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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

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Hotchkiss 3 pound quickfire gun details required


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I am building a high accuracy scale model of ML167, one of the 550 motor launches built by ELCO and used for submarine hunting around the UK coast. I will model both the external and the interior details.   These boats were 80 ft long and with 2 large petrol engines. Although initially fitted with 13 pound Hotchkiss guns, these were replaced on ML167 by a 3 pound Hotchkiss quick fire, high angle gun.

I have one good photo of the gun mounted on ML167 - attached.

Ideally I want to find drawings of this gun but if they are not available I will do my best off this photo in which case I would like to know the function of the box-like structure above the drum mounting and below the frame that supports the gun.

There are few people interested in these MLs so I would be very interested in talking to any fellow enthusiasts as there are still many details that are not clear on the photos I am working from.

Gun  - enhanced.jpg

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Welcome to the forum!

Sounds like a fascinating project.

According to Wiki there are 3 surviving examples at HMS Drake used for ceremonial purposes so it might be worth getting in touch with them.

IWM appears to have a surviving handbook (for the land based version) which would need a personal visit https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1500086483

and a pre-war naval version https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1500084348

Good luck with the project





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Thanks for your rapid response David.

I live in New Zealand so visits to the UK are not possible without a lotto win!

The MLs had 2 main versions of mounting. Most were low angle mounts like the one in this photo below. The drum base is taller and there is no box-like structure.

It is  a pity the handbooks are not on line but I would be surprised if they covered this type of mounting as all the land based pictures I found  were the low angle mounts, often with masonry plinths.  I specifically want to construct the version in my first photo.


My interest arises from my grandfather (Alexander Reginald George Radford) serving on ML167 as CPO Mechanic.  He left me a life memoir that he wrote later in life and it includes a large section about his wartime life and experiences and this includes some construction details. After some research I found enough information to reproduce dummy copies of the engines, complete with external cam shafts as well as the rest of the engine room equipment etc and also have copies of two very detailed pencil sketches of a crew in the forecastle that also have details of the under-deck gun support structure as well as the details of daily life. 

I suspect this is a 5 year project with most of the time being research but after nearly 2 years I have the hull, complete with the 80 sets of frames, bulkheads and much of the removeable deck structure done. (current photo below)  All living spaces will be reproduced in detail as I have the battery, ESCs and control gear in the main tank amidships and two brushless motors concealed in what would have been the crank spaces of the engines. I have tested the hull and it looks great running on the water!

The real aim is to produce a model that will finish in a museum and shows the life of these guys who did such a lot to limit the effectiveness of the German submarine blockade. But is it not enough just to look right, it must also work right and hence the radio control etc.


If you have any other ideas of can think of others I might contact about MLs or the gun I would love to hear from you again!





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What a fantastic project to undertake Bill, progress looks pretty good from here and I look forward to seeing it’s progression. Are these of any use?





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  • 3 years later...

I am late to this post. I am the grandson of John Rooke Hunter Captain of ML 211 in WW1 and Captain of the HMCS Niobe WW2. My father (currently 95 yoa and in long term care) conversed with several individuals, perhaps from this site, who were interested in the WW1 Motor Launch's. My story on how I got here here is a long one but for the sake of simplicity I have acquired the services of a naval modelling architect to reconstruct the remains of a model my grandfather created 100 years ago. I do not possess the necessary talent to do so myself. I would love to see the final product of any ML model and I will be glad to display pics of ML 211 upon completion.

Sincerely, Angus Hunter


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  • 1 year later...

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