The Floating Drydock
1/96 scale USS Baltimore CA-68 Plans

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The Floating Drydock has been around for many years. Tom Walkowiak has been producing a wide range of plans with the Warship Modeler in mind for years. The TFW series are plans that Tom has redrawn himself, they are based on official Government drawings with additional views that would be of interest to most modelers. This set  is of the USS Baltimore, the the lead ship of a new class of Heavy Cruisers. These plans reflect her August 1944 appearance and are reproduced here in 1/96 scale.
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The plan set contains three sheets the larger ones about 8 feet long when unrolled. The first sheet shows the ship in a full hull side elevation. I should mention that the plans are not yellowish in color, rather are plain white. The coloring on mine was the result of florescent lighting and attempts to color correct only resulted in washing out the lines. The plans are a bit large to fit my scanner so these views will have to do.
The details on the drawing are very sharp and clearly show the features. Since I have a drafting background, I can really appreciate the attention to detail here. Each area of the ship is covered. You can even follow the rigging details.

The second sheet includes the plan view of the main deck and other deck levels. The one thing I really like about these views are the labeling of the various fittings. Having the parts called out is not only helpful, but is educational. There are items that I  always wondered about, and now I have a better understanding of their purpose.
Hull lines are included for the ship that are clearly marked stations and other features noted. 
The third sheet is a little shorter and include the miscellaneous views. A camouflage sheet is included, as are several photos of the ship. The photo's reproduced pretty well, but are not as sharp as the originals, also available from the Floating Drydock.
Rigging details are also shown on the masts. Various gun platforms and other details are shown from multiple sides.

Whether you are scratch building a 1/96 scale Baltimore or detailing the Waveline 1/700 kit, these plans will definitely allow you to go above and  beyond the typical detailing. Check the Floating Drydock's website for an extensive line of plans, building supplies, kits, and reference material for the ship modeler. Not all their sets are online so make sure you get a catalog or call for items you don't see. This is set #TFW-CA68/8 USS BALTIMORE CA68  8/44 1/96 $35.00, also available in 1/192 scale.