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USS Saratoga by Steve Larsen - PLASTIC - 1:350 as she appeared in 1944

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I wouldn't count out the SIB folks....they do phenomenal small scale in wood.  but I do agree...this is a really good 'kit quality' scratch build.  I'm an old plastic builder myself.......nothing I've done in the past even comes close to what Steve's doing here.   very nice work!

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Thank you all so very much for the compliments and encouragement!


The hull has been primed and is nearly ready for paint and further detailing. The red has been smoothed and the black will be shortly. The red is Krylon brand rattle-can "Red Oxide", a dead ringer for US Navy 121 red oxide, and will not be painted further, just mildly weathered. The portholes on the hull will be re-drilled using a pin vise since the primer has partially filled them.
Straking detail is visible in the photos.
The flight deck (and funnel and conning tower) has merely been placed onto the hull for photo purposes. When the boat bays and AA sponsons are complete, the flight deck will be cemented to the hull. To ensure that the surface of the flight deck is perfectly flat, it will be fixed inverted to a flat surface then the inverted hull will be placed down onto it and shimmed where necessary. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the hull will be fixed to the flight deck.
Starboard side. The bottom edge of the black primer will form the boot topping. Late in life, the starboard side of the ship received a large stability blister, visible here on the model.  Photos of the ship indicate that the plating of the starboard stability blister was all butt-welded, unlike the rest of the ship, which was riveted when built. Therefore, the blister is very smooth compared with the rest of the hull, which is straked. The starboard side of the ship lost its original bilge keel when the stability blister was added. 
Port side.  Bilge keel is visible.  Plating pattern around the bilge keel is consistent with photos as is the slight variation in porthole height just aft of the nearest boat bay.  The watertight hatch visible in the side of the hull was common to both Saratoga and Lexington.  Through this hatch on Lexington, electrical cabling was passed supplying electricity to the city of Tacoma, WA for a month beginning in December, 1929.  Notice also that the portholes inside the boat bay are much larger than those on the hull's shell plating.  This is consistent with plans and photos.
The model's engineering vents are all open. They need some minor cleanup but otherwise are done.
The real ship was built with tracks to move floatplanes on carriages around the flight deck.  The floatplane tracks are visible on the model's flight deck. Photos of the real ship indicate that the tracks originally featured a centerline slot but by 1944 the ship no longer carried floatplanes so the tracks were no longer necessary and the slot was eliminated.  Thus, the model's tracks are solid.
This is the radar platform on the foremast.
Best wishes!

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Hi Steve, just ran across your post of your build of the Sara. My brother was on her from 5/23/42 to 2/21/45. He was K.I.A. on 2/21, the pictures you posted of the attack is the area were he was. He was in the No. 2 gun tub. I'm a member of the USS Saratoga Association. I have 3 kits of her, but haven't completed yet.

Your work is extraordinary. Thanks got sharing.


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Thanks so much!


Very sorry to hear of the loss of your brother on board Sara, Ralph.  My family and I appreciate and honor his and your family's sacrifice. 


I regret to report the model's hull was badly damaged beyond repair in an accident.  But it offered a new opportunity to do better.  Hull 2.0 is under construction.  Here it is with the framing complete and some planking roughed in.  What appears to be the flight deck actually isn't.  This is a supporting deck, like the sub-floor of your house, that the flight deck planking will be laid on.  Locations of flight deck features have been drawn in.  V-groove styrene was used as an aid to align the planking and other features.


The island and funnel were not damaged, thankfully.  They will go on the new hull.


3D-printing technology will be used to add additional detail and create very accurate features that were not part of the the original model hull.  A new 3D-printed rudder will be attached, too.


Much work to do but having fun.

Model Monkey 1-350 Saratoga CV-3 Hull 1945.jpg

Model Monkey 1-350 Saratoga CV-3 Hull 1945 b.jpg

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