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USS Essex by RGL - FINISHED - Trumpeter - 1/350 - as she appeared in February 1944 -finished

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I got this second hand  quite cheaply in the suburb next to mine via an online seller. 

I’ve yet to purchase the Pontos upgrade set which I’ll order this week. 

The reason I’ve nominated Feb 1944 is that it was just before it’s only WW2 upgrade where it recieved it’s dazzle camo and a few other alterations, such as catapults which I can’t replicate and I want to weather her heavily (Sorry). 

it’s going to be quite the build as I want to do the interior hangar deck. 









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Nice project choice. I've been contemplating a carrier build next. Now I can sit back and enjoy watching 

your worthy efforts.

If I may, what is your impression of the Trumpeter kit?

Thanks, Harley

Cheers, Harley<p 



Under Construction:       


Completed:                      USS Atlanta CL-51 1/350 by Very Fire 

                                    Liberty Ship John W. Brown 1/350 by Trumpeter

                                    HMS Spiraea K-08 1/350 

                                    USS Arizona BB-39 1/200 by Trumpeter/Mk1 Design

                                 HMS Sir Gareth 1/350 by Starling Models

                                  USS Missouri BB-63 1945 1/350 by Joy-Yard, 9/11/21

                                  USS Indianapolis CA-35 1945 1/350 by Trumpeter

                                  USS Kidd DD-661, 1945, 1/350, on The Sullivans kit by Trumpeter

                                  USS Alaska CB-1, 1/350, Hobby Boss, Circa 2/1945

                          Brig Syren 1/64 Model Shipways, Wood

Started,On Hold:     Frigate Confederacy 1/64 Model Shipways, Wood

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Harley, it appears to be pretty standard, no great details, smooth hull unfortunately, lots of potential though. Not many aircraft but I’m not sure yet if I’ll fill the flight deck, I think I’ll cut out all of the roller shutters and park planes inside. The Pontos update is only really available via the Korean site Hobbydecal which I’ll post photos of. Like most of these big sets, they’re expensive but replace a lot of the kit parts. 

@CDW has built this as well so I can go back to his build for lessons learned 

Edited by RGL






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Should be a great build, looking forward to following along.



Current build: Continental Navy Frigate ALFRED (build log)                      

Past builds:     Steam Tug SEGUIN (build log in the kits 1850-1900 section)       

                         Liberty Ship SS Stephen Hopkins (Gallery & Build Log)

                         USS Basilone (DD-824) (Gallery & Build Log)

                         USS Olympia (Gallery)

                         USS Kirk (FF-1087) (Gallery & Build Log)




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And it starts. Some fairly prominent mold lines that needed a lot of sanding, offcuts used to hold the pedestals. FDAD7E31-C214-477E-9C00-94090A030718.thumb.jpeg.cb8837a29ffb37434c7ec96869aa6488.jpeg

the next level which goes from the waterline to the hangar deck, the centre support struts needed to be broken off to make sure it fits flush with the base. Only a few portholes to drill.  1B455615-459D-4B47-91B1-D945A7471C2D.thumb.jpeg.d0d18a091e77f5d89edab87c068e4d0d.jpeg






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Can't wait to see more! I plan on kibashing a 1/350 scale USS Hornet into the USS Enterprise someday, I'm sure I can learn some tips and tricks from your build.

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So the middle deck joined up and it’s actually flush when you break out the centre struts. C6613011-FFFA-401C-9FB8-65FDF0749377.thumb.jpeg.e337417e6136f097f2f013774e4d92c6.jpeg

hangar deck dry fitted and there’s going to be some big gaps. 

two bollards have snapped off (it’s a second hand kit so meh, I’ll replace the bollards anyway. 







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The bow, I’m going to have to replace a fair bit(this is under cover anyways and hard to see) D80A5C0E-760E-465C-A1BE-3D4FDC60D3F2.thumb.jpeg.2a5dd915678ef5f1a016fd826d6ed8ee.jpeg26FF000D-2B83-4C99-84E5-C427876BEC31.thumb.jpeg.fa721b62c3f6f0b2349eb780d64be76d.jpeg6AB78A7A-158F-440D-8F2E-522182F9B8B1.thumb.jpeg.246f3cf7c8e1aea1c7a26e95dca3914b.jpeg


the gap is huge and you can see from the real thing there are two large holes MISSING from the bow that even have the chafing plates running to them. 

the kit and Pontos don’t include cable reels 






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Hangar deck. Several hours worth of cutting out all the roller doors. The South Pacific is bloody hot, I imagine at sea the doors would be open as much as possible. I intend on detailing the inside as much as is sensible and park some planes inside.i have to get this level done before I can overspray and etch in the hull plates  







Edited by RGL






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Great work and wonderful research. 


Question, to you Greg or any navy guys, I am wanting to model WWII survivors and wanted to know what measure was used for post-war Spring of 1946?

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really nice find Greg!   looks like you have quite a bit to do..........gonna look sweet ;)   look'in forward in seeing more :) 

I yam wot I yam!

finished builds:
Billings Nordkap 476 / Billings Cux 87 / Billings Mary Ann / Billings AmericA - reissue
Billings Regina - bashed into the Susan A / Andrea Gail 1:20 - semi scratch w/ Billing instructions
M&M Fun Ship - semi scratch build / Gundalow - scratch build / Jeanne D'Arc - Heller
Phylly C & Denny-Zen - the Lobsie twins - bashed & semi scratch dual build

Billing T78 Norden


in dry dock:
Billing's Gothenborg 1:100 / Billing's Boulogne Etaples 1:20
Billing's Half Moon 1:40 - some scratch required
Revell U.S.S. United States 1:96 - plastic/ wood modified / Academy Titanic 1:400
Trawler Syborn - semi scratch / Holiday Harbor dual build - semi scratch

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Starting on the hull plates. Nearly a whole roll of masking tape. You can see from this shot of Essex in dry dock in 1945 it’s very subtle and you can hardly see them. There are some attractions or ribs visible but I imagine this would be from the previous 3 years of war service. As I’m doing this early in her service the US Navy dark blue will hardly make it visible. 








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