The Ship Model Forum

USS Oklahoma City CLG-5
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Author:  Martocticvs [ Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

Phenomenal detail level :D

Author:  DrPR [ Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

I am still plugging away on the wooden deck, one plank at a time.

I discovered a mistake in my initial layout. The planks are 4" wide with 3/16" grout between planks (actually the visible planks are 3-13/16" wide) so I created a template line pattern to help with the layout.

I had finished all of the margin boards and was working on the positions of the grout at the end of each plank when I discovered that some of the plank widths in the template lines were not on 4" centers. I have no idea how this happened, but after examining the template lines I found several places where the plank widths were wrong! Bummer!

Just about all the work since November has to be redone!

I have redrawn the template lines, checked them and double checked. Now I am redrawing the wooden deck.

Also, while working on the wooden deck I have found a few other errors in the placement and dimensions of details.


This is a good example why I stopped work on the real model and decided to complete the CAD model before resuming construction. It is MUCH easier to correct a mistake in CAD and it doesn't waste any materials and money.


I did discover something interesting. I know the wood deck was replaced several times, including once while I was aboard (December 1969 through March 1972). In all the photos from 1959 through 1975 the planks are in the exact same positions. Some of the details of things inset into the wood deck changed, but the positions and lengths of the planks are basically the same.

This is easy to understand. Before the original planks were laid down a series of threaded studs were welded to the steel decks. The studs were spaced at 2' intervals, with a stud close to the end of each plank.

Each plank had countersunk holes that fit over the studs, and nuts were screwed onto the studs to hold the planks down. After packing was in place around the nuts wooden plugs were driven into the holes - with the grain oriented to match the grain in the planks.

When the deck was replaced all of the planks were ripped up. At this point you had to be careful walking around topside or you would stub your toe on a stud. Then the deck was coated with a type of water tight glue and new planks were laid down over the original studs. So the new planks had to be exactly the same dimensions as the original planks.

This is one of the few details that remained the same from the 1959 missile conversion until the 1979 decommissioning.

Another interesting detail is that the blueprints call for plank lengths to be no less than 18 feet "where practicable." However, in reality they were 16 feet long, and the ends were offset 4 feet from one series to the next, resulting in the ends lining up in every fourth series. The plank ends were aligned with the ship's frames - every four feet. When I discovered this it became easy to draw the individual planks. Of course, in some places the planks were less than 16' long, and short pieces were used.


If you want to observe this process check with the Buffalo and Erie Naval Park. Last I heard they were planning to replace the wood deck on the USS Little Rock museum ship. Not many ships have wooden decks these days, so you don't often get a chance to observe this procedure! Better still, make a contribution to help replace the deck.


Author:  DrPR [ Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

I have been very busy with other non-modeling projects but I have finally gotten back to work on the wood deck. It is tedious work.

I have been scrutinizing photographs to determine how the planks were laid. I know from the blueprints that the boards were no longer than 18 feet, and it looks like they were actually cut to increments of 4 feet, coinciding with the frame spacing on the ship.

However, this forward extension appears to have been made with some scraps, so the plank lengths are somewhat random, and not always laid down in a regular pattern. Most of the rest of the deck does appear to be in a pretty regular pattern except at midships where the original two level boat davits were replaced with a single davit set on the starboard, and no davits on the port. It looks like the planking in these places has a lot of patches.

The forward part shown here was not on the original Clevelands. It was added to some of the CLGs, but no two are alike.


Wood deck 12 Feb 2018 1 small.jpg
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Author:  proflooney [ Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

looking good Phil been poking in once in a while. I been busy studying the design and drawing of ships of the 17th and 18th century. working on info to start a 74 gun ship have done some on a Bomb Vessel Cross section. its slow as hard to find any of the old timers in the model ship world willing to share knowledge on how to do some of the stations and such but I been making headway over the last few months.

Author:  DrPR [ Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

The wood deck is finished, all bazillion planks, margin boards and grout lines!

For most of the deck the pattern repeats every fourth plank, with the nominal plank length 16 feet (four frames). However, amidships the ship had a lot of modifications and the pattern is pretty scrambled. I used high resolution photos to determine where plank ends were positioned, but that didn't give me the entire pattern. This is my best guess.

There are a few finishing touches to do before I copy the deck from the working file and paste it into the full hull file. Then the hull will be almost finished (I need to add the trash chute at the stern).

Then the entire CAD model will be almost finished. I need to rework the AN/SPS-30 on the after radar tower, and maybe a few other small details. Then all I need to do is paste together the hull, forward, midships and after superstructures and it will be done!!!!

I don't know if I can actually do that. The resulting file will be about 1 gigabyte and will have about 2.7 million drawing entities and about 21 million points (these are the sums of the separate files, and there is a bit of overlap so the final numbers should be a bit smaller). I don't know if anyone has ever constructed a file that large with DesignCAD. There may be some variable(s) in the program left over from 32 bit days that just can't hold numbers that large.

Wish me luck!


wood deck 27 Feb 2018 1 small.jpg
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Author:  proflooney [ Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

good job so what is your next project lol how about a 1786 3rd rate ship of the line ))

hope you can get it all together in one file

Author:  DrPR [ Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

Well, if there is a next CAD project it will be either the USS Oklahoma City CL-91 or the USS Cape MSI-2.

I already have the hull, 6"/47 turret and 5"/38 gun mount for the CL-91 version. But it will be another multi-year project.

The Cape was MUCH smaller - 112 feet overall. I have the complete blueprint set to work from, but I haven't scanned the microfilm yet.


I will probably concentrate on creating 2D drawings for the parts of CLG-5 and then continue working on the 1:96 scale model.


Author:  Ian Roberts [ Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

Fabulous stuff Phil... I've followed this thread with great interest for years now. Someday I'd like to get into 3D modelling and this thread has been a wealth of information.

I'm personally hoping we get a wartime version of CL-91, but that's just me. ;)

Author:  DrPR [ Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

For the CLG version I have been working from the original blueprints, plus a lot of modifications that were made over the years and are visible in photos. I had hundreds of photos to work from.

But I have been unable to find the blueprints for the square bridge Clevelands. I have a couple of the Booklets of General Plans, but the drawings are really just sketches, and do not show how things were actually built. And I do not have many close up photos of the ships, especially the OK City. So I will have to do a lot more guessing for CL-91.


Author:  DrPR [ Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

Here are some pictures of the completed hull!! Well, almost - I still need to add the trash chute at the stern.

The hull shell took quite a while - it is built up of individual plates just as shown in the Cleveland blueprints. It has about 480 plates in 15 strakes, with each plate shaped and curved to fit the hull frames.

The lifeline stanchions were another custom fit project. Each is mounted on a frame that spans a 15" waterway at the side of the main deck. The hull plating extends above deck edge at the waterway, and the height varies along the length of the ship, so each stanchion base is adapted to the height and angle of the shell plating. No two are alike, but fortunately most of the port side were the mirror image of the starboard stanchions.

The fold-down life nets around the flight deck were another tedious job. Again the two sides are mirror images so I only had to do one side and then duplicate and mirror it.

And then there is the wooden deck, with each plank and grout line done individually. Only a small part of the two sides were mirror images.

505,959 drawing entities with 4,159,420 points.


Hull small 1.jpg
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Author:  DrPR [ Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5


The reason I am thinking about the USS Cape MSI-2 is that it was my first ship. I was Engineering Officer, Supply Officer, and 25 other official duties - right out of Officer Candidate School. Three officers (the CO was a brand new Lieutenant and the XO was a surfer from SOCAL and I was George) and 19 enlisted men. Home ported in Long Beach, California.

The Cape and her sister ship the USS Cove MSI-1 were perhaps the most useless "ships" the Navy ever built. And even though they were only 112 feet long and would normally be called a "boat" we had a letter from the Secretary of the Navy designating them as "United States Ships."

Serving on them was quite an experience! Did you ever see the TV series "McHale's Navy?" It was just like that. They were really too small to be an effective mine sweeper, so during fleet operations we were told to stay out of the way until operations were complete. Sometimes we would just patrol the operations area to keep out sight seers. We were bolted to the pier most of the time, and most of the crew lived ashore. We occasionally went out on "training" exercises around Catalina Island and fished, sometimes going dead in the water for a BBQ on the fantail. The Cape was the flagship of the mine squadron, for reasons that are totally beyond me!

Both MSIs were determined to be worthless and decommissioned in 1969, about six months after I went aboard. From there I went to the OK City, and that was quite a change!

So, you see, I think this ship is also unique in it's own way and needs to be preserved in CAD for posterity.


USS Cape MSI-2 small.jpg
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Author:  DavidP [ Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

George as in from the state of Georgia?

Author:  DrPR [ Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

The junior officer in a Wardroom (officers mess or dining room) is George. He is usually the Wardroom Mess treasurer. Officers have to buy their own food and contribute a fee out of their pay check each month.


Author:  DrPR [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

Here are some pictures of the stern with the trash chute.

This square trash chute was on the ship in 1960, probably there at commissioning because the earliest photos show it. However, it appears to have been crushed sometime after February 1971, and was replaced by January 1972 with a trash chute made of welded 55 gallon barrels with the ends cut out. But the square trash chute must have been repaired because it was back on the stern in 1974. It was still there at decommissioning in 1979.

I don't see anything like it in the WWII photos.

The hull is complete. Well, maybe it will never be complete. I can think of a few details that could be added, but it is finished for now.


Hull V26.2 5 March 2018 3 small.jpg
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Author:  jpeeler [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

Phil, every time you post an update I am amazed not only by the quality of your work, but the knowledge and detail that goes into it (and the love, too, because you couldn't put this much effort into something without having love invested into it). This is a memorial in its own right, and every ship should be this fortunate. Thank you for sharing this with us.

I also enjoyed your memories of USS Cape, as well. To me the obscure and "useless" ships are sometimes the most interesting. :smallsmile:

Jodie Peeler

Author:  DrPR [ Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5


Thanks. I don't know if it is "love" or "insanity!" I really got drawn into this without knowing where it would end. I was just going to build a 1:96 model on a fiberglass hull my oldest son gave me for Christmas 2004.

I immediately ran into problems because the plans that were available did not match the configuration I could see in the photos I have from when I was aboard. That led to years of research including getting the microfilm blueprints from the National Archives and photos from every other source I could find. That is how I learned about how many modifications the ship underwent (one or more each year for 19 years!) and how difficult it would be to pin down the exact configuration for any specific date.

Then I found errors in the blueprints and even mislabeled photographs on line of other ships that were supposed to be the Oklahoma City. That caused me to start modeling some parts in 3D CAD just to see how the parts fit together and to find dimensions not shown in the blueprints.

I think what I have drawn is pretty accurate for the mid-1971 configuration. I chose that date because I was aboard then and have lots of photos from that period, and because the FAST Crane ( was still there and I wanted to include it. It was removed in late 1971. But I am still guessing about some details. For example, was the round or square trash chute on the stern in mid 1971?

I am glad you have enjoyed my posts and I hope they will help others.


Author:  DrPR [ Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

I have started on a new model of the AS-1167/SPS-30 antenna for the AN/SPS-30 radar.

Back in 2008 I had only a few distant fuzzy photos to work from and the CAD model was just a place holder until I had better information to work from.
File comment: The 2008 model.
SPS-30 old.jpg
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I thought the base tower was a two part truncated cone with a cylinder on top of that. In fact the "joint" between the two parts of the cone was a foot rail, and the top was not a cylinder.

The antenna was mounted on two spacer rings at the bottom to raise it high enough that the parabolic reflector dish or the feed horn would not strike the deck at extremes of roll, pitch and elevation. The base tower actually isn't a truncated cone. It is circular at the bottom and more or less square at the top with rounded corners. The foot rail aided working on the mechanism.
File comment: The new base.
SPS-30 2.jpg
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The base supported a roll platform that pivoted along the fore-aft axis on bearings on the base tower. This was driven by two motors (not modeled yet) that corrected for the ship's roll to keep the antenna horizontal port/starboard. Above this was the pitch platform that pivoted on the port/starboard axis on bearings supported by the roll platform. Again, two motors (not shown) corrected for the ship's pitch to keep the antenna horizontal fore/aft.

The red part is the rotation platform that supported the elevation platform and rotated 360 degrees around the vertical axis on bearings on the pitch platform. It was driven by a large motor (not shown) mounted on the rotation platform. It is red because I have not finished with the basic shapes.

The rectangular box at the top rotated with the rotation platform. It contained electrical slip rings for power and signals to the elevation platform. It also contained the rotating wave guide joint for the radar signals to and from the feed horn.
File comment: The elevation platform.
SPS-30 1.jpg
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The elevation platform was a large box structure that pivoted on bearings in the rotation platform. A motor (not shown) on the back end of the rotation platform (where the holes are) pulled the cross member up and down to change the elevation of the antenna. The long feed horn and parabolic dish (not shown) attached to the front of the elevation platform.
File comment: The rotation platform and elevation platform.
SPS-30 3.jpg
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These are just the basic support shapes. There are a lot of details to add. Fortunately, in the past 10 years I have discovered detailed photos and some antenna drawings. I have received quite a few very close up photos of the SPS-30 on the USS Little Rock CG-5 museum ship by guys who help maintain the ship.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped with this project!


Author:  DrPR [ Thu May 31, 2018 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

I haven't had a lot of time to work on the AS-1167/SPS-30 antenna, but I did get a bit more done.

I have added the support arm and scanner head, and I am working on the reflector dish.

SPS-30 partial 1.jpg
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SPS-30 partial 2.jpg
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The dish was a surprise. Originally I thought it was an ordinary circular parabolic reflector. But I have obtained drawings of the SPS-30 and the dish was actually elliptical, with the major axis vertical! That posed some interesting problems for modelling because the edge of the dish was curved both in the plane of the dish and perpendicular to it!

SPS-30 scanner 2.jpg
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SPS-30 scanner 1.jpg
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The "organ pipe" scanner head is interesting. To get rapid vertical height-finding scanning it has a rotary waveguide switch inside the cylindrical part that directs RF energy into one of twenty equal-length waveguides arranged circularly around the end of the cylinder. The waveguides then fan out into a parallel bunch that wraps around 180 degrees and then bends around to the feed horn. A RF transparent cover over the end of the feed horn allows the entire waveguide assembly to be pressurized with dry nitrogen to prevent internal arcing with the 2500 kW peak RF energy.

Because the feed horn ends are stacked vertically, each beam strikes the parabolic reflector at a different spot and is projected outward at a different narrow (1.2 degree) vertical angle. The vertical scanning rate was controlled by the rotating waveguide switch RPM from 240 to 2400 per minute. Pretty clever!

The entire reflector assembly could be tilted from 6 to 30 degrees above horizontal for coarse elevation control, and then the multiple waveguides provided fine elevation sweeping. The antenna could rotate around the vertical axis in a full circle at 1 to 10 RPM.


Author:  mcg [ Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

For some days now I have been looking at this and just marvelling over it -- especially the vertical scanner. Fascinating. I think I can understand the multiple output waveguides, but I can't seem to map out the input side. In other words, how is that 2500 kW microwave energy input being supplied to the waveguide switch or rotor?

Author:  jpeeler [ Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: USS Oklahoma City CLG-5

In the live coverage of some of the Gemini splashdowns you can see the SPS-30 aboard USS Wasp rotate a little, reverse, rotate, reverse, and on and on to paint a narrow beam as they tracked the descending spacecraft. The first time I saw it I had to back the footage up to make sure I saw what I thought I saw, and I had.

Jodie Peeler

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