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Hi all, I'm new to this forum, and relatively (re)new to model building. Like many of us, I built plastic kits as a pre-teen in the 70's, dropped it, then returned to the hobby in my 50's. My motivation was mostly liking to do stuff with my hands (I also build furniture) and a growing interest in WWII history, particularly naval aviation and, for that reason logically, particularly the Pacific war. Until now I've been doing only airplanes, moving up through 9 or 10 of them in increasing complexity to try and build some skills. The most recent was also the most complex, an Airfix 1:48 Supermarine Walrus (which as a flying BOAT I guess is legit to at least mention here) with the full Eduard PE treatment inside and out. Plus, this was my first foray into rigging a biplane. Wanting to keep ratcheting up the challenge level, I decided that now was the time for a ship. The specific choice of escort carrier Gambier Bay (CVE-73) was a combination of seeing the Hasegawa kit on sale for a very good discount and having recently read the excellent Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James Hornfischer, which describes the heroic fight put up by Task Forces 1, 2, and 3 in helping to repel a much more powerful Japanese fleet from entering the Leyte Gulf and wreaking havoc on MacArthur's famous landing there. Gambier Bay was lost in that engagement, as were several other USN ships. I also purchased the "detail-up" PE kit that Hasegawa sells for Gambier Bay. In addition to a bunch of little details for the deck ordnance and such, this kit completely replaces the kit plastic for the masts and radar hardware (really most of the superstructure), and will without a doubt be the most complex PE construction job I've yet tried. So far I have made a basic assembly plan, and started building the hull. The assembly plan is basically to ignore a lot of the Hasegawa sequence, which bounces around between hull, deck, and planes/ordnance before tackling the superstructure, and do this instead: 1. Build out the hull, deck, and lower superstructure (the plastic part) separately, adding none of the deck hardware and ordnance, and only as much PE hull detail as lies within a solid color area of the complex Measure 23 camo scheme. 2. Separately make any PE parts that will get the measure 23 camo colors but cross color boundaries and can't be masked over. 3. Paint everything above the lightest hull grey color (I will use Gunze Mr Color lacquers for all of it), then paint the Measure 23 camo (which requires mixing colors, so I want to do it all at once so I don't have to match) on everything, going lightest to darkest color. I plan to grey out all the darker colors a bit to give the "scale attenuation" effect. 4. Paint all the PE bits that go on the camo areas separately, then glue them on. 5 Spray the main deck with deck blue, and probably brush paint all the other deck surfaces to work around the molded-in hardware that needs to be light grey. Use the decal sheet to guide masking off and spraying the ship number and landing strip lines on the deck (no way are decals going to settle over that texture). 6. Build and paint all the deck hardware and ordnance, then install it. 7. Take a deep breath. 8. Build the PE superstructure, and paint it. 9. Take a second deep breath. 10. Try to do a decent job of rigging it with EZ-Line. 11. Build and paint the aircraft that are provided (9 total).
Scratchbuilding USS Saratoga CV-3, 1944 in 1/350 scale. This model will depict Saratoga late war with asymmetrical hull, cut-down funnel, and heavy AA fit. It is NOT being converted from the Trumpeter kit. Jim Russell did convert the Trumpeter kit into a 1944 Saratoga beautifully. You can see his conversion here: http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=39515&start=0 Actual ship length overall: 910' - 1-3/4" Model Length: 31.205 inches (79.26 cm). Material: Evergreen polystyrene sheet, strips, tubing, rods, H-sections, etc. Hull construction method: double plank on frame Plans and References: 1. US Navy Booklet of General Plans dated 1942 (implemented following Kamikaze damage sustained on February 21, 1945), available from Floating Drydock 2. US Navy Booklet of General Plans dated April 23, 1936 (implemented during a refit in December, 1943, plans updated Aug., 1944 to include cross sections - vitally important for this build). 3. US Navy Booklet of General Plans for USS Lexington CV-2, dated 1936, for comparison 4. detail photos and comments posted by Tracy White (invaluable) 5. photos from USS Saratoga Squadron at Sea by David Doyle (Tracy contributed much to that effort). 6. hull sections for USS Lexington CV-2, drawn by Thomas Walkowiak, available from Floating Drydock. Technique inspiration: Paul Budzik's masterful scratch-built USS Enterprise CV-6 http://paulbudzik.com/current-projects/Enterprise%20Scratch/Enterprise_Scratch.html Finish inspiration: Martin Quinn’s exquisite prewar USS Lexington CV-2: http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/cv/cv-02/350-mq/mq-index.html Your advice, constructive criticism and comments are most welcome and appreciated.