Combrig has a magnificent list of ship models with the later products being the best, but some three or four years ago they produced a n elegant ship which I had never seen or heard of before. The Aviso Grille was the state yacht of Germany before WW2, and was to play another part after the conflict. As it happened, the ship became a mine layer, and was sold after the war as a cruise liner, and scrapped very soon after in 1951 in the USA. If events had worked out differently then Hitler would have sailed up the Thames to view his new acquisition, Britain. I had bought the kit when it came out and always meant to build it and my enthusiasm was revived last summer in the Med, off Cannes when I saw a Turkish yacht which looks very similar but has two buff coloured funnels instead of one. I took a number of photographs to reinforce the project, and looked forward to the build.

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Having more or less seen the ship for real, I could imagine a scenario where at anchor, the subject would be a focal point for a number of other builds in attendance. To this end I included, an Arado sea plane, and 2 x S boots kindly provided by Rob Kernaghan. It was then that I was asked by Rui Matos about the time frame as the colour of the ship, and the S boots where in contradiction to each other. I then realised that a later period would be appropriate to have this arrangement, I also had an excuse to use my 9 x WEM Me 262 jets, but as the Roten Phiele (Red Arrows). So what is the story behind this strange scene, that’s up to your imagination………

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Data :

Built Blohm and Voss, Hamburg at launched 15/12/1934
Tonnage 3,430 max.
Length 135.1m
250 crew.
12.7 cm main guns.