heavier armor than previous classes
with a 12-inch belt, 8-inch upper belt, 6-inch forward main bulkhead, 10-inch aft main bulkhead, 11-inches on turrets, 10-inches on barbettes, 11-inches on the conning tower, and three armored decks ranging from 4-inches to 1-inch. The power plant
included 18 Yarrow boilers providing steam to the four Parsons marine turbines with four shafts. The exhaust of six of the boilers went out the forward funnel and the other twelve from the aft funnel. This arrangement was the reverse of
Colossus and
was chosen to lessen interference with the foretop. The plant developed 27,000shp for a top speed of 21-knots. “
First impressions of the Orion were that the silhouette was just turrets and funnels and the very antithesis to such monstrosities as the
old French Hoche and Magenta types whose vast superstructures so held the eye. On the turret crowns were the usual sighting hoods, and although official plans show an arc of 300 dergrees for the raised guns, axial line firing was rarely carried
out;non such occasions as it was, the blast was described as ‘unpleasant,’ which was a mild description of the effects.
British Battleships, Archon 1971, by Oscar Parkes, at page 526.

When the
Orion was completed she was sent into the Bay of Biscay. She was found to roll very heavily, up to 21 degrees. As a result wider bilge keels were fitted to the ships of the class and they proved to be very good sea boats in service. As
Orion had prominent funnel caging and two white bands painted on each funnel. On January 7, 1912 Orion was damaged in a collision with the old predreadnought Revenge. The Revenge had broken her mooring lines and drifted into the
path of
Orion. In November 1912 a contest was had between Orion and Thunderer. Orion had the reputation of being the best shooting ship in the Fleet and had been in service nine months longer than Thunderer. However, Thunderer was just
equipped with the Scotts director system. The range to target was 9,000 yards and the ships and target were traveling at 12-knots. After three minutes of firing cease fire was called. The effectiveness of the Scott director system can be seen by the
fact that
Thunderer had scored six times as many hits as Orion.        
On August 28, 1914 the Battle of the Bight occurred in Heligoland Bight inside German territorial waters. This was a cruiser and destroyer affair until David Beatty’s battlecruisers charged into the fray. Although Orion did not participate in the battle,
her crew was appreciative of her countrymen who were in the fight. To show their appreciation volunteered to help coal the cruiser
Southampton. The Orion’s funnel bands were painted over in September 1914. The high speed steaming at the start
of the war had negative effects on the battleships of the Grand Fleet. In November
Orion was sent to Glasgow for an examination of her main turbine supports. In December the Admiralty received information that Hipper’s battlecruisers were going to
raid the British course. On the night of December 14, the Admiralty informed Jellicoe of the situation and further ordered him to send out the battlecruisers and the 2nd Battle Squadron. This was the most powerful squadron in the Grand Fleet and
consisted of
Orion, Monarch, Conqueror, King George V, Ajax and Centurion, under command of Vice Admiral Sir George Warrender. By December 16 the 2nd Battle Squadron along with four battlecruisers was steaming straight for the entire
German High Seas Fleet under command of Admiral von Ingenohl. Here was a chance for the High Seas Fleet to catch and engage only a portion of the Grand Fleet and was the best chance Germany ever had to destroy the British in detail. Destroyer
forces on each side engaged. However, von Ingenohl had the jitters and ordered the German fleet to reverse course and return to Germany. By 12:15 it was Admiral Warrender’s time to screw up. The German light cruisers screening Hipper’s
battlecruisers ran into the 2nd Battle Squadron. Warrender on
King George V didn’t spot them but Orion did and signaled “Enemy in Sight”. Orion was the flagship of the 2nd Division 2nd Battle Squadron. Captain Frederic Dryer, commander of the
Orion, requested the Division commander, Rear Admiral Sir Robert Arbuthnot, to allow Orion to open fire. Arbuthnot refused, stating that he had to wait until Warrender ordered the ships to open fire. Warrender never ordered the battleships to open
fire, even after he sighted the German cruisers. Instead he ordered armored cruisers to chase. The fast German light cruisers easily outpaced the plodding armored cruisers and quickly disappeared. Dreyer later said of
Orion, “Our golden moment had
been missed
”. Subsequently he wrote of Arbuthnot, “He never spoke to me about it afterwards, but I am certain from his silence that he was mortified to realize that he had been too punctilious. If we had fired, the other five battleships would
have done so
.” Castles of Steel, Random House 2003 by Robert K. Massie, at page 349). In April 1915 Orion finally received her director control, which was placed on a platform below the foretop. At the end of the year the anti-torpedo nets and
booms were removed but the ship kept the net shelves. The navigation platform was extended aft around the tripod legs.

At the Battle of Jutland
Orion was still with the the 2nd Battle Squadron, which had the same ships as in December 1914, plus Thunderer and Erin. Orion was the flagship of the 2nd Division, which contained all four Orion Class battleships. When
the Grand Fleet went from columns to a line,
Orion was the fifth battleship in the line. After sighting the head of the German battle line, Orion opened fire at 19:32 and a range of 11,100 m.  - “after four salvoes observed flames near the enemy’s after
”. At 19:33 a near miss by Orion bent a propeller shaft on Markgraf causing one of her engines to be shut down. At 19:35 an Orion shell struck Markgraf on the 150mm casemate armor of  of port #6 5.9-inch gun. Splinters put both the port
and starboard #6 guns out of action, as well as the starboard ammunition hoist. Two rounds of the port gun exploded, killing nine, fatally injuring two and wounding another ten. When Hipper had his battlecruisers make their Death Ride to screen the
High Seas Fleet in their escape from the Grand Fleet,
Orion was in heavy action. Orion and sistership, Monarch, pounded the Lutzow with five 13.5-inch hits. Orion opened fire at 20:15 at 17,400 m. After the High Seas Fleet disappeared, the Grand
Fleet continued to search. Just before darkness
Orion temporarily sighted German battleships to the West. As a result of Jutland extra armor was installed over the magazines. Later in 1916 she was equipped with equipment for towing a kite balloon.
Some of the 4-inch guns were landed and in 1917 one 3-inch anti-aircraft gun was fitted aft. Range finder baffles were added to the top mast. By 1918 the control top was enlarged and range clocks installed on the forward face of the control top and
rear face of the aft superstructure. Deflection scales were painted on B and X turrets. Three coffee box searchlight towers were added around the aft funnel with 36-inch searchlights. Aircraft platforms were fitted on the crowns of B and Q turrets for
Sopwith Camels. After the war
Orion was part of the 3rd Battle Squadron of the Home Fleet from March to October 1919, at which time she was transferred to flagship of the Reserve Fleet at Portsmouth. From June to March 1922 Orion was the
seagoing gunnery training ship at Portland. On April 12, 1922 she was paid off at Devonport and under terms of the Washington Treaty put on the disposal list. On December 19 she was sold to Cox and Danks Shipbreaking and in February 1923
arrived at Upnor for scrapping. (Bulk of History from:
British Battleships, Archon 1971, by Oscar Parkes; British Battleships of World War One, Naval Institute Press 2012, by R. A. Burt; Castles of Steel, Random House 2003 by Robert K.
Jutland, An Eyewitness Account of a Great Battle, The John Day Company 1966, Compiled and Edited by Stuart Legg; Jutland, The Unfinished Battle, Seaforth Publishing 2016, by Nicholas Jellicoe: Skagerrak, The Battle of Jutland
Through German Eyes
, Pen & Sword 1988, by Gary Staff)
Iron Shipwright HMS Orion in 1:350 Scale - For some time I have wanted to build the Iron Shipwright resin model of the Superdreadnought HMS Orion in 1:350 scale. I have been working on a couple of Combrig 1:700 scale models and in the
process I discovered that my building skills have seemingly deteriorated with my advancing age. Well, I thought, maybe a 1:350 scale kit will be easier to build, as the larger parts will be less fiddly to maneuver. When the
ISW Orion arrived, I was
very pleased with the kit. There is nothing like a battleship kit, especially a World War One ship to stir up the desire to build. Many would prefer the World War Two battleships adorned with AA and electronics but I prefer the simpler ships of World
War One. There are no masses of AA guns or fiddly radars, just clean, honest surface action guns, when the battleship was still the undisputed queen of the world’s navies, before pigboaters and propeller beanies usurped their position at the top of the
food chain. The
ISW Orion fulfills this desire.

Orion hull casting is weighty and massive with most of the superstructure cast integral with the hull. This will certainly speed the construction process. I like the hull casting but it certainly has blemishes. As I have mentioned before, ISW hulls
are cast with the deck down and keel up. Any air bubbles will rise to the keel. With my copy of the
HMS Arethusa these air bubbles were almost all pinholes but not so with my copy of the Orion. Sure, there were pinhole voids to fill but there were
two much larger voids that had a film of resin covering them. Although they would not be seen when the hull is mounted on pedestals, I am compelled to fix them. I removed the surface film on both and saw that the voids were very shallow. My
previous tube of hobby putty had dried, so new putty was necessary. A quick trip to Lowe’s, which in my state is considered an essential business, was necessary to procure a can of Bondo for filling the voids. I have not tried it before but Bondo
claims on the can that it doesn’t shrink. This will do the trick on the two large voids as well as the pinhole voids.
ISW provides bilge keel locater lines on the hull casting, not the bilge keels themselves. I’ll use Evergreen plastic panels to fashion the
bilge keels. In the profile of
Orion in the R.A. Burt reference the Orion’s bilge keels run from the length of the hull from A turret’s sighting hoods to just to the rear of the back of Y turret. The bottom of the hull also has locater holes for the rudders
and the four propeller shaft housings, one of which has a minor void for filling. The contrast between the thicker main belt armor and the thinner end and upper armor belt is pleasing. Adding to the detail interest in the hull sides are vertical waste
exhaust chutes. The anchor hawse are just circles on the hull with the interior flat and not hollow for the anchor stock. Other hull details include two rows of portholes and a few square shuttered windows. Although this model is in the 1916 fit after
the anti-torpedo net and booms had been landed, the
ISW Orion hull has the locater holes for the net booms. So if you would like to build an earlier fit of Orion while she still had the net and booms, you certainly can. However, you will have to add
the booms and net as they are not provided in the kit. The hull casting still has the net shelves at the top of the hull, where it meets the deck and adds to the character of the model.
Superstructure that is integral to the hull casting are two levels of the forward superstructure, as well as the deckhouse between B barbette and the forward funnel. The boat deck was located between the funnels and is enclosed by high splinter shields.
ISW casting has nice support ribs cast as part on the inner face of these splinter shields. For the aft superstructure there are two levels, as well as splinter shields on top of the levels. Finally, all five barbettes are cast integral with the hull. I like
this approach as it makes the model simpler to build and there is no risk of mis-aligning separate superstructure parts. There is substantial deck detail on the hull casting. Plank detail is fine but there are no butt end details. The numerous circular coal
scuttles are slightly raised and will ease painting. You get the usual forcastle detail with raised anchor run plates, oval deck hawse, chain locker entrance fittings, anchor windlasses, deck access coamings, flat bollard plates, and a few other fittings. You
will have to provide the bollard posts. A couple of the capstan heads had crescent voids that will need fixing. The breakwater is cast with aft grommets, as well as a few on the front face. The barbettes for A and B turrets and access coamings
dominate the deck between the breakwater and the forward superstructure. On my copy there is a little resin splash to be removed. The superstructure deck has panel lines for this metal deck, along with deck access coamings. The deckhouse has two
mushroom ventilators cast on each side. The boat deck is one level lower and has the boat cradles and chocks cast integral to the deck. Midship detail centers around Q barbette with two more boat cradles, two large mushroom ventilators, four deck
winches, and a lot of deck access coamings. The aft superstructure deck also has panel lines for the metal deck. The quarterdeck from X barbette has mostly deck access coamings but also aft windlass, a medium and three small mushroom
ventilators. The windlass and medium size ventilator both have voids to be repaired.
Typical of
Iron Shipwright models, the smaller resin parts are casts in three formats, Singly for the largest parts, on resin film for decks and on runners for the smallest parts. Since the Orion has a minimal superstructure, the parts count is fairly low.
The largest two parts are the funnels. The funnels are quite striking because of the heavy caging around the surface of the funnels. However, this caging was prominent on the
Orion. In comparing the funnel castings with photographs of the actual
Orion in British Battleships of World War One, the caging appears somewhat over-scale but acceptable. You can choose to sand it down a little but personally I am comfortable as they are. Nice steam pipes with brackets are cast integral to the funnels.
The five turrets have the correct overlapping plates on the crown. The three cupolas on the front of the crown are in the appropriate locations but I am perplexed by the directors on the rear of the crowns. The turrets are identical with all five having
this director. However, the plan of
Orion as completed in the R.A. Burt volume shows the director only on Q turret but the specifications in the reference states that a director was on each turret. Photographs show that early fits of the Orion and the
other ships in the class did not have a director on each turret when completed but did have them during the war. Photos taken later in the war do show the director positions at the rear of the crown of the turrets. Since this is the 1916 fit, I am
comfortable with them. However, if you wish to modify the model for an earlier fit, I would recommend checking photographs of the period modeled to see which turrets had the director in place. There is cleanup needed for the turrets but it is not
major. They amount to removing the residue of the resin casting vents and some light sanding. The barrel castings were either cast separately or with a resin film connecting multiple barrels, both came in my copy. One of the barrels had a slight warp
but another one had a significant warp. I called
ISW about this and, as usual, ISW is sending replacement. All of the barrels will need work around the muzzles as there were vent remnants connected here, as well as the base of the barrels. The barrels
are far too long. Photographs show that the barrels had only one reinforcing band coming out of the turrets. Remove the entire rear, 2nd reinforcing band. Clearance of the muzzles of Q turrets guns with the front face of the aft superstructure should
be verifier before attaching Q turret. The bridge/navigation deck and control top are also cast separately. The bridge has resin film remnants for clean up, including the pilot house windows. One removed you will have open windows that can be glazed
with MicroKlear. The control top and supporting starfish with supports are one piece. Minor flash and vent residue removal should be easy. Optional parts include forward and aft flying platforms but no Sopwith Camels are included.
Oddly enough, most of the ship’s boats are cast separately but some are connected with resin film. The steam launches are nicely done, with significant side and deck detail. The oared boats are fair, although there is bottom planking detail. Parts that are
cast on resin sheets the legs of the tripod, the conning tower and deck, some platforms and the top of the control top. The conning tower has a vision slit at the top and smaller slits in a raised square structure at the rear crown of the conning tower. The
centerline main leg of the tripod has numerous brackets and fittings that were there for boat handling. Also the top mast with yardarms and upper mast that are above the control top are separate pieces, so no yards need to be fashioned. Smaller resin parts
include the 4-inch gun mounts, 4-inch gun barrels, main boat boom, mooring boom, coaling boom, coaling boom mast, boat davits, accommodation ladder davits, searchlights, paravanes, and rafts. Running gear parts are multiple screws in two patterns
based on the blade angle, V strut for the propeller shafts, stockless anchors, kedge anchors and rudders. I especially like the two piece 4-inch guns, which I think have good detail. However, only the open guns will use both pieces. For the eight gun
positions in the lower superstructure you will need only the barrels cut off at the trunnions. The various booms have good end detail as well. Resin film and vent remnants need to be removed.

A large resin fret is included. Designed by
James Corley of Nautilus Models, the give-away that James was involved is the presence of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus as a brass part of the fret. Hint, you will not use this part in your build of the Orion. The
fret is actually designed for use in multiple models of WWI battleships. In addition to parts for the
Orion, there are separate ship specific parts for HMS Canada and a yet to be released HMS Erin. Most of the parts are used in common on these models
but some are ship specific such as the unique funnel grate / clinker screens. The bulk of the fret consists of railing and inclined ladders. There are four long runs of three bar plus gutter/scupper railing in two different patterns and one run of two bar plus
gutter/scupper railing. There is a lot of other railing but these are not shown or mentioned in the brass parts laydown and are apparently for another of the models. The parts laydown shows the funnel grates three types of inclined ladders, accommodation
ladders and platforms, vertical ladder, two types of boat davits, three types of yardarms with footropes, boat boom hook, and boat boom pulley rig. Also on this fret are numerous circular and square parts that are used as antenna spreaders used for the
ships’ wireless antenna design of the period. There is no relief etching on the fret. The kit also comes with three lengths of brass rod and wire.

A decal sheet done by Hawk Graphics is included. The sheet has the Union Jack and a large White Ensign. This sheet is common in many if not most British warship models produced by Iron Shipwright, as the same sheet was in my
Arethusa kit. The
bulk of the sheet has two ship names in yellow and two in white characters. In addition to the
Orion’s name, the names of all three sisterships are on the sheet. The instructions are on eight pages of thick paper stock and are not back-printed. Page one
has general assembly instructions. Page two has the rein parts laydown in picture and text. The number used here is the same one used in the assembly drawings. Page three has the parts laydown in the same format as the resin laydown, except letters are
used for the parts rather than numbers. Page four has bow assembly with profile and plan. Page five does the same thing with stern assembly. Page six has the boatdeck assembly with separate insets of antenna assembly, coal boom assembly and 4-inch
gun assembly. Page seven has superstructure assembly with plan and profile. The final page has tripod assembly. While these instructions are not of the detail of Mad Pete’s White Ensign Models or Atlantic Models instruction sets, they are easy to follow,
especially since the
Orion is not a complex model.
Don’t miss your Golden Moment as expressed by Captain Dryer on the denial of Orion opening fire on skulking German cruisers, you can make good the mistake with the Iron Shipwright HMS Orion in 1:350 scale. Make Kaiser Bill weak in the knees
with the First Superdreadnought. This kit will build into a model with an impressive profile as R. A. Burt stated about the profile of the original
HMS Orion.

Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama