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Topic review - Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Thanks Mark

EJ
Post Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:25 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
MM2CVS9 wrote:
Mark McKinnis wrote:
Hi Alleycat,

Tracy is indeed the expert (He has a second sale on his book here as well) but I might be able to give some higher level tips.

Mark


Looked around the site for Tracy's book, but could find no reference to it. Is it available and if so, where/how can I get one. Been waiting.

EJ



I believe that he is still writing it.
Post Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:15 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Mark McKinnis wrote:
Hi Alleycat,

Tracy is indeed the expert (He has a second sale on his book here as well) but I might be able to give some higher level tips.

Mark


Looked around the site for Tracy's book, but could find no reference to it. Is it available and if so, where/how can I get one. Been waiting.

EJ
Post Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:04 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Thanks for the replies. Hopefully I am doing the "quote" thing right.

Dick J wrote:
For 1944, you have a point. But I believe that the kit was released for the "as commissioned" period.


The 1/700 Dragon Essex depicts the "as commissioned" configuration as you say, but the box art shows splinter camo with the two quad bofors on the port forward hanger deck sponson. This is misleading since these were done at the time of the April 1944 refit and the box does not contain these parts and the others mentioned. The radar depicted on the box art is also wrong for any Essex period. I think I fully understand the Essex "as commissioned" configuration.

Now I THINK I understand the Yorktown "post splinter/pre-refit" configuration as well. Correct me if I am wrong but it is the same as Essex "as commissioned" but with the newer cat (no changes needed - Yes!) and the two quad bofors mounts starboard aft and INBOARD near the crane . I think the time period was May through August give or take a few weeks. So this is an easier choice for the Dragon Essex kit than building post-refit Essex, and the splinter is nicer looking than the all blue pre-refit Essex.

So for the same time period (say April to September 1944) was Hornet (CV-12) the same as Yorktown? Same cat? Same 40mm bofors configuration? Same island deck configuration? Same aircraft? Probably a little different splinter paint scheme. Hornet info seems harder to come by.

For anyone reading through this thread and looking at building the 1/700 Dragon Essex kit in a splinter paint scheme and do not want to buy a second kit to "bash" it is much easier to build her as Yorktown in the Splinter/pre-refit time period than as Essex in post-refit splinter. Just scratch build the two starboard aft INBOARD mounted 40mm quad bofors tubs/mounts as discussed. You will also need to mask and paint the big black "10"s on each end of the flight deck, and I plan to paint the white "dashes" rather than use the kit decals which may or may not be correct. You will also need to find some SB2C-3 Helldivers to replace the kit SBDs.

I am still waiting to find out more about Hornet (CV-12).
Post Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:16 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
alleycat wrote:
I discovered on my own that the Dragon (Essex?) kit has the following errors:
1) Missing two quad Bofors on the port side hanger deck sponson - where the catapult was never installed.

These were not at first installed on the Essex. When she commissioned, it was still intended that she would add both catapults at some point, so no 40MM were installed there. In fact, using that extension for 40MM had not yet been thought of. The long-hulls were the first to complete with 40MM there. Franklin had her hangar cat deleted before leaving for the war zone, but did not initially have 40MM installed on the sponson. Ships already in the Pacific were modified with 40MM on that sponson when receiving refits or repairs. Essex had the track for a flightdeck catapult, but did not actually have it installed until later, when she received the shorter H-2 type.

alleycat wrote:
2) Missing two starboard aft quad Bofors near crane.

Essex, Yorktown, and Lexington all commissioned without those hangar-level 40MM mounts. They were added to Yorktown and Lexington before they entered combat, but not on Essex. On the ships that received the "outboard" 40MM (the three on the side below the island and the two at flightdeck catwalk level portside-aft) the two hangar level 40MM were moved outboard as well. (Uniquely, Intrepid had one done on one refit, and the other done later. Go figure??) When Essex finally had them added, they were in the inboard position!!

alleycat wrote:
3) Two forward island decks are the wrong shape for post '44 refit (flag bridge extended and forward quad Bofors removed.
4) Missing enlarged radar platform on tripod mast (I bought a nice PE WWII US Navy radar set so any configuration should be covered).

For 1944, you have a point. But I believe that the kit was released for the "as commissioned" period.

alleycat wrote:
5) Deck catapult too long (before reading this thread I thought there were 2) It would really be nice to build something with the cat as depicted.

You are correct, but to be fair to Dragon, Essex was the only ship of her class to have the shorter cat. They would have had to produce a "one-off" deck for their first kit of the class. Once it was proven they could make the money at it, they did produce a one-off deck for the Antietam. (Which would have been a lot nicer had they done the correct length for the forward end of the deck!)

alleycat wrote:
So question #1 - Did Yorktown have these 40mm gun tubs (two starboard aft quad bofors near the crane) at this time?

She had the hangar level quads added in the original inboard position shortly after commissioning. They were moved outboard when the other outboards were added during her Sep '44 Puget sound refit.. Yorktown had the hangar cat removed and the second flightdeck unit installed in the same refit.
Post Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:28 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Hi Alleycat,

Tracy is indeed the expert (He has a second sale on his book here as well) but I might be able to give some higher level tips. It would probably be easier if you decide on which ship and what era first. Then it gets easier to figure out which kit does the best job for the Essex Class of choice in that era. As I recall the Dragon Lexington and Hornet Kits are the most accurate for those ships but I am not sure. Tracy would be better to confirm that.

Big picture stuff first.

One CAT or two. It is hard to correct those decks so I would make that call first. I seem to recall that all of the long hull ships were two CATs. It is pretty easy to remove the hanger cat.

Early bridge layout or later bridge layout. I would have to go back and figure out which kits do which combo but they are out there.

Dragon added in parts sprues to the original kits for the later models so you get extra parts to help with reconfiguring AA layouts.

That is just a few things.

Good Luck,

Mark
Post Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:16 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
That's good news, thanks.

Like I said, I spent quite a bit of time reading through this thread and must admit as to quite often being confused as to which changes are needed by the various Trumpeter or Dragon kits. It was probably explained clearly but after 106 PAGES! my head is spinning. So my apologies if this has been answered before.

To Tracy White,

I could really use your book about now! Consider one sold to me, sight unseen. I can't wait.

To Everyone,

I have been waiting for many years for a good quality 1/700 USS Enterprise (CV-6) to do her at Midway in Measure 11 I believe, but I have given up on that (I saw last night that there is ANOTHER Yorktown CV-5 coming out next year, oh well, maybe it will be an easy conversion - why do the model companies ignore Enterprise?). I found a good price on a 1/700 Dragon USS Essex (CV-9) and have been researching on my own until I found this site a few weeks ago. I want to do one of the Essex class in splinter scheme, just in case that Enterprise comes along soon, but have no preference as to which ship to do or which time frame or battle to depict (other than splinter).

I discovered on my own that the Dragon kit has the following errors:

1) Missing two quad Bofors on the port side hanger deck sponson - where the catapult was never installed.
2) Missing two starboard aft quad Bofors near crane.
3) Two forward island decks are the wrong shape for post '44 refit (flag bridge extended and forward quad Bofors removed.
4) Missing enlarged radar platform on tripod mast (I bought a nice PE WWII US Navy radar set so any configuration should be covered).
5) Deck catapult too long (before reading this thread I thought there were 2) It would really be nice to build something with the cat as depicted.
6) I always have questions about number and location of 20mm Orlikons but will save that for later if I can't find it on my own.

So it looks like it would be much easier to build this "Essex" as one of her sisters. I am thinking Yorktown after application of splinter but before refit or maybe as Hornet (both as seen on page 13 of "Essex Class Carriers in Action" - Squadron-Signal. My question is which requires the least work from this kit. I read on here that Yorktown is close to the Essex pre-refit configuration but I do not know about the two starboard aft quad bofors near the crane. Also, one source claimed that Yorktown got a second catapult at the time of the first splinter paint job (BEFORE the refit), but I do not think I believe this.

So question #1 - Did Yorktown have these 40mm gun tubs (two starboard aft quad bofors near the crane) at this time and when was the second cat added? (OK, so that is two questions)

Question #2 - What time frame would be best for Hornet which would allow for the fewest changes, and what might those changes be?

Question #3 - It looks like no matter which way I go I will need some Helldivers. I have been searching for the Dragon ones so I can easily do folded wings but I can not find them anywhere in stock. So can anyone tell me where I can get them or offer another solution. I found references to a Dragon set that included 6 Hellcats, 6 Avengers and 6 Helldivers and the extras would be nice but I would still need some additional Helldivers. I think 12 of each would be perfect to show a busy hanger and flight deck. I know that Trumpeter has these but I believe the wings are depicted extended. Is Trumpeter my only choice?

This is my first ship model since the early 1970's. I am a long time aircraft modeler with plenty of reference material plus my brother is a famous and successful aviation artist (he did many Revell/Monogram aircraft model box covers) so I have that side covered. I can do scratch building but some of the Essex sponsons have fairly complex shapes so I would prefer not to attempt to scratch those. I looked into getting the Dragon Lexington (CV-16) so I could do a post-refit Yorktown but the supply seems to have dried up.

Also, in my researching I found some 1/700 scale 40mm Quad Bofors from the Fine Molds Nano Dread line and ordered them. I do not understand why I saw no reference to them in this thread as they are very nice and much more accurate than the Dragon Bofors. They even fit the PE splinter shields I have. This product is one reason I decided to do an Essex, just to use them! Another reason is the book "Ship Models from Kits" by David Griffith. I really want to try some of his techniques (soldering masts, rigging, filter painting, diorama bases, etc.)

Everyone is welcome to make a suggestion or vote on which Essex I should depict. I reserve the right to make the final decision however.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Post Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:51 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
These are threads meant for continuous use, and most of the major players are still around, so ask away!
Post Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:19 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
I have spent many hours over four days reading through this thread to see if my questions were answered. Now it has been over one month since a post in here, last post September 20 2014. Can someone tell me if this thread is still active? If not, where is it continued. If it is still active I will post my questions here.

Thanks
Post Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:42 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Tracy White wrote:
Don't have an exact date. Not fully removed until her overhaul in the summer of 1945, but for modeler's purpose by February of 1945. Murderers' Row in December is unclear. Hoping to resolve that for sure on my next NARA trip.


The Feb 1945 photo on Navsource shows Hornet during an UnRep, and the fold-up catapult section is gone but the mounting stub of the catapult is visible, but all remaining trace of it was removed in her mid-1945 return to the States for major overhaul. When it was done is uncertain, but it could have been removed while forward deployed. Ulithi had equipment there that could have handled it.

June 1944, still there, and a similar but less clear July 1944 shot also shows the folded up catapult:
http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/021273.jpg

Feb 1945, catapult track gone and stub plated over:
http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/021234.jpg
Post Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:12 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Thanks, y'all.

Mike
Post Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:53 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Don't have an exact date. Not fully removed until her overhaul in the summer of 1945, but for modeler's purpose by February of 1945. Murderers' Row in December is unclear. Hoping to resolve that for sure on my next NARA trip.
Post Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:40 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Timmy C wrote:
Mike, he's talking about CV-12 (we're also in the Essex class thread ;)).


LOL. It's been a long day! I would have sworn the e-mail said a new message in the Hornet thread. Sorry about that! It is just that the topic of CV-8's hangar cat and sponsons and their removal was quite coincidentally, just being discussed there, and I had just posted on it there. Did not realize the question was for CV-12 info. That said, I'm fairly sure she kept her hangar cat until well into 1944. June 1944 photo shows it still there. Another, dated Feb. 1945 shows it gone.
Post Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:17 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Mike, he's talking about CV-12 (we're also in the Essex class thread ;)).
Post Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:46 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Hornet CV-12  Reply with quote
quote="Mikevpd"]When was Hornet's hangar deck catapult removed?

Thanks in advance,

Mike[/quote]

The hangar cat was removed at Pearl Harbor during Hornet's yard period that ran late from mid June to early July, after the Battle of Midway. During this time, her SC radar was moved aft to the main mast and a CXAM salvaged from California was installed on the tripod mast. Other mods included enlargement of the bow tub to receive a fifth 1.1 quad, and increasing the 20mm battery alongside the island from four to eight guns. Also,some of the small catwalks along the top of the funnel were removed (the aft sections remained).
Post Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:37 pm
  Post subject:  Hornet CV-12  Reply with quote
When was Hornet's hangar deck catapult removed?

Thanks in advance,

Mike
Post Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:49 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Molding kits from the molds involves setting up the machine, doing test runs to get settings right, then running the desired numbers of sprues for a specific number of kits. Depending on the size of the kit being made and the schedule needed to run other kits (they can't afford to buy a mold machine to run just one mold, one injection machine will be used for any "mold" sized for that machine), they don't want to have too much "downtime" between production runs. So, running production for as many kits as possible all at one time ... aka making two dozen to fill some supplier's need isn't feasible ... is the norm in any production operation. Manufacturers will access how many kits to make and make that many. In some cases, like Trumpeter in cooperation with Pitroad on some kits, will run both production runs at the same time. I assume that in the case of Pitroad (and any other partner) that Trumpeter will only provide the molded sprues, perhaps in plastic wraps, to them and Pitroad will box them in their own boxes and make an "Instruction Sheet".

In cases where there are multiple kits made from the same molds, like the ESSEX class, DML or Trumpeter will likely make a production run of parts for ALL variants at the same time. Even if they don't package and release ALL those variants on the same date. For marketing and production line packaging schedule, they likely will space out the releases ... or rather RE-releases.

DML, Trumpeter, Tamiya, etc all paid to have molds made ... they can and will reuse them to make more kits once demand has made it economical to do so. The Japanese 1/700 scale cartel has been doing that since the 1970s. Sometimes they will still make kits from older molds, even if a "newer" mold for that kit exists. The older kit version will sell for less than the new version, even if of poorer quality/accuracy the price is attractive to some.
Post Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:41 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
As I understand it, kits are simply molds that they plug into the big injection molding machines. Naturally, there are a lot more molds than there are machines, so every company has to find time to give each mold their moment in the sun, so the speak. Molds for kits that are less popular, such as ships, would be out of the molding machines for a lot longer than those of more popular subjects.
Post Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:00 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Well, explained like that it does make good business sense. I kind of got worried and assumed the kit will never be available again, silly me! Now I've got one I'm not looking for another with any urgency, but it's nice to know if I want one next year or something that they'll be back eventually.
Post Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:50 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all WWII Essex Class Carrier Fans!  Reply with quote
Most kit manufacturers will not perpetually flood the market with a particular subject. They would rather wait until demand grows a bit more so that their next run sells out again, as opposed to maintaining stock in a warehouse. That said, I'll let me contact at Dragon know and see if I can't grease the skids a bit.
Post Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:52 am

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