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HDML 1471 (1945); Fighting vessel; Motor launch; Harbour defence motor launch

Small craft

Object connections:

Collection Small craft, Ship models
User collections HDML Plans by Mirror3149
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID SLR1566
Description Scale: not calculated. The model depicts ‘HDML 1471’ and shows a wealth of detail such as guns, depth charges, stowed semi-inflatables with crossed oars, flag locker, and anchors. Everything has been made from scratch, too. The paint effect is worth mentioning, the depicted camouflage being a random mottled pale blue and cream, with the colours merging into one another rather than “hard edged”. The model is displayed in a case with curved edges and it’s mounted on four pillar supports that, unusually, support it like the four legs would a table, rather than them connecting squarely with the hull. The standard harbour defence motor launch (‘HDML’) was designed by W. J. Holt, at the Admiralty, in 1939. During the course of the Second World War some 486 ‘HDMLs’ were built mainly by yacht builders in the United Kingdom and other Allied countries, including the United States of America, Australia, India and South Africa. They were originally intended for the defence of estuaries and local waters but their design was so versatile that they were employed in every theatre of operation as the War progressed, from escorting convoys off the west coast of Africa to anti-submarine patrols off Iceland. They were seventy-two feet in length with a loaded displacement of fifty-four tons. We can see from the model that they had a very flared bow which gave the hull considerable lift in heavy seas. The very large twin rudders enabled them to turn within the turning circle of a submerged submarine. Although of wooden construction the hull was immensely strong and, in case of damage, there were six watertight compartments. The ‘HDML’ was designed to accommodate a crew of ten. There were berths for six ratings in the fore-cabin, which also contained the galley. In front of that there was a ‘Baby Blake’ sea toilet and wash basin. The officers were berthed at the after-end. The roomy wardroom contained the ship’s safe, a dining table and seating, a wine and spirit locker, a small coal stove which provided heating and a tiny footbath. Early versions were armed with a two pounder gun on the foredeck, an Oerlikon high angle/low angle machine gun at the stern and 0.303 inch machine guns either side of the bridge. In view of the boats’ tendency to roll later versions had, in place of the two pounder, a second Oerlikon.
Date made 1945-1957

Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials wood; organic: cotton; organic: paper; metal: brass; metal: copper; metal: steel; paint
Measurements Overall model and case: 533 x 1102 x 302 mm
  • HDML 1471 (1945); Fighting vessel; Motor launch; Harbour defence motor launch (SLR1566)
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