1/600 Royal Navy 8" MKVIII MKII Turrets x3 York Class (HMS Exeter 1939)
1/600 Scale Royal Navy 8" MKVIII MKII Turret x3 (HMS Exeter 1939) as used on HMS Exeter at the time of the Battle of the River Plate. Highly detailed guns modelled from plans and many reference photographs. Historical Note: the MKII Turrets as used on Norfolk and York Classes were slightly different to the MKI in that they had a longer gunhouse, no wedge shaped Turret underside or extra side mounted Sighting Ports as per the MKI and other slight cosmetic differences. Suitable for HMS York or HMS Exeter as launched.
- 3x Mounts
- Highly detailed and accurate parts, modelled from plans and photographic reference
- Details include: Rivets, Hex nuts, Venting, Crew Access Doors, Ladders, Sighting Ports, open Rangefinder Ports
- Barrels are printed separately and can be elevated as desired.
This weapon was designed for Britain's Treaty Cruisers of the 1920s. Similar to other cruisers of that era, the mountings for these weapons were given a high maximum elevation in order to provide an anti-aircraft capability. However, the training and elevation gear was inefficient and both the elevation and training rates were too slow to allow these mountings to be useful in that role.
The complex nature of the early versions of these mountings, the Mark I and Mark I*, gave trouble for a number of years. Considerable attention was paid to these faults, especially in 1927 and 1928, before these ships were accepted into service. After the initial trials, the training and elevation rates were reduced prior to commissioning and reduced still further during the 1930s in an effort to improve the operational performance of the turrets.
On 26 July 1929, one of these guns on HMS Devonshire suffered a catastrophic breech failure at the first salvo during a practice firing. One shell and a number of cordite bags were ignited, blowing off the roof of "X" turret and killing one officer and seventeen crewmen.
Most of the problems seem to have been satisfactorily resolved prior to the start of World War II, but HMS London reported as late as June 1938 that "one would wish that the 8in mountings and torpedoes would behave as they should. The prolonged firing of 20 rounds per gun from London was a disappointment on the material side."
The later Mark II mountings appear to have been much more reliable, with the first gun trials for HMS York in February 1930 being so successful that they took only four hours to complete. As a weight saving measure, the Mark II* version of this mounting, used only on HMS Exeter, had a significantly reduced maximum elevation.
The original design was A tube, wire, B tube, overlapping jacket, breech ring and breech-bush and these guns were designated as Mark VIII* upon completion. Owing to troubles with the A tube forging, an inner A tube was added to half of the wire wound guns. After relining with a tapered inner A tube, guns were then designated as Mark VIII. Two prototypes and the last 26 guns built did not use wire and were designated as Mark VIII**. All guns used a Welin breech-block with hydraulic or hand worked Asbury mechanism and were interchangeable with each other. A total of 168 guns were produced, including the two prototypes built without wire.