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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:56 am
Posts: 7413
Location: New York City
Yep, you read that correctly. A USN, not an IJN, build.

I’ve been planning to build a cage mast version of one of the Big Five ever since Trumpeter released its 1/700 Maryland kit back in 2013. Actually 2012, since I did see the sample kit on the Trumpeter table at the IPMS Nationals in Orlando. Very exciting. Now seems as good a time as any to build one.

It’s been more than 50 years since I first read my father’s copy of “Day of Infamy” (right next to “A Night To Remember” on the bookshelf). That book entranced me and introduced me to a whole side of WWII that I barely knew existed. I was as taken by the descriptions and photos of the American battlefleet and their fight as I was by those of the Japanese attackers. Building every BB on Battleship Row was beyond my skills back then; one could sort of modify the classic Revell Arizona to cover the Pennsylvanias and Nevadas, but that was about it. For me, anyway. But, I never lost my fascination for the standard battleships.

Originally, I thought I would build Maryland 1941. For some reason, she seems the epitome of this type to me. But, I wasn’t quite ready to tackle the oversized bulges of the kit, given the number of recent projects that I’ve worked on that required extensive re-working or scratch-building. I wanted to start with a build that looked to be fairly straightforward, without major corrections. Any improvements and upgrades could come from photo-etch and 3D printed parts.

I decided on California, since the kit seems very straightforward. Extras included a Five Star Photoetch set for Maryland (knowing that not everything could be used), replacement cage masts, tops, directors and small weapons from 3D Model Parts, a deck mask from Hunter, alternate photoetch from Tom’s, 14”/ 5.51”/ 5.25” brass barrels from Master Models, and the 5.25” weapons set from the Finemolds Nanodread line. I was curious about the various alternative weapons and figured I would just see which might be the best. The same will be true for catapults and fighting tops.

Further into the thread, I will go into a little more detail about certain aspects of the kits and builds that I think worth noting. For now, I just wanted to get the thread going, and display the current status of the builds.

I should mention that I ended up with two builds because I discovered that the waterline plate is 1mm too short to properly fair it to the hull without a ton of corrective work. I also found the styrene of the plate harder to work than expected. I was so frustrated by this first attempt that I bought a WeeVee kit (which has the same hull) in order to swap hulls. I cut the new waterline plate in half, faired it to the new hull, and filled in the gap with styrene strip.

But, I’m also very stubborn, and I ended up correcting the first hull to a satisfying point. Hence, two builds, and the purchase of a lot more aftermarket stuff. :cry_3: Both ships will be in Measure 1 using a custom mix of Tamiya colors, and I’ll share some thoughts on that as well. The decks are also covered with a custom paint mix with a wash.

In these pics, WeeVee is painted with the custom mix for modified 5-D, the one with a tinge of blue. It’s interesting how different lighting changes the color ever so slightly. The overhead photo is the most representative version of my 5-D mix as it appears to my eye.

California is wearing a base coat of XF-63 German Grey, which was the starting point for my mix, but isn’t really dark enough to my eye to use as 5-D.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:41 am
Posts: 2135
Location: Monson, MA.
A 1/350 Hiryu, now 1/700 USN ships????? I blame it on 2020!!!! :lol_3: In all seriousness, Dan, great work as always! :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1:




Bob Pink :wave_1:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:02 pm 
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Location: In the hills of North Jersey
Quincy wrote:
now 1/700 USN ships????? I blame it on 2020!!!!

Or, this caused 2020... :whistle:

Nice to see you finally kick start this thread.

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"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." John Wayne

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:30 pm 
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Location: New York City
Thx, guys. Yeah, my gyros are clearly off. Can't seem to shake it, though.

Here’s a couple of detail shots of the Five Star MD/WV set parts for the bulkhead that separates the upper and main decks. The Five Star set is fairly comprehensive, but the brass is very thin and easy to bend, particularly the railings. The additional compartment at the base of the bulkhead is well documented for WeeVee, but less so for CA. As I recently conjectured in the CASF Pre-War Big Five thread (viewtopic.php?f=47&t=30407&start=300#p903268 ), there seems to be something there, though it's not entirely clear what. I chose to duplicate the base as carried on West Virginia.

Because of the overhanging RDF platform on West Virginia, this bulkhead had to be detailed in place. On California, I was able to complete it separately and then slip it into place and glue solid. A set of lower ladders will be installed later.

I also gussied up the vents sitting to either side of the #3 barbette on West Virginia. (California’s are not complete just yet.) Interestingly, those on WeeVee appeared to have been much taller than the other sisters, a detail that Pit-Road/Trumpeter got right.


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CA intakes 80-G32490 crop.jpg
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 5:49 pm
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Location: The beautiful PNW
MartinJQuinn wrote:
Or, this caused 2020...


:lol_spit_1:

Eagerly awaiting more of this Dan! A builder of your talent tackling these lovely battle wagons... will be poetry in plastic.

Matt

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1/350 USS Portland CA-33 1942
1/350 Trumpeter Texas with a twist


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:24 am
Posts: 1716
Location: Belgium
Subscribed!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:55 am 
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Location: New York City
Progress has been slow but steady. I focused next on some of the deck equipment, vents, ladders, turrets, brass barrels, and the catapult for #3 turret. I used the Five Star catapults for both ships though, truth be told, there were subtle differences in the trestle support structure used for the Tennessee class versus that of the Colorados. I also considered using the fine version from the Tom’s US Early Battleship fret, but that unit is better suited for the earlier standard battleships. The FS catapult was not a perfect fit for either type turret. Some of the underlying brass had to be cut away to fit properly, though the cut can’t be seen.

The FS unit is very nicely done, but missing the piston and brake buffer assembly. So, I scratch-built something that looked somewhat like those components.

I suppose now is a good time to point out that the FS instructions are not up on the same level as the parts themselves. There are many components that are provided for in the PE set but are simply not referred to in the instructions. I’ve no idea why. Other assemblies are incompletely labeled. It’s a bit frustrating. Among the components were a couple of flywheels that I used for the ends of the piston.

Among some other equipment tweaks was my arranging small hawser reels and paravanes on the #2 barbette as per the available photography of late 1941. West Virginia appeared to have stored paravanes only on its #2 barbette, while California had a mix of reels and paravanes using an asymmetrical arrangement. I went with some very small Pit-road NE series reels instead of fashioning completely new ones from wire.

I also noticed that California’s film projection shack atop the ventilator is actually sitting on short legs. I modified my part to match, though it’s not highlighted with a great shot.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:59 am 
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Location: New York City
Everything on hand was then painted and attached.


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WV (top) & CA (bottom)20201015_094900_resized sm.jpg
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:36 pm 
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Looking really good, Dan! Fingers crossed :thumbs_up_1:

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