“During the lull we  came out of the turrets to get some fresh air and there, floating around us, was a whole mass of bodies and debris – some of our sailors were cheering because they thought that they were Germans, but unfortunately they
were from the Invincible. It was a terrible experience and my first experience of death
.” Midshipman on HMS Bellerophon about the Battle of Jutland. (Jutland, The Unfinished Battle, at page 189, by Nicholas Jellicoe (grandson of Sir John Jellicoe
of Jutland, son of George Jellicoe last First Lord of the Admiralty), Seaforth Publishing 2016)

HMS Dreadnought was a revolutionary design, but not for the reasons most people assume. Her all big gun main armament was evolutionary, not revolutionary. Prior to Dreadnought, battleship secondary guns had been increasing in size with each
new design. This made it very difficult to distinguish the splash of a big gun shell from that of  secondary armament, a crucial factor in an era of visual range-finding. Adding impetus to the all big gun trend was the Battle of Tsushima during the Russo-
Japanese War. Effective firing started far in excess of what was then thought to be effective battle range. And the effects of a single 12" shell hit were observed to be far more devastating than numerous secondary caliber strikes. These developments
focused attention on the importance of big gun armament. The Royal Navy was not the first navy to gain authorization of an all big gun battleship. The
1905-1906 Jane’s Fighting Ships states in the Progress of Construction section, "To the United
States belongs the credit of being the first nation to sanction that battleship with a uniform armament of big guns which ever since Colonel Cuniberti’s article on ‘The Ideal Battleship,’ in the 1903 ‘Fighting Ships’ has hovered on the horizon of
the building programmes of most naval powers.
" The trend to the all big gun battleship was already present and its appearance inevitable.
The real impact of HMS Dreadnought was her propulsion system. Until Dreadnought, major warships of all nations used the triple expansion reciprocating steam engine. It had a limited top end so that the maximum speed for a battleship was around
18 knots. At this speed the huge rods and pistons of the engine caused tremendous vibration throughout the ship. The vibration greatly interfered with accurate spotting from the optical rangefinders then in use. Additionally, reciprocating machinery
broke down with increased frequency when run near its limits. A high-speed run of any duration was likely to result in the ship sitting in harbor for days or making repairs to damaged parts. The Royal Navy, in an inspired leap of faith, adopted the
Parsons turbine for Dreadnought, used only in small ships prior to this time. The turbine was an overwhelming success. Its advantages over reciprocating machinery were enormous. The top speed at 21 knots was at least three knots higher than that of
previous first class battleships, maintenance time was greatly reduced, and the lack of the vibration allowed for accurate range finding at much greater ranges.
Dreadnought burst on the world stage, seemingly out of nowhere. She was laid down on
October 2, 1905, launched February 10, 1906 and commissioned September 1, 1906. Eleven months from her keel laying to commissioning, a record never since broken by any other big ship. The speed of construction was a deliberate attempt by the
Royal Navy to demonstrate its construction and design capabilities to would-be naval powers. The building materials were pre-stocked at the building site, multiple work-shifts labored around the clock, and the First Lord of the Admiralty, the legendary
Jacky Fisher, saw to it that nothing interfered with
Dreadnought’s construction.

In the meantime the Royal Navy did not wait for the
Dreadnought’s trials to draft further designs. While Dreadnought was rushing through her construction the question of the design of the battleships for the 1906 Program came up. Originally there
were four battleships scheduled for this year but certain politicians were afraid that four battleships might upset the neighbors and give the citizens of other countries a negative view of Great Britain and chopped one of the battleships out of the program.
It was realized that other navies would follow the example but was hoped that by reducing construction from four to three, other countries would now copy the
Dreadnought concept as quickly. Why other navies would wish to continue building
inferior ships just because there was a reduction of one ship in the building program is logic which eludes me.         
The original intention was to greatly expand the Dreadnought design to greatly increase the armor scheme, increase speed, and yet keep the armament scheme. Others, more cautious, thought this is too great of a leap forward and a more cautious
approach was adopted. Instead of designing a new super-
Dreadnought, let’s just improve on the original with an improved-Dreadnought.  The Dreadnought and the three Invincible Class battlecruisers were the four capital ships of the 1905-1906
programme. The goal was to build four capital ships were year. First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Cawdor stated, “
…build few – build fast, each improving on the last.” In the fall of 1905 the 1906-1907 programme was being considered. Lord
Cawdor envisioned a fusion of the battleship and battlecruiser with the armor of a battleship and speed of a battlecruiser, in other words a fast battleship. There was a design X4 with battleship armor, 25-knot top speed but apparently going down to
four turrets with the wing turrets placed in echelon, allowing limited cross deck fire. Triple guns were considered for the wing turrets.  The Board also considered 13.5-Inch guns but the design for that gun was still unbuilt and therefore untested.
There was no wish to gamble on an untested design. Only three Design X4 ships could be built on the funds that would build four repeats of the
Dreadnought. The Tory Party lost the November 1905 elections and the incoming Liberal Party wanted to
cut military spending to increase spending on social programs. Jacky Fisher knew that the Liberals would never buy three X4s, much less four of them. He told the government that four repeats of
Dreadnought were needed to keep ahead of the
Germans. The government reduced the number of battleships to three repeats. Thus, the early promise of a true fast battleship was stillborn to reappear years later in the form of the
Queen Elizabeth Class.

As 1905 turned into 1906 the design was being finalized. It was anticipated that there would be modifications made to the design based upon the trials of
Dreadnought.  Phillip Watts, the DNC, worked in another 700-tons of displacement over that of
Dreadnought. With this the armor scheme could be much improved. The machinery plant remained the same and with improvements in the turbines there was very little fall off in speed in spite of the additional 700-tons.  One big difference between
the ships of the 1906 program, named the
Bellerophon Class, and the Dreadnought was with the secondary guns. Admiral Fisher didn’t want to waste displacement on secondary guns so Dreadnought had only light QF guns to fend off torpedo
attacks. Extensive RN tests revealed that the light QF guns installed on
Dreadnought were completely ineffectual against even medium displacement torpedo boats, much less a destroyer. In spite of a much higher rate of fire the QF guns lacked
penetrating power and explosive force. The 4-inch gun on the other hand could stop a destroyer dead in its tracks. Accordingly, over Jacky Fisher’s objections, the design board designated that sixteen 4-Inch/45 Mk III guns be carried as secondary
armament. Since the greatest threat of torpedo attack was at night, the
Bellerophon design incorporated a rudimentary control system that tied in the 4-Inch guns, searchlights and directors into an integrated system.
Armor improvements also focused on the torpedo threat. Evaluating combat results from the Russo-Japanese War the Bellerophon added continuous armored longitudinal bulkheads for the first time on a British battleship.  The purpose was to provide
an inner security zone by localizing damage from a torpedo to the spaces on the exterior of the ship, outboard from the longitudinal bulkhead. With heavier secondary armament, the addition of a mainmast and the inclusion of the internal armor
bulkheads, even with another 700 displacement, something had to give, which a slight thinning of the external armor. With a maximum thickness of ten-inches, the main armor belt was actually thinner than the eleven-inch belt of
Dreadnought. The
dimensions of the
Bellerophon Class were almost identical with Dreadnought, as was the turret layout. The ship was 490-feet long, 82-feet 6-inches in width (6-inches more than Dreadnought) and had a draught of 27-feet (6-inches more than
Dreadnought). The greatest change in appearance over Dreadnought was the addition of a full mainmast forward of the second funnel. By moving the fore mast ahead of the first funnel a major problem of the Dreadnought was corrected. The fore
mast on
Dreadnought was aft of the funnel and as a consequence the foretop, which was the battle station of the gunnery officer, was virtually inhabitable due to the high temperature exhaust fumes and gases.

However, the positioning of the mainmast created its own problems on
Bellerophon. The two masts were very closely spaced with the main mast being located almost amidships. The exhaust fumes of the first funnel interfered with operational
effectiveness of the main top position.  The same 12-inch/45 gun model was used, as it also was with the I
nvincible battle cruiser class, but of course the secondary armament was much improved with sixteen 4-inch QF compared to Dreadnought’s
twenty four 12pdr QF. While the
Dreadnought had five submerged 18-inch torpedo tubes (1 bow and four beam), the Bellerophon Class dropped two of the beam tubes. Bellerophon was laid down at Portsmouth Dock Yard December 3, 1906 two
months after
Dreadnought was completed. Temeraire followed at Devonport Dock Yard January 1, 1907 and Superb at the Armstrong yard at Elswick on February 6.  With all three the yards were very quick in getting the ships ready for launch with
launchings in 1907,
Bellerophon July 27, Temeraire August 24 and Superb November 7. However, completion took longer than the record breaking construction time of Dreadnought. Bellerophon was completed in February 1909 with other two
being finished in May 1909. When completed the ships were fitted with experimental director controlled gunnery equipment and range indicators. However, this experiment fit was removed in 1911-1912, which was unfortunate as director controlled
gunnery proved more accurate than the previous spotting system. It wasn’t until 1914-1915 that director control was again mounted in the main top and on a platform below the fore top.
When commissioned at Portsmouth , Bellerophon became the flagship of the Nore Division of the Home Fleet, which became the First Division Home Fleet in March 1909. Fore most of the spring and summer 1909 Bellerophon was involved in either
exercises in the Atlantic of Mediterranean or in reviews, including one with the Czar of Russia, with annual maneuvers and another review in July 1910.
Bellerophon then underwent a short refit period at Portsmouth until January 1911. On May 26,
Bellerophon was entering the harbor of Portland when she collided with the battle cruiser Inflexible, however, there was no significant damage. She was certainly ready the next month for the Coronation Review for King George V on June 24,
1911. There were more exercises for
Bellerophon when she went to Devonport for another refit with less than a full year’s service from her last refit. On May 1, 1912 First Division Home Fleet was renamed First Battleship Squadron Home Fleet but
Bellerophon was still under refit. In this 1913 refit the two 4-inch guns on Bellerophon’s forward turret were moved to the superstructure above the forward pair of 4-inch guns as built. Vertical blast screens were also added behind the pairs of 4-
inch guns on the crowns of the wing turrets. Also in this time period searchlight were repositioned to concentrate them and thus make it more difficult to judge the length of the ship or its course at night.  

On April 1, 1913 the ship rejoined her squadron. On March 10, 1914
Bellerophon was transferred to the Fourth Battleship Squadron Home Fleet, as the new HMS Neptune replaced her in First Division. At the start of World War the Fourth Battleship
Squadron of the Home Fleet became the Fourth Battleship Squadron of the Grand Fleet in August 1914. On August 27, 1914
Bellerophon was involved in her second collision, this time with SS St Clair off the Orkney Islands , as the merchantman
made the unwise decision to steam through the Grand Fleet while it was under way. As with the first collision, no significant damage was sustained. The rest of the turret crown 4-inch guns, except for those on Y turret, were moved to the
superstructure, which was greatly enlarged to add a second story of 4-inch gun positions over those originally fitted.
Bellerophon underwent her third refit from May to August 1915 at Devonport. On May 31, 1916 Bellerophon was still with the
Fourth Battleship Squadron, along with
Temeraire, Vanguard and Benbow, when the Grand Fleet finally came to grips with the High Seas Fleet at the Battle of Jutland. Billy Ruffin, as her crew called Bellerophon had the distinction of being the oldest
all big gun battleship, British or German, at the battle, although the German pre-Dreadnought battleships at the battle were older.
As the twenty-four battleships of the Grand Fleet that were present for the battle steamed south, they were organized into six columns of four. The Fourth Battleship Squadron 2nd Division was one of the center columns, flanked to the port by the
column Fourth Battleship Squadron 1st Division led by the Fleet flagship,
HMS Iron Duke. The Squadron was led by the squadron flagship Benbow and Bellerophon was second, followed by Temeraire and finally Vanguard. Visibility was poor as
the battleships rushed south to surprise the High Seas Fleet, which was in pursuit of Beatty’s battle cruisers and four of the
Queen Elizabeth class fast battleships. Fourth Battleships Squadron reported, “-visibility about 5 to 6 miles…the light
becoming bad.
” At 6:14PM Beatty’s battle cruisers were sighted and Jellicoe deployed his six columns into one battle line. They deployed to port with the most eastern four ship column at the front of the battle line with each subsequent four ship
column following in behind them. This placed
Bellerophon as 14th ship in the battle line. Within minutes the German battleships became visible at a range of 12,000-yards, well within gunnery range. Bellerophon was the second battleship to sight the
Germans and opened fire, as
Agincourt was the first to do so. The target were Admiral Hipper’s battle cruisers. As Admiral Scheer reported, “It was now quite obvious that we were confronted by a large portion of the English fleet. The entire arc
stretching from north to east was a sea of fire. The flash from the muzzles of the guns was distinctly seen through the mist and smoke on the horizon, though the ships themselves were not distinguishable.
” Initially, from 19:30 to 19:45 the
Bellerophon took on the German light cruiser, Wiesbaden. During the course of the battle Bellerophon fired 62 12-inch shells and did not receive any damage.  

Bellerophon drew blood. Around 20:30 she hit the Derfflinger on the conning tower. “So far we in the armoured tower had fared very well…my train of thought was sharply interrupted. Suddenly, we seemed to hear the crack of doom. A
terrific roar, a tremendous explosion and then darkness, in which we felt a colossal blow. The whole conning tower seemed to be hurled into the air as though by the hands of some portentous giant, and then to flutter trembling into its former
position. A heavy shell had struck the fore-control about 50cm in front of me. The shell exploded, but failed to pierce the thick armour, which it had struck at an unfavourable angle, though huge pieces had been torn out. Poisonous greenish-
yellow gases poured through the apertures into our conning tower.
” (Korvettenkapitan von Hase (Skagerrak, The Battle of Jutland Through German Eyes, at page 140, by Gary Staff, Pen & Sword 2016.) As the night progress, Bellerophon,
along with the rest of the battleships of the Grand Fleet steamed south of the High Seas Fleet. They could see that something was happening to the north but didn’t realize that the gunfire in the night marked the location of Scheer’s fleet.
reported of this period, “
A cruiser on fire…searchlight beams from her turned quite red by flames….After midnight, there was intermittent firing on the port quarter, but otherwise the night passed without incident,” (Castles of Steel, at page
648, by Robert K. Massie, Random House 2003.)
Built for battle, this was it for Bellerophon as no one knew at the time that this would be the only fleet engagement of the war. From June to September 1917 she again resumed the role of flagship (2nd division) for the 4th Battle Squadron and was
present on November 21, 1918 when the High Seas Fleet steamed to internment. With the dissolution of the Grand Fleet in March 1919
Bellerophon became a turret drill ship until put in reserve at Devonport on September 25, 1919.  Oddly,
Bellerophon’s age, the ship was put in for refit from September 1919 to January 1920. As soon as she came out of her refit she was immediately marked for disposal, which clearly wasted the refit cost. However, the actual disposal
didn’t take place until 1921. As the terms of the Washington Treaty were hammered out, the ships of the
Bellerophon Class were clearly not needed, as they were the oldest dreadnoughts still remaining after the sale of HMS Dreadnought in May
1921. Placed for sale on August 14
Bellerophon was sold to Slough Trading Company on November 8, 1921. In September 1922 the ship was resold to a German company and left under tow from Portsmouth on September 14 for breaking up in

Combrig 1:700 Scale HMS Bellerophon – This spring in an e-mail to Dmitri Nedoganov of Combrig, I mentioned that Combrig had produced almost all of the British battleships through World War One. Their latest kits had been Neptune,
Colossus and Hercules. I asked when Combrig would produce the Bellerophon and St Vincent Classes. Dmitri replied “just wait”. He also mentioned that a Queen Elizabeth Class model would not be released because the Trumpeter plastic kit
would greatly hamper sales. Well, it I didn’t have to wait long because all three ships of the
Bellerophon Class and St Vincent Class showed up very quickly. Now, where is the R Class? When I attended the 2019 US IPMS National Convention in
August my first stop was
Free Time Hobbies to see what goodies they had brought to the show. Sure enough they did have all of the new Combrig kits for sale at the show. I wound up buying the Combrig HMS Bellerophon and HMS Colossus
and here is the
The Combrig Bellerophon is a very fine kit. The casting quality is excellent. The hull is loaded with fine detail. One of the first things that struck me were the torpedo net shelves, which had been present on British battleship designs well before
World War One. Even though the torpedo nets and booms were removed after the war started and well before the Battle of Jutland, the shelves remained on the ship. I found that the net shelves on the
Bellerophon kit were extraordinary. They were
thin and readily apparent with very apparent ends. There is a nice overhang of the shelves over the hull sides. The armored belt runs the length of the hull with a drop down on either side of Y turret. There are five vertical strakes on each side of the
hull and they have different locations from the starboard side to the port side. These strakes don’t appear on the R.A. Burt profile of
Bellerophon in his British Battleships of World War One. However, they are in all of the photographs. Instead of
solid strakes, they appear to be waste water discharge chutes. Most photographs show heavier weathering at the end of the chutes. The armored plate over the wing turret bases is very crisp with bottom shelves. The hull anchor hawse are well done
with an oval shape, one on the starboard bow and two on the port. A series of square window shutters are set along the bottom of the forecastle and main deck. The sides of the forecastle also have doors with portholes and hinge detail. The none
armored sides of the hull have two rows of porthole detail. Also, along the hull
Combrig provides locater holes for the net booms.

There is enough deck detail for anyone. As found with other
Combrig kits there is fine wood planking lines but with no butt ends. In front of the breakwater, the forecastle deck has three prominent oval anchor hawse fittings with open chocks at
deck edge in front of the hawse. Behind the hawse on centerline is the base plate for a windlass with single bollards on each corner of the plate. Two more single bollards are between the hawse and windlass plate and a third offset to port. The
detailed fittings for the chain locker are behind the plate and behind them are three raised plates. The centerline plate is oval in shape and has two locater holes, the forward one for a windlass and the aft one for a medium sized dome ventilator. On
each side of this fitting are horseshoe shaped plates, each of which has a locater hole for a windlass. A large six hatch deck access fitting is to the rear with hinge detail for the hatches. Other detail in front of the breakwater is a centerline fitting with
what appears to be ventilator doors and a twin bollard fitting to starboard. The breakwater has gusset detail on its rear face. Between the breakwater and A turret barbette is another large deck access fitting, this time with eight hatches, Also found
here are two small dome ventilators and locater holes for a medium and a small mushroom ventilators. The aft end of the forecastle is the locater drop for the forward superstructure with a single deck access fitting to starboard and ready ammunition
lockers at deck edge.
The main deck and quarterdeck are at the same level and runs from on either side of the anchor hawse plates to the stern tip. One either side of the forecastle are an open chock and twin bollard fitting and the start of the numerous circular coal
scuttle plates. On the net shelve on each side are locater holes for deck edge boat davits. I suggest attaching these davits before attaching what you wish to use as the rolled net itself.
Combrig does not provide a rolled net. Near the end of the
forecastle and running diagonally to the net shelves just in front of the wing turret barbettes are locater lines for brass breakwaters. Aft of these breakwater lines the amidships portion of the deck is relatively free of equipment and fittings. You do
have three barbettes, P, Q and X. The deck has a multitude of coal scuttles and along the centerline are location lines for the forecastle for superstructure and stacks. Deck fittings pick up clustered around X barbette with three different patterns of
deck access hatches, lockers and locater holes for mushroom ventilators. Between X and Y barbettes there is another cluster of details. The largest is a sixteen hatch machinery space ventilation fitting. The locater outline for the short aft
superstructure, more deck access fittings and locater holes for large mushroom ventilators lead to Y barbette. At deck edge are open chocks, twin bollards and locater holes on the net shelf for aft boat positions. The quarterdeck from Y barbette to
the stern concludes with the last coal scuttle, more deck access fittings, lockers around the barbette, deck edge open chocks and twin bollards, and locater holes for mushroom ventilators, aft windlass, and flagstaff. There are also locater lines for
cable reels.

With the
Bellerophon Combrig has only the turrets cast separately on short casting plugs. The bottom of the plugs need to be sanded so the turrets fit flush with the barbettes. Three nice cupolas are at the front of the crown on each turret. The
turrets have the correct form but are not perfect. The Burt plan and profile, as well as photographs show a small cupola on the aft crown of the turret that is missing from the
Combrig turrets. There are shallow depressions that run lengthwise at
the junction of the armor plates on the crown and serve as the attachment point for brass gun platforms.. The turret mounted 4-Inch guns are at the forward end of these depressions. The front face has nicely done U-shaped gun openings,
sufficiently deep as to provide secure attachment of the gun barrels. All five turret castings are identical. The castings are crisp and clean without any casting blemishes.
There are two sheets of parts with this kit. The larger of the two concentrates on superstructure parts. There are only five parts on the larger sheet but two of the parts are rather large. One is the continuation of the forecastle level from the end of
the forecastle on the hull casting to end just forward of X barbette and fits inside the locater lines on the hull deck. Since the bottom attaches to the hull and another level attaches to the top of this part, detail is only on the bulkheads. This detail are
doors, lockers and port holes. Both the doors and lockers have nice hinge detail. The other part is the largest on the sheet and has the 01 level and 02-03 levels if you include the conning tower. This is a very fine part with three superstructure 4-Inch
gun positions on each side. You’ll have to remove the thin film covering the gun openings but this is easily done with a hobby knife. The two forward positions on each side have clean inset lines to allow the guns to fire slightly forward or slightly
aft. Another nice feature are the three gun shutters on two sides of the forward face. These are enclosed 4-Inch positions with a barrel locater hole in each forward shutter for the barrel. Side detail also has port hole detail on the 02 level. The
forward part has the closed base of the bridge with an inclined ladder leading from the 01 deck to the forecastle deck aft. The two level conning tower is on the forward face and there are locater holes for the legs of the forward tripod. Lockers are
found on the aft face of this base. On the aft portion of this part is the stack house for the aft stack with locater depression for the stack itself and locater holes for the side aft tripod legs. Forward of this is a deck house on centerline and a deck
house integral to the bulkhead on each side. An ammunition locker is on port side deck house. Two square ventilator fittings are in front of the centerline deck house. There are also centerline locater depressions for the forward stack base and two
deck winches aft of the stack base position. The other three parts on the sheet are two levels of forward stack base and the aft superstructure. This small aft superstructure is about two and a half levels and has ventilation hatches on the deck, the
locater hole for a stump mast, as well as locater lines for two more deck winches. The second sheet has mostly platforms. This sheet has 13 parts, three of which are for the bridge structure. These include the bridge, which will have a photo-etch
open window forward face and locater holes for navigation equipment. There is also a locater depression for the chart house and a locater hole for the center leg of the forward tripod. The other two decks for the bridge are different navigation
decks. The correct deck for
Bellerophon is the one with the curved forward face. The other with an angular face are apparently used on one or both of the sistership kits. The navigation deck has a locater hole for a binnacle forward and a hole for
the center tripod leg. On the port quarter is an inclined ladder platform that overhangs the deck below. Other parts on this sheet include the tripod control positions with separate overheads, the aft navigation platform, and three tripod platforms.
There is a fourth tripod platform but is apparently used on a sistership kit.

There are 24 runners of parts. The largest parts are found on one runner and includes both stacks, chart house and an aft conning tower. Both stacks have nice top aprons and the shorter forward stack also has a base apron. The aft conning tower,
which fits on the aft end of a brass flying boat deck, has all-around vision slits. The chart house has incised square window detail. Three of the runners have barrels. The main gun barrels are on one of these and have hollow muzzles. The open 4-
Inch guns are on a runner and each gun has two parts, the cradle mount and breech block/barrel. There was a slight warp to a few of these barrels and one had a broken barrel. These, however, can be easily fixed. The third runner has the barrels
for the two enclosed 4-inch gun positions and fit inside the locater holes for the forward gun shutter of the superstructure. The other parts on this runner are cable reels, navigation equipment and two dinghies. Searchlights occupy one runner.
Another runner has two smaller searchlights, a signal lamp, small deck houses, large mushroom ventilators, a windlass and the tops of the center tripods. Another runner has four smaller windlasses. The center of the starfish platforms are on a
runner shared with two small winches, a small cable reel rectangular ventilators and some platforms. Two large deck winches are on a runner. Mushroom ventilators in four different sizes have their own long runner. One runner the base fittings for
the net booms and a well detailed boat boom is on its own runner. The other non-boat runners have the detailed anchors and boat davits. The last ten runners have only ship’s boats and launches. Nine of the runners have only one boat. You get two
steam launches with very good cabin and deck detail and separate stacks. For the open boats there is one large whaler, seven medium size boats in four patterns and another dinghy. The open boats feature bottom planking and thwart detail and two
have oars.
The kit comes with a comprehensive mid-sized brass photo-etch fret. By far the largest brass part is the flying boat deck, which attaches to the top of the resin superstructure. There are holes for aft stack, side tripod legs, inclined ladder openings
and searchlight locater depressions. The rows of boat cradles and support girders are separate parts. There are two levels for a very nice short lattice tower for the aft navigation position that rests atop the aft superstructure. Other parts for the aft
superstructure are a searchlight platform, stream anchors, and a vertical ladder running from the searchlight platform to the aft navigation position.  The bridge gets the bridge face, ship’s wheel, map table for the navigation platform, navigation
platform braces, bridge deck supports, and inclined ladders. The tripods get brass starfish arms, pulleys and fittings, boat boom fitting with boom pulleys, and control top bases. Four of the turrets get 4-inch gun platforms and a vertical ladder for
the front face between the gun barrels. X turret doesn’t get the 4-inch guns or platforms but does get the vertical ladder. Other brass parts are the main deck breakwaters, anchor chain, stern platform, stack grates/clinker screens, signal arms,
accommodation rails, small platforms and various vertical and inclined ladders. There are eight long runs of two bar railing and one run of one bar rails. Both types have a bottom scupper for attachment to the decks.

The instructions are eleven pages long and identify each resin and brass part attachment location with a number for the part. Page one is the standard scale profile and plan with ship’s history and specifications in English. This helps in assembly and
supplies a guide on rigging. Page two is the resin parts laydown. Page three has the brass parts laydown and a template for cutting masts, topmasts, yardarms, steam pipes and torpedo net booms from plastic or brass rods supplied by the modeler.
Page four starts the actual assembly with hull deck fittings. The four resin runners used on this step are shown and each part is numbered on the runner drawings to correspond with the same number shown for attachment of that part. This is
NEW with Combrig instructions. This numbering was not present on the HMS Neptune or Novorossiisk instructions that were released earlier in 2019. This adds greatly in identifying the correct part and should speed up and ease assembly.
THANK YOU COMBRIG! Page five has more deck fittings and equipment attachment with four numbered drawings of the runners used. Page six has superstructure base, boat booms and ladder attachment. Page seven covers turret and mast
assembly. Page eight covers upper superstructure assembly. Page eight finishes with the superstructure, stacks, and tripod attachment, as well as assembling the bridge and aft superstructure. Page ten has final assembly of attachment of major
subassemblies and a handful of other parts as well as insets on accommodation ladder assembly. The last page shows a drawing of the fully assembled model.
The Combrig 1:700 scale HMS Bellerophon kit provides the ingredients for a beautiful model of the follow up of HMS Dreadnought. Although a near repeat of Dreadnought, the Bellerophon with two tripods mounted in front of the stacks,
provides a more imposing and graceful profile. With this kit
Combrig also significantly improved their instructions.
Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama