Building a 1/700 1944 USS Indianapolis by Adrian Davies
I doubt few of you all who visit this website donít know the tragic story of the USS Indianapolis. So for brevity, and a large dose of laziness I wonít repeat it here.

When Tamiya first announced the release of this kit I knew that she would one day grace my worktable. She has always been a favorite of my Fathers, and I guess he passed it on to me. The kit represents her, as she looked in July 1945. I always thought she looked dashing in her Measure 21. However for me there was a problem. You see the Curtiss Seahawk has to rank as one of my least favorite aircraft. I simply did not want to build that aircraft. So looking at my references I decided to model her after her November December 1944 refit. So I could include a couple of Curtiss Seagulls.

The model was a pretty straightforward affair. Here is a short list of some of the things I did.
  • Re-scribe the forecastle deck, and replaced all the deck fittings with scratch built details.
  • New 20 mm anti aircraft position to the bows.
  • Replace most of the bulwarks with styrene, for scale thickness, and height. There is nothing worse than having bulwarks that only come up to a figures knee. That pretty much led to the scratch building of most of the foretop. 
  • New Masts, these were built from styrene rod, stretched sprue, and brass rod. I was dreading the main mast, but that was surprisingly easy and more importantly, fun.
  • Scratch built catapult towers, topped with a mixture of WEM and GMM catapult parts.
  • Etched parts from various sources. But the main ones are Tom's Modelworks, White Ensign Models and Gold Medal Models.
  • Painted both by airbrush, and hand painted. Using Colourcoats, Humbrol and Vallejo.
  • The ship and the two aircraft are rigged with a combination of Lycra and stretched black sprue.
  • The 20 mm and 40 mm guns are all WEM castings, as are the Paravanes.
  • The Seagulls are also WEM, but I carved away the canopies and replaced them with carved and polished acrylic ones.
  • The aircraft decals are GMM, and the flag is Dunagain. 
  • The crew is from GMM. Surely they must be the navies biggest supplier of man power by now?
Click images
to enlarge
Two years later, this is what I ended up with. Iím sorry if I got all the nautical terms wrong. You see this language is all new fangled to me. This is my second ship, (not the last I hasten to add). I normally build jets.

Aptly, this model now resides in a private collection in Indianapolis.

Thanks to you all for the inspiration.

Adrian Davies

 Editors note:

This ship won 1st place in  at the IPMS 2005 Nationals in Atlanta in Category 401 -Powered (surface) All others, 1/401 and smaller sponsored by Congratulations Adrian.