When I started reworking my King George V class battleship model a few years back, I started with the secondary turrets. On the original model, they were obviously quite wrong, and seemed like a good, self-contained place to start. ‘Unfortunately,’ I moved the goalposts somewhat with the level of detail I decided to go to on the Supermarine Walrus. Taking a much more critical eye to my rework I could see that there were still several inaccuracies that I wanted to correct.

My original thinking when I started this up-detailing was to retain as much of the original model as I could. That was a mistake, as I ended up ignoring some basic shape and form errors. Going forwards, I will keep whatever is both correct and of acceptable quality. I will be rebuilding everything else from scratch.

Identifying the problem areas

If we compare this fantastic photo of one of the secondary turrets from HMS King George V, taken after the war in 1945 by Allan C. Green (full image on Wikipedia), with my 2015 reworked turret, several issues are obvious.

There are a number of other smaller detail errors that needed correcting. The rework was undoubtedly much better than my original version, but not good enough! So this was in need of a total rebuild. I also had come across some plans of the gunhouse, so I could remake it much more accurately this time around. You can see more of the original and rebuilt turrets in HMS King George V – Part 1.

New Secondary Turrets


A better selection of reference photos, combined with the gunhouse plans, allowed for a much more faithful recreation of the Mark 1 mount. I made all the various hatches so that they can be opened. The front hatches house some windows or gun sights – it’s not clear to me which. I only found a single photo that shows inside in any real detail, but it’s not enough to be sure what’s there, so this is just my interpretation. This turret is mounted on the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Hermione where it formed part of her primary armament. Despite this, there shouldn’t be any significant differences.


The rear access door appears to have some kind of table or platform attached to the inside. Presumably this could be lowered down when the door was closed to give access to the periscope sight. I modelled the extra components that were added during refits in 1943/44, which allows all variants of this weapon to be shown for any ship of the King George V-class. This is with the possible exception of late-war HMS Howe, which received upgraded RP10* versions of the Mk.1 mount. I’m not sure if there were any outward differences with those higher-performing units though.

The darker turret, shown in an approximation of Home Fleet Grey (507A), shows the early-war configuration. The lighter turret, wearing something close to G45, shows the late-war configuration. Note that the extension to the side vent cover (I assume it’s a vent, anyway) on the port side is not a year-dependent feature. HMS Prince of Wales had these fitted throughout her brief existence, whereas HMS King George V never had them. HMS Duke of York also had them fitted from the beginning.

Presentation Examples

You can also view this on my ArtStation profile!

I fully UV-unwrapped the turret, and chose to go with a single UDIM tile. Each ship requires eight of these mounts, and a single 8k tile gives sufficient resolution for fairly tight shots. I’m probably going to try building producedural shaders to handle as much of the texturing work as possible on the full ship. For these examples however, I chose to hand-craft the textures in Substance 3D Painter.

HMS Prince of Wales, December 1941

First we have a turret from HMS Prince of Wales, in December 1941, immediately prior to her sinking. This would be the aft-most starboard turret, and shows some of the camoflauge scheme the ship was wearing at the time. The two colours present on this turret are M.S.3 and M.S.4. Thanks to Sovereign Hobbies, et al for the high-quality research they’ve done on this topic. (Be sure to check out some of the superb research into Royal Navy colour schemes they have produced over the last few years).

HMS King George V, late 1945/early 1946

I wanted to show a version in the late-war configuration as well, so picked one of the secondary turrets from HMS King George V. This seemed like an ideal choice, given the high-resolution photos available. After the war ended, KGV headed to Australia, where amongst other things she was repainted in an unofficial scheme, consisting of a B20 hull, and G45 upper works. Photos show that the barbettes for the 5.25″ secondaries were also painted in B20. Paint appears to have been removed from the muzzle and reinforce ring areas of the barrels and the bare metal polished to a shine. In both cases, I’ve tried to replicate the overall condition as best I could from the photos available.

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