We tried to engage them (Lutzow) but owing to the mist failed to get the guns off … We engaged her (Konig) immediately, opening fire without being able to get
the range due to the mist, and hit her with our fourth and fifth salvos.
” Lieutenant Bowyer-Smith of HMS Marlborough, Jutland the Unfinished Battle by Nicholas
Jellicoe (grandson of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe) at page 178

Admiral John “Jackie” Fisher was a man of a monochrome existence. There were not even grays in his world as everything was in either black or white with no
intermediate shades. This was true in his friendships and hates as well as in his theories on ship design. He hated Admiral Charles Beresford and all of his clique of
associated officers with great passion, which was returned those recipients in equal measure towards Fisher and his followers. In warships his idea of perfection was
the battle cruiser
Invincible, not the battleship Dreadnought. He valued speed and heavy guns over everything else, including armor protection. For guns, he wanted only
the largest number of the biggest guns that he could cram into a hull. To chase away torpedo boats, he would have some small caliber quick firing (QF) pieces.
However, he was decidedly opposed to any medium caliber guns larger than the 4-inch QF. Accordingly, in his tenure as First Sea Lord of the Admiralty from 1904 to
1910, all new capitol ship designs had no larger secondary guns than the 4-inch QF.
The HMS Dreadnought, laid down on October 2, 1905, carried out Fisher’s views. It carried only 12-inch and 4-inch guns. With the Dreadnought a new arms race
was started. Although the Royal Navy had the initiative, other navies, especially the High Seas Fleet, saw this new type of all big gun battleship as way to have a clean
slate. From time to time politicians would try to reign in the expense of the naval arms race, but this was limited and usually to no avail. When
Dreadnought was laid
down the 12-inch gun was still the standard large gun, as it had been with predreadnought battleship construction. For another four years the 12-inch gun still was
supreme, although it jumped in length from 45 to 50 caliber. The Royal Navy laid down sixteen capitol ships mounting the 12-inch gun. These ships were divided
among seven classes, all armed with 12-inch and 4-inch guns:
Dreadnought (1); Invincible (3); Bellerophon (3); St Vincent (3); Indefatigable (3); Neptune (1); and
Colossus (2). However, the long barreled 12-inch/50 mounted in the St Vincent class and thereafter were not the guns that the Royal Navy had envisioned. Sure, the
longer length gave the shells a greater velocity but this translated into poorer accuracy. The greater velocity wore out the rifling in the barrels far more rapidly than with
lower velocity guns. With rifling worn, accuracy suffered greatly and replacing barrels more often was expensive. Also, since the Germans had gone from the 11-inch
to the 12-inch gun as their main ordnance, the Royal Navy needed another edge in gunnery.

That edge was the 13.5-inch gun. This highly successful piece of ordnance gave the Royal Navy that for which they were looking. The first warship to carry this was
HMS Orion, laid down on November 29, 1909. The increase in firepower was so marked that the ships of the Orion class were called superdreadnoughts. However,
with escalating technological change and building tempos from around the world, the 13.5-inch gun had a short reign as the primary ordnance of the Royal Navy. The
Royal Navy constructed sixteen capitol ships carrying the 13.5-inch gun in a 2 1/2 year span. These were:
Orion (4); Lion (3); King George V (4); Iron Duke (4); and
Tiger (1). The last to be laid down was Tiger in June 1912. In another four months the 13.5-inch gun was eclipsed as the primary ordnance of the Royal Navy, as in
October 1912, the
Queen Elizabeth, mounting 15-inch guns was laid down. However, in August 1914 when World War began not all of the 13.5-inch gunned ships
were completed and those that were finished formed the most potent core of the Grand Fleet. Indeed, one of the last class of 13.5-inch gunned battleships,
HMS Iron
, was the flagship of the Grand Fleet.
The Iron Duke Class was the third and last class of British battleships built with the 13.5-inch gun. After the four ships of the Orion Class, the four ships of the King
George V Class
were directly based on the previous design and improved on that design and corrected errors. One such correction was the placement of the
foremast. With the
Orion Class, the foremast was placed behind the forward funnel. This was done for the sake of economy. With the foremast in that location, a
boom from the center leg of the tripod could be used to move the ship's boats and separate kingposts would not be necessary. This short-sighted idea shorted the
gunnery efficiency of the class. The foretop at the top of the foremast was a key position for accurate gunnery of Royal Navy battleships. Observers would spot the
fall of shot and make corrections and later range finders were placed up there to take advantage of the height. In the
Orions, placing the tripod and foretop behind the
forward funnel, made this key position untenable, or at least very uncomfortable, in most combat situations. Fumes and heat greatly degraded the abilities of the
foretop personnel to perform their duties. The
King George V Class corrected this problem and again placed the tripod behind the bridge and in front of the first
stack. This class started that classic look of British battleships that featured a single foremast with control top. This handsome profile would be maintained all the
way until the homely
Nelson and Rodney introduced the tower superstructure.

The previous two designs had no casemates for secondary guns on the sides of their hull. All of their 4-inch secondary guns were mounted in the superstructures.
However, there was a growing discontent within the Royal Navy over the effectiveness of the 4-inch QF secondary guns. Since the
Dreadnaught, RN battleships
used 4-inch guns as secondary armament. However, torpedo boats and especially destroyers had leaped in size. Many if not most officers thought that the 4-inch
guns lacked the punch to stop a torpedo attack from the larger destroyers. In June 1909 the chief-constructor, Sir Phillip Watts, always a believer in heavy secondary
guns, wrote to Admiral Mark Kerr. He specifically sought Kerr’s views on a heavier secondary gun for future battleships. Obviously, Watts was cherry picking his
respondent. Jackie Fisher was still adamant against secondary guns heavier than 4-inches but he was retiring from his post as First Sea Lord in 1910. Kerr was for
the return of the 6-inch gun as secondary but then Watt’s already knew that before he wrote Kerr. “
You remember that I am the father of the scheme of night
defence that does away with the 4-in. guns etc. and substitutes shrapnel shell in the primary armament guns for the demoralization of the enemy’s flotillas…

The use of shells would shower an enemy’s ship with shrapnel, even if it could not penetrate the armor. Also, shell splashes of short rounds were sufficiently large
that it was thought that the water would disturb the enemy’s gun layers and perhaps put their telescopic sights out of action.
Kerr noted that the Germans liked to employ their destroyers and torpedo boats in conjunction with their battleships. He emphasized that a battleship should not have to
shift her main guns from enemy battleships on to destroyers to defend against torpedo attack. Once Fisher was retired and could not stop the shift, it was decided to
go back to the 6-inch gun for secondary armament. This had not been mounted in a British battleship since the
King Edward VII Class. Basically, the RN was happy
with the
King George V but wanted the heavier secondary guns. In order to mount the heavier armament, it was necessary to lengthen the hull 25 feet over the
previous design, divided equally fore and aft. Beam was increased by a foot and casemate positions were again designed for the hull for the majority of the secondary
battery, which also were better protected than the secondaries of the previous designs. The class had a lower freeboard than any other RN battleship and therefore the
hull mounted secondary guns could not be worked in heavy seas.

The secondary guns had gun shields, which revolved with the gun and drop-down hatches, which sealed the gun ports from water. However, these hatches kept
washing away and great amounts of water would be taken in through the low placed open ports. “
Early in the War it was found necessary to unship the ports
altogether, as the sea washed them away constantly. Water then had free access to the inside of the ship through the opening between the revolving shield and the
ship’s side, and, except in fine weather, water entered freely. In bad weather the water, as deep as three to four inches, was constantly below through open hatches,
to the great discomfort of the ship’s company, who were continually wet, and to the detriment of efficiency. Arrangements were devised on board the Iron Duke to
overcome this trouble. A partial bulkhead was fitted in rear of the guns to confine the water which entered the ship, and watertight india-rubber joints provided
between the shields and the ship’s side.
” (British Battleships, 1972, by Oscar Parkes, at page 548). The aft 6-inch gun ports were completely worthless. Only a few
feet above the waterline, they could never be worked in any sea state. These were removed and mounted on the superstructure.
One other change was the augmentation of the torpedo armament, from three to four tubes. In addition to the casemates in the hull, the Iron Duke Class can be easily
distinguished from the
King George V Class by the funnels. The King George V Class had handsome flat-sided funnels, while the Iron Duke Class had smaller thin,
round funnels. Also, the
Iron Duke Class had big heavier tripod foremasts. Displacement was 2,000 tons heavier over the preceding design. All four battleships were
laid down in the space of five months, with
Iron Duke and Marlborough in January and Benbow and Emperor of India in May. Problems with labor unions delayed
the construction of all four battleships from two to six months.
HMS Marlborough was laid down at the Devonport Dockyard on January 25, 1912, launched on
October 24, 1912 and completed in June 1914 to become the Second Flagship of the Home Fleet. Displacement was 25,820-tons normal (30,380-tons full load),
length of 622-feet 9-inches oa (189.8m) with a beam of 90-feet (27.4m) and draft of 29-feet 6-inches (9m). Her armament consisted of ten 13.5-inch/45 (343mm) in
five twin gun turrets, twelve 6-inch/45 (152mm) QF, two 3-inch/20 (12-pdr)(76mm) AA, four 3-pdrs (47mm) and four submerged beam 21-inch torpedo tubes. The
armor belt was 12-inches tapering to 4-inches, casemates of 6-inches, conning tower and turrets of 11-inches. Eighteen Yarrow boilers provided steam for the
Parsons turbines, developed 29,000ihp with four shafts and a maximum speed of 21-knots.
Marlborough was fitted with casemate 6-inch guns on the hull on each
side of Y turret. These were unworkable because they were so close to the waterline and by December 1914 the casemates were plated over and the guns relocated
to either side of the bridge in unarmored positions.

Since fall 1913 the Admiralty had planned to use July 1914 as a time for a test mobilization of not only their best ships assigned to 1st Fleet but also the reserve ships
assigned to 2nd and 3rd Fleets. By happenstance this test exactly coincided with the increasing tensions after the assassination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand. The
mobilization was set to terminate on Monday July 29 with reserves traveling back home, the ships of 2nd and 3rd Fleets going back to the dockyard walls and the
modern ships of the 1st Fleet breaking up and going about their business. With the political situation worsening, Callaghan aboard
Iron Duke desperately asked for
guidance from the Admiralty. Once demobilization occurred on July 29, it would take an enormous amount of time and money to regain the mobilized status. The
government seemed unconcerned and scattered for weekend holidays. Even Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, left for a holiday on the North Sea coast
in Norfolk. On Sunday July 28 Churchill called in to talk to the First Sea Lord Prince Louis of Battenberg (later anglicized to Mountbatten) to check on the political
situation. By noon he discovered that Austria had mobilized against Serbia and that the German High Seas Fleet had been ordered to concentrate south of Norway.
Oops! Perhaps the Royal Navy should not demobilize. Churchill told Battenberg to do what he thought best. Battenberg ordered Callaghan to keep the combined fleet
together. As the week progressed and one European state after another mobilized, Churchill became anxious of the open anchorage at Portland where the fleet was
located. “
At 5:00 that evening, the order flashed from the radio masts atop the Admiralty to the signal mast of Iron Duke: ‘Tomorrow, Wednesday [July 29], the
First Fleet is to leave Portland for Scapa Flow. Destination to be kept secret except to flag and commanding officers.
” (Castles of Steel, 2003, Robert K. Massie,
at page 19) With the creation of the Grand Fleet in August 1914, the
Marlborough became flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron. Directors for the 6-inch guns were
added to the upper bridge in 1915. In 1916 a torpedo control platform was added under the control top and the top masts reduced in height.
Intercepts had put the German High Sea Fleet on a sortie into the North Sea and Admiral Jellicoe was determined to catch them. On May 31, 1916 Jellicoe was in HMS
Iron Duke
and headed the 3rd Division 4th BS. The battleships were steaming in six columns of four battleships each. From northeast to southwest, these were the 1st
through 6th Divisions.
Iron Duke leading Royal Oak, Superb and Canada, was the third column from the northeast. Benbow was in the van of 4th Division and a third
member of the class,
Marlborough, led 6th Division of the 1st Battle Squadron, farthest to the southwest. Of the class, only Emperor of India missed the upcoming
Battle of Jutland. All three members of the class that were at the battle flew admiral's flags, the fleet commander and two Battle Squadron commanders. Clearly the
Duke Class
was held in high regard. At 1850 Marlborough sighted Lion on Beatty’s run to the north. When Iron Duke signaled Lion as to the location of the German
fleet, Beatty, who had not seen the High Seas Fleet since he turned north, only answered to the southeast. Jellicoe still had his ships in six columns, rather than a battle
formation of one column. Jellicoe had two options. If he formed his column with the most southwestern column, headed by
Marlborough, his fleet would already be in
close gunnery as well as torpedo range. Instead he chose to form on the most northeasterly column headed by
Ajax. This put the single column much further from the
German battleships.  When the
Queen Elizabeth Class made contact with the Grand Fleet in the 5th Battle Squadron’s run to the north, they made to fall in line behind
HMS Agincourt, last ship in the column headed by Marlborough.

As it was, it was the battleship at the end of the line,
Agincourt, which first spotted the German battle cruisers. Marlborough opened fire at a Konig Class battleship at
18:17 and sent seven salvos in four minutes. The High Seas Fleet made a tun away and launched a torpedo attack. Shortly before 19:00
Marlborough was hit on the
starboard side. The hit damaged 70-feet of her hull and she took on an eight-degree list. A boiler room and a diesel and hydraulic room were flooded and two men killed.
Speed was reduced to 17-knots but
Marlborough kept her place at the head of the column. However, Scheer mistook the speed of the Grand Fleet and in an effort to
slip past his opponents made another about turn. This brought his ships right back into the guns of the British battleships. By 19:15 the entire Grand Fleet was firing at
the High Seas Fleet at rages from 10,000 to 14,000-yards.
Marlborough, along with Barham and Valiant, targeted the Grosser Kurfurst and fired fourteen salvos in six
minutes, scoring four hits. After ten minutes of being pounded, Scheer made a third about turn and ordered his battlecruisers on their Death Ride with accompanying
mass torpedo attack.
Marlborough spotted and avoided three more torpedoes sent toward her. Marlborough, “...altered course to starboard so that one track passed
ahead, another passed so close astern that we should certainly have been hit if the stern had not been swinging under helm, while number three must have been
running below depth because it went right under the ship.
” It was here that Jellicoe chose to turn away from the torpedo attack, rather than towards the attackers.
This resulted in separating the range between the two fleets and Scheer broke contact. This decision was the main basis for criticism of Jellicoe thereafter and would
haunt him to the end of his career.
The Germans had again disappeared into the murk. As the two fleets steamed south into the gathering darkness, the Grand Fleet was east of the High Seas Fleet and in
position to block their return to port. Jellicoe continued his southward course, intending to engage Scheer at dawn. During the night he saw gun flashes to the north of
his battleships. He considered those to be attacks of German torpedo boats on his rear screen. However, it was Scheer, who had again reversed course to pass north of
the Grand Fleet and thereby gain a clear path to port. By 22:00 with
Marlborough losing speed, Jelicoe ordered her to fall astern of the fleet. Marlborough’s squadron
and the 5th Battle Squadron continued to follow
Marlborough. It was Malaya, last in line, that sighted Westfalen at 23:40 only three miles away astern, as the High
Seas Fleet passed through the Grand Fleet to gain a clear path home. The guns were trained but no order came from Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas on
Barham two ships
forward of
Malaya. A report was made to Evan-Thomas but it wasn’t passed to Jellicoe. Valiant also spotted what were thought to be German light cruisers but their
profile matched that of
Nassau Class battleships. Within an hour Seydlitz came through the line, less than a mile from the 5th Battle Squadron. Marlborough trained her
guns on
Seydlitz at a range of 4,000-yards but the gunnery officer’s request to fire was denied by the captain who thought that it may be a friendly ship. By 03:15 with
Marlborough’s 6th Division and the following 5th Division widely separated from the rest of the Grand Fleet, the Marlborough had to reduce speed to 12-knots.
Rear Admiral Burney shifted his flag to
Revenge and Marlborough was detached to steam back to the Tyne. There was concern for the condition of Marlborough as
escort ships were ordered to come close for the removal of the crew. This was not done and the ship struggled onward. The
U-46 sighted Marlborough and attacked.
Only one torpedo was fired and it missed by only 50-yards.
Marlborough eventually reached safety at Humber, drawing 39-feet. Repairs took three months. In 1919
Marlborough and her sister ships operated in the Black Sea during the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Civil War. A long refit was done 1920 to 1922 and she served
with the Atlantic Fleet from 1926 through 1929. She was sold in May 1932 to Alloa Shipbreaking Company and arrived at Rosyth on June 25, 1932 for scraping.

The four units of the
Iron Duke Class were very close in appearance to each other. Although Iron Duke had anti-torpedo nets and booms during builder’s trials, they
were removed before she was commissioned.
Iron Duke had a small range finder over the bridge. Iron Duke had director control for the 6-inch guns placed on the
lower bridge, whereas the other three of the class had these directors placed in the upper bridge. By 1917 the control top was enlarged and modified and a medium base
range-finder added over the conning tower.  In 1917 range-finder baffles were added to the tripod legs, fore funnel and derrick. In 1918 deflection scales were painted
on B turret and on X or Y turrets. Range clocks were added to the front of the control top and aft superstructure. Coffee box towers were added to the aft funnel with
a 36-inch searchlight added to each of the four positions. The range-finder baffles were also removed. Flying off platforms were added to B and Q turrets. Of course,
there were many more modifications made to
Marlborough post war, especially when she was demilitarized but that is beyond the scope of this review. (History from:
British Battleships, 1972, by Oscar Parkes;  British Battleships of World War One, 1986, by R. A. Burt; British Battleships 1919-1939, 1993, by R. A. Burt;
Castles of Steel, 2003, Robert K. Massie; Jutland The German Perspective, 1999, by V. E. Tarrant)
Combrig HMS Marlborough -  The Combrig 1:700 scale model Marlborough is of the ship in her 1918 fit. If you wish to build the Marlborough as flagship of 6th
Division 1st BS at Jutland, the
Combrig Benbow kit would be a better choice, as that kit is of the 1914 fit. Combrig has released 1:700 scale kits of all four members
of the
Iron Duke Class. For Iron Duke, Marlborough and Emperor of India the boxes state 1918 fits. All three 1918 fits differ significantly from the 1914 Benbow fit
and the significant modifications were made after Jutland. As completed
Marlborough, had a searchlight tower aft of the second funnel. This was replaced by a four-
position coffee box tower in 1918. The
Marlborough had the small initial control top that was enlarged in 1917. The aft hull casemates were plated over and a stump
main mast added. The
Combrig Marlborough has all of these features added in 1917 and 1918. The Iron Duke has the 1918 features of the Emperor of India kit with
some differences. It appears that the differences are just in the bridge and control top. The
Iron Duke has smaller upper bridge houses than the Emperor of India and a
differently shaped and equipped lower platform on the aft bridge face. Also, the control top is different. Although of a different shape and smaller than the large top of
Emperor of India, the Marlborough control top is still much larger than that on the 1914 Benbow kit. The 1918 Marlborough is also different in that it has the enlarged
bridge of
Emperor of India, with the smaller control top of the Iron Duke.

Combrig hull has the 6-inch casemates forward but for the aft 6-inch positions, there are just openings. The Benbow 1914 kit has casemate parts that fit into these
openings but for the
Marlborough kit, there are parts that fill in these positions to replicate the fact that they had been plated over. There are no hinged doors over the
forward casemates but that is correct since they had been removed by 1915. You will have to use a pin vice to drill locater holes for the 6-inch casemate battery. The
torpedo net shelf is present, which is incorrect as
Marlborough never carried the nets. It was only the Iron Duke that had this but landed her nets and booms before
she was commissioned. Clearly
Combrig used the same hull for the kits of members of the class. However, the shelves can be easily removed with a hobby knife and
their former locations sanded. Hull side detail has both the small round portholes, as well a few square windows aft. The instructions show a slot aft for the sternwalk
but no such slot is present on the hull casting on any of the four
Iron Duke kits. Accordingly, you’ll have to make some small adjustments to the sternwalk part to
shape and fit it correctly. The sternwalk is an area where you can add extra detail. The part provided is a single walk with a solid bulkhead. Actually, the sternwalk had
a fancy open railing rather than a solid bulkhead. Although the given part could be considered as the railing with canvas dodger, you may wish to consider removing the
solid bulkhead and add photo-etch. Also, you may want to add the under bracing to the platform. One other addition is the top awning. There is none in the kit and yet
the Marlborough had a covered sternwalk. One other area for the addition of detail is the bulkheads at the deck break. The casemate deck tapers in to a point at Q
turret. If you look at the included profile, you’ll notice a number of portholes and doors on these bulkheads. None are present on the hull casting. These are easy
additions. Use a pin hole drill/vice for the port holes and your favorite brass doors. Be careful in removing the hull casting from the box, as the waterline tip of the
cutwater is very fine and can be easily broken. If the tip is broken, carefully check the box to find the broken-off tip for reattachment.
As with almost every ship model, most of the hull detail is found on the decks. Of course you can expect Combrig to provide excellent deck detail. The planking is
not overdone and serves to showcase the other detail. On the forecastle are the three deck hawse for the anchor chains. These are somewhat shallow and depending
upon the chain that the modeler wishes to use for the anchor chains, will not need to be modified. If you use photo-etch chain, they will be fine but if you wish to use
three-dimensional chain, you may wish to deepen the hawse. Thin smooth plates simulate the metal plates on which the anchor chains rest. These run back to three
base plates for the anchor windlasses. Another characteristic of
Combrig castings are that fittings are separate pieces from the hull casting. On the forecastle there are
four locater holes for the windlasses. Other forecastle decoration includes three sets of twin bollards, two deck edge open chocks and various access hatches. Aft of
the thin breakwater, the upper deck extends to just forward of the amidships Q turret. The forward part of this deck has wooden planking but the aft one third is a
metal deck and so has a smooth surface. Detail is found in three clusters, one in front of A turret, another batch between A & B turrets and the third batch on the oat
deck between the superstructure and second funnel. There are 26 locater holes, mostly for separate ventilator parts. Cast on detail includes two twin bollards, four
open chocks, and 20 access hatches/coamings. Additionally, there is incised detail on the metal boat deck. Twelve of these are locater lines for brass boat chocks and
four are incised panels in front of the second turret.

If you look at the photographs of the hull casting, you’ll notice that
Combrig uses two architectural features to ensure that the superstructure parts are correctly
placed. First both major superstructure pieces fit inside open wells in the deck. For fine tuning of superstructure placement,
Combrig provides a smooth deck with
the exterior edge identified as the line between the planking and smooth areas. The main deck also has its share of detail. These include 18 locater holes for smaller
resin parts, 26 access hatches, skylights and other deck coamings, six open chocks and six twin bollard fittings. Probably the most unusual of these features are the
two fittings on each side of the forward edge of Q barbette. I am unsure of their purpose but they appear to be ventilator openings. All in all, you’ll find the detail
provided by
Combrig, both as cast on parts or separate parts, very satisfying.
Smaller Resin Parts - There are nine major resin pieces for superstructure, plus a resin sheet of parts, and of course the five turrets. All of the barrels, boats and
fittings are on resin runners. The bulk of the forward superstructure consists of three pieces, which go together like a three-layer wedding cake. The largest and
lowest level has a well in the middle for the next level. It is certainly easy to identify, since has the hole for the forward funnel. There are two fine thin solid bulkheads
forward, along with seven hatches and lockers. Three small locater holes are also there for small ventilators. The sides of this level could use some extra brass door
photo-etch. The next level has the conning tower with solid bulkheads trailing back, however a separate deck will cover this with an open back at the end. In the
middle is the well for the bridge piece. The bridge piece has a slot halfway up for a platform at the rear. The aft superstructure also fits into a well in the hull casting.
As with the large forward superstructure piece, additional detail in the form of photo-etch doors could be added. The deck is enclosed in a solid bulkhead with eight
locater holes, five incised panels and four raised coamings inside the bulkheads and a single locater hole outside the bulkhead adjacent to where X barbette will fit. The
two narrow round funnels, which were distinguishing characteristics of the class, are nice with base casings and apron and top apron. The tops are hollow to a
sufficient depth to provide the three-dimensional appearance. B and X barbettes are two separate pieces. Just make sure they are flush with the hull and superstructure
parts when you attach them. The last large piece is the late war (1918) coffee box search light towers.

The resin sheet contains various decks and platforms. One platform fits over the rear portion of the conning tower level. Another is the upper deck for the aft
superstructure. This part contains the aft control position. Four more platforms form the upper part of the bridge. The foretop pieces are especially notable. The
starfish is well formed with crisp and thin starfish supports. The enlarged control top is of an unusual round/square shape with deeply incised windows. Other parts
on the sheet are the covers/wedges for the aft 6-inch positions, kingpost base, sternwalk, mainmast platform, as well as two small platforms for the tripod. If you look
at the five turrets, you’ll see the characteristic design of the 13.5-inch, as well as 15-inch turret crowns. Most plastic models don’t get this design right, as they show
the armor plates smoothly abutting each other. To the contrary, there is a noticeable drop from the rear of one plate to the next plate behind. For those familiar with the
armor of the Roman legionnaire, this drop resembles the segments of the lorica segmentata of middle Roman Empire. Another characteristic is the three siting hoods
on the forward crown. Unfortunately, there are no blast bags on the turrets or gun barrels. The main gun barrels have the remnants of resin pour vents at the muzzle,
which will have to be removed. In addition to the 13.5-inch and 6-inch gun barrels, two AA guns are included. A series of runners include a huge number of the
smallest resin parts. Other runners/sprues include directors, searchlights, ship’s boats, davits, boat chocks, masts, yards, windlasses, reels, ventilators, and anchors.
Brass Photo-Etch Fret - The Combrig Marlborough comes with its own ship specific brass photo-etch fret. All four kits of the class use the same photo-etch fret.
You won’t use all of the pieces as two large lattice support structures are supports for the early searchlight towers found only in the
Benbow kit. Iron Duke,
Marlborough and Emperor of India all have the 1918 coffee box towers. The major brass parts for the 1918 version are the stack grates and an especially curious
open position aft of the first stack. There are a significant number of open boat chocks, which will provide detail far greater than the average 1:700 scale kit. There are
plenty of other parts, which include various cable reels, triangular supports, vertical ladder, anchor chains and various platforms. No generic items such as railing is

Instructions - These are in the standard Combrig format but with two back-printed sheets. Page one has the ship’s history and statistics in Russian and a line
drawing plan and profile. The plan and profiles are in 1:700 scale and are essential to determine the exact placement of many of the parts. They also serve to show a
rigging scheme. Page two shows photographs of all of the parts included in the kit. Page three starts assembly with attachment of main superstructure, turrets and
deck ventilator fittings. Each size of ventilator is identified by a number and the specific numbers delineate which ventilator goes in which ventilator locater hole.  
There are also five inset diagrams, which cover assemblies/attachment of brass boat chocks, forward superstructure, brass open structure, turrets, and aft
superstructure. The last page has the final assembly. All of the major components are shown with one small inset for folding photo-etch bracing.
The HMS Marlborough was the only British battleship to take a torpedo hit during the Battle of Jutland and came very close to taking others during and after the battle.
As it was, there were still thoughts of removing her crew. This handsome member of the
Iron Duke Class is available in 1:700 scale from Combrig in the 1918 fit of
HMS Marlborough.
Steve Backer