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LPH-11 U.S.S. New Orleans by Spaceman Spiff - Iron Shipwrights - 1/350 - Resin


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I looked for a long time to try to find a 1/350 scale model of my Dad's carrier, the New Orleans. The only kit in this scale, or really any scale, of the LPH-type carriers, was this one by Iron Shipwright's. As much as I hate working with resin, this was the only game in town. The original kit was made as LPH-9, the U.S.S. Guam and made as it was retrofitted to the 1985 time frame.

 

Dad served on the New Orleans during 1969 - 1970, so a good bit of backdating is in order. I apologize to those who I told I was going to start a build log on this, but with two young kids my modeling time is sorely limited. After moving at the pace of a directionally challenged snail, the island is starting to come along fairly nicely.

 

Please excuse the fact that I don't have any pictures of the parts before starting, but I was a little absent-minded! So anyway, here goes!

 

The kit, in some areas, is very well detailed - but in others, it really needs some work. Starting with the island, I purchased a set of PE doors from White Ensign (who happens to make excellent PE items). The molded resin doors are some of the things that need re-working. Although some may say otherwise, my AMS (advanced modeler syndrome, or to put it in terms - having to update everything to make it as accurate as possible) just won't let me leave well enough alone. Going from pictures of the ship from the 1969 time frame, I am also reworking the island. It is difficult to see in the photos, the walks have been extended using white sheet styrene. I also had to replace the back wall of the island with styrene due to poor forming of the kit items.

 

As you can see from the photos, some of the doors have been replaced and also all walks have been rebuilt. Also noticeable is the use of Mr. Surfacer (500) and Tamiya putty to help with corrections.

 

Please excuse the quality of my pictures - I make no claim to be a photographer! Updates will be posted as soon as I can, which at my current pace...

 

Thanks,

Eric

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Edited by Spaceman Spiff
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Thanks guys. Cap, I have an Iwata airbush for the painting. Yes, he is doing well - I am trying to get him into shipbuilding because I consider him to be a master woodworker (if I could only be half as good...), maybe one day!

 

Craig, that is pretty much how I do it, too. However, in this case I will attach the island to the deck before painting because the fit isn't quite the best and I will have to use some filler.

 

Oops, this is in the Q&A section as was kindly pointed out...who do I ask to move it? Thanks!

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Here are the parts to the ship, as requested.

 

Hull: The detail is pretty good and for the most part I am pleased with it. I will add some extra bits because I just can't leave well enough alone! Thanks to Dad's cruise book for the extra pictures. Looking at the bottom of the hull, the pour stubs are huge and I really, really hate sanding/shaping resin - so, in this case I will put it in a base with water effects to appear as under way. That way, I don't have to do a lot of extra work and deal with the poor prop and rudder.

 

 

 

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Here are some more parts. The first picture shows the gun turrets in cream colored resin. During the timeframe I am modeling, she didn't have the modern systems as in the sea sparrows and phalanx system. I contacted Iron Shipwrights and the supplied all of the necessary parts to backdate her for free of charge (yes, FREE!). Also, the green parts are to be put in the hangar deck as part of the sides. One is pretty poorly cast so I will be remaking it in styrene. I know what everyone is thinking - with the flight deck on, not a lot will be visible through the elevator doors, but I just can't help it...

 

The second picture shows a bunch of miscellaneous parts. However, these aren't numbered and the instructions, well, leave a little to be desired...

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is a little more. The flight deck is a replacement - the original was warped sideways and couldn't be fixed, so they sent me a new one. This is a great company and will sent replacement parts free of charge without any questions asked. Can't beat that!

 

The kit included a complete set of PE, so it looks like I will be having some fun...

 

They also sent a complete back dated air wing of all aircraft that were on her during the 1969 time frame. Hope you all enjoy the pictures and I will continue to post progress when my two little ones give me time!

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow what a great kit. That was really great of the supplier to give you all they parts to backdate your build. You don't get service like that very often:(

 

Mind you it must be heavy? Looking forward to watching this all coming together

 

What aircraft flew from the carrier back then?

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  • 11 months later...

Wow, I had realized it has almost been a year since I was last in this log. I have not had much time to work on it but just recently started back - a short TAD to Pensacola and a whole host of other things have sidetracked this kit.

 

So here is where it stands as of now - I have no pics but will put some up soon.

 

The hangar bay is nearly complete. I had to completely rebuild some of the structures, because, to put it mildly - they were very poorly done (profanity might be a better choice...). I rebuilt most of the structures out of sheet styrene using kit supplied ones as a guide for size and shape. I am not completely happy, but since it will have only a limited viewing area due to the flight deck and all, I am not going to spend a whole lot of time on it. Just a few more PE pieces, prime with with Tamiya fine white primer spray, paint, and close it up. But, before attaching the flight deck, I will have to level the top of the hull - it is poorly cast and has a "hump" on one side...*Sigh*... More work. With my luck, by the time I am finished, a plastic kit will come along. I am really starting to not like this kit - and am finding it increasingly more difficult to carry on, but I want to build it for Dad.

 

Next up, I will be building the elevators (or rebuilding, as the case may be with one of them). Pics to come!

 

I have decided to put it to sea and create a sea base due to the amount of sanding (resin is terrible to sand) and forming of parts that would have to be done if I were to put it on a stand. I get to work with good ol' Celluclay for the ocean - the only method I have used. Plenty of pics will be taken!

 

Just thought I would give a little update as to where things stand. See ya'll soon...

Edited by Spaceman Spiff
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Thanks for the nice words, Tim. The company goes above and beyond in customer service. I just wish they would have put half the effort into the kit!

 

So, here is the latest (albiet small) update from my restarted work. I apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures due to taking them with my phone. The admiral so kindly decided to lend our camera to the sister-in-law...ARGH is all I can say...(and will just leave it right there)

 

First, the hangar bay. The kit supplied interior structures were in such poor shape that I decided to rebuild them using sheet styrene. I know my work isn't as good as I would like, however,  I am at the point where I want to throw it out the window. But, the saving factor is that once the flight deck is on, only a small portion of the work will be visible from the open doors as I don't plan installing lights.

 

I am aware of a few things that need to be fixed, especialy the gap at the bottom of the stucture with the ramp. And, some of those unsightly scratches. Once I have those tidbits fixed, I will first spray it with Tamiya Fine White Primer and then get to painting.

 

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Next up are the elevators. Once again the kit-supplied ones were junk - warped beyond usability. Fortunately the company made good and sent two types of replacements - resin and PE. Well, the resin ones were still not usable so I decided to use the PE ones.

 

All in all, I have around 50 (give or take a couple) pieces in each of the elevators. The PE top and bottom were too thin when put together, and a little flimsy. I sandwiched a piece of sheet styrene in between the two to give it a little more scale thickness and stability. The styrene can be seen in the slots. I think it is adequate in all departments. Notice the empty slots in the PE? Well, the supports are supposed to fit exacly in each one... Guess what reality is? The PE supports are too long! So, I had to cut the back of each one to fit....more work that shouldn't have been necessary.

 

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This elevator is just about finished. I added a brace in the back made of styrene strip as the kit didn't supply one. I just have to add the front, put the netting on, and paint it (painting will come later). Not too bad - I can live with it.

 

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So, that's pretty much where I stand now. I have to do just a few more things to the hangar bay (rebuild the launch supports and paint the launches) and then I can get to the nasty business of fixing the "hump" in the top of the hull before painting and then attaching the flight deck. Once again, I apologize for the poor photos!

Edited by Spaceman Spiff
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  • 2 weeks later...

Minor update. With the new setup, I am unable to post pictures because I get the "upload failed"  message. So, here is where things stand. I wasn't able to work on the hull and get that hump flattened out enough so the flight deck will lay down correctly, so I did some work on the island instead. No matter how I tried to sand the bottom of the island, it never would stand straight when positioned upright.

 

I removed all of the PE doors from the sides and fitted sheet styrene around each side - I made one side a little longer than the other in order to get the island to stand upright. It had a slight lean which drove me crazy. Now, I just have to replace all of the doors and scratch some of the smaller stuff, and it will be ready. I then plan on adding all of the PE and painting it  before attaching it to the flight deck.

 

Sorry if the update wasn't exciting and pretty with pictures, but once I figure out how to add them I will go back and do so. Thanks for reading!

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  • 2 months later...

i plan on ordering this kit from iron shipwright in the next week or so, i know just about every inch of this old boat the "NO boat" as we called her. i would like to see more of your kit and the trouble your running in to. i'll build mine as she was in 91 off the coast of Iraq doing mine sweeping OPS

Edited by IYAOYAS5424
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Eric, I spent 3 months aboard the USS Valley Forge LPH-8 1968 with Marine Helicopter squadron HMM-164. A few years back I remember a LPH plastic kit being offered on a limited basis through Micro Mark and I think it was the Tripoli.

Have a great build and I will be stopping by to see your progress.

Ken

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