Life is full of choices. You come to a fork in the road. Which path do you choose. What if the choice you made didn't work out. It is natural to wonder what would
have happened if you had taken the other path. The same is true in the construction of warships. There was always a delicate balance in apportioning the warship
capabilities among the three categories of gun power, armor and speed. To beef up one meant sacrifices in the other. At the start of the 20th Century the Royal Navy
had a fork in their battleship development program and they had the rare ability to see what awaited down each path.

In 1891 the Royal Navy controller, Vice Admiral John (Jackie) Fisher asked William White, Director of Naval Construction (DNC), to prepare a new 1st class
battleship design based on the
Royal Sovereign Class of 1889 but using a new model protected 12-inch gun instead of open 13.5-inch guns protected only by a
barbette. The new design was to also use the Harvey process of hardened face steel armor. The new design, which was the
Majestic Class, was the most balanced
battleship design of its time and set the world standard of a harmonious, balanced design. For the Royal Navy battleship design was fixed for the next decade. The
key features were four 12-inch guns placed in twin gun turrets (actually armored gun houses on a barbette defensive system) one fore and one aft on centerline and
6-inch guns mounted in casemates for secondary guns. The
Majestic Class of the 1893 Estimates was followed by the Canopus Class of the 1896 Estimates,
Formidable Class of the 1897 Estimates, Bulwark Class of the 1898 Estimates, Duncan Class of the 1899 Estimates, and Queen Class of the 1900 Estimates, all of
which followed the pattern set by White’s design for the
Majestic. In 1899 the Admiralty learned of a new American design that would have the standard four 12-
inch main guns and twelve 6-inch guns but would also mount an intermediate caliber of eight 8-inch guns. This became the
Virginia Class and had a strong influence
on the next British battleship design.
As Sir William White started outlining this new design for the 1901 Estimates, he had to consider other requirements that would impact it. When White became ill, his
assistant J. H. Narbeth, took over the design process, until White returned and concurred in Narbeth’s design decisions. Admiral Fisher had always championed
British battleships that were faster than those of other navies. White was restricted in size and costs for a new design. The speed factor was addressed by increasing
the power of the machinery but not by much. Most of the Admiralty thought an increase to 18.5-knots was sufficient but of course Jackie Fisher wanted a faster
speed. To match the
Virginia’s 8-inch intermediate caliber, initial preference was for twin gun 7.5-inch guns mounted in four turrets and twelve 6-inch guns
mounted in casemates. Captain William May, commander of the gunnery school, wanted to drop all 6-inch guns because their shells couldn’t penetrate casemate
armor and have fourteen 7.5-inch guns. This however, was too big a step for the Admiralty. White and Narbeth noted that weight of a turret with a single 9.2-inch
gun was about the same as the turret for twin 7.5-inch guns and that the 9.2-inch shell was far more powerful than the 7.5-inch shell. The new design also increased
armor with 7-inches of armor plate from the main deck to the upper deck. This new design with the 9.2 single gun turrets replacing the twin gun 7.5-inch turrets
was approved in April 1901 with three ships for the 1902-1903 programme (1901 Estimates) with two repeats of this design for the 1903-1904 programme (1902
Estimates). This was the
King Edward VII Class of battleships.
White retired as the Director of Naval Construction (DNC) on January 31, 1902 with the King Edward VII as his last design. The incoming DNC was Phillip Watts,
who had worked for Vickers, as had White before he became DNC. As the
King Edward VII had not yet be laid down, Watts had the right to cancel it, if he so
desired. Watts had complete trust in the White/Narbeth design and has no hesitation in approving the
King Edward VII. Watts admired the close cooperation between
White and Narbeth and wanted Narbeth to cooperate as closely with him in upcoming designs. Watts and Narbeth immediately began work on a new design,
eliminating the 6-inch guns of the
King Edward VII design but with twelve 9.2-inch guns. However, the new design would have to wait. Admiral Lord Charles
Beresford, Fisher’s prime foe, launched diatribes against the fact that only two ships were in the 1902 Estimates. The partial impact came with the 1903 Estimates
when the politicians decided that three more
King Edward VII ships would be built to keep high employment at the construction yards. The King Edward VII ships
were somewhat of a disappointment in that it was discovered that mounting three calibers of guns (excluding the QF guns) had inherent disadvantages, especially for
the 6-inch gun fire. Well, Watts and Narbeth had an answer to that with the design they had already started the previous year.

There were a number of sketch designs prepared by Watts and Narbeth between July 1902 and November 1903. In 1903 Narbeth had a design for a uniform
armament of twelve 12-inch guns (Design A) or twelve 10-inch guns (Design B), arranged as the subsequent
SMS Nassau. Other designs had four 12-inch guns and
from eight to twelve 9.2-inch guns. Watts worked with a restriction that beam could not exceed 79-feet 6-inches because of dockyard width. In late 1903 and early
1904 there were a number of meetings on a new design and in the February 6, 1904 meeting Watts presented a design, which he really liked for a battleship with a
uniform armament of sixteen 10-inch guns (Watts liked all 10-inch but Narbeth liked all 12-inch) but this was too large of a warship for the Admiralty. The concept
of an all big gun battleship was far too radical for the majority of the Admiralty at the time. In a meeting on February 10, 1904 the decision has made to work up
detailed plans for design G5, which had been submitted in the batch of designs of November 13, 1903. This design had four 12-inch guns mounted traditionally in
twin gun turrets on centerline fore and aft and ten 9.2-inch guns mounted in three wing per side with twin gun turrets fore and aft and single gun turrets between the
twin gun turrets. The G5 design called for a length of 405-feet (pp), beam of 79-feet 6-inches, draught of 27-feet, 16,500-tons displacement and with a machinery
plant developing 16,500shp for a top speed of 18-knots. The final plans were completed on August 1, 1904 and matched the G5 design except that they were five
feet longer (410-feet (pp). In January 1905, before these battleships were laid down, the scenery had dramatically changed at the Admiralty, as Jackie Fisher had
become First Sea Lord. Fisher was adamant about an all big gun battleship and consideration was made to convert the 1904 ships to all big guns. However, plans and
preparations were too far advanced and the
Lord Nelson and Agamemnon were laid down in May 1905.
HMS Agamemnon was laid down at the Beardmore Yard on May 15, 1903 and HMS Lord Nelson was laid down at the Palmer Yard on May 18, 1905.
Agamemnon was launched on June 23, 1906 and completed in June 1908, well after HMS Dreadnought, which was built in record speed. Displacement was
15,358-tons at load, 17,820-tons deep and 18,910-tons at extra deep. Her length was 443-feet 6-inches overall (oa), 435-feet at waterline (wl) and 410-feet
between perpendicular bulkheads (pp). Beam was 79-feet 6-inches and draught 25-feet (light), 27-feet normal and 30-feet extra deep. Armament was four 12-
inch/45 Mk X, ten 9.20inch Mk XI, 24 12pdr QDF guns, two 3pdr and five 18-inch submerged torpedo tubes. The main armor belt was 12-inches thick with an
upper strake of 8-inches. The barbette armor for the main guns was 12-inches tapering to 3-inches on the rear face, while the main gun turrets had 13.5-inch to
12-inch armor. Secondary turret armor was 7-inches to 3-inches with barbette armor at 8-inches and glacis armor at 6-inches. Conning tower armor was 12-
inches and armored decks of 1.3-inches for the main deck, 4-inches on the slopes of the middle deck 2-inches on the crown. For the power plant she had two
sets of 4-cylinder inverted triple expansion engines with steam provided by 15 Yarrow boilers. Designed horse power was 16,750shp for a maximum speed of 18-

The design was half a knot slower than the preceding
King Edward VII class but vastly more powerful and almost as powerful as HMS Dreadnought at a range
of 10,000-yards or less. All of the 9.2-inch gun turrets were on the upper deck and could be worked in any weather. The class was cramped due to size
restrictions but they were so successful that in 1908 it was suggested that two more be built to complete a four ship tactical group.In further comparison to the
King Edward VII Class they were much drier, more comfortable and much more resistant to roll. After completion the Agamemnon became part of the Home
Fleet Nore Division from June 1908 until August 1914, except for temporary assignment to the 4th Battle Squadron in September 1913. During this period she
sustained some damage to her bottom by striking an uncharted rock in the harbor of Ferrol, Spain. Prior to World War One, the
Agamemnon went through a few
minor changes. In 1909 range indicators were added to the front of each control top. Between 1910 and 1911 the forward control top was enlarged in order to fit
a range finder and another range finder was added to the crown of the forward main gun turret. One of the
Agamemnon’s searchlights was moved from the fore
mast and placed on top of the conning tower. Also all 3pdr QF guns on the turret crowns were removed prior to the war.
With the start of the war, the Agamemnon was transferred to the 5th Battle Squadron of the Channel Fleet on August 7, 1914 to guard the channel as British
troops were being transferred to the continent. She remained with the 5th Battle Squadron, operating out of Portland or Sheerness until February 1915, until she
was selected for operations off the Dardanelles.
Agamemnon left Portland on February 9 and arrived at the Dardanelles on February 19, 1915. That same day, she
along with the rest of the Dardanelles Squadron bombarded the Turkish forts guarding the entrance of the strait. She spent the balance of February and early
March in bombardment mission supporting early Commonwealth landings. On February 25, 1915 the Turkish batteries got her range and in a span of ten minutes
Agamemnon with seven 9.4-inch shells. Although three of her crew were killed, all of the hits were above water and only caused minor damage. On March 7
she was hit eight times from large shells and some from light field guns. One shell said to be 14-inch penetrated the quarterdeck and wrecked the wardroom and
gunroom. Other than the large hole in the quarterdeck, she only suffered light damage to her superstructure. A concentrated attack on the forts protecting the
narrows of the strait occurred on March 18. She was the target of a battery of Turkish 6-inch guns and in the course of 25 minutes was hit twelve times. Five of
the hits were on armor plate and caused no damage but seven shells hit unarmored portions of
Agamemnon causing moderate damage to the superstructure and
placing one of the 12-inch guns out of action for a short time before it resumed firing. For the main landings at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915 she protected the
minesweepers in the strait. She supported ground attacks from April 28 through May 1 and was hit twice more by field guns. In mid May she was sent to Malta
for a minor refit that lasted into June. During this period her main topmast was landed. She operated with an unofficial camouflage scheme that had dark gray
blotches on her bow, forward main gun turret and forward 9.2-inch turrets and superstructure. This scheme was used to confuse submarines but the dark gray
blotches tended to merge with the light gray overall paint to create the appearance of an overall gray paint scheme at any distance from the ship.

On December 2, 1915
Agamemnon, with cruiser Endymion and monitor M33 attacked and destroyed several spans of the Kavak bridge, cutting Turkish Supplies
to the Gallipoli peninsula. Following the evacuation of Gallipoli in January 1916, the Dardanelles Squadron was broken up and the ships reassigned to other duties.
Agamemnon because part of the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron at Mudros, whose mission was to keep an eye on the Dardanelles and protect against sorties
from the German battlecruiser,
Goeben, and light cruiser, Breslau. On May 5, 1916 Agamemnon got a taste of the future by shooting down the German Zeppelin
L85. The name of the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron was changed to British Aegean Squadron in August 1917. When Goeben and Breslau did sortie into the
Agamemnon missed intercepting them, although Breslau was sunk by mines. Agamemnon had another refit at Malta in 1918. On October 30, 1918 the
terms of armistice with Turkey was signed aboard
Agamemnon and in November she led the British Squadron to Constantinople, later Istanbul. In 1919 she
returned to Great Britain and was paid off and placed in reserve on March 20, 1919.
Agamemnon was selected as a wireless controlled gunnery target ship and
underwent a refit at Chatham Dockyard from September 1922 to April 1923 for that purpose. For her duties as a target ship she was disarmed with the 12-inch
guns removed from their turrets but the turrets remaining, all 9.2-inch gun turrets removed, flyingdeck and small guns removed and radio control equipment
added. Also the
Agamemnon still had her torpedo net system in place prior to removal at this time. The Grand Fleet capitol ships had there torpedo net systems
removed prior to Jutland but
Agamemnon kept hers for her service in the Aegean and was still present when she was placed in reserve. In December 1926
Agamemnon was replaced as target ship by the dreadnought, HMS Centurion. The next year she was sold for scrap and made her last voyage from Portsmouth
to Newport on March 1, 1927 to start the scrapping demolition.
The Combrig 1:350 scale, full hull HMS Agamemnon - This is the full hull version of Agamemnon, which includes lower hull and running gear. Combrig also
produces a waterline version at a substantially lower price that is identical to the full hull version, except that it does not have the underwater portion of the hull or
running gear parts. Both the upper hull and lower hull halves will need to be cleaned from a resin pour ridge at the waterline.
Combrig has an indention line to assist
in removing the casting ridges but you will need to use a rotary tool to remove them and then sand smooth. I compared the
Combrig upper hull casting with the plan
and profile drawing of
Lord Nelson found at pages 280-281 in British Battleships 1884-1904 by R. A. Burt, from which most of the history of the Agamemnon
was used for this review. The port hole detail matches but the
Combrig kit lacks eyebrows (rigoles) over the port holes and doesn’t have the doors opening to the
stern walk. The doors are easily added with after-market photo-etch and this can also be used to add the rigoles. Of course it would take some time for the rigoles
because of volume. The hull anchor hawse match and are sufficiently deep. An incised line at the stern allows sliding in the separate sternwalk. The biggest problem
with the hull sides is the lack of torpedo net shelves or bases for the net booms and there are no net booms among the smaller parts. Since
Agamemnon kept her
torpedo net system throughout the war (
British Battleships 1884-1904 at page 294 has photographs of Lord Nelson and Agamemnon showing the ships in 1918 and
the torpedo net is still clearly present). I don’t know why
Combrig omitted this, as they have had net shelves in some of their other 1:350 scale kits. These can be
added and to accurately model
Agamemnon should be added by using plastic or brass strips for the shelves, rod for the booms and rolled fabric mesh for the nets.
The profile on page one of the instructions shows the locations of the shelves and booms. This profile appears to be the same profile and plan as previously
mentioned in
British Battleships 1884-1904 but in a reduced size.         

When I did the same comparison with the model and the plan in the Burt reference, I found that the coal scuttles on the
Combrig deck were a spot on match for the
Burt plan. The deck planking is very finely done but lacks butt end detail. The slight overhangs over the hull sides at the middle 9.2-inch turret locations are cleanly
done and thin, except for a little clean-up sanding at the forward ends. All of the deck access hatch coamings matched the profile in locations and patterns and the
Combrig deck has the same hinge detail. There are no skylights on the deck on the reference plan or model, which is odd as most pre-dreadnought battleships had
skylights. However, there are a few small skylights flush and as part of the base of the forward and aft superstructure. The barbettes for the main gun turrets are the
same in the kit and plan and are unique in having triangular extensions on their sides. The barbettes for the 9.2-inch barbettes are of the traditional circular type. Other
forecastle detail includes the correct oval horse collar deck hawse, windlass plates and chain locker fittings. Locater holes are present for separate mushroom
ventilators and the anchor windlasses. However, there is a mystery about the forecastle fittings. The Burt plan shows what appears to be a very short breakwater
with support gussets in front of the forward main gun turret. If it was present, it was extraordinarily short in looking at the profile. I couldn’t find any photographs
showing a breakwater and the profile of Lord Nelson in 1915 found at pages 292-293, lacks even a short breakwater. The profile of
Agamemnon in 1923 found at
pages 296-297 in the Burt volume also lacks any indication of a breakwater.
Combrig has a brass photo-etch low railing at the location of the breakwater. Lastly the
Combrig deck casting has nicely done open chocks and twin bollard fittings with flared tops. The lower hull casting has the prominent ram. This class was the last
class of British battleships to have a reinforced ram. Bilge keels are integral to the lower hull casting. There are no locater holes or outlines for the propeller shaft
support struts. This class was also the last class of British battleship to only use two shafts and propellers.
The larger resin parts, other than the hull halves are cast on blocks or on sheets and the smaller parts are cast on runners. All eight turrets are cast separately on
circular resin vents/plugs. Only the forward main gun barbette is sufficiently deep that the twin 12-inch turret doesn’t need sanding of the bottom of the casting plug.
The aft main gun turret doesn’t take much sanding of the plug as the gap between the bottom of the turret and top of the aft barbette is small. However, all of the
barbettes for the 9.2-inch gun turrets, twin and single) are significantly lower than the barbettes for the main gun turrets and will require moderate sanding of the
bottoms of the resin plugs.  The 12-inch main gun turrets match the plan and profile of the turrets in the Burt volume, except for a small circular hatch located
between the starboard and centerline cupolas on the forward part of the crown on both main gun turrets. The main gun turrets on
Agamemnon was of the same
design as used for
HMS Dreadnought. The Dreadnought had a series of longitudinal raised lines on her turret crowns. The Burt plan doesn’t have these lines but
they were present on the turret crowns of
Agamemnon as can be seen in a photograph on the crown of the forward main turret found on page 286 taken on March
19, 1915. The Burt plan drawing has these lines on the crowns of all six 9.2-inch turrets and they are present on the
Combrig secondary gun turrets. I really don’t
know the purpose of these raised lines, other than the possibility for anti-skid purposes or to drain water to the sides of the turret, rather than off the face. The last
explanation is the most likely, as the turret crowns slant downwards, towards the face and it certainly would cause problems if seawater entered the gun openings on
the front face of the turrets. The lines seam too far apart to serve as an anti-skid feature.

The plan and profile of the
Combrig single and twin 9.2-inch turrets are very close to the Burt plan for those turrets but there are some minor variances, as well as
variances between the Burt plan and a photograph on page 294 showing the crowns of a single and twin gun 9.2-inch turret crown of
Agamemnon taken in 1918.
The photograph shows a circular cupola with vision slits slightly starboard of centerline at the rear of the single gun turret with a square access hatch in the starboard
rear corner of the crown. The photograph also shows the same square access hatch on centerline at the rear end of the twin 9.2-inch gun turret but on centerline.
Neither the Burt plan nor the
Combrig turrets have the access hatches but these can be added through photo-etch or cut from card stock. I would recommend relief-
etched photo-etch, as numerous photo-etch manufactures have relief-etched deck hatches. The Burt plan has the cupolas but has them on the forward part of the
crown, slightly inboard of the turrets on the twin gun turrets and on centerline for the single gun turrets. The
Combrig turrets lack the circular cupola but these can
be added by slicing a cross-section of a plastic rod of sufficient diameter. As mentioned the 9.2-inch
Combrig turrets have the raised lines on the crown but have
seven lines versus six lines on the Burt plan. However, photographs of the single gun 9.2-inch, as well as the 12-inch gun turret show far more raised lines than either
the Burt plan or the
Combrig turrets. I realize that this is really getting into the weeds but photographs are the best source for this type of detail. Four other parts are
on casting plugs, the two funnels and the two propellers. The funnels are of different sizes with the small funnel forward and the large funnel aft. The plans and
profiles of the
Combrig funnels match the Burt profile and plan. They are moderately hollow at the top to create the illusion of depth and have nice cap and bottom
apron detail. The funnels have openings in the lower apron for steam pipes. Although there are the correct opening on the forward and aft faces of the apron for the
large funnel, there is only one such opening on the bottom apron of the small forward funnel. One difference between the
Agamemnon and Lord Nelson was that
Agamemnon had steam pipes on both fore and aft faces of the forward funnel and Lord Nelson only had one steam pipe, on the forward face and none on the rear
face of the small funnel. The brass photo-etch fret in the kit provides brass grate caps for the funnel but no foot rungs found on the funnel sides. Again, there are a
number of photo-etch manufactures that have foot rungs or you can cut vertical ladder to add this detail, if desired. One important note about the propellers, they are
different from each other, which is correct. This class was the last battleship design to have inward turning screws, which had been introduced in the
. Another casting block part is a navigation bridge with the wings extending outboard from the superstructure. This is not used for Agamemnon as only Lord
was completed with this platform. Watts intentionally left navigation platforms off the Agamemnon design, intending that all navigation should be from the
conning tower. The plan and profile in the
Combrig instructions look like a smaller version of the Burt plan and profile, which was of Lord Nelson with the platform
wings. If you wish to see a plan and profile of
Agamemnon, see page 71 of The British Battleship 1906 - 1946 by Norman Freeman. This volume has a plan and
profile of
Agamemnon as of June 1908 drafted by A. D. Baker III.
Most Combrig kits provide one thin resin sheet upon which are cast the thin parts such as decks and platforms. With the Combrig Agamemnon you get three such
sheets. The first sheet has the 01 levels of the superstructure. One of the characteristics of this class was a large flying deck resting on top of the 01/02 level
superstructure with large overhangs over the main deck. The 01/02 level superstructure consists of forward superstructure, aft superstructure, deck houses for the
bases of each funnel, machinery spaces ventilator house, conning tower, two searchlight platforms and a rectangular house to the rear of the aft funnel. The forward
superstructure piece has four skylights with port hole detail. For the aft superstructure piece you get two more of the skylights with port hole detail and also closed
shutters for superstructure QF positions. The shutters have frame and hinge detail. The funnel bases have external trunking and a short deck house aft of the aft
funnel base. The conning tower has vision slit detail. The ventilator structure has the door detail for the doors that were opened to get air into the machinery spaces.
Both circular searchlight platforms, one for each mast below the sighting tops show splinter shields. These positions were actually open with railing covered by
canvas dodgers. Most of the time, as they did with these platforms,
Combrig portrays the canvas covered rails as solid splinter shields. My inclination here, as well
as elsewhere, is to cut off the solid shielding and use brass railing covered by tissue or fabric to represent the canvas dodgers.

The second sheet has the flying deck with the 03/04 levels of forward and aft superstructures. The forward superstructure has some portholes but also the same QF
shutters with the same detail as found on the 01/02 aft superstructure base. Both fore and aft on this flying deck are access coamings for inclined ladders connecting
the main deck to the flying deck. Also found on the flying deck are openings for the funnels, locater holes for the masts’ legs, locater outlines for deck winch
machinery, locater lines for one deck house, and locater holes for open QF guns. The solid splinter shielding was present on this deck to protect the QF gun crews
and the inside of this shielding has ready ammunition lockers but without door detail. The third sheet has 20 parts of the smaller platforms. Both tops have two
pieces, the top and the overhead. There are three larger decks, which include the bridge with plank detail and incised windows for the two chart/deck houses, a
locater hole for the fore mast and two deck coamings for inclined ladders coming up from the flying deck. This part is another one in which
Combrig shows solid
splinter shielding to represent canvas covered rails. Oddly the other two platforms seem to represent the same platform for the aft search light QF guns. One has
deck planking and solid shielding to represent canvas covered railing and the other has no shielding but doesn’t have deck planking. I would use the former and
remove the shielding and substitute brass railing. In both decks there are locater holes for the tripod legs and locater holes for the QF guns. Unmistakable on this
sheet is the sternwalk. Four searchlight positions, which rest on brass photo-etch boat skid frame are present. These positions are similar but for some reason
Combrig made the forward positions one-piece and the aft positions two-piece. These are more location where Combrig has solid shields to represent canvas
covered railing. The same is true with the forward navigation platform, which is on a brass frame above the conning tower with an even higher binnacle platform on
its front face. No photo-etch inclined ladder is shown in the instructions leading from the navigation platform to the higher binnacle platform but that is easy to
supply. Two other platforms are included. One is a platform that was on the front face of the bridge. It was higher than the bridge level and rests on brass support
gussets. This platform has plank detail but again shows solid shields to portray canvas covered railing. The instructions don’t show inclined ladders connecting the
bridge deck to this platform but they were there as shown on the A. D. Baker plan. If at all possible, consult the A. D. Baker plan and profile for the details of
platform locations on
Agamemnon. You can’t go by the Lord Nelson plan and profile in the Combrig instructions. The other platform was to the fore of the main
mast. It is open so there is no splinter shielding to remove and has a ammunition locker for the QF open guns found on the platform to the rear of the main mast.
The Combrig Agamemnon comes with 22 resin runners with the smaller parts, although 10 of these runners have one ship’s boat per runner. The main 12-inch
guns are well cast. There is no warp and they have good band detail, muzzle flare and open muzzles, which is always appreciated on resin or plastic gun barrels. The
exact same statement can be made about the 9.2-inch guns, which are on a separate runner. Two other runners have the armament with the open QF guns for the
superstructure. Each of these runners has ten QF two-piece guns. One part is the pedestal with cradle and base plate detail and the other parts is the block and barrel
with excellent block and recoil cylinder detail. A fourth runner concludes the armament with barrels for the shuttered QF superstructure positions, and with the turret
crown QF guns with separate pedestals and gun/breech block parts. Also on this runner are mushroom ventilators in two different patterns. Underwater running gear
for the full hull kit has parts for the propeller shaft struts and the rudder. You’ll have to use brass or plastic rod for the shafts themselves. Another runner has four
detailed anchors, six windlasses in two different patterns and four navigation parts of navigation equipment, including binocular pedestals and binnacle. The four deck
winches attached to the flying deck are on one runner and have outstanding detail. Eight detailed searchlights are on a runner. One runner has 10 low mushroom
ventilators, signal lamp and eight cable reels of two different patterns. Twelve boat davits in two sizes are on a runner for the side boats not on the brass skid. Two
balsa rafts share a runner. The ship’s boats, one per runner, include two large and one medium steam launches with separate funnel. The detail includes incised
windows, skylights, coal scuttles, access hatch and ventilators. The oared boats include one very large whaler, four medium size boats with flat transoms in two
different patterns, and two medium size boats with tapered sterns. All of the oared boats have bottom planking and thwart detail. All mast legs and spars will have to
be cut from brass or plastic rods. The instructions provide a template of what will be needed in lengths and circumferences.

The brass fret in the
Agamemnon is the same as in the Lord Nelson kit, as it states Lord Nelson 1/350. Most of the brass parts are shared in common but not all.
The fret has a five sided, open back chart house that is only used for
Lord Nelson. The forward face extension of the bridge was open for Agamemnon but had this
chart house for
Lord Nelson. A full 60% of the fret is taken up by a large boat skid frame that fits above the flying deck really creating a piled up appearance.
Separate boat chocks are then attached to the skids on this frame. The sternwalk awning and ornate railing with awning stanchions decorate the stern. There are
quite a number of gussets to support the tops and the numerous platforms of
Agamemnon. Most have weight saving voids but sole are solid. Different frames are
also provided such as the frame support above the conning tower that supports the navigation platform. Other specific parts are the funnel cap grates, boom
brackets, block and tackle, ship’s wheel and a bar with support legs in front of the forward main gun in the position normally occupied by a breakwater. This same
type of bar is included for attachment aft of the rear main gun turret, at a location that would not have a breakwater. Generic parts include anchor chain, inclined
ladders and vertical ladders. The inclined ladders have safety railing but have rungs instead on treads. Since you’ll need some shorter inclined ladders that are not
included in this fret, I recommend in replacing all inclined ladders with photo-etch that has trainable treads as well as safety railing. You will also need deck railing, as
it is not included in the fret.

The instructions are in the old style
Combrig format. They consist of four pages printed only on one side. The first page has a plan and profile that appears to be the
same plan for
Lord Nelson in the Burt reference. However, some changes were made as the profile in the bridge area for the forward extension shows it open, which
is correct for
Agamemnon, as opposed to the Burt profile, which shows the open back chart house at this location. However, your best source for plan and profile
is the one mentioned by A. D. Baker III. The profile in the instructions also shows rigging and the torpedo net system with net and booms. The net shelves would
obviously be under and supporting the nets. Remember that the
Agamemnon had this system throughout the war and excluding it would be a significant error. Also
on the first page is a history written in Russian, and ship’s specifications in English. Page two has a resin parts laydown. Page three has a photo-etch laydown,
masts/spars template, and insets on underwater running gear assembly, 3pdr QF assembly and placement on the turret crowns. Page four is actual assembly. It is
insufficient and references should be used to assist. However, it does show
Agamemnon assembly and not that of Lord Nelson.
The Combrig HMS Agamemnon has its flaws, especially the lack of a torpedo net system, which was carried for the entire war; However, this kit can be built into
a very attractive model of what has been described as an ugly ship. How can any design with eight major gun turrets, flying deck with boat skid frame above that and
a plethora of platforms be described as ugly? In the United States the
Combrig HMS Agamemnon,as well as the other Combrig models, can be purchased from
Free Time Hobbies.
Steve Backer