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

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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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Edited by RGL

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Just ordered the Pontos set, I’ve also ordered some life rafts plus paravanes. 
 

as usual there is no hull Plate details from Trumpeter so I’ll be painting over and scribing some in. 

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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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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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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. 
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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  

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Edited by RGL

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So, nothing really fit well so there’s lots of gaps on this level that need fixing.65A6B5ED-228F-4DE5-A310-566F1642C1DE.thumb.jpeg.c8298b00b10aa45f79f266e2b53f7664.jpeg The Pontos set has not arrived yet from Korea but I got extra doors (it appears there are not in the upgrade). FE7914C7-5F22-4F50-8DDD-D6DE5896AA09.thumb.jpeg.f940420bd69fa313cf61d57dd6c3e1a2.jpeg

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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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As discussed, the hull of the Trumpeter kit is smooth as a baby's bum. This photo of the USS Yorktown in 1943 shows the hull plate details of this class.

 

There is also the catapult that Essex does not have and includes catwalk details Ill need to add.

Uss Yorktown.jpg

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So, after market addition will be paravanes, capstans, doors, cable reels, fire hydrants, life rafts, USN life raft rigging, USN Anchors And still quite a bit of scratch building required and lots of bits from spares. 

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