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Bottled Ship Builder

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It’s not too often I build a WWII era warship as most of them have been done to death, however, the heavy Italian units seem to get very little play. Duilio was an Andria Doria class battleship that was extensively rebuilt in the 1930s. So much so, it’s almost possible to consider them new builds, just recycling a large bit of the original ship. At the time this was done, it seemed like a cost-effective way to add 4 new battleships to the Regia Marina, but in the end they wound up being nearly as expensive as a new build anyway. The rebuilds weren’t terrible ships considering they were built to counter the French, not the heavy units of the Royal Navy.
 
The model was built to 1/1500 scale or 125’ to 1”. The hull and most large details are made of boxwood, with the balance being mostly brass and the sea is carved and painted Nootka Cyprus. She is wearing a camouflage scheme known in Italian as Spina di Pesce, which was used in early to mid 1941. Paint is from ScaleColors of course. If you’d like to see more of the process or would like to see more small ship models, you can visit my website at www.josephlavender.com
 
A bit of history: Duilio was an Italian Battleship that served in the Regia Marina during World War I and World War II. She was named after the Roman fleet commander Gaius Duilius. Duilio was laid down in February 1912, launched in April 1913, and completed in May 1916. She was initially armed with a main battery of thirteen 305 mm (12.0 in) guns, but a major reconstruction in the late 1930s replaced these with ten 320 mm (13 in) guns. 
 
During World War II, she participated in numerous patrols and sorties into the Mediterranean, both to escort Italian convoys to North Africa and in attempts to catch the British Mediterranean Fleet. In November 1940, the British launched an air raid on Taranto; Duilio was hit by one torpedo launched by a Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber, which caused significant damage. Repairs lasted some five months, after which the ship returned to convoy escort duties. A fuel shortage immobilized the bulk of the Italian surface fleet in 1942, and Duilio remained out of service until the Italian surrender in September 1943. She was thereafter interned at Malta until 1944, when the Allies permitted her return to Italian waters. She survived the war, and continued to serve in the post-war Italian navy, primarily as a training ship. Duilio was placed in reserve for a final time in 1953; she remained in the Italian navy's inventory for another three years before she was stricken from the naval register in late 1956 and sold for scrapping the following year.
 
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