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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:52 pm 
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The Yorktown Class has long been saddled with an original sin...well not really a sin, but a mistake, that has plagued these ships since the late 1930's. The old actual OA length bugaboo. Was it 809 feet 9 inches or was it 824 feet 9 inches? It was actually the latter, 824 feet 9 inches OVERALL, AS BUILT, for all three. I will lay this goof to rest decisively, for all time, right now.

Okay, where did the goof begin? DANFS seems to be the main culprit for this dis-information, followed by many authors quoting the erroneous figures, followed by notable web sites, like CV-6.org, all repeating the basic error. Some sites do get it right. The Floating Drydock's Hornet Battle Damage book gets it right, as do their plans, Webb Warship's plans, The Maryland Silver Co. massive plans and blueprint books get it right, and guess what, the original USN builders plans, you guessed it, got it right!! Imagine that, builders plans that have the real length figures, right on them. Who'da thunk it.

Here is how I think this dirty yellow snowball got started downhill. DANFS puts supposedly "as-completed" figures in its listings. Unfortunately, in the case of all three Yorktowns, they put "as originally designed" not "as completed" figures in the listings. It all has to do with that rear flight deck overhang, which extends past the fantail on the hull by fifteen feet to the edge of the ramp. That overhang was not a part of the original contract design laid out in 1934. It was a later amendment, made during early construction stages.

The aviation community lobbied for the flight decks to be extended to overhang the forepeak and the fantail. BuShips said no on the bow, fearing flight deck damage in heavy seas. (Hornet's namesake CV-12 and Bennington, CV-20 would later prove the wisdom of that position). Fear of damage in shipping water over the bow seems also to have driven the bevelled corner shape of CV-5 and CV-6 flight decks. The earliest design drawings had squared flight deck ends, but well short of the hull dimensions. Based on experience with CV5 & 6 in service, BuShips gave in a little when CV-8 was building, and allowed the forward edge to be widened and squared off, as the aviation community felt the narrowing at the bow in CV5 & 6 increased the pucker factor when a pilot might drift off centerline on takeoff. Also, as all three had H-2 cats, this allowed a for planes with a much wider landing gear track to use cat launches on Hornet, where wide track gear planes might have their outboard main wheel run off the deck edge before clearing the cat track. This wider front ramp might also explain why she was the natural selection to launch Doolittle's B-25's, aside from availability. Ever look at the main gear white deck stripe on the Tokyo raid launch photos? That line would be right on the edge of the deck before the ramp was reached had CV-5 or 6 been used. The forepeak on all three ships extends 8 feet, 9 inches beyond the edge of the forward flight deck ramp. (Keep that figure in your head, 8'9").

CV5/6 bow plan:
Image

And CV-8 bow plan:
Image

BuShips DID however, concede to the extended deck overhang at the stern. CV-5 and CV-6 were both completed with this full overhang in place, as any look at their fitting out photos and shakedown photos reveal. CV-8 had the overhang from the instant it was decided she would be a repeat Yorktown, and not modified in any radical way. Norman Fridman's chapter on the Yorktown class, in his US Aircraft Carriers, An Illustrated Design History, describes the early CV-8 proposals in detail. Friedman also makes mention of the arguments for the overhangs, and how BuShips reserved judgement on the stern overhang in 1934, but he never closes the open question, namely, that the overhang was in fact, eventually included by 1937, and the ships accordingly completed that way.

Here is the original approved design in March 1934. Note the five inch gun on the fantail. Lots of Ranger CV-4 influence here:
Image
The bow also had a five inch originally planed:
Image

And here is a late 1934 updated plan, with the five inch gun deleted, but the deck still ending short of the fantail:
Image

Now, if the deck did not extend over the fantail, or the forepeak, it would be perfectly correct to say the overall length of the ships, and the overall length of the HULL proper, were one and the same. Here are the hull figures on the hull plan, indicating the OA length of the HULL is 809'9", and the length between perpendiculars is 770 feet (often misreported as 761 feet in erroneous sources. 761 was the light load WL length at 21 ft of draft. The design draft was 24 ft, and at the design displacement, the WL length was 770 feet, which is one and the same as the length between perpendiculars). This plan is longer than my living room, so forgive if this is too small to read clearly:
ImageImageImage

And here we have Yorktown's AS BUILT drawing, showing the real ship as she was finished:
Image
And Hornet's stern:
Image
Image
Now, the piece de resistance!
Here is Hornet's flight deck plan, aft end. The figure is a little smudged, but in the real copy, it is easy to read. This is the full ramp end to ramp end measurement of Hornet's flight deck. The figure is 816 feet, 0 inches:
Image
Now DANFS says Hornet was 809'9" overall. How could a ship that long have a flight deck that was 816 feet?!!!
Remember that 8'9" bow forepeak beyond the edge of the flight deck?
Image
Add that 8'9" forepeak extension to the flight deck length of 816 feet and you get 824 feet 9 inches OVERALL LENGTH. Years ago, I had measured the flight deck on Webb Warships plans for CV-5 and got the exact figure of 816 feet, even though that number was mentioned NOWHERE. Yet, there it is on the corner of Hornet's deck plan.

(Sidebar. DANFS also erroneously lists Hornet as a separate class. This also probably dates from preliminary contract studies, when it had not been settled just what changes CV-8 would have, and it was never updated. All other USN offical documents, and the USN Historical Center web site all list Hornet, correctly, as a member of the Yorktown class. Anybody who has the plans can compare. Almost all her drawings are repeat CV-5/6 ones. Her changes were far less than seen between most Essexes. It is her pilot house and bridgework that make her look much more different than her actual structure underneath indicates.)

One last detail. The figure of 824'9" grew in CV-8 first, in February, 1942, to 827 feet 5 inches when 20mm tubs were added to either corner of her stern flight deck ramp. CV-6 got her first pair of 20mm ramp tubs just like Hornet's, in July 1942. After Eastern Solomons, she had her single tubs doubled up to a pair on each corner. Her length was 827'5" from July 1942. It is erroneously reported that she was lengthened from 809'9" to 827'5" in her Oct 1943 refit. What happened is her official dimensions were re-measured post refit, in view of her extensive changes, and somebody in WW2's vast beauracracy looked at original design figures from 1934, instead of her actual "as built" figures from 1938, and wrongly recorded that the ship grew 18 feet. Whoever did this will never be known, but I'm sure that scenario is how this goof came to be.

For those of you who watched the Battle 360 series on Enterprise, I was assisting them all the way through, beginning at episode 2. (I'm in the credits!) Anyway, I told the exec producer that the notion that Enterprise was lengthed in October 1943 was an utter falsehood, and laid out much of what you see here. He went with the CV-6.org figures anyway, and the series erroneously stated that Enterprise gained 18 feet in 1943. I told the CV-6.org webmaster in e-mails some years ago that the dimension chart on CV-6.org was all wrong on this. He still would not correct it. I guess official builder's plans, verified by "as completed" photos are not enough to convince him that the flight deck really did extend beyond the fantail by 15 feet.
Go figure!

Cheers,
Mike

PS, Some weeks back, I sent a package to the US Navy Historical Center with recommended corrections to DANFS and their website, with plans and more details than I could include here. We'll see if they act on it. Probably it is like fighting city hall.

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Last edited by Michael Vorrasi on Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:00 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:20 pm 
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Tracy White wrote:
Very interesting! I'm trying to contact Hazegray and NHC to see if we can't get their DANFS entries corrected.


Tracy, if you have any pull with Joel Sheppard at CV-6.org, try him too. He thinks this is all a commie plot!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:28 pm 
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He either ignores me or my e-mails are getting spam-filtered out.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:11 pm 
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Tracy White wrote:
I started to. Haven't finished. At the very least you need to change the island and forward flight deck profile, but there are other minor changes as well.

On the subject of the forward flight deck, a cautionary note to users of the wood Nautilus conversion decks. Their CV-5/6 forward deck is not the correct shape. The Hornet deck looks to be right, but to get CV-5/6 from the Hornet deck, you merely cut the 90 degree front corners off by extending the beveled angle line all the way to the ramp. What Nautilus looks to have done is to keep the ramps the same width as CV-8, and instead of cutting off the corners to form a straight line to the ramp, they filled in the dog-leg to make a straight line to the ramp, essentially adding material instead of subtracting. This makes the CV-5/6 deck they sell have a greater forward flight deck area as their CV-8 deck. CV-5/6 should be less area and have a ramp that is 12 feet narrower. You would be better off buying their CV-8 deck and cutting the corners off by continuing the angle already started, since the angle on the CV-5/6 deck is completely off, and would require a much longer cut, with the possibility of getting the angle wrong.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:53 pm 
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Good to know; I bought one but decided I don't want to deal with that much wood on a plastic model so I'm going to try and scratchbuild a plastic deck... now I won't use the wood one as an exact template ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:50 am 
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Any good source of USS Yorktown photos for her Coral Sea configuration? I have the Classic Warships book on the Yorktown class but not much else. I'm busy Googling but the resolution on most of the photos I'm finding is rather small.

Thanks in advance,
Matt


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:57 pm 
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Yorktown's config at Coral Sea was essentially the same as she was at Midway. The best commercially available source is "That Gallant Ship" by Robert Cressman. A few other rare shots can be found, but this one book has probably the best single-source selection of the limited photos available. Further up on this thread is a link to a fairly high-res copy of the shot of Yorktown entering Pearl between battles. It shows her port quarter. (This shot is in the Classic book, but the resolution on this link is MUCH better.)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:00 pm 
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In regards to Yorktown's deck markings, we established a couple of years ago that she had them at midway even though most of the photos didn't appear to show them (video footage of a crash shot from the island during the battle showed them clearly). We didn't have a good idea of what the color was, however. Conventional wisdom was that the US Navy used white and yellow for their deck markings, but we had no information either way.

Ron Smith from AA Military Research found a color sample that was yellowed, but appeared to have been "glued" to the backing paper for the chip with more of the same paint, which had a light bluish color similar to Thayer Blue or Model Master's Duck Egg Blue.

I found and recently posted a December 1941 letter from the Commandant of Norfolk Navy Yard (The shipyard on the East that was responsible for manufacturing paint for all of the other east coats navy yards) to the Commandant of Mare Island Navy Yard (the west coast equivalent) detailing the formulas for both deck stain and flight deck marking paint. The stain has a different designation but is known to be what came to be known as 250N Norfolk Flight Deck Stain. The last paragraph contains the tidbit that the flight deck markings were matched to samples of 5-O ocean gray.

I personally believe this was more likely than a bluish color simply because the Navy was trying to keep the numbers of formulas that needed to be manufactured and stocked down and having a color that was similar would make things simpler in a pinch, but we don't have the documentation yet to state anything with 100% certainty.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:35 pm 
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5-O would certainly make sense in my mind. That would go a long way towards explaining why the markings are not visible in any of the Midway era photos, but show up fairly well close-up, as in the Wildcat DVD video footage.

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 Post subject: CV-5's ship's boats.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:56 pm 
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Does anyone have an accurate inventory of all the boats carried by the Yorktown in 1940?

Many thanks.

Adrian Davies


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:50 pm 
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Adrian,

I know there were quite a few boats on the outboard side of the island, but I need to check when they were removed and replaced by the AA battery. The sets of boats aft of the island (both port and starboard) and the one at the stern remaind.

The Hornet had the following up until a refit in Feb 42. Since she was 'almsot' as stster sip of the Yorktown, the same may apply.

At the stern:

36' motor launch

Port side going forward from the stern (at hanger deck level):

26' whaleboat mounted on top a 50' motor launch
40' motor boat - Admiral's barge
35' motor boat

Starboard side going forward from stern (at hanger deck level):

30' dinghy mounted on 50' motor launch
50' officer's boat

Starboard side forward (about at the funnel, hanger deck level):

30' whale boat
26' whale boat

Starboard side (about at the funnel, flight deck level):

40' motor boat on top of 40' motor launch
26' dinghy on top of 40' motor launch
40' motor boat


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:04 pm 
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Michael,

I've been reading your excellent notes regarding the accuracy of the given lengths of the Yorktown class. It occurs to me that you are something of a scholar of the class, and that maybe you could help me.

I'm currently rebuilding HP's 1/700 Yorktown to represent CV-5 as she looked in 1940. I have a collection of references: That Gallant Ship, The Steve Wiper book, the Floating Drydock set and the Maryland Silver plan book etc etc. However for conveniance I'm using the A D Baker drawings of CV-5 in the Shipcraft book. The reason I'm using this set, is the limits of my model space, and the compactness of the Baker drawings works in my 2 bedroom Manhattan Apartment.

My question is this. Are the Baker drawings accurate? And by that, to a tolerance of say 5%. Nothing glaringly wrong. After all, if I follow the drawings I won't end up with a model of the Bismark. Will I?

Many thanks from across the East River.

Adrian Davies


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:42 pm 
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ADavies wrote:
Michael,

I've been reading your excellent notes regarding the accuracy of the given lengths of the Yorktown class. It occurs to me that you are something of a scholar of the class, and that maybe you could help me.

I'm currently rebuilding HP's 1/700 Yorktown to represent CV-5 as she looked in 1940. I have a collection of references: That Gallant Ship, The Steve Wiper book, the Floating Drydock set and the Maryland Silver plan book etc etc. However for conveniance I'm using the A D Baker drawings of CV-5 in the Shipcraft book. The reason I'm using this set, is the limits of my model space, and the compactness of the Baker drawings works in my 2 bedroom Manhattan Apartment.

My question is this. Are the Baker drawings accurate? And by that, to a tolerance of say 5%. Nothing glaringly wrong. After all, if I follow the drawings I won't end up with a model of the Bismark. Will I?

Many thanks from across the East River.

Adrian Davies


Hi Adrian,

I cannot say for sure if the Baker plans are accurate, as I have never had a large set to measure, and all the small ones that show up in books are fairly useless. They look to be in the ballpark, but I never did a detailed study of these, as I already had the real deal for all three ships. I wasn't very impressed with the Shipcraft book, if that helps you any. If I had to say good to within a 5% margin of error, they probably make the cut. No, you won't see a Bismarck on the far side!

If you can track down the Webb Warship set, they depict Yorktown in her specific 1940 rig, with the big added navigation bridge platform, and are drawn specifically for modelers - they are nice and clean - from retracing the USN builders plans. The publisher is Australian, so they might be a bit hard to locate. I also have the USN plans, and so I can say that the Webb set is the most accurate for the 1940 rig available for easy modeling use. Floating Drydock had them, and not pricey (like around the $25-30 range if I recall). They are 1/192. The only disadvantage is that they are folded to fit into a booklike jacket, so you have to smooth them out well. But then, that might work for you spacewise. They are easy to partially open to specifc areas, and all sheets will fit on a normal dining room table. If you hunt down my article here from February 2003 on comparing the Trumpy and BWN resin hulls, the plans visible in some of the photos are the Webb set. You can get an idea of what they are like.

Big plans are always a help, even if your model is 1/700, because they show so much more detail that is not discernable in small scales. It helps to understand all the tiny details that are just vague dots on a small scale plan.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:51 am 
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I did notice one error in the Baker plans - the forward elevator in all the ENTERPRISE drawings is undersized by a significant amount. Compare it to the correct sizes of the sister ships.
The Webb plans are (apparently) no longer available from FDD as I didn't see them listed under the extensive listing of books. I recently obtained a new set of the YORKTOWN plans Mike refers to by Googling "webb warships pty yorktown". Amazon UK had an associate book seller who had the set. It was substantially more the $25 however. Mike is quite right, though, that the plans are exactly what a modeler needs though they need to be reduced for anyone modeling in less than 1/192 as that's the scale for the plans. The Webb plans were the first I came across which showed the port side elevation in detail. Even at that, if you are striving for a very high level of detail accuracy, some detail is not present in the Webb plans. Photos are a good augment and also help for the fit of a ship after the 1940 time frame of the Webb plans.
I would be remiss if I didn't point out that I have found some, er, inconsistencies with the Webb plans. If one is trying to use them to build a model directly from the plans, be careful to cross check dimensions. I have noticed that the hull stations for the aft half of the hull do not register with the forward half. That is, the aft stations are narrower than the forward sections by (as I recall)about .060 after I'd reduced the plans. Doesn't sound like much, I know, but that's about two feet in 1/350 - the scale to which I reduced the plans - and quite noticeable if not corrected. It would have resulted in a hangar deck edge which was not parallel along its length between the 5" gun sponsons fore and aft. Also, a dimension in the plan view may not match the same dimension of the same feature (5" gun sponson deck width, for example) in the cross section view. This is not a debilitating problem, just be careful to measure all available views and reconcile them before committing the dimension to the model. Most dimensions are just fine.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:58 am 
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John W. wrote:
I did notice one error in the Baker plans - the forward elevator in all the ENTERPRISE drawings is undersized by a significant amount. Compare it to the correct sizes of the sister ships.
The Webb plans are (apparently) no longer available from FDD as I didn't see them listed under the extensive listing of books. I recently obtained a new set of the YORKTOWN plans Mike refers to by Googling "webb warships pty yorktown". Amazon UK had an associate book seller who had the set. It was substantially more the $25 however. Mike is quite right, though, that the plans are exactly what a modeler needs though they need to be reduced for anyone modeling in less than 1/192 as that's the scale for the plans. The Webb plans were the first I came across which showed the port side elevation in detail. Even at that, if you are striving for a very high level of detail accuracy, some detail is not present in the Webb plans. Photos are a good augment and also help for the fit of a ship after the 1940 time frame of the Webb plans.
I would be remiss if I didn't point out that I have found some, er, inconsistencies with the Webb plans. If one is trying to use them to build a model directly from the plans, be careful to cross check dimensions. I have noticed that the hull stations for the aft half of the hull do not register with the forward half. That is, the aft stations are narrower than the forward sections by (as I recall)about .030. Doesn't sound like much, I know, but that's about a foot in 1/350 - the scale to which I reduced the plans. Also, a dimension in the plan view may not match the same dimension of the same feature (5" gun sponson deck width, for example) in the cross section view. This is not a debilitating problem, just be careful to measure all available views and reconcile them before committing the dimension to the model. Most dimensions are just fine.


Hi John,

I am not so sure that the narrower aft stations are incorrect. There is a slight tapering as you go aft when measuring the breadth of the hangar deck (i.e., the hull does narrow as you go aft). It is ever so slight, but the hangar deck edges are not parallel except for a very short stretch at the midsection of the ship (fore & aft wise). The drawing that has the sections (the right half is forward and left half is aft or vice versa) came right from the official USN plans. Webb did not alter it in any way, and it is in the USN set I got via Maryland Silver. BTW, you are exactly right about the Baker late war CV-6 drawing's forward elevator. Not only is it the wrong size, it is offset from true centerline, also wrong. Was it also wrong on the earlier CV-6 versions as well? I did not check, thought only the post 43 refit version had it. There is a fractional decrease in the forward elevator width on the post 43 CV-6. A bare few inches- too small to even pick up in plans of this scale, because of the later and longer catapults fitted. They bracketed the forward corners of the elevator pit and a slight reduction in elevator width was made to gain clearance for the catapult. It was however, evenly done, and no repositioning of the elevator was made. BTW, Floating Drydock may still have them. Check under Miscellaneous drafters, see set W-CV5 at $40. I would double check with FD first, but I am fairly sure these are actually the Webb sets. Webb also had CV2, 3 and 7, and these are also the ones listed with W prefix, so I smell a match! If you like Wasp, the Webb CV-7 set is also excellent.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:04 am 
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Michael Vorrasi wrote:
Hi John,

I am not so sure that the narrower aft stations are incorrect. There is a slight tapering as you go aft when measuring the breadth of the hangar deck (i.e., the hull does narrow as you go aft). It is ever so slight, but the hangar deck edges are not parallel except for a very short stretch at the midsection of the ship (fore & aft wise). The drawing that has the sections (the right half is forward and left half is aft or vice versa) came right from the official USN plans. Webb did not alter it in any way, and it is in the USN set I got via Maryland Silver. BTW, you are exactly right about the Baker late war CV-6 drawing's forward elevator. Not only is it the wrong size, it is offset from true centerline, also wrong. Was it also wrong on the earlier CV-6 versions as well? I did not check, thought only the post 43 refit version had it. There is a fractional decrease in the forward elevator width on the post 43 CV-6. A bare few inches- too small to even pick up in plans of this scale, because of the later and longer catapults fitted. They bracketed the forward corners of the elevator pit and a slight reduction in elevator width was made to gain clearance for the catapult. It was however, evenly done, and no repositioning of the elevator was made. BTW, Floating Drydock may still have them. Check under Miscellaneous drafters, see set W-CV5 at $40. I would double check with FD first, but I am fairly sure these are actually the Webb sets. Webb also had CV2, 3 and 7, and these are also the ones listed with W prefix, so I smell a match! If you like Wasp, the Webb CV-7 set is also excellent.


Mike -
I guess I looked in the wrong place for the Webb plans at FD. Hopefully your detective work will help others. I'm a lost cause on this one, though.
As far as the plans discrepancy, here's what I found. The hangar deck edge is parallel from station 8 to 18 on the Webb plans, but tapers inward forward of 8 and aft of 18. My body plans - reduced to 1/350 along with the rest of the sheet - show station 11 0.060" wider at the main (hangar) deck than station 12. (For others: stations 1 - 11 are shown on the right side of a vertical ship center line, in other words as you would view them looking from the bow, aft. Stations 12 - 21 are to the left of the same center line, in other words as though you are looking from the stern, forward. Stations 11 and 12 should therefore have the same width at the main (hangar) deck since they are adjacent to each other where the main deck is parallel.) I went back to the original Webb 1/192 plan and found that there was also a discrepancy there, though it was actually SMALLER than 0.060". I have to conclude that somehow some horizontal distortion (at least) was introduced in the reproduction / reduction process. This makes no sense to me because it means two parts of the same drawing, only two inches apart, were affected differently during the process. There are no vertical folds in the original plans near that part of the plan. The copier was a very high quality machine used by a commercial shipyard! Hmmm. Sigh. Others might want to check carefully any reduced plans to ensure you don't end up with a similar problem.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:49 pm 
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John,
If its rainy and I have time this weekend, I'll try to compare the USN and Webb versions of the cross section drawing and see how they match up. Good point about distortions in reproduction though. There is even a further paper swelling and shrinking factor depending on humidity in the air when we get down to fractions of an inch like this!
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Michael Vorrasi wrote:
John,
If its rainy and I have time this weekend, I'll try to compare the USN and Webb versions of the cross section drawing and see how they match up. Good point about distortions in reproduction though. There is even a further paper swelling and shrinking factor depending on humidity in the air when we get down to fractions of an inch like this!
Best regards,


Roger all. In spite of it all, I am making steady progress on the HORNET. The fractions of an inch which not be noticeable as long as one keeps checking along the way. My largest concern is misfitting subassemblies. Let's face it, no one will be able to put a scale ruler on the model once it's completed and in a case. That's what I keep telling myself. Still, the Trumpeter kit was not off by tiny fractions in many areas. No, not tiny.
Thanks for the tip on the Webb plans at FD - I didn't realize that the W plans were Webb plans. I did some more Googling of Webb Warships PTY and found several more listed and for sale by some companies - one in particular in Australia. I saw one or two others I might like, now that I know what's in the Webb package. I saw the same plans listed at FD as well so I'm going to try for them there first. Thanks again for that.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:39 pm 
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Hi All,
I intend building Yorktown as she appeared in 1938 -1940, are there any drawings or plans on the internet that anyone knows of ?

Recommeneded References ?

I have Tamiya Enterprise and Hornet, what parts do i need from both kits ?

Thanks for any help

Happy Modeling

John

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:31 pm 
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kidcurrie42 wrote:
Recommeneded References ?


http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-u ... /cv5-c.htm
http://www.floatingdrydock.com/Bu.htm but these might be overkill for a 700th scale model.

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