When the requirements for this challenge were set, there were some complaints that all the ships would get the same arrangement due to 'too restrictive' rules, and there would be no room for creativity in this challenge. I have now forgotten who were the people discussing this, and it does not matter, but since I am known for doing unconventional stuff.......
I decided to take a Dutch real life ship that was already barely a pre-dread, and decided I wanted a different arrangement. Below is the result of my madness..... This might hurt my chances in the challenge, but it was fun to think out and draw.
The RNLN had an issue. They had vast colonies in the east indies, protected by light armoured cruisers, but their possible opponents had battleships. Their facilities and funding did not allow a much larger ship to be operated though, so there was little chance of actually opposing enemy battleships. This meant a problem, because the Dutch wished to remain neutral in any conflict in the area, which was impossible if you could not at least deny other nations the use of your waters and ports. So, it was proposed to build a ship that was not much bigger then the armoured cruisers already in service, but had the guns and armour to deny more powerful ships the use of the waters of the Dutch East Indies.
Thanks to the tactical advantage the Dutch ship would have in those (home) waters, it was decided to give the ship an focussed forward firepower arc for the main weapons. This meant that the engine room was wedged between 2 boiler rooms and the 2 single 28cm turrets were placed forward, with the battle conning tower wedged in between. In addition to that, the ship was armed with 4 150mm guns and 10 75mm gun mountings.
The ship could reach 18 knots on 2 engines (2 shafts) and 6 coal fired boilers. (4 forward, 2 aft). The displacement was 6600 tons.