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HMS Vanguard was a British fast battleship built during World War II and commissioned after the war. She was the biggest, fastest and last of the Royal Navy's battleships.

Vanguard was well armored and well regarded as seaworthy, able to keep an even keel in rough seas. Displacing 44,500 tons, HMS Vanguard was only exceeded internationally by the Iowa and Yamato classes. Intended for use in the Pacific, the ship's speed of thirty knots would be fast enough to catch and destroy the Japanese Kongo-class battlecruisers.

Work on the HMS Vanguard's design commenced before the war. The design went through several evolutions before the keel was finally laid in 1941. The British had four old 15-inch guns and turrets in storage to allow one ship of a modified Lion-class battleship design to be completed faster than the five ships of Lion class that had already been laid down. Work proceeded slowly, incorporating the lessons of the war, and Vanguard was not finally completed until late 1946.

Vanguard had significant sheer and flare at the bow. At 814 ft 4 in, the ship was significantly larger than her predecessors, almost 50 feet longer and displaced about 6,000 long tons more than the older ships. At full load, Vanguard had a metacentric height of 8.2 feet. She was divided into 27 main compartments by watertight bulkheads.

By the time Vanguard was complete, the war was over and new technologies had rendered battleships largely obsolete as the primary means of asserting sea superiority.

HMS Vanguard's first task was to convey King George VI and his family on the first Royal Tour of South Africa in 1947. She spent the rest of her career with the Home Fleet and the Mediterranean Fleet. Throughout her career, the battleship usually served as the flagship of any unit to which she was assigned. Her complement was 115 officers and 1,860 men.

After a refit in 1955, HMS Vanguard was taken out of service, becoming flagship of the Reserve Fleet in October 1956. In this role, among other things, she provided sets for the film Sink The Bismarck. By this time she was also Britain’s last battleship, as the King George V class were disposed of by 1957. In October 1959 Vanguard was sold to the breakers, and in August 1960 was towed out of Portsmouth for scrapping at Faslane. She did not go quietly, running aground on the way out. She was pulled free after about 45 minutes and left the harbor – ending an era in British naval history.

We offer this primarily wood HMS Vanguard battleship model in two popular scales:

29" long x 10" tall x 6" wide (1/350 scale) $2,790  Shipping and insurance in the contiguous USA included. Other places: $300 flat rate. This model is in stock and can be shipped within five business days.

49" long (1/200 scale) $5,450 Shipping and insurance in the contiguous USA included. Other places: $500 flat rate. For larger sizes, please email us for quotes.'s warship models are far more accurate than any commercial entities in the world and this HMS Vanguard model is a prime example. Google the model's name and you will quickly see some prominent features that distinguish our quality: masts, radars, anchor system, dark wood deck, windows on the superstructure, antiaircraft guns. 

Learn more about the HMS Vanguard battleship here: