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Like so many here including rsv1ho who has a thread now about his very cool (and big!) remote control model planes, I have another hobby that absorbs much of my spare time - model ships. They are arguably as important and long-lasting (65+ years) as my model trains.

Below you see part of my collection: I have 1:87 models of ten British warships from the Napoleonic era, and about 70 1:350 plastic, resin and wood models of steel warships from WWI and WII. A goal I am working on is to have a model of every class of warship that the US had in WWII. Slide5.jpg

This is a 1:350 model (about 20 inches long) model of USS Wasp CV-4, that I completed this morning. It was our second-smallest fleet carrier at the start of WWII, sunk in Sept '42 by a Japanese sub. The model is entirely scratch-built except for the planes, which I bought (making so many would be boring).
Slide3.JPG

This is USS Pensacola, a 1:350 resin kit of it, as it was late in WWII, with augmented AA armament. It was the first US heavy cruiser built after the Washington Naval Treaty and not an entirely a successful design, but it fought hard and survived the war. With it, I actually have achieved my goal for cruisers - I have a model of every one that served or was built during the War. Still not there with carriers, battleships, destroyers and auxillaries, but getting close.
Slide4.JPG



I recently finiished these two models and of course, will now start two more!!
 

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The scratch build carrier kind of blew my mind. Must take a huge amount of time. How do you create the hull? Do you use the hull form drawing? Hours of sanding? What material?

BTW, I believe Ranger was CV-4 and Wasp was CV-7.

https://maritime.org/doc/plans/cv7.pdf
Yes, you are right. I'm just starting Ranger now - getting old and confused sometimes.

I make thse out of sheet styrene. The hull was made from diagrams in Friedman's Us Navy Institute book on aircraft carriers - a heavy frame plated over with thin plastic shaped and saned smooth.
 

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I do not understand how folks make such amazing things out of this styrene. I'm fairly certain I can make trash of it. The best trash of course but just trash.
 

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Outstanding work Lee. Those ships are simply tremendous. As far as the planes go, they're not that tedious if you make them by the dozen in a resin mold. ;)
 

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Also, I must say it was a treat seeing your handiwork. Thanks for sharing it!
 

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Fantastic modeling Lee. My expertise would be at the Revell Plastic Model level with instructions.

Bill
 

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Yes, you are right. I'm just starting Ranger now - getting old and confused sometimes.

I make thse out of sheet styrene. The hull was made from diagrams in Friedman's Us Navy Institute book on aircraft carriers - a heavy frame plated over with thin plastic shaped and saned smooth.
Now you have me confused. CV-4 (Ranger) and CV-7 (Wasp) were the same class. Are you starting USS Ranger (CV61)? That was built after WWII. Or are you starting CV-18 (renamed Wasp during construction to honor the sunken CV-7)?

The model of the Pensacola got me wondering about the age of a few heavy cruisers that were docked (mothballed) where I used to work. These two were built after WWII. The one on the left still exists as a museum.

199009-1.jpg
 

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That's amazing Lee, I knew you were into model ships, but that's quite an armada you have assembled! :) I'm with others, the scratch built carrier is pretty amazing!

When you get to Essex class carriers, can I recommend the USS Shangri-La? I served on that one for over three years and two Med Cruises. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Now you have me confused. CV-4 (Ranger) and CV-7 (Wasp) were the same class.
View attachment 512276
Actually, they were not the same. USS Ranger CV-4 was the US's first aircraft carrier designed as such from the keel up (earlier ones were conversions of other ships), built in the early 1930s and commission in 1934. It was a type of design never repeated - not really a failure, but not a great carrier.

USS Wasp (CV-7) was built in the late 1940s, andwas basically an repeat of Enterprise but downsized to fit the tonnage limit for carriers the US had left under the Washington Treaty. It was a good basic design, slightly shorter (741 feet) but heavier (19000+ tons) than the Ranger, but a bit too small to be a real fleet carrier. So meet that tonnage limit it was built without armor or good underwater protection (its downfall, one torpedo sank it). It was commissioned in mid 1940.

I am building a model the USS Ranger CV-4 now. I never liked the Ranger and never wanted a model, and am only building one now because I have decided I want a model of every class.

The model of the Pensacola got me wondering about the age of a few heavy cruisers that were docked (mothballed) where I used to work. These two were built after WWII. The one on the left still exists as a museum.

View attachment 512276
The two cruisers, CA-134 and CA-139, are the Des Moines and Salem, designed and actually laid down in WWII but not completed and commissioned until 1948. They were enlarged (17000 tons vs. 14,000) versions of our Brroklin-class heavy cruisers in WWII, the basic difference being their nine eight-inch guns were fully automatic and could fire twenty or more rounds a minute. In the photo below you see a model of the Des Moines in back, and moving forward, the Brooklin class, the one-off Witchita, and the Indianapolis type - the class that followed the Pensacola.

Des Moines.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Dang. Now I have to watch another rerun of "Midway".
Just wait a week, the new version comes out on Nov. 8 I think. No more Charlton Heston - now some new younger guy!! And much better action graphics from what I saw on the trailer.

But I will miss Henry Fonda as Nimitz.
 

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Wow, impressive all. I have neither the patience or ability to even attempt one of those.

As an old retired Navy veteran I appreciate your theme. While I may not go back to the Galleons on the second to top shelf I do remember some of the others shown, especially the Wasp and the Pensacola.

There is a series "Victory at Sea" that is a wonderful reference and honor to those WW2 ships.

Great job all and eye candy to me.

Thanks for sharing - Bob
 

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Hi Lee,
In some of the free stuff I've been able to collect there were these two books on battleships. I saw your post on modeling war ships and thought you might like to have them. If so all I need is an address to send them too. I can't say I'll have them sent out in short order but I will sent them. I tried to send you a PM but couldn't get the picture to attach.
Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you!!! However, I have them both. I have a collection of about 1400 books on Maritime and Naval history. Freidmann, in particular, has written some impressively detailed books on US warship design.
 

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In my 20 years the only ship I was on was the USS Saipan, and that only for a few minutes.

I was a TD Tradevman Training Devices Man, we trained Naval Aviators in navigation, instrument flight, and emergency procedures including ejection seat exits.

If the Navy had a training device of any sort we operated and maintained it. No sea duty. Shortly after I retired the rate was abolished and contracted out.

The picture is of the Saipan underway in 1955. I bordered her in 1958.

Enjoying your thread Lee. Your maritime library mirrors my WW2 aviation library. I just added Richard (Dick) Bongs Ace of Aces book, the Dick Bong Story.

I'm a big P-38 fan and scratch built the model shown. I's control line and I have flown it many times. Inside the ebay package is a HO belt drive Varney F-7 that arrived at the same time as the book.
 

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