In the aftermath of the Washington Naval Treaty and it's restrictions on battleship construction, the focus in construction of the major navies of the world shifted to
the cruiser. The Washington Treaty had no restrictions on the quantity of cruisers that each power could build. They could build as many as they could afford. The
only restrictions were qualitative. Displacement could not exceed 10,000-tons and the guns could not exceed 8-inches. The 1920s saw the powers grinding out
cruisers that were build to the maximum size allowed. For the Royal Navy it was the
County Class cruisers. They were just called cruisers at first since the division
between heavy cruisers and light cruisers based on gun size was a product of the London Treaty of 1930. The
County Class heavy cruisers were produced in three
batches. The largest batch was the first, called the
Kent Class. The Kent Class consisted of HMS Berwick, HMS Cornwall, HMS Kent, HMS Cumberland, HMS
Suffolk
, HMAS Canberra, and HMAS Australia. The second group was called the London Class and consisted of HMS Sussex, HMS Devonshire, HMS London,
and
HMS Shropshire, later HMAS Shropshire. The last group was called the Norfolk Class and consisted of HMS Dorsetshire, and HMS Norfolk. The British
cruisers were criticized in comparison to other countries design and appeared to be undergunned in comparison with a high freeboard, which made an attractive
target. However, the Royal Navy had world-wide commitments that required seakeeping ability necessitating a high freeboard.
Neptun Models of Germany makes largest and finest 1:1250 scale models of the warships of the different navies of World War Two. Neptun models come
prepainted in a monotone gray with small details painted in other colors.
Neptun does have two more expensive lines that have camouflage patterns, with the most
expensive line having rigging as well. The more expensive lines are limited to a comparative handful of ship classes.
Neptun produces five different models of the
County Class heavy cruiser. Berwick and Suffolk from the Kent Class, Sussex and London from the London Class and Norfolk Class. The Neptun HMS Suffolk
(
Neptun 1134A) is the cruiser in its 1942 fit. The Suffolk was not overall gray in 1942 but instead wore a modified Admiralty Disruptive camouflage scheme using
507B, 507C and MS2 or MS3. One unique characteristic of the
Suffolk camouflage in 1942 was the white funnel tops with a thick black band separating the white
tops from the camouflaged lower part of the funnels. This was designed to make the funnels appear shorter that they really were. (
British and Commonwealth
Warship Camouflage of WWII
by Malcolm Wright at page 67)  The detail on this small metal model is phenomenal. The inclined ladders, although lacking hand rails
are not solid, blocky aztec steps but actually appear as ladders. The 1942 fit also has additional delicate antiaircraft guns with excellent thin barrels. The
Suffolk also
has the large block aircraft hangar aft that several of the
County Class carried. Suffolk received hers in a 1938 refit.
Steve Backer
_________________________________________________