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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:10 pm 
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Posts: 51
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It's been a while since I looked on the Ship's Forum, because I don't always build ships, but now I have a reason to reappear. I always wanted to build a carrier in 1/350 scale, having built some battleships already in this and smaller scales. Only, they seemed to cost a gazillion next to taking up some years of building time. Therefore it amazed me that I found the Dragon Princeton for years ago for about 100 euros. Not familiar with it, I took the risk of buying a relatively cheap kit and it payed off.

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The boxart is quite spectacular and the rest of the box appears crammed with CAD-generated design seen on most Smart Kits. A review can be found at: http://www.modelwarships.com/reviews/ships/cv/cvl-23/350-dr/dragon-review.html)

Compared to e.g. Trumpeter Essex kits, also on the affordable side of the shelf, the detail you get is impressive:

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Three sheets of photo-etch were included, which is a plus for me.

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Because I only wanted the best for this build, I decided to look for the White Ensign Models USS Independence set, consisting of two brass sheets full of jewelry and, with the Premium set, also a small sheet for the airwing, being clearpart Hellcats and Avengers.

Premium appeared to be depleted on Independence Day the year before, so I ordered the two constituents individually at WEM. Waiting for a restock, I learned that the company went for a shutdown and my order expired. I eventually found the base set somewhere in the US.

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That cost me some shipping fee, but that was soon forgotten when I saw the contents. Compare to the tiny Dragon sheets below left.

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At IPMS Holland I won a model kit guessing contest and the reward provided me with the other part of the WEM kit. Luckily the quiz-masters were acquainted with Navalmodels.com.

https://www.ipms.nl/regios/regio-zuid-holland/146-regio-zuid-holland-artiklelen/2036-regiotafe-zuid-holland-op-de-esm-2014.
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These also trade L'arsenal resin products, so I'm going to replace the sturdy Dragon seamen with them. Or would I go for 3D-printed?
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Still my hunger for luxury wasn't saturated. I found the nice Pontos laser-cut deck replacement necessary to do away with some damage found on my kit. I discovered that somebody had rummaged in it at the shop and hadn't put the deck back in the protective plastic. Several arrestor wires had been dented by sprue battering it.

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The Pontos set contains two deck-blue stained, laser-cut deck halves, a quite large photo-etch fret for the elevators and a dry decal set for CVL-22. I missed the premium anchor chain offer but was delighted with the regular contents of this upgrade.

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To study the ship construction data, I have Hugh Lion's entry on Independence class carriers, which is less exhaustive than its more illustrious couterparts.

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More useful for modellers appears Warship Pictorial, nr. 40. Nevertheless it only features CVL-22, showing each aspect up until its molestation by nuclear blast experiments. I heared on this forum of another book about CVL-22, but it seemed costlier. A third source I've managed to order at Amazon, a booklet called "Carrier Down"; it will hopefully arrive at my doorstep on january 10.

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Let's tell something about this ship, then. Pictures in this part come from http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-p/cvl23.htmThe US had to engage the Japonese in 1941 but they found out they lacked enough ships designed as carriers to respond. They needed something that was fast enough to follow the battleships and also able to contain carrier space and the necessary deck size to operate planes. Among others, Cleveland cruisers would do, restraining the space and length arguments but making for a very fast ship and a remarkable appearance, due to the uncovered bough, suspended island and 4 smoke stacks on starboard. USS Tallahassee (CL-61) was constructed at NY Shipbuiding Corporation wharf, Camden. A year later she was recommissioned as USS Princeton and october 18, 1942 she was launched.

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The shakedown cruise pictures show clearly the open freeboard:

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First she was painted in a two-tone scheme.

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Later on she got the more complicated pattern shown on the box-art. A short description of its actions in the Pacific theatre:

- 1-14th of sep. '43: flag ship at invasion of Baker Island
- raids on Makin and Tarawa
- early november: attacks on Bougainville airfields
- raid on cruisers at Rabaul, 19th recovery of Nauru
- return to Pearl Harbour as a damaged planes transport
- late januari new actions at Wotje and Taroa
- february: scouting at Eniwetok, bombing and air cover at Engebi airfield
- march: replenishments at Majuro intermitted by attacks at Carolines, Palau, Woleai and Yap
- late april, air cover for operation Hollandia and attacks against Truk and Ponape
- may-june: the Marianas
– mid june: Guam, Rota, Tinian, Pagan and Saipan actions
- Philippine Sea battle: 34 kills
- again Pagan, Rota and Guam
- july 14th: the Marianas again for landings on Guam and Tinian
- august 2d: in direction of Eniwetok, attack on Palau
- september: N-Mindanao and the Visayas
- back and forth between Palau and Luzon
- replenishment at Ulithi for the attacks at the Phillipines early october

This operation required destroying Clark en Nichols airfields. From these an attack was launched on Princeton. A single, low-flying Judy bomber dropped a bomb between the elevators moments before its interception by AA. A video of this can be found at:



The damage appeared to be minimal but the inherent problems of US wooden deck carrier design caused the bomb to plunge deep into the ship's hull, inciting fires and explosions. Accompanying ships had gathered around the burning carrier to salvage the crew and fight fire. Among these was the infamous Birmingham. None could predict the carnage that was going to be inflicted on these supporting vessels in a few moments.

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The ships were battered already by collisions with Princeton, when at 1524 a tremendous explosion coud be seen rising from the stern.

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Most of the casualties were not counted on Princeton, but on Birmingham, then alongside the carrier:

Quote:
The carnage on board the cruiser was horrific. Hundreds of men lay dead or wounded, and for a moment there was only silence. Out of a total complement of 1,243 officers and men, the Birmingham suffered 229 officers and men killed more or less instantly, 8 who would die from wounds within two days, 4 missing, 211 seriously wounded, and 201 with other injuries. Of the wounded, many had shrapnel wounds, and a significant number had perforated eardrums and compound fractures of arms and legs. 23

(https://www.usni.org/magazines/navalhistory/2009-10/hell-broke-loose-leyte-gulf)

Fires on Princeton went out of control and after salvage had concluded, torpedoes were fired from USS Irwin. It is believed that in battering against Princeton, the launching tubes of Irwin had been damaged: the torpedoes threatened to revert to the launcher. USS Reno took over and at 1749 Princeton was no more. She earned 9 Battle Stars. A flag that once flew on her and had been salvaged, was devoted in 2004 in a chapel in Princeton, NJ.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:02 am
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Location: EG48
Hey Steven - if you look on the front page of the instruction sheet you'll see my name under the box art picture. Feel free to ask any questions about the model or ship that you have. As far as I know the only small detail we missed is a small platform above the forward port side 20mm gallery that I discovered after it was too late to add it to the parts. WEM might have it in their sheet - I think I talked to Peter about it. We did the Princeton kit off of CVL-22 and -25 plans, a docking plan (which gave us the layout of the 3 x 20mm galleries), and a mess of photos of the ship, but we didn't see that platform until I went looking at the National Archives for any photos of an island ship's scoreboard (which I found and is included on the decal sheet). If it's not on the WEM sheet let me know and I'll get the oblique photo of it posted.

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"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:36 pm 
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Thanks for the fast reaction, Tracy! I suppose you mean this:

https://modelbrouwers.nl/media/cache/6c/89/6c89eacd453fda2ddf4ea24906741680.jpg.

It must have been great fun to produce this kit.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:32 pm 
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Location: EG48
124 is indeed the platform in question. :thumbs_up_1:

The kit(s) had their fun and frustration. Every mistake we fixed was one less mistake for every builder to be concerned with (if they were so inclined). Every added detail was a bonus (it took more than a couple of hours to figure out there was a pattern to the hangar deck ventilators and it fell into place, but it was something I really wanted to get added as I've been frustrated with the Trumpeter Essexes). But there were realities of production that were incredibly frustrating. We spent so long on tweaks to the CVL-22 kit, for example, that we backed into the time slotted for the instructions - not just "having them done," but a scheduled run at an outside printer. Delaying this would have cost money and had ripple effects on other products, but we didn't know this was happening until we were given a PDF of the rough draft on a Friday and told "We print Monday!" (which was Sunday due to the international date line).

The instructions went out better than what we had been given, but the group of us helping on the kits had notions of completely re-doing how Dragon did instructions to make them much more builder friendly. Never happened, and it's one of my biggest disappointments (biggest disappointment is some parts we missed on the CVL-22 kit).

All told, it was a good experience and I wish Dragon would re-pop them as there's still interest and they're getting rare and expensive.

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"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
-Barbara Tuchman


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:15 pm 
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Today I started finally building. I checked out the hull and decided that the hangar deck needs to be cleaned from the ejector marks.

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The difference can be noticed in these pictures.

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I also received the book "Carrier Down" after some delivery problems caused by natural disaster (!) and a wrong postal number. It seems like a great book and should prove useful in understanding the ship's career and interpreting some of the pictures on the net. About ten pages are devoted to the men that died or were wounded on that 24th october.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Location: EG48
Steven, one thing to consider when painting your hangar bay is color(s). I don't have any good photos of Princeton's hangar bay, but a directive released a full year before her loss orders the top six feet of her elevator bulkheads be painted black. Below that was most likely 5-N Navy Blue to match the deck blue when the elevator was down. You can see hints of that in this and this photo of Monterey.

I don't know how far back & forward this Navy Blue section extended. At least a couple of transverse girders.

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"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
-Barbara Tuchman


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:25 am 
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Those are great reference pictures, Tracy. One who would depict a docked ship, could easily include this little scene. I'll have to look for navy colors, I saw Lifecolor has a set with Navy blue in it.

I noticed that in the WEM set no quadruple 40mm magazines are included, as in the Eduard set. Sometimes they're covered with a tarp, I,ll see into it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:50 am 
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StevenVD wrote:
Those are great reference pictures, Tracy. One who would depict a docked ship, could easily include this little scene. I'll have to look for navy colors, I saw Lifecolor has a set with Navy blue in it.

I noticed that in the WEM set no quadruple 40mm magazines are included, as in the Eduard set. Sometimes they're covered with a tarp, I,ll see into it.


I don't know if they have reformulated, but you may want to read this Lifecolor review.

I believe AK interactive has the Navy colors in acrylic now if you need to stay away from other types. It also exists in Colourcoat, ModelMaster, and TrueColor.

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"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
-Barbara Tuchman


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:26 pm 
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StevenVD wrote:
Those are great reference pictures, Tracy. One who would depict a docked ship, could easily include this little scene. I'll have to look for navy colors, I saw Lifecolor has a set with Navy blue in it.

I noticed that in the WEM set no quadruple 40mm magazines are included, as in the Eduard set. Sometimes they're covered with a tarp, I,ll see into it.


Hi Steven,

just a small hint to help you with a decision what color line to use. Model Masters are matching the originals just perfectly. Stay away from the AK Interactives, at least until they change their formulas.

Good luck!


Attachments:
AK-I_vs_Testors_5N_20B_low.jpg
AK-I_vs_Testors_5N_20B_low.jpg [ 207.7 KiB | Viewed 1142 times ]

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Completed: USS Maryland (BB-46, 1945)
Just building: USS California (BB-44, 1945)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:01 am 
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I'm certainly looking forward to following this build. A beautiful kit even without all the extras. I've always admired the Independence-class carriers and felt their war contribution was just as important as the Essex-class.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:08 pm 
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Thanks all for your support. Let's continue with some actual building:

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I wasn't entirely convinced about the way the tops were sitting level on the stacks. In pictures, you see a clear spacing.

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Photo etch is milled clean of connector points.

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The locator hole for the top has to go, because I don't want a stack full of plastic.

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The stack is drilled out and filed open. Evergreen strip lines the inside of the top "hat".

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That takes care of the spacing.

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Some of the finest WEM parts go under the stacks. There are minute differences so the stacks are coded on the locator pin.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:18 pm 
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A nice start on an interesting ship! The Dragon kit appears to be very good. Great research you have done for the project, too. I'll be watching! :thumbs_up_1:

Aop

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--1/350 Tamiya DKM Tirpitz Nov 1944

--1/350 scratch-build HMS Lion never built battleship (1938)

And our artworks!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:25 pm 
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Welcome to this build, let's build the island superstructure and it's crane.

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If you didn't provide extra etch, you might have to deal with a broken jib, because the sliding mould has weakened the sprue and caused enough warping to damage the brittle piece. Luckily WEM included a jib and hook assembly, though not further illustrated in the manual.

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The usual fine detail on the parts is evident in the crane paltform, though the hook is overscale.

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The carrier island gets a PE bridge and a catwalk. I didn't count enough stanchions in the railing piece in front of the crane, that can be completed later. The inner wall for the island has been recast but the old number still lingers in the detail image in the manual.

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The radar construction follows next.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:25 pm 
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Welcome to this build, let's build the island superstructure and it's crane.

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If you didn't provide extra etch, you might have to deal with a broken jib, because the sliding mould has weakened the sprue and caused enough warping to damage the brittle piece. Luckily WEM included a jib and hook assembly, though not further illustrated in the manual.

[photo data-Image

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The usual fine detail on the parts is evident in the crane paltform, though the hook is overscale.

Image

The carrier island gets a PE bridge and a catwalk. I didn't count enough stanchions in the railing piece in front of the crane, that can be completed later. The inner wall for the island has been recast but the old number still lingers in the detail image in the manual.

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The radar construction follows next.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:11 am 
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Steve - just a heads up. Princeton didn't have that catwalk on the island that you have in photo-etch. Independence had it for her shakedown so it was in the CVL-22 and WEM PE, but it was never on Princeton operationally.

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Tracy White -Researcher@Large

"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
-Barbara Tuchman


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:38 am 
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Oops, thanks, Tracy! It will not be hard to remove, it's glued only to the side of the island.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:37 am 
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Really nice work! :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1:


Bob Pink. :wave_1:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:57 am 
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Yeah, I wanted to get that out there to you before it became any harder to remove. Glad to see good progress!

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Tracy White -Researcher@Large

"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
-Barbara Tuchman


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Thanks, Quincy! After heeding the advice from Tracy I threw myself on the early war mast. It's a challenge to combine the instructions of Dragon and WEM, because I should ignore the late war mast steps. It's turning almost completely to brass in a few hours of work, so I have to take measures to prevent it from toppling and losing its antennas.

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I accidentally reversed the platform because of the grid detail on this side, so the hole had to be re-drilled.

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No problem for this sturdy construction.

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A second platform is aligned carefully to have the top mast pefectly vertical.

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It all fits nicely, so we advance some days. Some tiny parts had to be retrieved multiple times, so a duster is kept aside.

[pimg]https://www.modelbrouwers.nl/media/cache/57/91/5791a97091f25aad880b78378a658f2e.jpg[/img]

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CVL-25 Cowpens had a structure resembling this, also showing the CS-2 attack radar like on many destroyers. 12 racks en 4 dipoles not 2 mm long had to be aligned not a mm apart on a grid that was hardly discernible. They could not be polished like the larger pieces so that had to be cut.

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http://c7.alamy.com/comp/HG1W88/uss-cowpens-cvl-25-bridge-HG1W88.jpg

I'm nearing the last chapters in the book and I have to commend it highly to you, even those who get nothing to do with this model. Most funny is the drunk squid story, but it soon turns out grim when you read about the people that have to search their way through scalding hose water and detonating plane munitions. It's not over when they're clear off the ship, it makes you think of the Indianapolis stories. And now I'm getting to the blast chapter...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:53 am 
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Behind the second smokestack was the SK air search radar, to be found on most carriers. It could rotate but relied for altitude measurements on comparison in frequency between lower and higher dipoles. It had a search radius of 320 km. Later in the war a circular antanna replaced the oblong one and was called the SK-2.

http://www.radartutorial.eu/19.kartei/11.ancient/karte143.en.html

I can choose between 3 parts, Dragon provided a plastic and a PE variant but I'll go with the most realistic representation from WEM, even if this seems twice the downscaled weight of the real one. This means that there are no folding lines and I had to guess where to fold the attachment structure. On some pictures it sems that WEM conceded to flatten some of the three-dimensional shapes in order to get things to go together understandably. I won't complain on that...

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The ladder wil be added when I can fix the understructure to the hull.


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