Building the
USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6)
in 1/96 scale Part One.
By Clifton Simmons
This is my 1/96 scale USS ENTERPRISE CV-6 in progress.  Three years ago I donated my first 1/96 scale model, the battleship TENNESSEE, to the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.  The folks there were kind enough to give it a good home and the curator asked me if I would consider building the one ship that most symbolized World War II.  Being a sucker for hard luck cases (not!), and to show my gratitude for taking BB43 off my hands I agreed to build them a 1/96 scale model of the most decorated ship from World War II. 

I started with purchasing scale plans from the Floating Drydock and also purchasing the book USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), The Most Decorated Ship of World War II, a Pictorial History by Steve Ewing, 1982, Pictorial Histories Publishing Company.  I also reference the website www.cv6.org, which has a ton of great photos and information about the ship.  With plans in hand I made a copy at the local copy shop and put the original in storage.  After taking my initial measurements I sat down at put knife to plastic. 

First up was the island, which was formed with basswood blocks and then cladded in sheet styrene, with smaller details added on that.  A carrier has more hatches than a battleship so for this project I decided to make my own hatch masters and cast them, negating the need to order hatches and wait a long time for their delivery, which is what happened in my last project, the 1/96 scale BB 43. 

 I also decided to make masters and castings of the bitts, chocks and ready-service lockers.  I am currently building the masters for the 5 inch guns and the 40mm guns.  I have been contracted to build two 1/96 scale BB43ís for the USS TENNESSEE museum and having these weapon molds will help move that project along more smoothly.

The flight deck aircraft crane is completed, except for the aft ladder, top railings and the wire rigging which will be added later.
The fighting top with the cast resin loudhailers in place.  The structure is styrene with resin details added.  The glue will be fine sanded off and primed giving it a smooth surface. 
The forward-starboard side of the island.  The storage boxes are various size styrene square tubing from Evergreen and Plastruct plastic. 
The forward-port side of the island.  From this view you can see the fine 24-gauge brass wire work representing island side electrical cables. 
Close up of the pri-fly level bracing.  The marking lines for the portholes and hatches can be seen.  I always use a hole punch to make the porthole covers.  I donít believe in making the portholes open as this is a museum model and not a filming model. 
The port and starboard side hangar deck cranes. 
The masters for the 36Ē searchlights 40mm gun barrels, ready-service lockers and deck winches ready for coating with future floor polish and then into the mold box.  The deck winches will be detailed some more to even out the tops of the motor housings.
A good view of the port side of the island.  The hatch placement is finished as is the side panel detailing.  The rain guides above the hatches are24-gauge brass wire. 
Here is the master, the mold and two castings for the Mk37 Fire Control Directors.  These will receive John Haynes brand photo-etch radar screens.
Here is the master for two types of hatches and two types of loudhailers.  The hatch masters are made of .020 and .020 thickness styrene sheet with wire handles. 
This is the hatch master after it was coated with Future Floor Polish.  Future fills in any small cracks in a master and produces a cleaner mold and castings.
This photo is kind of blurry but you can still see the details on the capstans and hawse plates.  The tops of the wildcats are coat buttons, just like on my USS TENNESSEE project.  The rivets are straight pin heads, clipped off and glued into holes drilled the same diameter as the pin shaft.  From the simplest things around the house you can create great detail. 
The 40mm gun tubs and the Mk51 tubs.  The 40mm gun tubs are made of .020 styrene wrapped around a disc cut to size.  The Mk51 tubs are made from clear plastic tubes of the type coin collectors use.  After cutting them to length, I sanded them with small grit sandpaper to give the paint something to adhere to.  The bottoms are .020 styrene and the interiors are HO scale diamond plate from Plastruct. 
The 5-inch gun parts so far.  The gun tube with breech assembly, the base and the platform.  The gun platform is again topped with HO scale diamond plate from Plastruct.
The side galleries.  These will be leveled and added to the lower flight deck edges. 
Next up is the aft island stair levels, cable reels, motor whale boats, attaching the tripod mast to the island and working on the radars.  The hull construction will start when I move out to the garage.  For the upcoming hull I purchase large sheets of styrene in three thicknesses. 

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