Spanish Jaime I battleship




This is one of the three España class dreadnought battleships. Two of them were still in service to take part in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39, one on each side. Neither survived the war. Jaime I was in active service in 1936 and remained loyal to the Spanish republican government. She did not play a very significant role in the war a part from shore bombardment and was lost to an internal explosion in 1937. España was in reserve in 1936, was rearmed by the rebel nationalist navy and used to blockade the northern ports, until sunk by a mine laid by the own rebel navy, also in 1937.



Kombrig thus offers the only existant kit of a ship to serve under the republican navy, though H-P models offers the nationalist cruiser Baleares, Kombrig itself offers the nationalist battleship España and maybe we one day see someone release a destroyer of the era, as they were virtual copies of the late WWI English flotilla leaders.



These ships were remarkable in naval history as the smallest dreadnought battleships ever built. Even if less armed, less protected and slower than the original dreadnought, they would have been more than a match to ships of their same size, such as the late predreadnoughts of the USS Connecticut class, the British King Edward VII class, the Austrian Erzherzog Karl class or the Japanese Kashima class.



Vital statistics

History. Laid down: 1912; launched: 1914; completed: 1921; lost to an internal explosion: 1937

Dimensions: length: 140m; beam: 24 m; draught: 7.7 m; displacement: 15700 tons

Armament: 8x12 in. (305 mm.) in twin turrets fore, aft and echeloned amidships (thus, full 8-gun broadsides were possible), 20x4 in (102 mm) in an enclosed battery, 2x3in (76mm a.a.) over the centerline turrets, 2 saluting guns which were later removed. Light a.a.  guns were installed at the beginning of the war.

Armor: Krupp cemented 9 in (229mm) belt; 6 in (152 mm.) upper belt; 3 in (76mm) battery; 10in (254mm) turrets; 1-2 in (25-51 mm.) deck.

Engines: 2 shaft turbines, 12 coal-fired yarrow boilers, 20,000 hp; 19.5 knots. Endurance @10 knots: 7500 miles.

Complement: 850



The kit has a pretty unsolvable mistake. There are 18 secondary gun casemates instead of 20. Scratchbuilding the missing ones would not solve the problem as the others would have to be relocated. The instructions have also a minor error, as the order of the forward bridge platforms is wrong. The platform with the conning tower must be the lower instead of the upper one.



I represented Jaume I without foremast and with minor other modifications, as she appeared during the Civil War, and in the way she spent most of the war, that is, anchored:

  • I added Edwards' painted 1/700 figures and White ensign's 1/700 three-bar railings and ladders.
  • I added some extra Ironshipwright's photo etch and boats from my spares box.
  • Substituted brass rod for the masts, which were reshaped.
  • I added two extra a.a. guns, relocated the existing ones and removed the saluting ones.
  • I reshaped the forward bridge.
  • I added a 1mm. thik plastic card to the bottom to represent the usual lower displacement when at anchor.
  • I added minor details to the funnel.
  • I added extra boat davits.
  • The ship was hand painted and copper electric wire was used as rigging.
  • I made the sea of the fibreglass putty that is sold for doing minor car-body repairs.



The major sources I used were photographs, drawings and textual information in:

  • Aguilera, A. & Elias, V. (1972): Buques de Guerra Españoles (1885-1971).
  • García Flórez, D. (2002): Acorazados y cruceros. Buques de la Guerra Civil Española.
  • Infiesta Pérez, J. L. (2001): Los Dreadnought españoles. España, Alfonso XIII y Jaime I.
  • Jordan, J. (1986): Guía ilustrada de los acorazados y cruceros de batalla.












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