Building the
USS North Carolina  BB 55

by  Ron Horabin, Cheshire England

back to menu
Part 8 Float Planes, Directors, and Accessories. 
Itís been a long time since we had an update on our project build two resounds

1. It was winter in the UK and I do not build in my shed, itís too cold, even with a heater.
2. I had booked a holiday that included a trip to Wilmington, to go aboard North Carolina BB55 and look around and get a feel for the ship, to take my own photos, the ones you need to put the final touches to the model, and to say I went there, most people think Iím mad, to me what a thrill to step aboard and be taken round the ship by a former crew member, Leo H Bostwick from Southport, NC, he came aboard as a 17 year old, served in most campaigns, and was aboard for 3 years 6 months, his pay was 25$ a week, he is 80 years old and a very proud crew member. My wife Angela on the right and sister Margaret on the left, both enjoyed the tour; they also enjoyed seeing Charlie the 12 ft alligator from the side of the ship.

So on with the build

click images
to enlarge
In the last build we built the orlicons and the twin 40 mm, we were at the point where they needed to be sprayed, most of he ship has been hand painted but with so many small parts to do, itís a job for my       Letraset spray gun, having mounted everything on boards and polystyrene, I mixed my paints to a milk like substance and sprayed away, mostly 5H Haze grey, the finishing touches where with a small paint brush. After I cut and shaped some thin brass, I fixed the splinter shields around the orlicons and 40mm guns.
MK37 Directors.

I made my usual mould to make the bottom part of the director and cast it in resin, and then I fit small wires for hand rails around the bottom edge ,also fitted to both sides were a set of ladders. The main part of the build was the PE or photo etching in brass, for the radar, this is a John Haynes product in 1/96 scale, it consists of the 4 frame works ,  1 square checker radar, 2 set of ladders, 1 resin cast mounting , I had to roll the square checker plate to shape and then super glue it to the 4 frame works, when set this was glued to the resin mounting, from brass wire I made a set of legs to position it on top of my director housing. This was then sprayed the correct colour, and mounted on top of rear superstructure. 
 
 

OS2U Kingfisher Float Planes.

The project is getting longer and longer so I have to compromise with the build, to speed things up a little this is another time cutting section. I purchased two Kingfishers from Floating Drydock, they are 1/96 scale by John Haynes, for the price of $25 each I would have expected see through canopies or a little PE, the quality is not brilliant but will do the job.
They come with a small drawing and some limited instructions, there are 10 parts and two sets of decals for wings and fuselage, I assembled the wings to the fuselage also the tail section, and the next step was to attach the large float and then the two outer floats, also the engine cowl and propeller, the outer floats have stabilisers on, you have to find some brass wire to make these as there is none in the kit.

I built the two kingfishers together; as one part dried I got on with the next. I purchased some of WEMs new aircraft colours ACUS 07 SEA BLUE,  ACUS 08 INTERMEDIATE BLUE, ACUS 10 NON-SPECULAR WHITE, and hand painted the two aircraft, when dry I put on the decals.
Ammunition Boxes. 

While at a trade show at Ellesmere Port Steamboat Museum I met Paul from Sirmar and ordered 48 boxes, they arrived 2 days later in a small parcel, they needed a little clean up before I could get down to paint them, in the photo you can see the first 26, also WEMs colour coat paints for the ship.
Smoke Stacks.

For some time now thereís been one stack nearly finished and one just started, I decided to complete the second stack, it is built plank on frame from balsa wood and covered with fibre paste, then a moulding made top and bottom and sanded to shape.

I made a walkway round the top out of some PE open mesh plating, to this I added some stanchions and handrails also whip aerials and ladders, after painting and seeing the results I redid the first stack to match.

SK Radar Platform.

The first thing to do was to measure the main upright and cut a piece of round copper tube, then in the vice squeeze it till it becomes oval, then the first support bracket can be made  out of plastic card . The top platform again is made out of plastic card but this time it has open mesh gratings and a hole for a ladder, coming through the platform is another upright this is made from copper tubing and holds another radar and Ariel, it was glued in to position with super glue, and the ladder fitted.
The yardarm was the next piece to be made, this is a tapered section of metal so I slotted three square sections into each other on either side to get the taper, I then added the stays and the hand rail holds and fit in position, every thing was then painted.
Thereís only one mast on the model, I have made this out of brass rod with its stabilising bars at the bass, and a cross tree near to the top just under the small platform, this will carry a few small aerials.
 

Pen Set.

This is something I picked up on E-BAY thereís not many around and at $30.00  I thought it a bargain, it should go nice with my plate .I hope you like the two overall  pictures, taken in my garden while the sun was shining . 

Happy modelling. Ron H.
back to menu
on to part 9


© ModelWarships.com