The German ships are being built, and being built fast; moreover, unless reports are wholly at fault, they will be quite equal, if not superior, to anythingg yet begun in England. It is hoped that the Admiralty will not wait too long, because the
progress Germany is making is most serious and it can no longer be contended that the German programmes are failing to materialize.
” The Standard 1908, British Battleships of World War One at page 117, R. A. Burt,Arms and Armour
Press 1986. “
Mr. Asquith is stillhammering at the wheeze about the mysterious new German Dreadnoughts of the 1908 programme as an excuse for not building further British Dreadnoughts. The exact cost of obtaining thaqt information for
the latest edition of Jane’s Fighting Ships is £4 7s 2 3/4d., and the Government, the Naval Intelligence Department, or anyone else, could have got it. They are perfectly aware of the new German Dreadnoughts.’ He concluded: ‘ Either we have
to be absolutely supreme at sea or no middle way        ‘, and asked whether Mr Asquith begrudged paying £4 7s 2 3/4d for the country. ‘We should’ he said, ‘sleep more quietly in our beds if some other Party were at the helm
.” Fred Jane. At
page 89,
British Battleships of World War One at page 117, R. A. Burt,Arms and Armour Press 1986.

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 range finders 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.  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 Jackie 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-inchs 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 Invincible 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. The Admiralty was very busy in 1907. Not only were the three ships of the
Bellerophon Class being launched but also the next battleship design
was worked up in the middle of the year. The Admiralty had the jitters about the battleship construction in Germany. Not only that but even the laying down of the
USS Michigan and USS South Carolina worried them, even though the United
States was not considered a likely foe. To ensure that the fleet would maintain a significant lead in battleships, the plan called for the building of four battleships to the new design. This would supply eight homogeneous battleships, the three
Bellerophons with Dreadnought and the four new ships. The design for the new class was quickly prepared by a simple reworking of the Bellerophon design.  However, funds were only allocated for three ships. This new design (sort of) would
be called the
St. Vincent Class.
The St. Vincent design was slightly larger than that of the Bellerophon with the addition of ten feet in length and an increase in the beam of 1-foot 6-inches. The displacement increased by 650-tons. Two additional 4-inch guns were carried because
of the greater length. On August 13, 1907 the names were selected of
St. Vincent, Collingwood and Vanguard. The fourth ship was to be named Foudroyant but the plan to build that ship was cancelled. A bid by Vickers was accepted and that
company drew up the plans. The greatest change was to use the Mk XI 12-inch/50 instead of the previous Mk X 12-inch/45 gun. The new gun did have a longer range but the higher velocity made the guns less accurate than the previous model and
wore out the barrel linings much faster. There were other minor changes and speed was increased by 1/4-knot. In 1908, during construction it was suggested to mount 13.5-inch guns on the ships but this idea was vetoed by First Sea Lord, Jackie
Fisher, who thought it would take too long to develop the ordnance.
St. Vincent was laid down at Portsmouth Dockyard on December 30, 1907, Collingwood at the Devonport Dockyard on February 3, 1908 and Vanguard at Vickers on April 2,
St. Vincent completed in May 1909 and the other two in srping 1910.

The 1908 Estimates provided for a single battleship, designated K2 since the name
Foudroyant had been discarded. The design for this ship was based on an enlarged St. Vincent but DNC Philip Watts made a radical departure from the previous
dreadnought battleships. In 1907 the USN
Delaware Class and Brazilian Minas Geraes called for ten gun broadsides of their 12-inch guns. The Royal Navy needed to stay current with the latest foreign designs. In the new Watts’ design the fourth
turret was superimposed over the last turret at the stern. The superimposed turret was placed aft instead of forward because a forward placement would have significantly the seakeeping quality of the ship and end on fire was never contemplated.
Flying boat decks linked the forward superstructure with forward funnel with the superstructure around the aft funnel and a second flying boat deck linked the aft funnel superstructure to the rear superstructure. In theory the beam 12-inch guns
could fire through the openings created, underneath the flying boat decks, to provide a ten gun salvo. In reality it would require almost perfect conditions to allow this, otherwise the fire of the beam turrets would cause extensive blast damage to the
superstructure, not to mention the deck. The superimposed turret could not fire directly aft because British turret design placed the turret cupolas of the gun and turret commanders at the forward edge of the turret crown and firing directly astern of
the fourth turret would concuss the occupants of the cupolas of the fifth turret. Length, beam and displacement again increased by 10-feet in length, 1-foot in beam and another 650-tons in displacement. The aft tripod was moved aft to a aft
superstructure instead of being located forward of the aft funnel as in the
St. Vincent. Admiral Fisher made sure that there was total secrecy over the construction of this new battleship and made the press made some spectacular errors in guessing
about the ship’s characteristics. Some of them were that the ship would carry 13.5-inch guns, would not have funnels because it would use gas powered engines, that although rumored to have a superimposed turret aft that could not be possible
because the Royal Navy had never concentrated fire aft and in any event the superimposed turret could not fire directly aft. At least they got the last statement correct. The new ship was to be named
HMS Neptune.
Neptune was laid down January 19, 1909 at the Portsmouth Dockyard. She was launched on September 30, 1909 and completed in January 1911. Displacement was 19,680-tons standard and 23,123-tons full load. Dimensions were 546-feet overall (541-
feet 1.5-inches at waterline and 510-feet 1-inch between perpendicular bulkheads), beam of 85-feet 1/2-inch, and draught of 24-feet forward, 28.5-feet aft. Armament consisted of ten Mk XI 12-inch/50 main guns, twelve Mk VII 4-inch secondary guns,
one 12pdr, four 3pdr saluting guns, five Maxim machine guns and three 18-inch torpedo tubes. Unlike the previous classes, no secondary guns were placed on turret crowns. The armor scheme had a belt of from 10-inches to 8-inches, end bulkheads of
7-inches to 2.5-inches, barbettes from 10-inches to 5-inches, turrets from 11-inches to 8-inches, conning tower from 11-inches to 8-inches, and two armored decks with a maximum thickness of 1.75-inches for the main deck and 3-inches for the lower
armored deck. The power plant had 18 Yarrow boilers supplying steam for four Parsons turbines for the four shafts. They developed 25,000shp for a maximum speed of 21-knots. Each boiler also had three oiler sprayers to increase the boiling power of
each. Neptune was also the first British battleship to be completed with a main gun fire director and armor to the funnel uptakes.        

In addition to
Neptune the 1908 Estimates included one battlecruiser, the Indefatigable. Fortunately for the Royal Navy the Commonwealth of New Zealand bought another of the class and gave it to the Royal Navy. Australia bought a third of the Class
as the nucleus for the Royal Australian Navy. Thus four capital ships were ordered in spite of the penny pinching government cutbacks. However, the public was not mollified. Reports were coming out of Gernany that the High Seas Fleet was expanding
dramatically and German yards were credited with all sorts of miracles. For the 1909 Estmates the Government was originally going back to orders for four new battleships. However, the Admiralty insisted that six battleships were needed to keep up
with the Germans. Public outcry for greater naval expenditure, which jarred the Goverment into a historic compromise. Instead of four or six battleships, eight battleships would be ordered for the 1909 Estimates, the greatest capital ship building program
seen by the Royal Navy.  The public cry was “
We want eight and we won’t wait.” The next class of battleships to be built were intended to carry 13.5-Inch guns but this design (Orion Class) wasn’t quite ready when the Government rushed into eight
battleship programme. This resulted in a two ship class based on a reworked
Neptune design, although it was too late to have the Neptune follow the new design.

Design K5 to become
Colossus and Hercules, was a reworked Neptune but had improvements. The hull lines were slightly improved, armor was increased, secondary guns were concentrated forward with a second grouping in the aft superstructure,
there were three engine rooms instead of two with two of them discharging through the forward stack greatly increasing the smoke and heat vented through the forward stack, and deleted the aft tripod and moved the foremast aft of the forward stack.
The Admiralty already knew of the mistake made in Dreadnought of having the foremast behind the forward funnel. Why did they repeat it. It may be considered a combination of bad judgment and penny-pinching. There was a debate of the value of
control/spotting tops located high on top of tripods or locate the spotter positions on the superstructure. The Admiralty thought that there would be two phases in a gunnery action. The first would be the initial sighting of the enemy and navigation to
close. Clearly fire control located in a high position would be of significant benefit in this phase. However, the second phase would be the main action at much closer range. It was considered that fire control positions in the superstructure would be better
in this phase because it would be closer to the guns with better communication and better sighting conditions. There was a fear that one hit on a tripod would bring it down or that communications between the control top on the tripod and the turrets
could be easily severed resulting in only local control for the turrets. Also it was recognized that smoke would more likely interfere with a high control position and less likely with one in the superstructure. The penny pinchers liked that they could use the
foremast as the anchor for a boat boom and eliminate the mainmast tripod, saving money and weight. It was a poor decision.
The Colossus was laid down on July 8, 1909, six months after Neptune was laid down at Scotts yard. She was launched April 9, 1910 and completed in July 1911. Hercules was right behind her, having been laid down at Palmers on July 30, 1909,
launched on May 10, 1910 and completed in August 1911. Scotts and Palmers were not traditional British battleship builders but the more traditional yards were taken up with other ships in this huge construction program. They had the same length and
beam as
Neptune, 510-feet in length between perpendicular bulkheads, 541-feet 6-inches waterline and 545-feet 9-inches overall. Beam was  86-feet 8-inches, but the draught of 28-feet 9-inches (29-feet 5-inches deep) was 3 inches deeper than
Neptune due to the increased displacement. Displacement was 20,225-tons (load) (23,266 deep) compared to the Neptune’s 19,680-tons (load). Gun armament was the same as Neptune with ten 12-Inch/50 arranged in five twin gun turrets and sixteen
4-Inch/50 QF guns. However, the turret arrangement was slightly different from
Neptune. The two amidships wing turrets, P & Q, were moved closer together, resulting in a smaller stack base for the rear stack. Instead of being equiped with three 18-
Inch torpedo tubes, the
Colossus Class carried three 21-Inch torpedo tubes, two broadside and one stern tubes. The Colossus carried her 4-Inch guns behind shutters, while Hercules had armored shields on her 4-Inch guns.

Probably the greatest benefit of the
Colossus design over that of Neptune was an improved armor scheme. Colossus carried an 11-Inch belt tapering to 7-Inch at the ends, compared to the 10-Inch belt tapering to 2.5-Inches at the ends of Neptune.
Barbettes had a maximum of 11-Inches of armor compared to the 9-Inches of
Neptune. Turret and conning tower armor had a maximum of 11-Inches, the same as Neptune. The Colossus improved the armored decks with 4-Inch and 1.5-Inch
armored decks, compared to 3-Inch and .75-Inch armored decks in
Neptune. As with Neptune the ships had four Parsons turbines powered by 18 boilers (Babcock for Colossus and Yarrow for Hercules and Neptune). The plant developed 25,000hp
for a top speed of 21-knots.                
The forward stack had to be raised because of smoke interference with the bridge but this directed all of the smoke and heat of the stack right into the control top, making it inhabitable at speed. On August 8, 1911 the Colossus was commissioned as part
of the 2nd Division of the Home Fleet. In 1911 a prominent compass platform was added atop the aft superstructure. On May 1, 1912 the Fleet was reorganized with
Colossus becoming part of the 2nd Battle Squadron 1st Fleet. That autumn, when
Hercules underwent a refit, Colossus became temporary flagship of the 2nd Battle Squadron and flag for 2nd in command of 1st Fleet. In 1912 the Colossus had one red band painted low on each stack. At the end of the year Colossus was transferred to
the 1st Battle Squadron. In 1912-1913 the
Colossus had her foretop rebuilt. She also rearranged her searchlights. Two pairs of searchlights were removed from the bridge and another two pairs from the aft superstructure. These were remounted on
platforms over the forward superstructure. In the 1913-early 1914 period small control positions were added to the base of each tripod leg, forward searchlights were rearranged and the red stack bands were painted out.

When World War One erupted
Colossus was with the 1st Battle Squadron. Late in 1914 and into 1915 the main gun director was removed from the foretop and mounted on its own platform just beneath the foretop. The aft flying boat deck and aft
compass platforms were removed. Two 3-Inch antiaircraft guns were mounted, one on a platform over the aft superstructure and the other one at the aft quarterdeck. The topmast was reduced in height and wireless poles were added to stump derricks
on the aft superstructure. In November 1915
Colossus became flagship of the 2nd Fleet and 1st Battle Squadron. As 1915 turned to 1916 Colossus had two pairs of bridge searchlights moved to the aft superstructure and landed her torpedo nets and

At the Battle of Jutland on May 31, 1916
Colossus was again flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron. She sighted the High Seas Fleet at 17:51 and opened fire at SMS Wiesbaden at 18:30 at the range of 9,700 yards. By 19:00 she had shifted fire to the
German battlecruisers and fired for twenty minutes at a range of 8,400 to 10,000 yards. She fired five or six salvos at
Derfflinger and scored several hits. At 19:16 Colossus was hit by two heavy shells with a third a near miss, bursting 30 yards from A
turret. The hits were on the forward superstructure but one didn’t explode. They produced only light damage. “
Splinters penetrated... unarmoured parts of the ship in about 20 places,’her captain reported after the battle. Two men were wounded in
the foretop and three at a 4-inch gun post. The most serious harm was done to a seaman manning a range finder on the foretop; his right arm was practically severed by a steel splinter. His life was saved by a marine captain who stopped the
bleeding with a tourniquet; the arm was later was amputated at the shoulder. Remarkably, these five men wounded were the only gunfire casualties suffered by Grand Fleet dreadnoughts during the Battle of Jutland.
”( Castles of Steel at page
627, by Robert K. Massie Random House2003.)
Colossus was the only British battleship other than the of the Queen Elizabeth Class,  hit by a heavy shell during the battle. Shortly afterwards she evaded three torpedoes. At 23:30 she lightly scrapped
bottom damaging both starboard and port propellers. During the battle
Colossus did fire the wing turret on the disengaged side across the open deck. This caused severe strain to the framing and deck supports.
After Jutland Colossus was transferred to the 4th Battle Squadron where she remained for the rest of the war. By April 1917 4-inch guns in the aft superstructure were removed and 50-tons of additional armor was added. She underwent a refit from
June to September 1917. In 1917
Colossus landed four 4-Inch. In the 1917 to 1918 time period her control top was enlarged, range finder clocks were added to the forward and aft superstructure, deflection scales were painted on A and X turrets, and
the stern torpedo tube was landed. Also in this period coffee box searchlight towers were added to the rear of the second stack, and 24-Inch searchlight were replaced by 36-Inch searchlights. On November 21, 1918
Colossus was in the southern line
at the surrender of the High Seas Fleet.

In January 1919
Colossus became the flagship of the temporary Reserve Fleet. She remained in the Reserve Fleet for the next two years. On September 22, 1921  Colossus was commissioned as the cadet’s training ship at Devonport and painted in
Victorian livery of black hull, white line at the waterline and light gray upperworks. Her AA guns, some 4-Inch surface fire guns and some searchlights  were landed. To adhere to the Washington Naval Treaty some of her machinery was removed. In
July 1923 she was employed as a hulk attached to
HMS Impregnable training establishment. She lasted with the training establishment until August 1927. On February 23, 1928 Colossus was paid off and in August sold to Charlestown Shipbreaking
Industries at Rosyth. Under tow she left Devonport on August 25 and reached Charlestown on September 5, 1928 to be converted to scrap.
The Combrig 1:700 Scale HMS Colossus - I am certainly very happy to see the Neptune, Colossus and Hercules in 1:700 scale from Combrig. As the first British battleships to carry superfiring main gun turrets and retaining wing turrets placed in
echelon, the trio certainly presents a different appearance from the earlier ships with a
Dreadnought turret arrangement and the later ships whose turrets were all centerline. The hull casting certainly reflects the differences between the Neptune and
Colossus classes. The deck fittings arrangement is different and most importantly, the amidships’ superstructure is smaller and the wing turrets are closer together. When I attended the 2019 US IPMS National Convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee,
I was happy to see that
Free Time Hobbies had brought all of the new Combrig models to the show. I eagerly purchased the Colossus, along with the Bellerophon, from Free Time at the show. As with their models of HMS Bellerophon and HMS
, Combrig has scored a touchdown with their model of HMS Colossus. Since I have not seen the Combrig model of HMS Hercules, I don’t know of differences between the Combrig castings of Colossus and Hercules.

The hull casting is up to the crisp, clean
Combrig standard. Hull side detail starts with the knife edge cutwater. The two hull anchor hawse fittings on the starboard side and one on the port side are a slanted oval in shape. The openings for the
anchors could have been deeper.
Combrig produces an especially hard resin that takes some time to drill. The armor belt, stretching from below the anchor hawse to almost the stern, is crisply defined. So too is the additional armor plating over the
wing turret barbettes. Also clearly defined are vertical hull strakes, two on the starboard hull and three on the port hull. As I mentioned in my review of the
Combrig Bellerophon, I think that these are waste water chutes. Other hull side detail
includes two rows of portholes at bow and stern, a single row of portholes with shutters for square windows interspersed amidships. Locater holes for the net booms are provided. Lastly, portholes, square window shutters and double doors line the
sides of the bulkheads where the forecastle turns inward from the hull sides to end aft of the forward superstructure. The doors and window shutters have excellent hinge detail.
The deck fittings and detail are of the same high quality and detail as other recent Combrig kits. The forecastle flares out behind the cutwater at deck edge closed chocks and then cuts inward from the hull sides until it ends aft of the forward
superstructure and forward stack. Right at the bow the detailed fittings start with an open chock at deck edge on each side of the bow. There are a lot of detailed fittings from these to the breakwater. Most of these relate to the anchor gear and
fittings. Three long oval deck hawse mark where the anchor chain runs from the forecastle through the deck hawse fittings to come out through the hull side anchor hawse fittings. The openings for the chain are flat, so if you want an actual holes in
which to run the anchor chains, you’ll need to drill out the deck openings. Further back are four base plates for the anchor windlass locater holes. You’ll find finely done single bollards on these plates. Even these small bollards, as well as the twin
bollard fittings have a flare at their tops, which were on the actual bollards to prevent the chain or cables from slipping over the top. Other detail in front of the breakwater consists of deck edge closed chocks, deck edge twin bollard fittings, two
centerline twin bollard, fittings for the anchor chain to come out of the chain locker, a deck access fitting with hinge detail on the hatches, some small mushroom ventilators and a couple of lockers. There is a locater hole on the starboard side for a
separate medium sized mushroom ventilator. The breakwater has gusset support detail. More detail is found aft of the breakwater. There are two styles of deck access fittings, two skylights, three lockers and the outline for attachment of the forward
superstructure. Further there are locater holes for medium sized ventilators and for small ventilators located around A barbette.

Main deck detail starts on either side of the breakwater with deck edge open chocks. Aft of these are deck edge twin bollard fittings and the start of the numerous circular coal scuttles. I do have one significant disappointment in that there are no
torpedo net shelves/ledges. You still can place a net roll, which you’ll have to fabricate, outboard of the deck edge railing, but normally
Combrig has these shelves on their hull castings.As you approach the amidships portion of the deck there are
more twin bollard fittings and locater holes for mushroom ventilators. The deck area between the forward and aft superstructures and dominated by the wing turret barbettes (P&Q turrets) and the well for the amidships superstructure with the aft
stack. Here you’ll find the bulk of the coal scuttles, as well as numerous locater holes for mushroom and straight ventilators. To round out the amidships fittings, there are two types of deck access fittings, lockers and some unusual open positions
with bulkheads. Similar detail is found on the quarterdeck with open chocks on each side of the aft superstructure well. As the quarterdeck tapers to the stern, there are again multitudes of locater holes for mushroom and straight ventilators, five
deck access fittings with hinge detail, three twin bollard fittings and two deck edge open chocks at the very stern.        
The usual Combrig practices are used in the casting of the smaller resin parts, a casting sheet for platforms, large parts cast singly on casting blocks and resin runners for the bulk of the parts. The Colossus only has one, rather small sheet. This
sheet has the bridge deck, navigation deck, chart house, fore top control, conning tower catwalk, aft searchlight platform and aft navigation platform. The chart house has detailed doors and the fore top has incised vision openings. There are five
superstructure parts that are cast as singly. These are the forward superstructure, aft superstructure, amidships superstructure and both stacks. The forward superstructure casting has three levels. On the first level are four 4-Inch secondary
positions. Each of these positions has detailed gun opening shutters and a locater hole for the gun barrel. On the 01 level deck, there are locater holes for the tripod legs, locater holes for open 4-Inch guns, a well for the forward stack and two
lockers. The 02 level is the base of the conning tower and has port holes and doors. The top of the superstructure, level 3, is actually about 1 ½ levels, with the top of the conning tower and a sloping apron to its front. The aft superstructure casting
is the largest of the singly cast parts. About 40% of the size goes to X turret barbette. Forward of the barbette are two levels of the superstructure. The 01 level has corner 4-Inch gun positions with detailed shutters and locater holes for the barrels.
This level also features detailed doors and port holes. The 02 level has two more 4-Inch gun positions with shutters and barrel locater holes. Both the 01 and 02 level decks have numerous lockers. The 02 deck also has locater holes for the aft
conning tower, open 4-Inch gun positions, and support posts for the searchlight platform. The small amidships superstructure is two levels in height with port holes, detailed access door and ventilator locate wells at 01 level. The top deck contains
the well for the aft stack, deck access fittings with hinge detail, inclined ladder openings and a couple of small deck houses. The stack castings are significantly different in size and design from each other. The forward stack is far larger, being
longer, wider and taller than the aft funnel. A fine horseshoe apron is at the base and another apron at the top. The bottom apron of the aft stack is a rhomboid shape with a small ventilator at one corner and a fine top apron. The five main gun
turrets are identical and feature excellent crown detail. This detail includes a centerline crest, over-lapping armor plates and vision cupolas on the forward crown. The turret sides feature sharp lines at the angles and deep horseshoe shape gun
openings enclosing locater holes for the gun barrels.

There are 25 runners of parts with five of the runners having only one part attached to them. Three of the runners have gun barrels. These are the main gun barrels with hollow muzzles, the open 4-Inch guns with separate gun barrels and mounts,
and the 4-Inch gun barrels fitted in the locater holes in the superstructure parts. The last runner also has the parts for 3-Inch guns, navigation equipment for the bridge and aft navigation platform. Three runners have anchor gear, with runners for
three detailed anchors, and the other two with deck windlasses, Four runners have the numerous ventilators with runners for large and medium mushroom ventilators as well as small straight ventilators found around the edges of the barbettes;
another runner with two types of small mushroom ventilators; one runner of net boom brackets; and a runner with rectangular ventilators and two dinghies. Deck equipment fittings are found on three runners, One has only twin 24-inch searchlights
with separate pillars and searchlights, one has small cable reels, and the third has larger cable reels, along with aft conning tower, deck winches, stack base ventilators and small deck houses. One runner has only the detailed boat boom attached.
Two runners have boat davits. The last nine runners have only ship’s boats. Three of these are steam launches with each launch cast separately. Two are large and the other is medium in size. Detail is excellent on all three with cabin bulkhead
windows, crown ventilators, open cockpit, forward navigation position and a locater hole for the launch stack with open top. The open boats are in five different patterns, one large whaler four medium size boats with transom stern, one smaller
boat with transom stern and oars, and four pointed end boats in two slightly different sizes. The open boats feature bottom planking and thwart detail.
The Colossus kit comes with two brass photo-etched frets. The large fret contains parts common with both battleships of the class and some parts only used for Hercules. There is also a very small fret with one part used by Colossus. There are
15 parts used only on Hercules with platforms, platform supports and inclined ladders. The largest grouping of common parts are the flying boat decks with numerous support frames and catwalks. The three faceted bridge face has open windows
perfect for glazing with Micro-Klear. Some of the parts have relief etching and include some platforms, and windlass caps. There are various styles of supports, including a lattice tower for the aft navigation position, starfish supports and other
support gussets. Other parts include two chart tables, stack grates/clinker screens, pulleys, block & tackle, streaming anchor, crane hook, foretop base, life buoy racks, vertical ladder and inclined ladders. There are three runs of anchor chain. The
fret has full railing with eight long runs of three bar railing with bottom scupper and one run of one bar railing with bottom scupper. The single part on the small fret appears to be a support on one of the flying boat decks.
The instructions comprise eleven pages with five back-printed sheets and the last page printed on only one side. They are in the now typical expanded
Combrig format. Page one has a scale plan and profile that are very detailed. These are very
useful in final attachment of parts and have a full rigging scheme. It also has history and specifications in English. Page two has the resin parts laydown. Page three has the brass fret laydown and template for the lengths of masts, yards and booms
fabricated from brass of plastic rod. It provides the length of each part in millimeters but not the diameter. If you don’t already have plastic rod in your hobby stash, you might want to take this page to the hobby store for selecting the proper width
of the plastic rods, especially for the tripod legs. Yard ends need to be tapered. Page four starts the actual assembly with attachment of the net boom brackets to the hull and the pattern one deck ventilators. It also shows profiles of two runners of
ventilators with ventilator sizes numbered 1 through 5. The instructions further go on to show the number for the attachment, making sure you get the right ventilator in the correct locater hole. This may be the first time
Combrig used this
process, as the kit for Neptune didn’t have this. These two runners are the only ones so numbered.
Combrig greatly expanded this process, as their Bellerophon, released latter in 2019 shows all runners with the parts numbered. Page five shows
attachment points for numbers 2 through 5 of the ventilators. Page six has attachment of the accommodation ladders, boat davits, windlasses, anchors, flag staffs, rectangular ventilators, life buoy racks,streaming anchor, deck winches and a cable
reel. It also has an inset for turret assembly. Page seven has drawings for assembly of the flying boat decks, aft superstructure and amidships superstructure with aft stack. Page eight has three drawing on sequential assembly of the forward
superstructure with forward stack, tripod and an inset on assembling an inclined ladder tower. Page nine covers attachment of the major subassemblies to the hull. Page ten finishes the assembly with the attachment of the ship’s boat and net
booms. The final page is a drawing of the finished model.
The Combrig kit of the HMS Colossus in 1:700 scale is highly recommended. Everything is provided, except for plastic rod, to build an extremely detailed model of the only British battleship of the main body of the Grand Fleet at the Battle of
Jutland to receive hits from heavy German shells.

Steve Backer
Huntsville, Alabama