Thread: old stuff
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Old 02-18-2024, 12:00 PM
rjccjr rjccjr is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Beverly, MA, USA
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old stuff update

Hi All;

Here is a little change of pace. Back in 1976 the first attempt at serious scratch building, USS Indianapolis, came about. Back then, there was no internet, so good plans and information were hard to come by. In 1973 a fold out three view drawing of USS Indianapolis appeared in Warship Profile # 28. It scaled out to 1/275. A hand drafted set of plans was made from that and reference to photographs. During the next couple of years my first serious scratch built ship model was constructed from plastic sheet and stretched sprue from old model kits. Much to my surprise, it placed second in ships at The IPMSA Region I convention in 1979. That was Noreastcon 8.

This was the second scratch built model, hand drafted to the same scale and modified from a pretty inaccurate set of Wiswesser plans, by information gathered from photographs. It's the USS Marblehead CL-12 as it appeared in early 1942. It was ordered in 1918, launched in 1920 and commissioned in 1924. Severely bombed in the battle of the Makassar Straits, she limped away, was repaired and managed to survive World War II. The design and history of the Milwaukee class cruisers is very interesting, but beyond the scope of this entry.

The model is built using the same methods as used for USS Indianapolis. Photo 1r is a starboard side view. You can clearly see that the model has held up much better than he dust cover. I don't dare remove the cover because the model is extremely fragile after 47 years. That cover has done its job, since there is no dust inside. Photo 2r is a port side view. The ocean is a slightly textured painting. There was no attempt to make any three dimensional waves. Photo 3r was an attempt to get a forward view. The glare from the dust cover made the shot very difficult, but you can see aging of the styrene has lifted the starboard bridge wing. Photo 4r is an attempt to show the float planes. There are nineteen pieces in each one. Photo 5r is an overall view. The boats were made by carving a basswood master and vacuum forming them. The railings were thin brass stanchions strung with very fine hairs of sprue. Remember, this model was done long before photo etch came along. Photo 6r shows the detail work. The top masts are brass wire, which has held its shape very well. The rest of the masts and rigging are sprue, as are gun barrels searchlights small weapons, cowl vents and tripod mast. Oh yeah, The stacks were borrowed weapons containers from two 1/48 Mirage fighters. You can see how the starboard antenna spreader has bent due to outgassing. After 47 years, plastic is about as brittle as a potato chip. The paint was airbrushed Floquil railroad colors, mix matched to color chips.

The developmental importance of this model is that it taught the design and construction techniques used in the later design of card models and started me thinking about the ecological and medical advantages of modeling in card. There's a sort of nostalgic affection for ships and aircraft that hardly anyone has ever heard of.

Regards, rjccjr
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